They Dreamed A Dream - World Fan Meet
Pickled Tink -April 1, 2011
Susan fans Altena from Denmark and Bgad from the USA had a dream, a dream to organise a meeting for fans from all over the world and to do this to celebrate Susan Boyle's 50th birthday. With the help of their good friend Scottish Mary, who jokingly referred to their dream as "my nightmare" fans from as far afield as Australia, Russia, the USA, and from most of Europe congregated in Broxburn, West Lothian on Friday 1st April to join together to celebrate and honour Susan Boyle and to celebrate her birthday. And let me say this, Scottish Mary, knows how to throw a party, this was a party and then some!
Fans arrived in Broxburn at 3.00 and were piped into the hall by two young people playing the bagpipes. It was rather cold and windy but they smiled and played on regardless. The room was laid out and decorated with Scottish flags, pictures and posters of Susan (thank you Canadian Bill) balloons, party poppers and much more. There were oatcakes, scones and scotch pancakes and fans were served tea and coffee as they mingled and put faces to names.
Scottish Mary announced that Susan had intended to come, but that having been pursued by reporters all day this would not now happen. She revealed a wonderful birthday cake, with "fifty and fabulous" and a lovely picture of Susan on the top, and then announced at 3.45 that Susan had just arrived. Mary likes to tease! Susan walked in with her niece Joanne to warm and sustained applause.
Susan was wearing a lovely red dress, with a blue scarf and a short red coat. She looked very happy and waved and nodded to some familiar faces in the room. Happy birthday was sung as Susan cut the cake, with Susan and Scottish Mary clowning around a bit as Susan decided how and where the cake should be cut. Needless to say there was much laughter and the room was filled with love and happiness.
Some typical Scottish entertainment has been laid on and a children’s choir from Carmondean Primary School, called the Carmondean Folk Scene provided some entertainment for Susan and the fans as everyone drank tea and enjoyed the scones and Scotch pancakes.The children, aged 10 and 11, preformed a variety of songs, serious, and comical and Susan asked them for an encore. She looked very impressed with their performance, as well she should. (This group are well known locally and the school children are in line for a world citizenship award.) A young girl performed the Highland Fling – a very energetic Scottish Dance which made many of us think about the need for more exercise and dieting!
The bagpipes came in again as the haggis and a clootie dumpling was piped into the room; several poems were also spoken by the children, who were delighted to be performing for Susan.They had been told they would be singing for Scottish Mary's friend Huw, and when they found it was for Susan they were over the moon. Susan spoke and joked around with the children before she left and had her photo taken with them.Fans also gave the children buttons (badges) and Susafaces, much to their delight.
Susan was presented with some flowers by one of the children on behalf of all of her fans. The children also gave her one of their own DVD’s. They are getting quite famous themselves now, check out their website.CARMONDEAN FOLK SCENE
Fans who had not met Susan also got the opportunity to talk briefly with her but she had to leave to go on to her big birthday bash at Houston House. She was however treated to some fans singing a version of her Crowded House Cover,"Hey Now You Make us Happy", and she smiled and gave the thumbs up to their performance, blowing them a kiss at the end. Before she left she also blew out the candles on the cake, with a little help from Joanne, as those candles just did not want to go out!
The Party Continues...
After Susan had left at around 5.15 fans enjoyed exchanging views of what had occurred, as they prepared for the next part of the entertainment. Scottish country dancing ensued and fans took to the floor and showed of their dancing skills. Local people had been enlisted to help things along and they did so with great warmth, humour and sensitivity to those of us with two left feet. Songs were sung, fans joined in, and dances were danced. A buffet was served which was superbly prepared and presented and was a cornucopia of Scottish delicacies, including haggis, Scottish pie and Clootie dumpling. “Bloody fantastic” as Susan would say.
The dancing and singing continued and many members showed off their groovin skills, Irma from The Netherlands together with a kilted Scotsman were groovin right on down to the Dire Straits song Walk Of Life, fans Pendragon and The Subofan were movin it and shakin it along there as well.
The evening ended with Auld Lang Syne and everyone was sad to leave. A fantastic time had been had by all and everyone hugged as they said goodbye and of course thank you. This was the first world fan meet and it was fitting that it was in Scotland and that it honoured Susan's 50th Birthday. Now which country is going to host the next world fan meet and when is it going to be?
Many Thanks To Scottish Mary, Altena, Bgad, the children of Carmondean Primary School, and to the wonderful singers and dancers who helped entertain the fans throughout the evening.
WayOut Plays in Broxburn - 2nd April 20111
Californian Susan fan, WayOut, has played her violin all over the world including at the Edinburgh fringe. On Susan Boyle's birthday she joined the house band playing her fiddle as fans at a world fan meeting pointed their toes and tried their hands, or should I say feet, at Scottish dancing. She was an instant hit with the band and with the fans, and was invited to play with the band at a gig the following night. WayOut you rock - bloody fantastic!