That was quite an experience, but as I had hoped, an interesting one. Tonight was the night I gave my little speech to invited guests at Westminster as part of the Lymphoma Association’s launch of a new policy/lobbying document.
They are raising awareness of the long term psychological impact of being a “survivor” in order to try to get more support for those that need it. They have used my story as part of the document and asked me to tell it tonight.
On arrival at Portcullis House, the working offices of most MPs, queuing for about 20 minutes before going through full airport security to get in, we waited in a holding area until being ushered through the tunnel to the Houses Of Parliament and into The Speaker’s quarters. This isn’t where he and his good wife live, but the public rooms below. They are, as you would expect, very grand with high ceilings and very nice wallpaper, courtesy of a previous occupant of the position. Paintings of some of the previous Speakers look down on you – literally and figuratively I suspect. It will be the wigs that do it.
The Speaker himself joined us and introduced the event, which consisted of several short speeches by the Chief Exec and other members of the charity board. And one from me.
All in all, it was a good evening and I had some very nice feedback from people in attendance. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel nervous, although friends from Manchester support group said that I looked it (!) and all in all it was an interesting thing to do. Let’s hope that those there in a position to help actually do so.
I had a glass of The Speaker’s wine and some of his sausages on sticks, so that’s all good.
Unfortunately… the train home has been delayed by half an hour due to a “medical emergency”. I’ve never seen anyone having CPR for real before, so having to swap trains is actually a minor inconvenience compared to what that lady was going through. I hope she’s OK. Will have missed the last tram back to the office now, though, so it will end up a very long day.
Now… Where’s the tea trolley?