In her book, Carol Thatcher relates a story about attending a dinner to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Number 10, and finding herself sitting with former Prime Ministers and descendents of the likes of Lloyd George and Disraeli. She describes it as a "Can this really be happening to me?"moment.
Quite often on my life I've been at an event, or met someone famous, and thought to myself: "Can this really be happening to me?". Here are five of those occasions...
1983: At the age of 20, attending a reception at Number Ten. I remember walking up the famous stairs to be met by Mrs T at the top, and thinking to myself: "I can't believe how tiny she is". Later on in the evening, I nearly threw up at her feet, but that's another story.
1985: On my first day working at the House of Commons, walking along the corridor between Central Lobby and Peers' Lobby encountering former PM Jim Callaghan and former US President Gerald Ford coming the other way. We nodded, with me thinking to myself, "what's a lad from Essex doing mixing with these people?"
1991: I had an SAS guard while I was in Beirut, speaking at a conference. Being driven through downtown Beirut in a convoy of armour plated Landrivers with SAS soldiers pointing their machine guns out of the window was an experience in itself. The hotel was also heavily guarded by the Lebanese army (see pic). It turned out I was the first British visitor there since John McCarthy had been released from captivity. I hadn't known that in advance... I wrote a full account of the trip HERE.
2002: Meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace with my partner. We talked to her for for several minutes about Politico's. We were surprised (although I don't know why) that she didn't know where Artillery Row was, even though it is only a quarter of a mile from her home! Contrary to our expectation, she was very easy to talk to.
2008: Visiting the White House and blogging from the Oval Office.
I nominate the following five bloggers to continue the Meme.
John Redwood MP
Tom Harris MP
Feel free to share your own Can This Really Be Happening to Me? moments in the comments...