Sunday, 13 May 2018

Eurovision and Pastel De Natas ...

Forgive me for not rambling much this week - cue simultaneous explosion of party poppers - but my editing schedule has gone up the wall. Plus, I've run out of clean knickers. I'm sure Alan Whicker and Judith Chalmers had the same problem. Anyway, while I sort all that out, I'll leave you with some pictures. Here's my eye-witness, first-hand account of my Eurovision 2018 experience. 

I'd planned to capture the true nature of the event and bring a personal insight that the BBC just can't manage. But I tended to take photos when I'd had a drink so the results were 'haphazard'. Also, I kept forgetting. Hey ho, enjoy the pictures that did make it. Needless to say, the whole shebang was off-the-charts epic and I was quite the giddy goat from start to finish.

Pre-Match Build-Up

It started at the airport taxi queue. Sail-like banners announcing the 'All Aboard' theme of the event. It did not make the queue go any faster but it was lovely to see.
Spotted amongst the guide books in the hotel. Mostly full of adverts, but still. Gamely representing what the majority of Lisbon visitors were concerned with, last week.
Beautiful Lisbon. But squint through the arch, and what have you got?
That's right! It's the Eurovision village! An enclosed area with a stage/screen for live events and broadcasts. Beer, food and merchandise also available. 
The merchandise queue was lengthy.
But I made it! 'That'll be a United Kingdom scarf - By the way, I don't want Brexit - a fridge magnet and a wrist band please.'
I saw a bit of the Orchestra of Lisbon, and Voces Caelestes Choir. They were good!
Hoardings were covered up by previous winners and host countries.
And another one! I took photos of all my favourite years (I'm looking at you, 1992) but you get the drift. Let's move on.
You can't tell, but I'm sitting in my favourite restaurant in Lisbon - Grapes and Bites. 
You can't tell, but minutes after this photo was taken, Israeli Eurovision winner, Netta (and entourage) walked in to eat. She was lovely, even though we all gawped a lot because we were in the midst of celebrity. (I imagine it was the energy of my subtle yet consistent gaze that spurred her on to win three nights later.)

You can't tell, but I hoovered this plate up, no mess.

The Big Game
The queue to get in to the Altice Arena for the 2nd semi final. 
Waiting for it to begin. I think they're supposed to be waves.
Scott Mills is in one of those commentary boxes. I know! The glamour!
I was in touching distance of Jon Ola Sand! Well I would have been if there weren't security guards in my way. He was in deep concentration throughout the voting. It. Is. A. Serious. Business.

Post-Match Analysis
Reality hits. Back to a dreary tarmac and not a pastel de nata in sight. 

A paused screen from BBC4. It's like Where's Wally - can you spot me? Quote from my brother-in-law - 'You look so happy, Nicky' Quote from my brother - 'Like a kid in a sweet shop.'
Yeah, so it turns out I managed to buy an Icelandic scarf rather than an UK one. (I already owned the red one.) Hmmm.

I mean, it IS pretty similar I suppose. Here I am trying to style it out with a face like an emoji. I'm not sure which emoji. But definitely an emoji.

I could go on and on, posting photos to depict the aftermath of my favourite week of the year. But it's over. I need to let the adrenaline slump kick in and get back to sorting out my washing. All that is left to say is, twenty years since Dana International won in Birmingham, congrats to Netta and Israel. Here's to next year! 

Have a lovely week, folks.

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