Monday 12 April

Ludo Monday, April 12th. We woke up quite early in the morning – well, actually we never really made it to bed, because we had been up all night, sipping wine and chatting. I was so sleepy that I almost prayed Kristine to give me some good medicine: her special Latvian coffee (read her report for the recipe). The flat was in a mess, though we tried hard to clean everything and leave the place as tidy as we had found it. Mission impossible.
Ludo, Kristine, Herma
Kris Monday…. It took me more than 4 month to get myself together to write about Monday. I just knew Cav would kill me if I don’t, and since I have to face her in a “real life” pretty soon, I rather not to take my chances! So, Monday! My roomies had decided to wake up before the down, but our late partying, neverending wine and talking has kept us awake till 5 a.m. the day before. So, everybody slept late, and it was a chaos in the apartment when the 4 of us tried to get ready all together! We all had to leave that day, so I made the girls last cups of Latvian coffee. A little bit of information: Latvian coffee consists of coffee (2/3) and Riga Black Balsam (1/3). Riga Black Balsam is made pouring vodka over a variety of plants, adding infusions of herbs, berries and other plants. Besides it is filled in special ceramic jars for keeping it’s special taste. I don’t know if anyone who has tried it back in London is aware, but Goethe wrote “Fauts” drinking Riga Black Balsam (he might have skipped coffee, though…). I guess I have to send some of it over to George. It gets you very creative, Goethe said. And it is addictive, ask Ludo, Jen or Herry…. Anyway, after our coffee, we splitted into smaller groups, since Jen had to meet a guy who helped us a great deal with getting accomodated in Jen’s cousin’s apartment. She had a thank you to make from all of us, and Herma joined her. Herma Oh Monday. Monday is a terrible day. Not only the beginning of the week usually, but in London it is disaster too. :) It started all wrong. I was responsible for the alarm. Jen and I had a lot of plans so we needed to get up really early and I mean early. We had been asleep for maybe two and a half hours when Jen woke me........You see...it wasn't me, it was the alarm. The British are strange people...lol. They make totally different alarms....in Holland our alarm just goes on for 24 hours... so lets say seven o'clock in the evening is 19.00 hours and in the morning we say 07.00 hours. So, when I set the alarm it said 7.00, I naturally thought it was in the morning......but the English alarms only do 12 hrs...so 7 am or pm......I got the wrong one. Nothing happened...LOL.... at 07.00 hrs......They all blamed me, but really... :)) Jeannette Monday morning early… We met on Euston Station at 9.00 a.m. Well…actually only Paulette and I were there, as it turned out that Bianca and Nathalie were standing on another platform of the same station. Ludo and Kris arrived a bit later, telling us that Jen and Herma were bringing back the key of the appartment to the key address. We waited until 10.30 a.m. and without Jen and Herma we decided we had to go. Monday was leaving day for most of us (except for Paulette, who had decided to make it a short holiday instead of a long weekend), and seen the fact that making decisions wasn't our best part and took the main part of our time this weekend, we hoped that we would catch up with Jen and Herma later that morning…
Nathalie, Ludo, Paulette, Bianca and Kris
Bianca This was the day that most of us left for home, and we decided to do some sightseeing together before we left. So we decided to meet up at a Euston tube station. Herma and Jen were going to join us later, they had some stuff to do first. But Nathalie and I waited quite a while before we saw anyone. *grin*, then Jules found us.. apparentlythere were two different platforms for the same destination. So we went to the other platform and met up with Paulette, Kristine and Ludo. Jen Well, while the rest of our group were making arrangements to meet and so some sightseeing, Herma and I were off to thank dear Joe who arranged and set up the apartment for me, on behalf of my cousin. We had a lovely chat with him, at his job, and were lucky in that he didn't have any pressing clients to have to take care of. But, as we were running late and we enjoyed chatting with Joe at length, we fell even further behind in our tight schedule. Herma Anyway, Kristine quickly made us her latvian coffee and off we went. We had to go see a guy. He had taken care of the appartment for Jen and us...The appartment is owned by her cousin, he was abroad and this friend took care of everything for us. Jen and I went to see him, he works in London, to thank him for all his efforts. Later we were supposed to meet up with the others somewhere...sometime. So we left too late. It took much longer to get there than we had anticipated. So our whole schedule was gone in the morning already. When we got to meet Joe, he turned out to be such a lovely guy! So much fun talking with him. He knows someone who works in the London showbusiness. Through him he had met many celebrities and he had all these great stories to tell. He has been to many parties and had even met George at one of them. I couldn't tear myself away from him and so again it was really my fault again that our schedule truely went down the drain. Jen being the more organized one of us finally managed to get my attention and reminded me that we were to meet the others. I tried calling them at their mobile phones, as I had done before, but again couldn't reach them. Later we found out that we hadn't made a very intelligent deal..:) We had decided to meet up at the tubestation downstairs, but mobile phones don't work deep down in the earth..;(( After waiting for an hour for us and we didn't call they decided to go, very good choice.
