The day I met Simon Cowell in Barbados by Barbara Trotman

A dear friend of mine invited me to a 2012 Christmas charity event in aid of The Hope Sanctuary, a Barbados animal welfare organisation who continually fight to protect and save abused and neglected animals across the island.

Now I wouldn’t say I was an animal lover as such but I would never want to see one hurt or sad. So I admirably praise the fantastic work they do. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a few cats in my time, but with my hectic life style, I am most certainly more suited to the self sufficient sort. I’ve also had a random rabbit here and there and a couple of cuddly guinea pigs for my son’s Show and Tell at school. Oh and the obligatory goldfish! All of which lived a life of luxury may I add.

But when I heard about this annual event, and knowing the one and only Simon Cowell would be there, I was delirious with anticipation and excitement. I just had to meet Simon – just had to! Seriously you just couldn’t keep me away! I’ve been an avid fan since his early Pop Idol days, as have many other ladies of course! “What am I going to wear” I flustered. The wardrobe planning began, hair and nail appointments booked and I started dreaming of the imaginary conversations we would share. I’d be witty and amusing and hold Simon’s complete attention whilst he’d be enraptured by my charismatic charisma. Ooohhh to dream….

The day I met Simon Cowell and here it had arrived. When the big day dawned, the plans got changed. We were getting a lift so no driving for me for once. Good I’ll have a glass of wine or two. Then our designated driver informed us he was picking us up much earlier than expected and would be collected at 4.30pm. Bang went the hair and nail appointment!  Nevertheless I did my best and strutted to the car. Just as we got to the venue, Lime Grove on the west coast, the heavens opened as we got out of the car. In the five seconds it took to run for cover, this girl’s efforts were ruined. Water was dripping off my bare, moisturised arms and my make-up in danger of sliding into my neck. As for my hair, just don’t go there! I grumbled all the way to the bar and kept muttering whilst we waited impatiently for our drinks. The barman took one look at us three drown rats and took pity on us, giving us a free glass of wine. Not all bad then.

We entered the roof top garden setting unfashionably early, but took advantage of this to stake out the joint and seek optimum vantage points for Simon watching. There were three entrances and we had them all covered! In he came with his female entourage and so the action began. Without wishing to be unladylike we edged subtly (or so we thought) towards our prey. Our mission was to get photographs of course. Five hundred other ladies had the same idea! We positioned ourselves discreetly behind him with a great view of his neck. Still it was interesting to observe his body language throughout.

The auction was a great success. From dog collars and calendars to tickets for the 2013 X-Factor final, the audience participated in high spirits which were no doubt fuelled by the free bar and delicious canapés. We were all encouraged, or should I say railroaded, by the auctioneer to spend our money in aid of this worthy cause. So much so my friend, noticing a lack of interest in a not so interesting item, jokingly started a $1000 bid. I have to say she was mightily relieved when she was outbid by $200!

The end of the auction came and it was time for action. All thoughts of mesmerizing Simon with my stimulating conversation flew out of the window in the fracas that ensued. What on earth was I thinking?  My son had advised me not to be star struck but to be professional. Oh how he would have been amused by our antics. We gently (don’t want to appear raucous) jostled and jostled until we were FINALLY in position – NEXT TO SIMON!  Job almost done, a lovely lady held our phones and took several pictures of our group. We were not leaving his side until we were satisfied. We discarded those where he looked bored and disinterested (many might I add) and asked the lovely lady to keep snapping until we each had pictures we approved of. Simon duly complied and our mission was accomplished. I can now extravagantly boast about the day I met Simon Cowell. An early bird ticket for next year for me please!

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St Lawrence Beach Condominiums, St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, Barbados

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