Tuesday 2 July 2019

When Dreams Come True

The madness begins

Last year, after having a few bad weeks with panic attacks as I was triggered by two storylines on my favourite show, my husband promised to help put me back together again. I missed out on so much over a 5 year period. A time when I should have been living my life, seeing places and making memories, was miserable and hellish, but that's in the past. In August of last year, my husband booked me a trip to a place I thought I would never see - Cardiff

Why Cardiff? After learning about the history and seeing what the city had to offer when studying travel and tourism, I knew it would be my kind of place, and I was right. 19 years later I boarded the bus with my friend and off we went. Yes you read that right, we got the bus.  Almost 10 hours later, we arrived in Cardiff, and yes I cried!!

Our first night, we went to TGI Fridays. The trip was also an early birthday celebration for me. I couldn't help but feel they rushed us through dinner but it was still fun and the meal was lovely. Then the staff, and customers, sung to me and I got a slice of birthday cake. My face went scarlet and no, I am not posting the video on here madam, you know who you are!!  That night, I went to sleep with a smile on my face.  I had already fallen in love with Cardiff.

As you all know, I am a massive Casualty fan and have watched the show since it started in September 1986!! Yes, 33 years is a long time but it's Casualty, its bloody awesome! 

The Thursday morning, nerves kicked in as I got ready for the day ahead. They only got worse when we arrived at Roath Lock Studios. Would another dream come true for me? Would I finally meet some of the cast of the show I have watched for most of my life? Yes, it did come true.

So this happened

The first person we met was Michael Stevenson (who plays Iain Dean). We hadn't expected him to be there as we thought he had filmed his final scenes already (don't worry, he will be back!!) People who had met him previously said he was lovely and a good laugh. So true. I am glad we met him first as it helped calm my nerves. He was so down to earth and spoke to us like he had always known us. He must have thought we were mad, he would be right of course. I felt guilty as he was on his lunch break. He said he would see us again on his way back, and true to his word he did, greeting me with "Alright birthday girl" that made me chuckle.

Next, we met Jack Nolan (who plays Will Noble).  He was so sweet, saying it was only fair to give us some of his time when we give Casualty 50 minutes of ours every week. I didn't feel as guilty then, as he had finished for the day. Bless him, he was still getting used to meeting the fans so was a little shy. I'm a sucker for an Irish accent, I could have listened to him talk all day!! Yes, I even told him I loved his accent. What?! I do!! 

The last person we met was William Beck (plays Dylan Keogh). He was running late (tut tut) but he stopped for us. I promise he is nothing like Dylan, well they have the same dry humour but he's not grumpy and he smiles!! Imagine that!  Again, he thought we were mad for travelling 10 hours on a bus but he appreciated it, they all did. When he heard we were travelling to London the next day, he told us to be careful and leave in plenty of time as the weather was to be horrendous (he wasn't kidding jeezo). We had such a laugh with Will, as we did with Michael. 

Yes that is a tweet on the cover

Strangely, I had been so calm meeting them all. I thought I would either cry or be all shaky and unable to talk to them! OK OK, I admit, later that afternoon, I cried, happy tears of course.

As I write this, it still doesn't feel real. I look at the pictures from that trip and think wow, 2 dreams came true at the same time. I have memories, happy, hilarious and shocking (No I won't tell you what the shocking was and it wasn't me who done it either!!)

Thank you to Michael, Jack and Will (Debbie Biggins too) for stopping and giving up your time to talk to us. It really means a lot to me. (I need to stop crying now). 

James -  Thank you for booking Cardiff for me, for helping make my dreams come true. I know I am hard work at times. I also know it was hard for you when I triggered those times, but I am glad I had that reaction because I finally spoke about what I went through, I don't need to carry that with me anymore. Thank you for picking up the pieces and for putting me back together again. I love you.

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