Top hat, moustache, onesie, wind, rain and a birthday
Or in other words the craziness that was Honkopoly/London’s leg of Team Honk Relay.
The evening before D Day saw me zooming across south London on the tube with L, dressed as a cat, (I was in my onesie in preparation for the big day) to collect the baton from Stephanie from Was this in the plan?.
Honkopoly day dawned bright and sunny, which gave me great (unfounded) hope that we would be walking our 15 miles round London in the sunshine. But before I could get the baton on its way I had some important business to deal with – opening my birthday cards and presents!
I have never opened my presents so quickly, but I had business to attend to – I had to get the baton to Comic Relief HQ to start Honkopoly. Not only was it my birthday, not only was it Honkopoly day, but it was also tube strike day in London, so I wasn’t sure how welcome I’d be on the packed trains.
That’s right. I looked like a wally and I felt like a wally. But (top) hats off to London’s commuters, on the way to Comic Relief HQ I received loads of birthday well wishes (due to my sign), and several people asked me for more information.
I felt much better once I’d got to Comic Relief HQ and joined up with my fellow Honkopoliers (and received my Mr Monopoly moustache).
After a brief interview with Comic Relief it was time to head off on our 15 mile trek round London’s Monopoly board. Our first stop was Victoria station where we collected more bloggers and honked from the open top of a sightseeing bus (thank you lovely tour guide man who let us do that!). Then it was off to Buckingham Palace with us.
We certainly entertained the tourists, both at Buckingham Palace, and later on at Piccadilly Circus where we may *cough* have photo-bombed a tourist’s photo….about 15 of us, dressed in red onesies, as we explained that this was just a normal day in London.
We were lucky enough to bump into some mounted police, who very kindly let us have our photos taken with them. In fact we chatted to 3 different groups of police during the day, who were all really lovely.
We carried on our tour around central London, chatting and enjoying the views, until we got to Piccadilly and the rain started. And didn’t stop. For the rest of the day.
Park Lane and Hyde Park were barely seen as we battled the wind and the rain (and flying top hats). Morale was dipping and it wasn’t even lunchtime. I was beginning to regret committing to the whole day. What was I doing spending my birthday doing this?!
We arrived at Marylebone station, where we had a 20 minute pit-stop to grab lunch and dash to the toilet. Lunchtime conversation was non-existent, everyone was tired, fed up of the wind and rain, and grateful for a quick sit-down.
Then suddenly we started to hear a bit of a buzz in the station….I got up to investigate and discovered that in the entrance of the station was none other than Mr Monopoly himself! It was hilarious as there wasn’t a single child in the station, but all you could hear were cries of “It’s Mr Monopoly!”.
That gave us a much-needed burst of energy and positivity, and we were back off into the wind and rain. Carrying on our journey. To Euston. To Kings Cross. To St Pancras. Where we split into two teams for photo opps: Harry Potter at Kings Cross and Spice Girls at St Pancras.
I was photographer for the Spice Girls “Wannabe” staircase.
And on we trudged, through more wind, more rain, as the day got colder and the light faded. There were fewer and fewer of us, and when we got on the bus at Bank (to take us to Trafalgar Square) we were down to 7 knackered bloggers and 1 (probably knackered but he didn’t show it) cameraman.
For some reason Vanessa from HPMcQ took this photo of me on the commuter bus, I have no idea why she thought I looked out of place amongst the City-workers making their way home.
In all fairness, it was London, at rush hour, on a tube strike day, so no one batted an eyelid.
We were supposed to stay on the bus to Trafalgar Square but traffic forced us to grind to a halt, so back out into the cold, dark, wind and rain we went.
At 6.10pm we finally “passed go” at Lambeth North, and were on our home stretch, 8 hours after we started.
So all that was left to do, at 7pm, was to get to a bar and start celebrating my birthday, and Vanessa from HPMcQ’s 40th birthday from the day before. We all looked stunning.
An enormous thank you to Vanessa at HPMcQ and Sarah from Grenglish who were on the organising team with me, we might have been sore but we did have a load of laughs. And an even bigger thank you to everyone who sponsored us; I have been absolutely bowled over and left speechless (a rare occurrence) by the generosity of friends and family who have put their hands in their pockets – not only family but also old school friends I’ve not seen for 20 years, old uni friends, old friends from my days in Nice, parents of the children I childmind, NCT friends, Hubs’s old colleagues, neighbours, school mums, it really has made me very emotional. THANK YOU.
It’s not too late to sponsor us, so if you think that the above is worth a quid or two (and that amount does make a huge difference), then please click here:
We are currently at £2,800 and it would be so amazing to reach £3K.
We were lucky enough to be followed round all day by the wonderful cameraman, Alex Robinson, who didn’t get any glory or support from friends or family for doing exactly what we did! But Alex – you were a champion and we appreciate your hard work more than you can imagine!
I will leave you with Alex’s fab video summary of our day: