…stood whilst watching the Queen’s Speech

Day 53Day Fifty-three

Since I started this quest fifty-three days ago, what to do on Christmas day had always been in the back of my mind.  It’s a day for sharing with the family and sticking to tradition, so going bungee jumping or doing something weird with the turkey didn’t seem appropriate.  I decided I wanted to do something simple that embodied the Christmas spirit of giving.

I was staying at my Grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve, as we would be celebrating Christmas at my Auntie’s place just down the road.  I was partly brought up by my grandparents, so spent a lot of my childhood at their home.  Whenever I stayed over they’d always cook me breakfast, I distinctly remember the way my Nan would yell from the kitchen downstairs “breakfast’s ready!”  I decided, for the first time in my life, I’d get up early and make breakfast for my Grandparents as a gesture of thanks for my spoilt lazy childhood.  I went to bed excited about the next morning – and not because Santa was coming.

The next day I awoke to the familiar sound of “breakfast’s ready”.  I’d overslept – Bugger!

After guiltily eating breakfast, I looked through the Christmas TV guide to see what was on.  Again, I’m aware how spoilt and lazy I’m coming across.  I remember Christmas Television always being exciting as most of the license payers’ money was splashed out by the BBC on showing big budget movies. Nowadays, as there are hundreds of digital channels and movies on demand, it’s slightly lost its appeal; However, I did notice in the listings that the Queen’s Christmas speech was on at 3pm.  I never really watched the Queen’s annual televised message to her minions, so I just hoped I wouldn’t have a festive snooze after Christmas lunch and sleep through another opportunity to do something I’d never done before.

The Queen’s Speech is written by Her Majesty herself, apparently it’s one of the few times in the year she’s allowed to air her own personal views.  The ten minute royal broadcast opened with a picture of Buck House and the sound of the national anthem, so I stood as one should, whilst the rest of family asked if it was time for dessert yet.  As the Queen talked, she reminisced about the year she’d had, speaking of Prince George the new addition to her family, but the more she went on the more I switched off.  She seemed to me (as your servant, I apologise your Majesty) to lack any genuine connection to the words she spoke, I was desperate to feel a sense of real emotion, but perhaps that’s just the British stiff upper lip she is meant to epitomize.  After the speech finished I sat down and wondered whether when Prince William and Harry, as children, stayed at Buckingham Palace, their grandmother would shout up the stairs “Breakfast’s ready” – I doubt it.

In conclusion: I don’t mind that we have a monarchy, but I wish they’d lighten up a bit; it’s Christmas for God’s sake.

celebrities, strangers, Uncategorized

…sent fan mail to a celebrity

Day Forty-six

Day 46

Janet Street-Porter

C/O United Agents Ltd

12-26 Lexington Street



18th December 2013


Dear Janet Street-Porter,

Since the 3rd November 2013 I’ve been attempting to try something I’ve never done before every day for one year.  I wanted to undertake this personal challenge in order to appreciate what life has to offer if you take constant risks, although if I’m completely honest I mainly started this because I was bored whilst trying to look for a job.

It was suggested, by a friend, that perhaps I’d never written a fan letter to a celebrity before and that I should give it a go – so this is me doing just that.  I never had a famous idol when I was growing up and have never really followed celebrity culture, but for some reason I knew immediately I wanted to write to you.

To be truthful, as a fan, I know less about your work as a journalist and editor than I probably should, my opinions are based solely from your television appearances.  I’m aware it’s probably hard to judge a person’s character from what is portrayed through the media, and perhaps a little unfair, but to me you seem like someone who’s consistently truthful to who they really are; a refreshing quality in the world of celebrity.  I feel you’re prepared to take a chance by airing your thoughts honestly, without allowing the consequences to be a major obstacle, whilst maintaining your natural wit and your unique outlook on life.

I think you’re a truly great British celebrity, even if you never set out to be one, so I wanted to take this opportunity to say I’m your fan.


Yours sincerely,


Neil Foster.