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The Royal Wedding
         
Kate arrives   Kate with sister   Kate with father
Flag waving   Flag waving   Waiting patiently
Westminster Abbey   Westminster Abbey   Portcullis House
         
               

April 30th 2011

Tom

Well, guess what we did on Thursday night!  Alex and I turned up at Westminster Cathedral at 10pm and met up with three other friends to set up tent and camp out in a perfect position to watch the Royal Wedding the following day.  Since our friends had invited us to join them we assumed that they expected us to share a tent with them. What we found waiting for us was a two person tent that was barely big enough for one, let alone five!  But that wasn’t going to put us off.  I wish I could show you a picture of us all crammed into that tent, but once inside we found we were all so wedged in that taking a picture was impossible. 

The atmosphere that night was wonderful and we met people from almost every corner of the world. Supporters had travelled from France, America, Italy, China; the camaraderie was incredible. Reporters were everywhere and I lost count of the number of times our group was asked to sing the National Anthem for one radio station or another; I doubt they broadcasted our attempts but, if so, I hope you enjoyed our harmonious vocals!?

What wasn’t so wonderful was trying to get any sleep. The three hours that we spent crammed inside our ‘pocket-tent’ were the longest of my life. With one shoulder pressed to the concrete pavement below (yes, that’s right, we had not brought any mats to sleep on), my face buried in a jumper to stop it pressing against someone’s feet and the constant inadvertent kicks to the body and head by passers-by, I cannot say it was an enjoyable night.

We left the tent at five in the morning having had an hour of sleep at most, and no food (yes, forgotten about that as well), and took up position in a prime location in front of the cathedral. If the night before had been tedious, this was worse, standing squashed, in a large crowd of weary supporters.
But, finally, at 11am the action began: Prince William and Prince Harry; the cutest bridesmaids and pageboys you have ever seen; Princess Beatrice in her extraordinary hat; and Kate in her beautiful dress. At that point I realised that the last thirteen hours had been worth the wait.  An hour later they came out of the cathedral man and wife.

So, Went the day well? It went well for Kate and William, for me and the other two billion viewers worldwide.  The majority of you will have watched from the comfort of your sitting rooms but not us; we were there!

Our photographs are perhaps a little disappointing because (you guessed it) we had forgotten to bring a decent camera and had to rely on our mobiles.
 





 
The Colossus of Stratford grows!
         
Olympic site April 2011   Olympic site April 2011   Olympic site April 2011
         
         
         
               

April 28th 2011

Tom

I am starting to get a little nervous about the concert and I am not too sure why as everything so far seems to be going to plan.....perhaps I shouldn't have said that!

Tickets will be on sale very soon through Ticketweb and Ticketmaster and you will be able to click on a banner at the top of each page on this site to book yours....but you cannot do this just yet; they should be on-line after the bank holiday.

This is what will be available:

1. There are 300 tickets at £40 each for those of you who want to come to the reception, which is to be held in the Crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral from 6.15pm. There will be wine and a few nibbles and you will have a chance to meet us, Ben Parry, Andrew Carwood, the Dean and Chapter of SPC as well as some of the Help for Heroes Trustees. Invitations have gone out to a number of other important people and we will let you know who is able to come as we receive their replies. Those who attend the reception will obviously have prime position reserved seats in the dome of SPC for the concert.

2. There will an additional 200 reserved seats in the dome at £20 for those who cannot make the reception or who are unfortunate enough not to be able to obtain one due to early massive demand!

3. There will be about 700 reserved seats in the transepts and front nave at £10.

4. The remaining 600 seats cost £5 and are unreserved but the whole cathedral is available to us which means that we able to accommodate just under 2000 people in total. This is perhaps too much to hope for but wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to fill the Cathedral on the day?

All these tickets will be available very soon so keep an eye out for them and get in quick before all the really good seats are gone

The pictures today are from last weekend to show you how the olympic site is progressing. Compare them with the photos from the March 21st blog and you will see that the 'Colossus of Stratford' is a little taller although it has not started its bends yet.

