Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My story of meeting Zoe {14/10/14}

This probably is one of the silliest ways to come back to a blog after so long, yes, start it off with an anecdote that was requested and kinda needed to be done.

As this story starts, Zoe tweeted a link to a competition on where we could win the opportunity to meet her:
behold the tweet itself (this screenshot was taken a while ago so the amount of days ago, tweets, favourites and retweets have increased more now)
I entered the competition, there were questions such as: what is your twitter name (I liked this one, future events, take note), if you were free on the 13th and 14th of October 2014 (to collect the wristband(s) and meet her the next day), and there was one it ended with that stood out from the rest asking "Why do you think you deserve this opportunity?" I felt like I didn't have much to say, I didn't want to sound big headed and I was just speechless. This question took the most of my time, but I was able to answer it with:

You're probably wondering why it's on a word document, well my friend wanted some inspiration after she had written her essay out and I thought I might as well go back and find it then copy and paste it onto a word document, and here that is.
Coincidentally, there was a spot bulging out on the day, thankfully, I was able to calm it and I think my dimples of a big smile whilst standing next to Zoe covered them up, that was some weird karma. Anyway, after I had finished typing that up and couldn't think of much more to say, I submitted it and left it at that. Nor too long after (Sunday 5th October to be precise) I had found an email saying "Congratulations, you have won the opportunity to meet Zoella!" and at first I was thinking this has to be one of those scam emails and they've just found out who Zoe is, it would be the only explanation I had in mind on why they called her "Zoella", sorry but hearing that name being used makes me cringe and say "Her name is Zoe, not Zoella." I had enough trouble with some girls calling her that in a store and using it disrespectfully then me having to put them in their place, but that story is for another time or you've probably already heard most of it. (And this is why I don't do blog posts often, I babble and forget my place) Ignoring the silly explanation I had for that email, I opened it and it was the real deal, the real thing. I screamed and ran as fast I could downstairs to show mother and the first question she asks is "Yeah, when is it and where?" Ahem, can't you see your daughter freaking out over here? I skimmed through the email and found the address and dates. I showed her them and she asked me if I really think she was going to take me all the way there to a place she doesn't know and I just kept saying, "This is the one time I win a competition, and I can't just throw away an opportunity like this, please can we go?" Eventually she responded with "Maybe, let's see where this place is first." and went to find out where this place was on google maps, turned out it was in the opposite direction of a hospital I used to go to a lot as a child in London, so I was a little familiar with those surroundings. I went upstairs to write the dates on my calendar and make a countdown on my phone then ask my friend (Noor) if she had won too, turned out she didn't but I knew she would love to go and since wristbands came in a pair, I thought I would surprise her on Tuesday 7th October night that she's invited to come along with me to meet Zoe. She freaked out over twitter and couldn't stop thanking me, all I could think was that I was happy to see her again and that this is actually happening.

As the days got nearer, I found myself re-reading the email, worrying that it said "You are limited to one photo with Zoella and that she will try to meet everyone but this or the wristband doesn't guarantee you will get the chance." as they were unaware of all the guests turning up, turns out; not that many of them turned up and they even had to send out more invitations so that there wasn't too little people for the meetup. When we went to collect the wristbands, although the place was hard to find and Siri was not helping at all with directions, when we finally did get there; it was a simple, show them the proof of you winning and your ID to prove it's you then collect wristbands, ask if it's okay that a friend is late, sign a forum so it's okay to be recorded, given the secret location the meetup will be held in, some rules to go by and so on, this only took about 15 minutes but Noor being Noor, we had to wait round of her to come as she was still finishing school, we went to go get fish and chips which was only outside the place to get wristbands. As the time Noor predicted she'd turn up came closer, we went to wait outside the building for her. After waiting in the cold, pouring rain for about twenty minutes, repeating the words "I'm freezing!" Noor turned up and we hugged then went straight inside to get her wristband sorted for the next day. We didn't see many people turning up to collect wristbands so we felt like we were in for the clear and this event was seeming more and more real, the closer it became.

