A few months ago I was accidentally watching Graham Norton's show when Michael Flatley was on promoting Lord of the Dance in London. I hadn't known it was his farewell tour and so I thought it would be a nice idea to get a ticket for Gertie for her birthday. (It goes without saying that this also required buying one for her mother to accompany her...) They weren't cheap, but if this was the only time that the current CAID Primary National Champion was going to get to see the world's most famous Irish dancer then so be it.
Through the wonders of the internet I managed to get tickets for the actual day of her birthday from the comfort of my sitting room whilst Graham Norton and Michael Flatley were still chatting. He seemed like a nice bloke, so with a glass of red wine inside me and an iPad in my lap it suddenly seemed like a good idea to send Mr Flatley a little email explaining the situation. I put a little picture of Gertie in for good measure.
Twelve hours later I had a reply, and an invitation to meet the cast.
And the lovely cast (who, at the end of a long week probably had far better things to be doing than meeting an eight-year-old girl) were lovely, even singing 'Happy Birthday' to Gertie.
Gertie was amazed by 'Little Spirit' and her breath-taking flexibility on stage; then delighted to discover that in real life she was so petite that they weren't far apart in height. A magical evening was topped off by the gift of a signed programme from the main man himself.
The following day she had a 'pool party' with 25 friends, including raft races and a profiterole tower instead of a cake (Gertie's choice).
Alas, smug as I am and delighted by the success of creating an absolutely unforgettable eighth birthday, I am well aware that I may have peaked too soon. What on earth to do next year...?
Currently reading: The Liar's Chair by Rebecca Whitney