For the past two and a half years I have been running the Jules Hudson Fans Facebook group and Twitter. Jules Hudson is a fantastic presenter who I admire a lot. He presents Escape To The Country and Countryfile. About two years ago I got to meet Jules for the first time and he is such a lovely down to earth chap. I have met him a few times since then. In fact I wrote a blog post about him in May (click here to read it). In the past two years I have been trying to organise a big group meet up with Jules and his fans but because of his busy schedule it has taken until now for us to organise one.
The meet up was held in Hammersmith, London last Saturday. I woke up that morning with butterflies in my stomach. I always get nervous to see Jules (not sure why as I have met him five times before and each time he has been lovely and I have been fairly relaxed when I am with him) but I was also nervous for a few other reasons; 1. What if we couldn't find the pub? 2. What if not many people turned up? (some people let me down in the last few days before the meet saying that they couldn't attend for whatever reason) and 3. I knew I had to do a speech to say thank you to Jules and his partner T from the group and I am not used to getting up and talking in front of a load of people.
Neil and I arrived at the The Rutland pub in Hammersmith at about 11:30am and there was already the other two Facebook group admins Jane and Cathy waiting outside the pub as it was shut. A few other members had arrived too. Not long after I arrived the doors were opened for us. Jules and T had booked the upstairs function room for us. The Rutland is on the bank of the river Thames. The upstairs function room had gorgeous views of the river and the Hammersmith bridge. Such a lovely location with the doors to the balcony open for us to go out and admire the views.
|View from the Rutland pub of the River Thames and Hammersmith Bridge|
|Me on the balcony at The Rutland Pub|
Not long after more people started to arrive and then Jules and T arrived with their gorgeous dog Iolo. I spent a lot of time trying to get around to chat to the other members of the group. It was great to meet friends I have been chatting to for so long on Facebook. It's amazing as we wouldn't have met if it wasn't for our the fact we all think Jules is an amazing presenter and a bit of a hunk.
Jules and T had organised a yummy buffet for us too. To be honest I personally didn't eat much but it all looked lovely and I know Neil had a good portion of food and enjoyed it. I was too busy trying to get around to everyone because as the admin I was the person that everyone knew. Everyone came up to me saying "Hi Ellen" when they arrived and I didn't have a clue who was who but luckily thanks to Camilla's suggestion awhile back we decided to wear labels with our names on so that Jules knew who he was talking to and we all knew who we chatted to. It was amazing that people had come from all over the UK including Barbara who had just arrived back to the UK after 40 or so years of living in Australia. She bought Jules a Koala toy back with her which Iolo thought was for him but Jules didn't let him have it.
Before we ate Jules got up and made a lovely speech. You can watch it here:
And so I thought it would be a good opportunity to do my speech afterwards. I was so nervous as I don't usually do public speaking and I read most of it so I didn't miss anything out. Also half way through the speech my phone went off and my ring tone is so embarrassing. It's the Wonder Pets theme song (a kids program). Here is my speech:
We then gave Jules and T their presents from us fans. We had a whip around and bought them a bird house that Kelly decorated with J&T Bird Hotel on it, some of Jules' favourite whisky (Highland Park), a Land Rover clock, a personalised Thornton's Hamper and some drink for T. We bought Iolo some treats as well. We had a little money left over which Jules has asked me to look after to put towards our next charity fundraising. Some of the girls from the group had kindly bought me some presents too which was such a lovely surprise.
After we had eaten we gave Jules his thank you card that Cathy's really talented daughter Danielle designed. She is so good at design. She designed our Facebook group banner too. We had all signed the card. So Jules took the opportunity to say a few more words.
Then Jules went on to have pictures taken with everyone (including one of Jules holding little Jane in his arms as she is so tiny) and to sign some promo cards he brought along. I managed to get one for Joan in our group who couldn't make it to the meet and for a lady whose daughter loves Jules in Australia. I also got one for my niece Lilly saying Happy Birthday on. She was really chuffed with it when she received it on her birthday.
Here are the pictures I managed to get of me with Jules:
|Me and Jules with my Jules Rules loom bands|
|Me and Jules on the balcony overlooking the Thames|
|A cheeky little kiss|
Then we decided it was time for a group photo of all us members. This took a bit of organising and a bit of squeezing everyone in to get in the photo. I love this picture because it also has Iolo in at the front.
At about 3pm the meet up ended and we said goodbye to Jules and T. A small group of us went on to Victoria for a drink before everyone had to catch their buses/trains home. It really was an amazing day. I am so glad it all came together and I am proud of myself for getting through the nerves and doing my speech. I love our Facebook group and I have made lots of lovely friends. I hope the group keeps growing and growing and that we can have another meet up in the future.
Thank you to everyone who made it and helped make the day so amazing and a special HUGE thanks to Jules and T for being so lovely and meeting us.