 

 





   
 
My van!
         
The cyclists   Excited runners   Big balloon
         
         
         
               

April 20th 2011

Jono

As the date of the eagerly-anticipated cycle ride draws ever closer, I am beginning to become quite excited about my own role in the event, namely that of “the driver”. The prospect of being in command – even only temporarily – of my very own van really does sound rather attractive. I have yet to actually see the van or to occupy the me-sized space between the front seat and steering wheel, but I can already envisage myself in the driver’s seat, one hand on the wheel, the other lolling lazily out of the open window, wild Scottish air ruffling my already casually wind-swept hair... or it might rain. I suppose only time will tell.
One of the associated drawbacks however of being labelled as “the driver” is that I have been asked by my parents to act as a taxi service for the rest of my family during my Easter break. I don’t think they quite understand the verbal contract that I have agreed to: big van, Scottish hills, windswept hair etc. Small car, loud children and London traffic jams are just some of the criteria included in the task of ferrying little boys back and forth to their respective destinations. No, once these next few weeks are over and done with, one thousand miles in the Jono-mobile will be a walk in the park!

Before I finish, I would just like to mention that my brother Alastair and some of the pupils from St Paul’s Cathedral School have written some poems for the site. Alastair is the only one of my three brothers not to be mentioned so far on this website, but now makes his debut appearance with an explosion of acrostic talent! All the poems can be found on the WENT THE DAY WELL tab above.

Tom told me to say that he and Alex went for a training cycle ride in the early morning of the day of the London Marathon last weekend. They managed to cycle most of the way between Tower bridge and the start in Greenwich along the route itself and received several enthusiatic cheers from spectators waiting for the race to start. The photos were taken at the start line.

 





   
 
St. Paul's Cathedral April 2011
         
View from Millenium Bridge   Big Ben   Big Ben
The Shard April 2011   St. Paul's Cathedral April 2011   Big Ben
         
         
               

April 12th 2011

Tom

All right. I know that it has been a long time since I last wrote anything but I have an excuse; well several excuses in fact. Firstly, I have been trying to get Alex to write another blog. I, for one, cannot wait to hear 'Alex's Great Big Interesting Fact Number 2', and I am sure that there are a lot of you out there thinking exactly the same thing. When we presented our fund-raising efforts to the pupils of St. Paul's Cathedral School in February (see Feb 20 blog) I suggested that the acronym of AGBIF was not especially inspiring and that it might have been better to call them 'Bridle's Illuminating, Genuine But Unbelievable, Tantalising Trivia'. I don't think that he has forgiven me yet. Maybe that is why he has been a bit tardy on the blog front.

Secondly, we have been writing up and sending all the details of the St. Paul's Cathedral Concert to Help for Heroes; they have now posted details of our concert on their website which is very exciting. Follow this link and have a look - and then donate to our site and book off the evening of 29th June so that you can come and hear the St. Paul's Choristers sing the 'Went the Day Well' anthem.

Thirdly, we have been planning our daily routes for the cycle ride at the beginning of July - only ten weeks away!! We have put these onto our site under CYCLE RIDE. What we have done at this stage is simply map out approximately 115 miles per day for the first eight days (leaving approximately 50 miles for day 9) using veloroutes to give us some idea of what we have taken on. I have to say that the profiles of the climbs that we have to cycle every day look frightening. I know that they have all been compressed into a short length which makes them look worse than they actually are but some of them are steep.....and long!

You can now also join us on Facebook. Go to 'Tom and Alex are raising money for Help for Heroes' and show your support by donating lots of money and letting all your friends know about us.

The video that I wrote about last time is in production but has also been held up by all the other things that we have been doing. The GoPro camera works well though.

The photos are from recent cycle rides around London.

 





  © Copyright Thomas Jackson 2010