I’ve followed Jess (The Legacy of Leo) and her campaign Ignite Your Lion Heart for a while now. I guess I’ve followed the “big hitters” in the baby loss sphere for a long time. I’ve dipped in and out not really participating until this year when I decided to start this little blog. I now manage both my personal and blog Instagram accounts. I call one my pretty, happy insta and the other the sadder insta. The interiors accounts are all on my personal account. I’m not really sure what I’m doing with this whole blogging marlarky. I’m not a dab hand at makeup, great selfies or remembering to put things on Instagram. I still haven’t done a story – I’m not really sure I get them! I’m certainly not at the blogging standard where this could be a job.
As a huge MJ fan I get the e-newsletter and discovered that the National Portrait Gallery was holding a temporary exhibition. The NPG is one of my favourite places ever and decided that we simply must go and spend the August Bank Holiday weekend in London. We hired a great little flat in Chalk Farm through TripAdvisor’s website Holiday Lettings. I persuaded my cousin and his girlfriend to come along too. It was actually my cousin Ian who suggested that as an activity we could walk across the Millennium Dome and I remembered the Ignite Your Lion Heart campaign and thought that it would be a good idea to combine the two.
I got in contact with Jess and she sent me some info over and we were a go go. As I only set up the fundraising page about 10 days before we went I set the target at £150 and thought that would be as much as I could hope for given my only outlet was work, family and Facebook! The donations started trickling in….. and before I knew it that first target sailed by do I decided to keep upping it and see where it went.
Our Saturday in London was spent with me fangirling in the NPG – not just over the MJ art but also a quick trip to see Anne Boleyn for the millionth time and the rest of the gang chasing Ophelia around Trafalgar Square. We walked down the South Bank to the Tate and pondered over the modern art. Ophelia loved walking through the deserted island installation. We had tea at the Rainforest Café and scared Ophelia with the thunder and lightning and the man in a frog costume. Oh and a trip to Hamley’s and Liberty’s obviously!
On Sunday we went across to the Dome in appalling weather which was only getting worse. Justgiving had broken so I wasn’t sure of the final total but it was just over £500 which made me very happy indeed. During the safety briefing I suddenly felt quite emotional thinking of why I was even doing this in the first place. It struck me that I just wanted to do the walk because I like to do things that I’m scared of but things I think I can achieve. In a different reality Alexandra may have been there to watch or maybe I wouldn’t have been there at all as I may have been pregnant with her sibling; but in that world we wouldn’t have Ophelia and that’s a very strange feeling. We wouldn’t give her up for anything.
Our guide sounded just like Richard from the Inbetweener’s Movie which I found very funny and that relaxed me into it. We had to wear special shoes and a huge overall for the walk and as it was heavily raining the hood was completely up which meant seeing where I was going was a bit of a challenge. It was good that the rain was so bad because it meant I had to concentrate on my footing; sliding the clippy thing up and generally not falling flat on my face. The angles were much steeper than I was expecting: I think 28 on the way up and 33 on the way down. We obviously upgraded to have a glass of champers darhling at the top!
Even though the views weren’t great due to the weather I felt really proud that I’d done it. The final few cash donations have come in and the grand total is £735. I feel proud to be part of Jess’ campaign and to be part of Team Tommy’s.