On Sunday I went to London to see the OMV pilgrims newly returned from Lourdes, and it was wonderful to catch up with so many of them. Having missed the pilgrimage because of my treatment, they seemed to do their best to make up for it: I was overcome with love. It seems that ‘out of sight’ was not ‘out of mind’, as I was deeply touched all through the afternoon and evening by my welcome and by how much people cared. There’s always a lot of love in the OMV anyway, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve felt very loved since being ill: the massed ranks of the OMV made me feel more loved than ever before. I was humbled by everyone’s concern, support, thoughtfulness and kindness. Blimey.

I didn’t especially want to turn up on my own, particularly not having been to Lourdes (officially it’s the traditional end-of-pilgrimage farewell, so I was gatecrashing to some extent), so I met Rachael and Zoe at Victoria, before heading to the Scarsdale (a pub off High Street Kensington). Upon my arrival it took a good half an hour to get to the bar: everybody seemed pleased to see me! Adam had had his head shaved at the final-night party to raise money, but his hair still wasn’t quite as short as mine, and mine’s much fluffier. So there! At one point during the afternoon/evening, champagne was dished out to the wonderful people who had organised the pilgrimage, or parts thereof, and in a lovely gesture Adam announced that everyone had missed me, and all signed a card, which he presented to me. Little old me! Actually, by OMV standards, I am getting quite old… and I’ve always been little.

Lots of us then went on to an Italian restaurant in Fulham (as has now become traditional), at which I felt even more loved! I blame the freely-flowing wine: it always makes people more emotional… But anyway, before saying grace, Dom Raphael exclaimed to the 70-odd OMV members crammed into the basement that it was so lovely to have me there: I could only blush in reply. Later on I was dragged up to sing, and having croaked my way through a duet with the prodigiously talented Charlotte, was persuaded to haul out my almost famous ‘Sheep’ song (which first appeared to the OMV about 6 years ago). It has been said that I like to be the centre of attention now and then, and I must admit that I do like performing, especially when you get the sort of reaction I did then… It was very touching.

After supper, the tables were moved and some dodgy scratched CDs provided some music to dance the rest of the night away: fortunately I was feeling on good form health-wise, and was only hindered in my dancing by my flip-flops… Hehe. I stayed with some of my wonderful friends in Strawberry Hill, and remarkably even managed to get out of the house by 7:30am and to the Marsden on time for my appointment (which was fine, as was today’s).

All in all, it was a brilliant day, and I’m so so pleased I managed to make it. So many lovely people, so many stories to catch up on, and such fun. I must get to Lourdes next year… Hopefully this post has given you some idea of just how touched and uplifted I felt by everyone; the credit goes to all my OMV friends – thank you!

9 thoughts on “Dances with flip-flops

  1. Any time George darling, you know we’ve ALWAYS got each other’s backs no matter what, right?! After all, I can’t think of anyone else I’d light a candle in a thunderstorm for!

    Keep on going, getting better & giving us the reality checks & kicks up the bum as needs be!

    You did a very important job last week & you always do.

    I love you,

    Fi
    x

  2. beh,diciamo pure che il mio commento è un pò fuori luogo in qst contesto…ma scrivo per dirti quanto questo tuo post mi abbia fatto bene!sapere che hai trascorso una giornata cosi speciale e soprattutto in compagnia di persone altrettanto speciali, colma il mio cuore di gioia!!!che dire…BEN FATTO!!!!:-)viva l affetto delle persone, la musica, il buon vino e la tua voce;-)

    beh,non mi resta che dire ai ragazzi dell OMV quanto siano stati fortunati ad aver trascorso un pomeriggio con te!non a tutti è concesso del resto….

    un abbraccio forte forte forte

    A presto

    Mc

  3. My gorgeous George,

    I still laugh every time i think about sunday night, i cant believe this time it was you who floored me and not the other way round…i think its best to blame it on my dodgy knee rather than the booze huh!!

    it was just the most amazing end to the most amazing week, to have you there surrounded by all the love. Everyone was always talking about you in Lourdes and i have to admit that actually we had an overflow card to the overflow card of the actual card but i think only one of them made it back to England with us!!

    Well fitty one big positive to having moved back to England is that i get to see you more often, woooooohoooooooooo

    bacioni
    Row xxxxxxxxxxx

  4. George,
    Great to see you at the Scarsdale last sunday. It was great to see you up and about.
    I hope the rest of the treatment goes well for you.

    from Phil Wilkinson

  5. it was fun wasn’t it, shame about the cds isn’t it, Oh and try as you must you wont escape my 3d lighthouse which is little and easy to store in and overhead compartment, unlike any fine art of botticelli. See you soon

    falex

  6. dude wasssssuuuup (moptohs)sarah morts- lil sis here, (hels) how is u? soz havent emailed in awhile coursework and all.But I have added u to my msn (huzzah) mines with the 2002 at the end,u have been busy might I add.Ive been away enjoying my 2 weeks off yey go back monday-darnit but there u go pip pip pop pop. Probably see u online. If i missed any birthdays happy bday for them. toodles (now what did i do with those sweets?)

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