When Team Honk sat and planned The Honk Line walk around London I’m pretty sure that their list included a bullet point saying something like “A-list celebrity to start the walk”. After all that’s what they managed to pull off! And as evidence, here’s Jamie Oliver at the start in London’s Waterloo Park.
Photo from Mummy Barrow on twitter
The reality might be that we were just about to leave the park, slightly later than planned as we were all busy faffing around drinking tea and taking photos of Tanya posing with her teapot, when I saw a man fly down the hill on a kid’s scooter with a boy running after him laughing.
What a cool Dad I thought to myself. Swiftly followed by thinking “he looks really familiar”. I then look back where I’m walking and see Jools Oliver walking into the park with a baby strapped to her front. At that point Tanya clocks Jools and then looks at me and we both go “oh my God it’s him isn’t it!” Cue two mad women in onesies running towards Jamie Oliver and asking if he would mind posing for a photo with us seeing as we’re doing something for Comic Relief!
I’m delighted to say he was lovely and thank you Jamie for giving us all an amazing send off, and to Jools and the Oliver kids for allowing us to borrow their Dad for a few minutes.
How do you top a start like that? Well, the truth is that 10 miles may be an awful long way, but when you’ve got a fantastic bunch of people to walk with it makes the whole thing much easier. After leaving Waterlow Park our route took us down through Archway, past the Emirates stadium and on to Highbury Fields where we stopped for lunch – after all we’re serious charity fundraisers who insist on proper breaks and refreshments en route. Oh and what a lunch we had!
Tanya had invited along with her David and his team from Firepod. Now, if you know Tanya you’ll have heard her shouting about Firepod for a while now and I can totally see why. It’s flipping amazing! Basically it’s a portable, and very sexy looking, pizza oven. So, in other words, she’d arranged for us to be able to have freshly baked pizza en-route. Even better still – the Firepod (red in colour of course for Comic Relief) did the whole ten mile walk with us too, pulled along in a festival trolly. I mean, how many portable pizza ovens have taken part in a charity sponsored walk before?
The pizza was absolutely delicious and huge huge thanks to David, his daughter, and the rest of his team for coming along, supporting the walk and Comic Relief and also for feeding us. I’m so lusting after being able to bake fresh pizza in my garden this summer now!
Pizza eating wasn’t the only thing on the agenda at Highbury Fields though. Oh no. We also needed to take part in some other madcap idea that we’d come across on the internet. A group of people (and yes I’m sketchy on details here) had agreed to do some Miranda Hart style galloping somewhere (possibly Cheltenham Racecourse) in aid of Comic Relief. Team Honk being pretty much up for anything agreed to take part too. Hence one of the most embarrassing videos of me out there on the internet.
— Penny Carr (@BeingMrsC) March 11, 2017
Yep, that’s me, bringing up the rear in a rather fetching purple unicorn onesie. The same purple unicorn onesie that I embarrassed myself infant of Jamie Oliver in. Classy! It’s amazing what I’ll do for charity isn’t it?
Where life gets even weirder is the fact that a few days later was National Galloping Day and Miranda Hart showed her support for this on twitter. So, I tweeted her back with a link to our video. And then the Radio Times picked up on it and the next thing I knew my tweet was featured in an article they’d published about the day. Talk about random!
So, lunch eaten and galloping done we continued our journey south towards Lincolns Inn Fields which is where we planned to have Afternoon Tea. I did warn you that we do things properly as Team Honk. This part of the walk felt quite strange to me as we ended up walking through Islington, an area that I seem to go to quite often these days. Walking through there as a unicorn feels a bit different to when I’m normally there meeting friends for a night out.
A quick dance at Sadler’s Wells (as you do) saw me finally ditch the onesie – by this point it was 16 degrees and relentless sun – and if I’m honest in doing so I felt like I suddenly gained a whole load of energy. Certainly when I reached Lincolns Inn Fields at the 7 mile mark I didn’t feel too bad at all physically. Certainly a proper cup of tea, home made cake and scones with jam on set me up for the next stage nicely. And yes I did carry a proper china cup and saucer and a vintage side plate wth me for the whole 10 miles. After all, I’m a WI member. We take afternoon tea very seriously!
A couple of small mis-calculations on route length meant that the whole walk was looking like it was going to come in at over 11 miles so we altered things a bit for the route back. We decided to swing by St Pancras for a few people to catch trains home and then continued north back towards Waterlow Park and Archway. Again, a part of London that I used to know quite well, but there was something really nice about walking and having time to look at everything we were going past. I got to notice so many interesting looking shops, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes, and I’m desperate to plan a return trip for a day of enjoying myself there with Mr C. You get to see some much more of a city when on foot exploring and it was ages since I’d done just that.
It was also on this final stretch that we discovered that we’d smashed the £2000 mark on our sponsorship, and also when Tanya found herself strangely attracted to a poster advertising wine.
— Annie Spratt (@AnnieSpratt) March 11, 2017
Tired and weary as we may have all been at the end, there was a real sense of achievement and pride at being part of something amazing and having raised money to make a real difference for people who need it. This afternoon I’m off to see a Comic Relief project that is helping people in London. There’s a very good reason why I make a fool of myself and do these mad things, and today I’m going to see that reason in person.
And for anyone wondering just how far we walked. Well, the official bit ended up about 11 miles in total, but when you add in my extra bits of walking to and from the train station in St Albans and getting to where we were meeting up in London I managed closer to 15 miles. No wonder I slept well that night
It’s not too late to sponsor myself and Team Honk for this year’s challenge. Just head over to my Red Nose Day sponsorship page to do so. And a huge huge thank you to those of you that have already sponsored me. What you have donated makes such a difference. Thank you x