Mum booked a hairdressers appointment on tuesday morning (the day of the meetup, great timing, good thing I started college later on tuesdays) I got some highlights done as my hair is normally a dirty blonde these days, had a wash, put in some curls, a small side fringe and a little trim. I had missed tutor time but I was able to make it for my first media lesson for the day and the next after that. As I lived further away from the place than Noor did, I had to find a way to get out of college at least a little bit earlier to make it on time to the meetup. I managed to use the excuse that I had a hospital appointment and that it was in that hospital (I mentioned before) and my teacher, being kind enough to let me, she allowed me to leave 20 minutes early when I only asked for 15 (of course, I asked her for 15 in advance to make sure it was okay) With mum waiting outside the college, I ran from my class to the car, thinking "It's about to happen, Now is the time, college is finally settled with and I'm about to go meet her." Luckily, we didn't get too lost, Noor arrived early to the event and was waiting there for me to arrive, I believe I arrived about 20 minutes late as it was rush hour on the train and the park (the location of the meetup was in a venue which was inside a park and that park was ENORMOUS, which is why I took a bit of a while to find the place and Noor)  All around the park, there were these people with signs that had a youtube logo on them and they helped us find the way but there was still quite a distance to run or walk down, which ever you were able to do. As I kept trying to run as much as I could, I came across a tennis court and on the other side of that was the venue the meetup was in, I pointed at it and mum helped a bit to find the way inside, we found Noor waiting outside patiently (little payback for making us wait I see, kidding) There were security directing me to the doors and where to go and checking I had my wristbands on. Just by the door, there was this tray of popcorn boxes which has a little youtube logo on one side and it was not too sweet and not too salty popcorn, it was scrumptious. As we went inside, we saw quite a big queue which we believe about 70 people (as an estimate) turned up, although it seemed like quite a lot at first, me and Noor went straight to the back of the line, to go along with her plan of being the last people, possibly having the most time with her. On the right hand side of the room were people arriving for another event, it was only business people so we didn't take much notice. As we were waiting, we both got the same youtubers tweeting notifications and we realised Alfie had uploaded a sims video and we had a plan of watching it whilst we waited but we didn't want to drain the batteries of our phones so we decided to wait patiently instead.

However, as time went on, it had soon passed the time that the meetup was supposed to finish (6:30pm) and people had started tweeting us saying "Have you met her yet?", all we could say is that we're still awaiting news and for the queue to move forward. To lighten the moods of (mostly) girls waiting patiently to meet Zoe, tote bags with her face on were handed out (inside these were a penguin chocolate bar, water bottle and three Zoe badges which were ADORABLE! Pieces of paper with her autograph on (since we weren't able to get those ourselves) were also handed out, my mum got one of these just incase I needed a second one or to show off to people, don't even ask me why, I haven't a clue but they had loads to give out so even Noor's dad got one. On the right hand side of the the room we first came in was a big sign of Zoe with a quote from a local reporter and how many subscribers she had in total (from her main and vlog channel), we had to wait a while for the queue to start moving and to see all of the quote, but when we had got to the front of the first room (Zoe, some other guests were in the other room which the line was heading to) there was commotion about "NARCUS, IS THAT NARCUS OVER THERE? CAN YOU SEE MARCUS AND NIOMI, IS THAT THEM?" we all looked round and it actually was them, we started getting our phones out and waving to them, then more came, Alfie popped out, then Joe and Caspar were all on that right hand side of the room, signing in for the other event. Some people crawled underneath the queue ropes to have a closer look (there was a table, a load of people working with that event and a barrier keeping them apart). Although none of us were able to get a photo with them; we were just happy to see their faces pop out of nowhere when we had only came for Zoe's meetup with no idea of them being there as well. Here are some pictures Noor was able to get of them:

I wasn't able to get that many as I was keeping an eye on our spot in line and I didn't wanna run over there, becoming an emotional mess before it had even happened. When they were just about to leave, we rushed back to our spots in line, and gave them one last wave then eeeked (do you like my new word?) to ourselves on what had just happened.

