Scosha and I nestled ourselves in behind Scrummy and Carnspindle and we all exchanged various bits of information about who, from our group, was where and doing what.
Our attention was brought back to where we were standing in Brown Thomas, by a flurry of movement, as security men, dressed in smart dark coloured suits, took their places along the roped off area. We peered expectantly down the walkway at the huddle of highly preened men and women (the beautiful people) who were clearly on tender hooks awaiting the arrival of our man. After we scanned their faces once again, we relaxed – clearly Rob’s arrival wasn’t imminent.
I stood on tiptoes so I could see over the heads of the lines of fans and was taken aback by the length of the line – I dropped back down and pushed any feelings of panic about being at the front of a crowd out of my head.
Jane and Scrummy were going through a bag of goodies they’d brought with them: several bags of chocolate Minstrels and two very clearly ‘printed’ banners – I avoided eye contact with Scosha at this point!!!! Jane also had a very impressive looking camera round her neck.
The crowd of fans now stretched back to the entrance of the men’s clothing area. Dropping down from tiptoes again I commented about the length of the line…
How did you know which walkway to stand by?
Scrummy and Jane looked at me blankly… what do you mean?
A sudden chill went through me… didn’t they know about the ‘other’ walkway OMG!
I pointed to the right… down there, there’s another group of fans!
A flash of panic went over everyone’s face and several other fans stood on tiptoe to see what I was going on about. Jane took a look and quickly dropped back down…
Moonii they’re not another set of fans, they’re us – that’s a bleeding mirror!
Much relieved laughter followed – though I did take one more look to make certain. Sure enough someone looking exactly like me (but with wilder hair) was looking disbelievingly back down the line at me! I gave her a quick scowl and settled back into my place behind Scrummy.
Tap, tap… excuse me… tap, tap… I looked round awkwardly and was confronted by a rather impressive zoom lens.
The lens spoke… Would you mind to exchange place with me, I’m a photographer and want to get a good shot – I’ll let you have a copy of photo. Err did I look like I was born yesterday? I didn’t actually need to answer before he’d moved on to Scosha with the same request. No idea where in the world he came from, but he wasn’t getting our places – mind you it was brave of him to ask!
The group of young girlies at the back started up another lairy version of Angels… doooown the watar falllllll where evar it may taaaake meeeee… … … I silently groaned – seriously ‘it’ couldn’t take them soon enough for my liking, bless them… then it occurred to me, that back-in-the-day, that might’ve been me and the thought made me smile.
The huddle of ‘beautiful people’ suddenly got into formation and the security men snapped to attention. For a split second we all held our breath and froze, waiting for a sign of confirmation… the ‘beautiful people’ shuffled forward and we heard a murmur of voices, then we heard some nervous laughter and then through the murmurs we heard the tone of a voice, a warm familiar voice, The Voice we’d all been standing there waiting for.
Several things happened simultaneously… the foreign photographer leaned forward and for a split second used Scosha’s head as a tripod – I never saw what she did to him, but I wasn’t aware of his zoom lens from that moment on… the girlies screamed as if their very lives depended on it, which caused two security guards to snapped round to checkout the situation… the three OAPs were squashed together and seemed to merge into one body… and in the middle of all this chaos I stood completely and utterly still and waited, waited quietly, but determinedly for Rob to finish the round of meet and greets with the ‘beautiful people’, waited totally focused on the walkway, my heart beating so hard I felt I had to hold my hand against it – to stop it pounding it’s way out of my chest… waited until he was free to come over and stand literally the other side of the roped off barrier from where we stood.
I hadn’t been this close to him since 1997. There was a clamour of voices calling his name, trying to gain his attention… I stood quietly… I saw him scan our faces and then scan the banners – quick as you like – I could see him making a decision… I stood quietly, now totally unable to control the grin on my face. He raised his hands and silently shhhhooshed us… the clamour of voices died down to a level where we could hear him speak.