On Friday the 4th of December, 2009, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a party hosted by the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown. Brown is a big Twitter advocate, with almost 1 million followers, and she apparently decided to hold a party for a selection of the people she interacts with on Twitter. Which is pretty cool!
The party was entitled the “Downing Tweet Christmas Party” and was held to celebrate / publicise the Million Mums campaign, a campaign by the White Ribbon Alliance, that Mrs Brown is the chairman of. Among the attendees were patrons of various other charities, campaigners, political bloggers, people connected with Million Mums and a smattering of celebrities.
Having been pretty gob-smacked to have been invited in the first place (I assumed the address-request sent by Brown on Twitter was simply going to result in a Christmas card!), I was pretty damn nervous to be heading to Downing Street. A few searches on Twitter originally reassured me that the sort of people going were just others like me – Twitter regulars and all-round normal people. Then, on the morning of the party, I started to notice a few famous people tweeting about it, including Richard Bacon and Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru Murthy. Cue a total brown-trousers moment from me, suddenly glad that I decided to take a tie after all.
10 Downing Street is a pretty spectacular building, and I was amazed at how much of it we were allowed to wander freely around – I stood staring at a painting of Maggie Thatcher for a good few minutes, wondering why she looked so uptight, ha ha! The party took place on the first floor, with the several-hundred attendees allowed to look around and peer through doors and windows quite freely.
Highlights of the evening for me included:
- Singer Beverley Knight doing a live performance of her songs “Shoulda Woulda Coulda” and Gold, standing in front of the drawing room (?) Christmas Tree. She was lovely too, and I even got to chat to her for a bit.
- Introducing myself to Richard Bacon, who I had a nice chat with. He’s certainly a snappy dresser too!
- Wandering up and down the famous stair-case, looking at all the past Prime Minister pictures
- Shaking Gordon Brown’s hand – though I didn’t actually get to say anything to him, as he was being “networked” by a number of good networkers
- Other famous people that were there but I didn’t get to speak much to included Kirstie Allsopp, Peter Serafinowicz, Caitlin Moran, Emma Freud, Rebecca Front and that guy from the X-Factor who spends too much time shaping his beard… I’m thinking Brian? :D
I also had a chat to a few random MPs who I’m ashamed to say I didn’t really recognise – though Alastair Darling’s wife introduced herself to me, and we had a bit of a joke about how annoying it is when the neighbours hold a party!
I didn’t get to take many photos, since cameras and phones are taken off you at the entrance (though very politely!) but there are a few included with this post, and I’m sure there will be some more when the official photographer pictures get posted online.
I’ll shut up about this now, since I know a few people on Twitter are already getting annoyed by my babble. But I should urge you before I sign off to go over to the Million Mums website and register yourself – it only takes 10 seconds, and since we’ve all got mothers of our own I think it’s pretty relevant to everybody!
Oh, one last thing… yes, it was JUST like in Love Actually! :D