Kristine and Jeannette in a tube station
Ludo Then the four of us split and Kristine and I headed for the Underground station. We were so dizzy that we couldn’t find the way to get to it, despite the fact it was our third day in that area! We were supposed to meet Paulette, Bianca, Jeannette and Nathalie at a certain train stop but it seemed we all had got a different idea of the place where the meeting was to be, as we waited an hour or so within the same building without meeting each others. Bianca We did some sightseeing and talked, talked.. and talked some more. :) In the tube back Jules and I had fun with my digital camera, I showed her all the pics I took that weekend and how easy it was to take a picture of ourselves. :o)
Bianca and Jeannete, playing with the digital camera
Arggg... that digital camera, it was a blessing and a disaster at the same time. Or maybe it's the person behind the camera.. hahaha, after all, I do have a lousy reputation when it comes to cameras. :) Anyway.. time flies when you're having a good time, and for me it was time to go back to the hotel, get my stuff and head to the airport.. my flight was leaving early that afternoon. So we said our goodbyes in the tube.. *grin*, Kristine even suggested that I should do like her.. just miss my flight and stay with them. It sounded very tempting, but my husband would probably have killed me.. haha, so I decided to be a good girl and head for home. I was actually looking forward to that.. I really had such a great time, those 4 days in London and was excited to tell my family & friends all about it. So 'Au Revoir' we said.. along with many hugs and kisses. Kristine Me, in company of Ludo, Paulette, Jules, Nathalie and Bianca went for some sightseeing. In a hurry Ludo and I forgot to have our breakfast, and others made the same mistake as well, I guess. Your last day in London is always crazy…. So, after no breakfast and strong Latvian coffee, we started to feel little dizzy. We were starting to have too much laugh… Couldn’t take it any more ;) ;);) We decided to eat – it was one of the best decisions we could make! Since during the last 3 days we had seen George performing, met each other, had great time, met Shirlie, some of us had run into Kenny as well in the RAH, we decided it’s time to celebrate! All that had happened during the weekend was SO GREAT – and who would have thought just couple of month ago that we are going to be there, all together, having SO MUCH FUN!!!! We were tired and happy. Unfortunately Bianca had already left us, cause she had a plane to chatch and totally refused to follow my steps and miss it, fearing her husband might wanna kill her for that…. So, we left her all alone, really sad and unhappy, in a hurry for her flight…. Well, at least Bianca is alive now!!! Jeannette Plan of this day was doing some shopping mainly and a bit of sight seeing. We hoped we would be able to get some more newspapers to see what was written about the concert. Publicity for the concert wasn't really wide spread - the promo poster we saw on Friday was still wet of glue, as like it had just been put there only that Friday! - : not very much more to find about the concert. Most papers found it interesting to write about Sinéad O'Connors somewhat glazed appearance, more than to write about the performances of other artists… Early that afternoon, when we got back to the underground, Bianca couldn't come along with us anymore as she had to run to catch her flight back to Holland that afternoon. We hugged goodbye and the five of us ( Nathalie, Kris, Ludo, Paulette and I) rushed out of the tube. Sadly enough, Bianca missed our little meeting with Shirlie half an hour later… :( Herma Since we couldn't reach the rest of the group and find out where they were, Jen and I decided to do our own shortened round of sight seeing. Finally in the afternoon we were able to get in touch with them. They were having a late lunch and we heard they had met Shirlie! Wow! Since we were at the other side of London and we all had to catch planes early that evening it didn't make sense to meet up with them anymore. It started pouring and we thought it best to go back to the appartment, because we didn't pack anything yet, due to our late start