We have had an exciting week and have come soooo close to passing our Dribble Stop Tops on to some very famous people. And although our missions did not end exactly as planned, we had a lot of fun and all was not lost!
Tracy and I are fans of Peter Andre and even went to one of his concerts together a few years ago! It was lovely to hear that he had recently had a beautiful baby girl with his fiancée Emily and we thought it would be a great idea to give him a Dribble Stop Top for her. So when Tracy went to a meeting with our manufacturers and they mentioned that Peter Andre’s coffee shop is only an hour away Tracy knew that this was an opportunity that she could not miss.
Was I a little jealous when Tracy face timed me to say she was heading up to Peter Andre’s coffee shop with her cousin Nicky? Yes, of course I was!
So Tracy painted her nails, did her hair and made sure she looked her very best, just in case Peter happened to be in the coffee shop when she visited. The children were dropped off at school and she headed up to NY Coffee Shop with her cousin Nicky.
When Tracy arrived she clocked Chris Andre (Peter’s brother) and told him all about our Dribble Stop Tops and how she would love to pass one on to Peter and Emily.
Imagine her excitement when Chris told her to keep hold of the tops and pass them onto Peter herself as he was due to pop into the coffee shop in about an hours time!
However, a couple of hours, a coffee, cake and green tea later – Chris told a disappointed Tracy and Nicky that Peter had been held up in London – and with school pick up time looming they had no choice but to reluctantly drink up and head for home.
But it was definitely not a wasted journey as Chris was such a nice guy and seemed genuinely interested in our tops. He chatted to Tracy for a long while and promised that he would personally hand our Dribble Stop Tops over to Peter and Emily.
Over on the other side of the world, Prince William and Princess Catherine were making headlines with their trip down under. Prince George was on the TV and in the papers daily and his constant dribbling made the news!!!! Kate was even pictured wiping his dribble away on her designer dresses.
Well, he is an ideal candidate for a Dribble Stop Top.
Luckily enough, the Royals were due to visit Elizabeth in South Australia which is only a couple of hours away from where I live – so my mission was to hand a top over to Kate and Wills.
My eldest son Ben said he would love to come along with me and getting up at 4am did not seem to bother him. So up we got and headed for the train station with our 2 camping stools and our sandwiches. It was flipping freezing, dark and eerie when we arrived at the train station, but nothing could dampen our spirits of seeing Kate and Wills.
A train, bus and 2 more train journeys later we arrived at Elizabeth, got out our maps and headed for the local civic centre where the Prince and Princess were due to visit in about 6 hours time. We expected there to be hundreds of people already lining the streets in anticipation for the royal visit, but when we arrived there were only a handful of others waiting.
We spoke to a steward and asked exactly where the Prince and Princess were going to be walking by and set up camp, right in the front row – there was no way we could miss them in this spot.
The hours flew by, thousands more people arrived and the atmosphere was wonderful. There was singing and chanting and laughter all round. The police with snipers on the rooftops and suited men walking around with guns under their jackets were the only indication that these very important people were coming to town.
Everyone watched the big screens set up in the nearby carpark and big cheers went up when images of the Prince and Princess’ plane arriving were broadcast. They were due here in another hour, after they had visited a local youth centre. My ten year old son Ben was getting so excited now and kept standing up and sitting down wondering when they would arrive.
The hour past, then another 10 minutes then another and another. The suited security men were all the way down the street now and there was a buzz amongst all the officials, they were sure to be arriving any minute now. Then the cars turned the corner and a huge cheer went up as Prince William and Princess Catherine waved out the car windows as they… DROVE BY!!!
Our hearts sank – what happened to them walking up the street interacting with the crowd? We asked the steward and we were told that as they had spent so much time at the previous engagement they did not have enough time to walk up the entire street now. Oh no! Now what? We had to get a Dribble Stop Top to Kate and Wills somehow.
Then we spotted one of the entourage collecting the flowers from the crowd and putting them into the boot of one of the cars – all was not lost! However, she never seemed to come our way. We were willing her to come over to us so we could hand her our gift, but she just seemed to scuttle off into all different directions apart from ours.
Then some paramedics strolled up and we started talking to them. We explained that we wanted to hand our Dribble Stop Tops over but the flower lady did not seem to be coming our way. ‘Give them to me,’ she said ‘and I will hand them to one of the security guards.’ Hurrah! Off went our hero in orange overalls and headed over to one of the security with our Dribble Stop Tops in hand… 30 seconds later she came back – still with our Dribble Stop Tops in her hand. ‘Sorry, but security said you have to give them to the lady collecting up the flowers’ –arghhhhhh!
Determined, we weaved up to where the flower lady was loading the car and squeezed through the crowds up to the fence. ‘Excuse me!’ we called over to her, ‘please could you take this gift for Prince George?’ She headed over to us and then shook her head ‘sorry, I’m not allowed’ she said and with that she turned on her heels and headed back to the overstuffed boot of the car.
Not allowed? not allowed? – what did she mean, this could not be!!!!
By this time, Wills and Kate had headed into the Civic Centre and the masses had started to disperse a little. We sat back down on our camp stools and decided defiantly that we would stay put and wait until they come out – just in case. My son Ben seemed heartbroken that we were not going to be able to carry out our mission and I was gutted, as I knew how much our tops could help (and also what great publicity it would be to get a picture of Prince William holding a packet of Dribble Stop Tops!).
Unwavering, Ben decided he would give it one last shot. We both knew that the only way we could possibly hand our gift over now would be if we could get right outside the Civic centre where the cars were parked and catch them on their way out. There was still a big crowd, at least 20 people deep at the entrance of the Civic centre and there was no way that I would be able to wangle my way to the front; but Ben had other ideas. He took the packet off me and headed off to negotiate the crowd.
15 minutes later the Prince and Princess emerged and made their way over to the cars. They swiftly got in and drove back down the road, waving at the remaining onlookers as they headed off. Had he done it? Had Ben managed the impossible? As the crowds left I saw Ben heading back my way, Dribble Stop Tops in hand and head hung low. ‘I didn’t manage it Mum’ he said ‘ I was right at the front and Prince William was only a couple of meters away, but I couldn’t catch his eye’ he said totally disheartened.
‘Never mind, we did our best’ I tried to console him. ‘How about we send them over to Prince George in the UK’
So that is what we did. Ben wrote a lovely note saying how he got up really really early and was so sad that he did not get to speak to them and hand over our tops. We packed them up and posted them over to Wills and Kate in the UK.
So far we have not heard from Peter and Emily or Wills and Kate – but if we do, we will definitely let you know!
But one thing is certain – you win some, you lose some, but if you don’t try you will never know!