Monday was simply another "one of those days". We'd known for a week or so that this would be the day that everything was announced in respect of Evan being chosen as Yorkshire Flame Ambassador, and had been in discussions with Amy (our contact) about press releases, quotes from Evan, possible media opportunities and early stages of planning for the trip to London.
On the whole, we are happy to do pretty much anything - but the one thing that we never did during the fundraising was television. (We had a couple of opportunities but for various reasons chose not to). However, this felt different - it wasnt for us as such. Who is it for ? At the most basic level,this is an opportunity for Evan, but in the wider sense it's a recognition of everything that has surrounded Evan's Big Journey and everything since.
So when Amy asked if we would do some TV (local stuff - Calendar and Look North) - we had a chat and said we would, but only if it was pre-recorded. We were anxious enough about this, and the pressure of live didnt feel right for either of us - and Amy was able to sort this.
As Monday arrived, so did Summer, and then a Calendar reporter - camera in hand. I hadnt really thought what this would involve - if we didnt think about it, it wouldnt happen. Right ? Wrong !
They dont mess about these guys - moving from story to story - and as we were saying Hi to Victoria, Ev came out (v.nervous) and to get him to warm up I sat him on my knee. That was my first mistake. "Ah, great shot - we'll go with that....".Within what felt like about a minute after they arrived we were ready to go. I got asked a few questions (cant really remember what I said), then it was Loup's turn and finally we did some "family play in the background" scenes and it was "in the can" and they were gone.
We then had a few hours to kill - couple of tweets, facebook updates and other messages but before we could do the next bit of media stuff we had to get back to real-life as Evan had an orthotics appointment at Airedale to get fitted for some new splints. Once that was done we rather nervously headed off to Leeds.
At the Calendar studios, we were ushered into a room just off the main office and were joined by the presenters who had a quick chat about what this was all about. Ev's SDR buddy Ben is a regular visitor to the Calendar studios and one of the presenters (Tina) had done the Walk to School report. So they were well-versed on the background.
Initially, we thought just Loup and Ev would do the tv but (for some reason) I said i'd have a go as well and they took us up on the offer. Ev and Maya (plus Mum and Dad) were reasonably subdued but Sam was getting ever excited.
We did the piece (I wont give away any "behind the scenes" info...) and, somewhat miraculously, the first take was good enough. So, we had a quick tour of the gallery and were soon heading off.
Highlight of the experience was seeing Tina asking "Where's Sam?" and looking around nervously when she had lost sight of him. Fair enough, given the value of the kit around. Funny nevertheless.
Biggest regret was that it happened so fast that we didnt take the chance to get photos and authographs, etc. Although I suspect it wont be the last time we visit those studios....
Next up was a trip across Leeds to "the beeb" and this time, it was decided that "Loup and Ev" were the perfect match to "Christa and Harry" so myself, Sam and Maya watched from the dressing room. We did remember the camera this time and got some good snaps. As you can see, Sam remained "not subdued".
Last but not least, Loup, Maya and Evan then headed downstairs in the building to do a piece on Radio Leeds. I didnt get chance to hear it, as it was live, and I was with Sam in the (notorious?) BBC canteen / waiting area. Loup thinks it went ok, but like everything else that day, it went in a blur and we'll try and track down the various pieces of coverage and put them on the website shortly. (I have a bit of a backlog in this regard - but i'm on the case....)
Finally, we headed off out for a family meal - time to sit down and chance to reflect. Who knows where this opportunity will take us - and we are so grateful for the chance. Yes,we are so far away from our comfort zone that it is a mere dot in the distance, but I know we are the better off for it - even when it feels scarier than that :)
What next ? Probably some more of "those days"....