that morning. Jen A luncheon at Jack's was suggested, but as a good friend could not get out of work obligations and some of the others wanted to do other things, we chucked that idea at the last minute. We also were having a difficult time to catch up with the rest of the group...seems we were always two steps behind, no matter how much we tried to anticipate their moves and arrive in a location before them. We had contacted them and decided to meet them back at my cousin's place, as most of us had flights about to catch. Ludo We made a nice tour, on that particular Monday morning London looked perfectly beautiful, though the weather was the typical British one: sunny and rainy at the same time. We had a lovely meal at an Italian Café (being Italian I particularly appreciated it) and a glass of wine to toast our great weekend.
Kristine, Nathalie, Ludo, Paulette, Jeannette
Kris So, we went into a restaurant to have a lunch (brunch, I would say…), ordered some wine and cheered up for one of the best weekends in out lifes… Nathalie had to leave soon, as well. Another flight to catch. The four of us stayed. As we were finally walking out, several things stopped us on our way. Like Jules and Paulette searching for coins to tip the waiter, or me going to a ladies room, or my mobile phone ringing… It all kept us in the restaurant for 5 more minutes after we already decided to leave. And when we finally went outside, my dear friend Jules nearly got driven over by George… lol. It was hard to believe, but after we had already decided that it can’t get any better, we run into George! So, the biggest thanks goes to the waiter who probably wasn’t fast enought in delivering the bill, Herry who called me exactly when I was by the door, and many many other things that alleged us to be there at the exactly right time. George was very nice to us. He could just go away. But he took his time with us… The funniest thing was a picture taking. I swear when we were walking away, I could still feel George’s arm around my waist. Then I got the picture, and his arm was actually around my shoulders… The strangest thing about it is that Ludo, who was standing next to George at the other side, said exactly the same thing! So, there must be somehting in there! We can’t both be that crazy… ok, ok, we probably can…. ;) Go figure! Ludo Yet, the dessert was the sweetest one I ever had: a George served with paper (for the autograph) and film (for the picture). How did we like it? I would have easily had some more!!! After that it started raining cats and dogs, but who cared? The taxi driver who drove us back home must have thought we were completely drunk and wild. Yes, we had a blast. They say that things like that usually happen once in a lifetime, but I’d rather think it was just the beginning…. Jeannette Later that afternoon…don't ask me where and how, because I can't tell. The only thing I can tell - and I think the other four will tell the same - is that all was just one big coincidence…: Not having had any breakfast or lunch yet, at 14.00 hrs, the five of us had a fantastic brunch at an Italian restaurant. I remember I had a warm beef salad and it tasted sooo good - no wonder if you haven't eaten all day ;-) As the group was smaller now, the conversation became more "structured". Closing the weekend, we decided we had a great weekend together and really had made some new friends. Nathalie was next to run to catch her flight. Her flight went two hours later than Bianca's, which gave her nearly enough time to have lunch with us, but halfway our finishing red wines she had to leave us anyway, so when we had coffees, we were with the four of us: Paulette, Ludo, Kris and I. Nathalie I was one of those sad people who barely missed the Great Man (10 minutes later and he was THERE! Merde!!!) Nonetheless, I was fortunate to meet the very classy, Shirlie. As soon I as saw her, I told her: "We're very sorry to bother you like this, Shirlie, but I have to say, here we are five ladies from five different countries who are here to meet with you." And then, I proceeded to tell her the countries where we were all from. Then I said "On behalf of Bianca from the Netherlands, I would also like to give you her greetings. She would have loved