Soon enough we got to the entrance of the other room Zoe was in, meeting people and the guy guarding joked around on parents not being allowed in as they caused too much embarrassment. At first it was hard to tell if he was joking or being serious but our my mum and Noor's dad got through and walked along behind us, we came to a stop when we saw Zoe meeting other people, that was the first encounter we had of her in person on that day and we were just starstruck, almost unable to move, staring at her meeting other people was all were able to do for that moment, as well as pinching or poking each other to make sure this was still real life. I handed my camera to my mum so that she could record the moment and somehow she wasn't told off about that by security.
Our moments with Zoe were starting to begin, Noor went up first with her large bag of presents to give to Zoe, handed them to her, "Aw, that's so kind of you, thank you." Zoe had to hand them to security as she didn't have anywhere to put them whilst security tried giving them back but then they were like "Oh, they're gifts for you." and Zoe laughed then said "No I do want your gifts." and went back to Noor after the security took the bag of presents to her dressing room or somewhere, how would I know exactly where? Anyway, after Noor's turn was done, she waited around as the security was still making sure guests meeting Zoe and guests for the other event were separate, even if both the events were in the same room. Here are Noor's pictures:


Then it was my turn, "Hello." I went to hug Zoe and it was one of the best hugs ever, not too rushed and no sweat involved. It was easy to tell that she really loved meeting us all from how much she was smiling around all of us, and how much she knew we didn't want to let go of the hugs we had with her. As the hug finished, I asked Zoe if she remembered the girl who got her bambi socks (as I had to give them to Alfie at Summer in the City since tickets for Zoe had run out) and she answered "Yes." in a excited voice and I said back "That was me!" pointing to myself in delight. "I love them, have you seen all the pictures I've posted of them?" I replied "Yes, I've seen all of them (Zoe awwed and laughed whilst I was saying this) *I place my hands on my heart* and I die everytime." she put her arm on my back as a sign to start posing for the pictures, I put my hand on her back and we smile big for the cameras, when that was over she said "Thank you for coming and it was so nice to meet you." and I replied "You too." She waved, here are our pictures:

and I started walking off to Noor who was trying to stop herself from crying and being an emotional wreck but that's pretty hard to stop after what had just happened. A lady stamped my wrist with "Zoella" to say that I had met her and to separate me from that other event going on. It looked like this:
We were waiting around, waiting for our parents to realise where we were and we tried waving to them and everything, a lady tried telling us that we had to leave now but I told her were just waiting for our parents and I pointed to them as I could see them then she went to go get them, they came round to us and we started to head out, we went to lay on the cold wall to try and calm down, I collapsed being my silly self and waved to mother whilst laying on the floor. Then I got up and it was time to go, but of course none of us wanted to leave and we wanted to see if we could go to the other event just to see what was going on but of course that plan didn't work so we headed out in the cold, dark night, our parents walking behind us, me trying to comfort Noor and we headed through the park to Noors dad's car as he offered to drive me and my mum to the train station. We used this time in the car to tweet what had happened and try to keep up with all the replies whilst Noor was still sobbing, that is a talent which she looked amazing in. Looking at your phone, tweeting and crying at the same time is hard to do but somehow she managed, her dad pointed out some landmarks we were driving by, and I felt tears starting to ease themselves down my face.
We arrived outside the train station, Noor and I hugged one last time and said we should see each other again soon, you wouldn't believe the amount of times I was thanked for letting her come along but it felt nice, being there with a friend I had known from twitter and met a few times before and I had a lot of fun, more than I ever would've had if I went alone which is why I kept saying it was okay and that she didn't have to repay me as meeting in person and being friends was enough. ENOUGH WITH THE SOPPINESS NOW, okay, here comes the end. Once me and mum got in the train station, I couldn't stop talking about the moment with Zoe and how amazing it was, and how thankfully we didn't come down for nothing and no dreams were crushed. The day we had waited for, had arrived, we actually found out what it was like to hug her and see her in person and not the screen she was watched on. That is my story, thank you for reading this long thing.

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