I meet a celebrity!!!
In London, before we leave. We have not even got to Disneyland yet, and already I am meeting celebrities. Not that I am overawed by this, being one myself. I would not even mention it, except that it will probably be interesting to non-celebrity readers who would not take such an encounter in their stride, as that is not the sphere that they move in. Although I have an internationally-successful private secret diary, I have not lost touch with the non-celebrity world. I just thought that you would be interested. I certainly don’t want to be patronising to the civilians.
It is Andrei Arshavin, legendary Russian international footballer now playing for the Arsenal!!! He is in the municipal play area on the South Bank with his family, his children playing on the swings and slide with the other London kids.
He clearly has a lot to learn about being a Premiership footballer.
A small child shyly asks for his autograph, which he provides obligingly. The small child does not recognise me, as I have my sunglasses on – he will kick himself when he reads this! The afternoon draws on; the premiership legend-in-waiting gathers up his family and disappears off towards the river and a man painted silver, pretending to be a statue.
I am sometimes a bit nervous about going out in public, in case I am approached. So I am impressed with his ‘man of the people’ casualness.
Then I realise that it is easy for him. Being approached by members of the public is nothing intimidating for a man with his background. He grew up in a region dominated by gangsters, of crime and casual drunkenness, in a society made corrupt by the gushing influx of money, money, money cascading into the hands of those socially and morally ill-equipped to do anything but selfishly exploit this excess of capitalism.
Whereas I grew up in Essex.