by Kate Scanlan
Ding dong ding dong, ding dong ding dong … the sound of the alarm at 06:00 on Sunday morning. We were so tired it was painful. Still, up we got and out the door.
Rafiki, Willy and Didier were invited to do a live radio interview on the BBC World Service’s Sunday morning Weekend Show. I was so proud of them they did really well. We were in a full on Radio Studio with wall to wall plasmas and a production team behind a wall of glass. I was impressed. This is the NEW BBC building in London and it is a bit wow!
It was quite nerve racking and exciting at the same time waiting to go into the studio. We all had official passes and we sat in the office listening to presenters and researchers discussing breaking world news.
Then it was over as quickly as it had begun. The presenters asked them what had been the highlight.
For Rafiki it was the welcome that Mamma Kate (my mum Margaret) gave them on arrival. The first time he had been in Europe he was in a hotel and felt lost, no one talked to him, no one smiled at a stranger in the street. He thought, ‘what is this place’. But this time in a family home he saw another side of Europe, the welcoming and embracing community. This really is a lesson to us all; when rushing to work, take the time to smile at the person next to you. You should never underestimate what this might mean.
For Willy it was eating the baguette on the street! Hahaha this is great, Willy loved the fact that in London you are free to express yourself, wear what you want, be who you want and, yes, eat on the street. This freedom was very appealing to him.
For Didier it was the boat trip and playing with my niece Scarlett. The boat and being on the water excited him so much he was jumping for joy. Scarlett just loved him and laughed at him, followed him around and together they played with building blocks, a Bob the Builder toy phone and her little instruments.
Of all the things we did on their trip these were the most memorable. Another message in here. It is not about money and flashy trips, but simple pleasures and time spent with friends that lasts forever.
To listen to the full interview use this link; the bit about Les Enfants de Dieu is about 40minutes in (approx!). The only vital thing missing from this is where on earth is the film being screened and how can you see it? Well the screening date has now passed but thankfully in the digital age you can watch Yes, Man! by Bret Syfert online and share it with your friends.
The floor outside New Broadcasting House is special. The names of the countries in the world the BBC is based and the sites of great conflict are etched into the paving stones. It took us time but we found what we were looking for.
Rwanda. A country to be proud of. A country rebuilding itself and its people from the ground up.
We headed home and my friend Lucy came over with her little boy Dylan who is 2. I’ve known Lucy since I was 2 and our mums are still the best of friends.
Then Willy, Didier and I headed out to Brick Lane. I was thinking of places in London that are free experiences, places to soak up culture, to see ordinary people enjoying their city. Brick Lane came up top of the list for Sunday afternoon!
We got 99p flakes (that are seriously costing more than 99p these days!). The ice-cream man asked us if we were here for the Olympics so we told them why the boys were in London. We had a really nice chat with him and went on our way.
Didier decided he wanted to buy a mask … until he saw his reflection and I think it scared him hahahaha
We tried and bought some sunnies.
Saw great graffiti
We love sugar ….. but we didn’t buy!
He really wanted to buy a ukelele
We ate more food on the street
Chilling London style
Then we jumped on the tube and went to meet Pervez and Ikem at Trocadero
Fred and Billy did a Realness Jam at Trocadero; a free jam for dancers. We went down and had a look. Was fun
Then we played on the arcade games
The bucking bronco was the funniest!
Terrible photos but it was so funny I had to include them.
We had dinner at the Turkish spot which was delicious, Didier ate two plates of rice – ‘I love rice’.
Willy went to Madam JoJo’s for the Sunday dancers’ night. I took a sleepy Didier home (piggy back style) and waited up for Willy. Willy had an amazing night, he met a dancer who told him to dance everywhere … he did not stop dancing in the street for the rest of the trip! Then he came back to Brixton with Billy on the bus (first trip on a London bus) and got on the 250 on his own back to Thornton Heath. I was waiting at the bus stop for a very excited young man who had an amazing night out! At 02:45 in the morning it was more than time for bed.
Great day though!