What a week this has been!
As many of you may know...... none other that Jeremy Corbyn visited Morecambe this week. From start to finish, this event was a whirlwind of nerves, excitement, and in my case a little bit of fangirling, with a palpable buzz in the air.
My admiration for JC has been ever growing since the run up to the general election, not only does he genuinely care about the issues that face the people of this nation, he is an approachable guy, and who doesn't love a guy who makes his own jam from his allotment.
In light of this, when I was asked to make a speech about Young Labour in our area, I may have been slightly terrified to speak before him, being my first time standing on a stage to speak since I was 16 in Out of Hours Drama.
In the time leading to his visit.... I wrote a speech, questioned everything I wrote, reread.... and stressed some more. Finally, in between stressing and helping with the set up to the visit, the day finally arrived. I picked out my dress, did my hair and perfected my make up. I even wore my 'girl shoes' (not a typical occurrence) and set off, speech in hand.
Whilst waiting for the man himself to show up, we manned a Young Labour information table, signed in members, and waited.....
When the time came to give our speeches the questioning returned. After having to follow two other members of the executive and their immense speeches, the time came for me, and fellow YL Officer Tom, to deliver our speech.
The lights were bright, the microphone was on, I was up to speak, and speak I did. After my 5 minutes of fame was up, I felt the nervousness leave, and the excitement take full control.
Coming off of the stage I received words of encouragement and positivity, with which I was filled with a new found confidence. Not only had I made my speech, but soon I was going to be within arms length of Jeremy Corbyn!
I then had the opportunity to have a fascinating conversation with some young people, in which I shared my genuine interest in what we do as Young Labour and shared some ideas.
All too quickly, we were back to the stage and in walks Jezza! If I wasn't sat in front of hundreds of people on a stage, I would never have believed he was there.
He gave a passionate speech, in which he touched on many of the issues we face in our modern society, and offered us hope of what could be achieved under a Labour government. He received much applause and support, but unfortunately, had to be whisked away to keep his other engagements.
Although I was still in awe that I had been in such a close proximity of a man whose ideas and drive are admirable, I was rather gutted that I never got the coveted 'Jezza Selfie'.
This was about to be remedied in such a far greater manner than I had anticipated.
JC had shown interest in going to the Eric Morecambe statue to get a snap in the iconic pose. Myself, Kay, our Chair, and Claire, our Women's Officer had managed to get to the statue, in time for Corbyn to arrive. As he took his pictures, he asked if we wanted to get in on the jollity too. Who can refuse an offer like that from Jeremy Corbyn?
Not only did we get the picture everyone sought after, but we managed brief introductions. Although thrilled to be meeting him, I froze on the spot and blurted out the first thing that came into my mind when introduced.
'I only went round to Claire's for a brew one day, and now I'm here.'
At which he quipped back 'The question is, what did she put in the tea?'
I did a mental face palm as I realised how silly I must have sounded to the Leader of the Labour Party, but all he did was crack a joke and shake my hand. That's an awful long way to come from a cup of coffee from a new neighbour a year ago.
As we left and returned to the Carleton, I let my excitement overcome me and had a little happy dance as we walked away, just to realise that JC was right behind me, and instantly returned to my more, (but not completely) calmer self. (Fangirling about meeting JC in front of JC, check)
On my return to help in the clean up of the event, Tom offered me a chance to go to Southport to see Jeremy speak again. Did I take the offer? Of course I did!
So while practically beaming, we finished up and made a quick dash home to change before going to see JC a second time. Heels on a beach did not seem like an appealing idea.
After a long analysis of our morning on the way to Southport, we made it to the beach and were overwhelmed by the hype that Jeremy Corbyn produced. After the shared responsibility for the running of the Morecambe visit, it was time to enjoy it from the other side.
After hearing other speakers, including John Prescott, we got to see Jeremy on stage again. The enthusiasm from the crowd was just as present as it had been in Morecambe. Although severely windswept (thankfully the rain held off) Jeremy gave his speech with determination.
Morecambe received an honourable mention as he spoke about his tour, myself and Tom certainly made ourself heard and represented our town! A wave of giggles followed as we ensured the people around us that we were from the Morecambe & Lunesdale CLP, and not just two strange people randomly cheering. It was certainly worth the looks and laughs.
As the sun began to set, the event drew to a close, and another of my personal goals was fulfilled as we finally managed to join in with a round or three of 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn!'.
Which in my eyes was the perfect way to end a day of nerves, excitement and things I never would have believed would happen to a 24 year old girl from a small, northern, coastal, town.
I wonder what she did put in that tea???
Photo by Alan Gregson of Alan Gregson photography