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The National Council of Psychotherapists

Est. 1971


(Or, Bringing Down the Tone of the Place).


Sometimes this is the way to be – no matter what you think the outcome is going to be, sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way so you may as well get out there and get going – just do it!


Such were the thoughts in my mind as I eyed up the entry form in the vets surgery. Cats Protection Rescue Cat of the Year Award for 2004. “I’ve got lots of recycled animals” I thought, “maybe I could enter a cat for a laugh”.


So I did. Wrote some words about how Biscuit is, where she came from (unwanted in North Yorkshire) and why I think she could be the Personality of the Year – because she wasn’t a survivor of horrible events, hadn’t travelled huge distances on her own, and hadn’t made a remarkable recovery against all the odds, so those were not the categories to enter. Popped the entry in the post; thought no more of it. Certainly not taking it seriously at all. We’re never lucky like that, nope, not us.


Until a phone call. “please can you keep 31st March free…awards ceremony…invited…tell me about Biscuit…”.


Then the official invitation card – to the London Savoy Hotel for drinks reception and lunchtime meal.


What on earth am I going to wear???


Then newspapers started to call for interviews, TV crews turned up for footage… something odd going on here.


So to the day, travelling by train, directing the black cabbie to go to the Riverside entrance of the Savoy please (best voice here), and being totally amazed at the number of people here. Celebrities included – hobnobbing with the hoi-paloy. What a hoot!


And so to lunch. Superlatives inadequate here, suffice it to say they sat us at the back – do they know me from somewhere already? So move on to the awards. Listening to heart-rending stories of cats tortured, starved, rescued, physically healed and still being content to be with humans despite all that went on for them.


Suddenly, it’s the category we entered. Best Personality, judged and presented by my lifelong hero, Sir Patrick Moore, watching him as he stands noble and tall, describing each nomination, and unbelievingly hearing him say that after much thought the winner had to be… Biscuit!


Walk up to the podium in a daze, collect the trophy from Sir Patrick, think quickly of something to say that won’t sound stupid, thank folks, spend the rest of the day even more dazed and bemused. Meeting Anthony Head, Pauline McGlynn, answering photographers calls to “look this way please!”.


Then travel home, bringing wonderful memories of a fantastic day – all brought about because of thinking way back then “oh what the heck, just do it! Just for a laugh”.




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