So after Greeting Alan Titchmarsh in Kew Gardens, it was back to my car which I'd hurriedly parked in an extremely narrow little conduit called Branstone Road, where ironically enough I got into a bit of a pickle, having to perform what can only be described as a thirty two point turn.
Despite living just down the road from Richard Wilson, I was scheduled to meet him at the Wimbledon New Theatre where he was appearing in that enchanting tale that we all associate with this time of year. That one with catchy songs and ugly sisters and a nasty villain. The Sound of Music.
No just a joke (I'll shut my von Trapp) I mean Cindarella of course.
As it was such a beautiful day, with the sun shining, the flowers blooming and the birds getting frisky with the bees (as is my understanding), I decided to take the scenic route to SW19 through Richmond Park. Sadly there was no wildlife to be seen, not a stag, buck or doe in sight. Where they all were I couldn't tell you. No eye deer. Perhaps they were hibernating in a cardboard box full of straw as so many tortoises did on Blue Peter.
And then I was there. Back in Wimbledon. Back at the scene of my very first 'greeting' all those months ago where a rather confused looking Tony Hawks had shaken my hand and stared nervously at Michael. At least on this occassion I did not have the moody Bubble in tow.
My timing is usually worse than that of a Korean-made watch you might get free with a tank of petrol at your local Esso and once again that proved to be the case, as I arrived in Wimbledon 2 hours 10 minutes early for my meeting with Richard W. I therfore took the opportunity to find a post-office and update my car tax disc, which shamefully was 2 weeks out of date. And to think, just two days before this I was in the Crimewatch studio. I then found an Inn where I had a drink equivalent to 1 unit, whilst I did a Sudoku.
At 4.45 I found myself outside the Wimbledon Theatre stage door.
By that, I don't mean that I evaluated my life, my psyche and my motivational triggers and finally gained a true understanding of who I really am, I simply mean that's where I was situated. With a clutch or troop or whatever you might call them, of autograph hunters.
After a brief converastion inside, where I was informed by an apologetic young lady at a desk that Richard was still having a bit of physio, I venture back out where I noted that only 2 of the hardy 'hunters' remained.
Although, in a way, I viewed these two middle-aged men as kindred spirits, after all I'm simply undertaking a glorified version of what they're doing, I must say that I had little in common with them, although they had much in common with each other.
Both travelled the country going to numerous pantos every year, trying to fill out their autograph scrap-books, both had strange voices (the sort you might hear if you asked someone to mimic a train-spotter), both laughed inanely at the drop of a hat (well my hands were cold), and both were possibly unmarried.
I shall call them Colin and Colin.
Colin had travelled up all the way from Eastbourne, whilst Colin had laboured in from darkest Kent..... Actually I'm going to stop all this. Who the hell am I to judge them and anyway they both seemed friendly enough. Colin even excitedly showed me his autographs of Danny Le Rue and someone from Crossroads who had been appearing at the Croydon Coronet.
Back inside the building I eventually caught up with Richard who was extremely obliging, especially considering he'd just been performing to several hundred screaming children and was due to subject himself to several hundred more "it's behind you" 's and "oh no it isn't" 's in an hours time.
I didn't want to keep him long as he probably wanted his tea so we had the picture taken before he returned to his dressing room to fetch me a signed photo for my auction. After that, we bade each other adieu, although in English and I left the building.
On Leaving the stage door I was conscious that Richard had followed me out and was right into the clutches of the autograph-hunters. "..and who shall I write this to?" I heard him say to one of them as I walked away.
"Oh it's for me <huh huh>. Sign it 'to Steven' <huh huh>," said Colin.