to meet you since the two of you have been in touch." I could tell that Shirlie recognized Bianca's name and smiled as a response. It was a quick meeting… Anyhow, that has been my experience.... Not that it will discourage me from enjoying George's talent and melodious voice. Jeannette And this is what I meant with coincidence: what if Kris hadn't gone to the ladies room, what if we hadn't been called by Herma and Jen on Kris' mobile phone, what if I had remembered earlier to gave the waiter a tip, what if we hadn't taken that last pic on the restaurant's doorstep…what if? We would have left five minutes earlier and missed seeing one Mr George Michael passing us in his car. Passing? One step backwards and he would driven me over! My fault, I admit… Anyway, I think we noticed him all at the same time. Silence at first of course…not expected at all. Then, one of my worst dilemmas: what to do? It was obviously him, but would I approach him? Would he be annoyed? Would I know what to say? Hmm… Kris and Ludo took the decision for Paulette and me, because they started to walk towards him. I couldn't do anything else than following them, right? I mean: hey! we were a group, right? ;-) Luckily, we didn't annoy him too much - that is: it didn't show on him. We took more than the one pic he allowed us to take :) and I got myself to grab him by his arm to ask for an autograph. I have to say that all the pics that were taken gave me perfect time to search for a pen and a piece of paper. Ofcourse I couldn't find anything and I realized that while I was standing next to George Michael, I was inspecting my bag from the inside! Baaad idea! :( I finally found one of the cards that Bianca and I took from the Royal Albert Hall that Friday and George put his autograph on it :))).
the back of Jules' RAH card :)
And ofcourse I know that George can spell - he just can't fucking type - but to be sure I told him how to spell my name when he asked me what my name was :) Sorry for that... Poor guy! He had a cold and was sniffing all the time. Paulette remarked that "the boy had a cold and that it probably would be best if he went inside" :D , to which he smiled and indeed went inside. This all took no longer than ten minutes I think, but when I looked at the other three they looked like they had run a marathon meanwhile: faces as red as tomatoes :) Well, the pic on this page says enough I think.
Kristine, Paulette, Jeannette and Ludo, after they met George
Kris A car accident … ;) There were several "accidents" with the car seen on that picture… First, we failed to see it at all and some of us (you know who you are ;)) nearly stepped on the street infront of it. Then it was changing colours at some point… And then it made a miracle photo session with me, even though I was not there…. After George went away, I am sure we acted a bit strange. Well, who wouldn't? But this was stranger that usual! In my memory, we walked away all happy and laughing, not minding heavy rain, and gave a taxi driver a bloody good laugh with our excitement. Jeannette I don't remember much of the taxi drive home, except for Paulette lying on the floor of the taxi as she forgot to fold downwards the chair in her exitment :D The rest of that day went by with lots of talking… talking? I guess the taxi driver would have called it something different :) Kris But apparently I have missed something. Jules e-mailed me some days after I was already back home, saying "that pic of you and the car turned out great". And I was like "what car?". She insisted she took a picture of me and George's car, right after George walked away. I couldn't believe it! She must be kidding! Then Paulette e-mailed me saying the same thing - she has taken a pic of me and that car, too! I thought - they are taking a piss out of me! But here you go, me and the car! (Thank you, ladies, it really turned out great!) Normally I do not have any gaps in my memory (unless I am drinking too much and too many days in a row…), but this time… What is the man doing to people's brain? ;)
Kris and George's car
P.S. And now he has my fingerprints… do you think I am allowed to enter UK ever again? I hope so, cause all the people speaking up here are planning another great party around Otober 9th….
