Take me to Downing Street!
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I’m writing in my new ‘Becoming’ Michelle Obama Journal & it’s asked me to pick a proud moment in my life.
It reminded me of this magic moment.
On Friday the 4th of December, 2009, I was thrilled to be able to say to black cab driver at Victoria Station “Take me to 10 Downing Street please !” as I was delighted to have been invited to attend a party hosted by the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown. Sarah follows me on Twitter and she is a big Twitter fan, with almost 1 million followers, and she decided to hold a party for a selection of the people she interacts with on Twitter to raise awareness for The White Ribbon Alliance.
The party was entitled the “Downing Tweet Christmas Party” and was held to celebrate as well as publicise the Million Mums campaign, a campaign by the White Ribbon Alliance, that Sarah Brown is the chairman of. Among the attendees were patrons of various other charities, campaigners, political bloggers, people connected with Million Mums and some celebrities.
I couldn’t believe it when Sarah asked me for my address on a DM on Twitter and the invitation landed on my front mat! It was just a shame my Mum and Dad weren’t alive to see me walk down Downing Street dressed in my new frock !
Richard Bacon and Channel 4′s Krishnan Guru Murthy were there and the very lovely singer Beverley Knight was amazing as she did a live performance of her songs “Shoulda Woulda Coulda” and Gold, standing in front of the drawing room in front of the Christmas Tree. She was really friendly too, and I even got to chat to her for a bit.
10 Downing Street is a pretty spectacular building, and I was amazed at how much of it we were allowed to wander freely around – I stood staring at a painting of Maggie Thatcher for a good few minutes that had just been hung that week just outside the Ladies loo! I got chatting to one of the Guides as I studied “A” Level Political Studies and “O” Level British Constitution as a kid at school, so I was fascinated by the history of the place. I sat where signed “Peace in Our Time” was drafted on the small writing table of William Pitt & I saw where Ted Heath played his piano and I saw the candle sticks Barack Obama had given the Prime Minister in the large dining room.
One big moment for me was walking up the stairs that I had seen in so many books passing all the past Prime Ministers from Pitt to Harold Wilson – truly a magic and very, very special memory for me.
Other famous people were there but I didn’t chat to them as I was a bit shy to be honest Kirstie Allsopp, whom I’ve since been to lunch with, Peter Serafinowicz, Caitlin Moran, Emma Freud, Rebecca Front and the chorographer guy from the X-Factor Brian Friedman.
It was a special evening and one I feel very honoured to have attended – please go and look at the White Ribbon Alliance which is leading change from grassroots to global level, making needless maternal deaths a thing of the past.