Friday, 11 March 2016

I Met Caitlin Moran...

... and she was just as incredible as I had hoped.
People say you shouldn't meet your idols/heroes/role models, but Caitlin (being all these things) proved that statement utter bullshit.
On Tuesday 8th March (aka International Women's Day) I got a 3 and a half hour train to London, met up with my friend Becki and we had a little explore of London before heading down to the Southbank Centre in the evening. About a month or so prior, I saw a link on Twitter that Caitlin Moran was doing a talk/book launch for her new book and you could win tickets to go. I entered the competition and sent the link to Becki to do the same. She responded "Can we go anyway?"
Initially when I went on the site it seemed to be that only members could attend but the following day general sale began... HURRAH!
I messaged Becki... "Tickets are £20. Should we?.... I've found a hotel for £18 each and it's only half an hour away... Train tickets are £20 return. SHOULD WE?!" Within 10 minutes everything was booked and we spent the next month EXTREMELY excited.
So we're in London, we get to the Southbank Centre and go to pick up a copy of the new book where I overhear a member of staff saying Caitlin will do a signing after the talk. CUE FANGIRLING.
We get to our AMAZING seats (7th row and end of the aisle) and we are GIDDY. Becki has written an amazing piece about the whole day. READ HERE.
Caitlin came on stage and read passages from her book and talked to Jude Kelly (Founder of the Women of the World - the festival the event was part of) about feminism and the reason behind writing her book. I could have sat and listened to them talk for days. Almost 2 hours was not long enough. But it was insightful, funny and inspiring. You could hear people in the audience all around us muttering "yes!" and clapping at everything she said. I even cried during one of the readings. It was about what we should say to young girls who are struggling and it hit so hard. I'd have loved someone to have said those things to me as a teenager. Hell, I need to hear those things now! I could see Caitlin herself getting choke up as she read. And on an even more personal note, my medication has stopped me being able to cry. I've had the odd tear fall out of my face but nothing more. But I cried and so many emotions were going round in my head. I think at that point: relief, comfort and belonging. So that is only good, right?
The talk was over and with our amazing seats we managed to get out the room pretty quick and ended up about 4th in the signing queue. There was 2500 people in attendance. Pretty impressed with ourselves. There was a table and chair ready for her and then she came out and stood in front of it. She spent time talking to everyone, one on one. Everyone got a hug. She was so lovely to everyone. She was happy to sign copies of the other books and take selfies. There was no security rushing everyone along. It really felt like you was just catching up with an old friend.
I, however, am rubbish when it comes to meeting people I like so I can't actually remember what I did or said. I know she hugged me, she wore an incredible jacket, we had a selfie and she drew a pair of tits in my book. We also shouted "TITS!" in celebration of International Women's Day.
So delighted we made the spontaneous decision to go and we're already planning on going to the Women of the World Festival next year to get involved with other events and talks they do. But for this year, best way to spent International Women's Day I could think of.

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