Jeannette We met up with Jen and Herma again at the appartement, but all had to leave very soon after because all the flights were scheduled for early that evening. Jen Herma and I grabbed some quick take away and were heading back to the flat when Kris and Jules came running up...they didn't have a key to get inside and were looking for us, with fabulous news--- they'd met George!! It was all a lucky chance, but I will allow the experts to tell the exciting story in more detail. I was disappointed that Herma and I couldn't have been with them at the time, despite trying to meet up with them all afternoon. Guess those are the brakes. I felt more upset for Herma, as I'd already had my opportunity with the dynamic duo. Well, I quickly packed up and had to leave before all the others. It was a quick goodbye, and Herma was so kind in helping me pack up and organize myself, and the apartment, for the departure. Herma When we turned the corner of our street we saw Kristine and Jeannette who started to run towards us, total exitement. With red faces, out of breath they were screaming: " we met George!!! we met George!!!" for a moment I thougt yeah right, sure...But this was no oscarwinning performance, this was real! Hard to make sense of all their screaming, but eventually we found out that they had met George...LOL. For a moment I thought, right, just my luck...but then I decided I didn't mind that much that I missed this experience, 'cause according to them that's what it was...LOL For many many years I have wanted to meet him, but not this way. This is not really what I want. What I want is a talk with him, more like an interview or like have a drink with him if I'd ever get invited...:)), just a chance to talk with him to get to know him a bit. (Actually, I'd give my right arm for that..:), well... eh...almost ) The man behind the music. :) I don't feel any real need to get his autograph or get a picture with him, meeting him on the street. Not that I would turn around if I saw him walking down the street...:) Having said that, jealousy is something I don't experience often, but curiosity........oohh yes. :) We all know what happened to the cat, but I can't help myself, I want to know everything. Guess that's the reporters side of me, never been able to get rid of that. Still there, although it's been many years since I wrote the fanclub magazine..:) We had to concentrate on packing and Jeannette is famous for missing flights, so I told her to wait and tell me all and everything, every tiny detail on the plane. Lucky me...LOL...I got to travel back with Jeannette who had met George, my claim to fame :). Jen It was a sad ride home...I was already missing the dear friends I'd met, many for the first time! We bonded so quickly, and I hope, permanently! These are people I want in my life for the rest of time, and I look forward to cherishing our special connection. Thank you, ladies, for being such wonderful individuals, and thank you, George, for bringing us together. This is only one of the many amazing things for which I have to be grateful to you!! Kris Now, my personal thank you’s go to: Jane for getting a concert ticket for me; Jen for inviting me to stay with her; Jen, Herma and Ludo for being perfect roomates; Jen, Herma, Ludo, Jules, Paulette, Bianca, Nathalie, Indy, Jane and many, many others for making the time we had there so special; And to George – just THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kris xxx Herma The rest of the evening was quite amusing. Jeannette walked around on that airport with this face! I mean smiling like an idiot, every now and then out of the blue she'd start grinning. Jeannette At the airport, Herma kept on telling me to take that stupid grin from my face, but I just couldn't help myself so Herma gave up and decided she probably would have to deal with it the rest of the evening… Herma When we had to check our luggage in, she was willing to protect her camera with her life! Photo Of George, you see...roflol the airport people had a though job convincing her that it was OK to put it through THAT THING!!! Even though our plane ended up in a storm, I had a great flight.
Jeannette, Ludo, George, Kristine, Paulette
The next day she came round to show me the pic, which indeed had survived THAT THING. Great pic BTW. :) And that's where it all ends....sob...sob...back to "my grey flannel life, mooore moooore, mooooore." But no, it took me a full day to catch up with Emails and the rest of the week to catch up on sleep, I'm Older...you see...:)) Then someone came up with the brilliant idea of starting a website.... little did I know...LOL Five months down the line I'm still in London...;)
Jeannette P.S. The answer to the "what if's" above is, that should we have left that restaurant ten minutes earlier, we would have closed our weekend by agreeing on having had a wonderful weekend…and George would have missed some wonderful people! :p