Thursday, 5 December 2013

Nelson Mandela and me

This was moment, in the autumn of 2000, when former South African President Nelson Mandela attended the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. 

I was seated many rows back, but very definitely in the direction you can see him waving.

In other words, it is almost certain he was waving at me - although he never said.

News of his death, announced tonight, was one of those "where were you when you heard?" moments that don't come along too often. (For the record, I was sitting on the sofa and I'm still here).

It is a sad and historic occasion.

But I feel comfort in the knowledge that Gabrielle (who warmed us up by singing 'Dreams'), Tony Blair, John Prescott, me and several thousand others had the chance to spend some quality time together when the opportunity was there.

RIP Madiba.