Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Carmen flies a Concorde and wins an award!

I know what you’re thinking, how the hell did she do that, they don’t even fly anymore? Where did Carmen even get hold of a Concorde? And what relevance does this have with Dravet? To reveal this I will have to tell you a little story.

Last Friday (10th May), Carmen was invited to attend an event run by the Students Union of her university, something called the Made a Difference Awards. The reason she was invited was because she was, in fact, nominated for one of the awards! The award she was contending for was Chelmsford Student Rep of the Year (the campus she is based at), as voted for by the Staff at the Students Union. Naturally, Carmen was delighted to be nominated for this award and wanted to attend. Carmen was also kind enough to invite me along as well, to enjoy the celebrations (I think she secretly didn’t want to be without my hilarious wit and banter), and me being the gentleman that I am accepted the invitation to escort my lady to the awards (it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that there was a 3 course meal and wine at the awards as well).

The Made a Difference Awards were held in Duxford at the Imperial War Museum and we travelled up their by car (the real reason I was invited: as a taxi driver). There were three of us in the car, myself, Carmen and one of her friends. When we arrived and went in we were greeted with glasses of sparkling wine and appetisers (which I certainly didn’t need as my appetite was already pretty good). But the main highlight that you cannot fail to notice when walking inside is the 200 aeroplanes the building contains. You see, Duxford Imperial War Museum is set in the grounds of the WWI and WWII airfield, so is dedicated to aeroplanes. But it does not only play host to planes from the first and second world wars, but also more modern planes as well, of which the Concorde was one of them (The first part of the mystery is revealed).

Us at the awards - please note both in purple to promote Dravet

We then had to find out where we were seated, as everyone was assigned their own seats. We were on a table with 7 others, and our table was situated right underneath a fighter plane! This gave the table quite an enclosed feeling, although it also made it a bit on the dark side (not like Darth Vader). The evening was quite nice and started off with a speech from a member of the Students Union. After that had finished, the thing I had been waiting for (as I was very hungry by this point) arrived; the food! But I was a little disappointed. The starter was rather on the small size, the highlight for me being the bread rolls served with it, but luckily the other courses made up for it (see below).
Our tiny starter with two bits of ham
Main course - Chicken and Potato with veg

After the food, the presentations started. Unfortunately, on our table we were fairly near the back, so it was a bit hard to hear what was actually being said, but when it came to Carmen’s section we strained extra hard to hear. The announcer read out the nominees for Carmen’s award, and then, after a short pause announced the winners’ name. The name being ‘Carmen Neagu.’

Carmen had won the Chelmsford Student Rep of the Year award! I was so proud of her, she totally deserved it; and I’m not just saying that. She worked her socks off trying to represent all her classmates’ problems and queries associated with their course, which unfortunately were many. But she did her upmost to help them, and lobbied for them at meetings, and took issues further when they needed to be. On top of this all, she was a volunteer Student Trustee on the board of the Students Union, and was president of the volunteering society.

I don’t want to turn this into a Carmen worshipping post (although I’m sure Carmen the Modest wouldn’t mind that), but if there were more people who put themselves out like she does for other people, then the world would be a much nicer place!

Carmen receiving her trophy and framed certificate
But back to the main point of the story (I get distracted easily, just ask Carmen). As Carmen won she had to go up to the stage to be presented her trophy and a framed certificate with her accomplishment on it. After being presented with her awards, (which you can see above) Carmen was taken away by someone. When she vanished I said to Carmen’s friend, "she’s disappeared, where did she go?" We had no idea. Then about 15-20 minutes later, Carmen comes back to the table with a big smile on her face, jumping up and down like she does whenever she is really excited, and she said to us, “I’ve sat in the cockpit of the Concorde!”

On hearing this, of course I was jealous; it’s not every day something like that happens. I shall forever be in envy of this. Apparently, all winners of awards that night were taken up to the Concorde, and a pilot let them sit in the cockpit and have their photo taken, and he would tell them a bit about the Concorde (There is of course proof of this event in the picture below). The rest of the night was finished up with a disco, where I shall refrain from telling you all about my legen…(wait for it)…dary dancing skills, before then heading home at just after midnight.

Carmen in the cockpit of the Concorde
So that is how Carmen got to sit in the cockpit of a Concorde. Okay, so maybe she didn’t quite fly it, but it was the next best thing, and still not something that many people will be able to say they have done. If you have, then like Carmen, feel free to rub it in my face.

On another positive note though, whilst at the presentation awards, Carmen did a bit of mingling with some of the staff and students, and did a bit of promotion work, telling them all about our cycle ride and why we’re doing it. Due to this, a couple of people agreed to sponsor us and spread the word around, so it was a good evening all round.


  1. Diana Plugaru (Oprescu)24 May 2013 at 10:23


    Felicitari!! Sunt atat de mandra de tine!
    Te pup cu drag si multa bafta!

    1. Multumesc frumos Didi!!
      Voi avea nevoie de multa bafta ;)

      Te pup si sper ca esti bine!

  2. Bravo Carmen !! Keep up the good work !


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