Pssst. Just Do It!

#JFDI

Do you ever have a crazy idea and say “Wouldn’t it be fun to...” Well I said to Flo, “Wouldn’t it be fun to go to the Lemon Festival in the south of France...?” We have a bit of a ‘thing’ about lemons in #MatExp And a bit of a ‘thing’ about #JFDI. So we #JFDI-ed. And went to the Lemon Festival. 🍋🍋🍋

We like good omens in #MatExp. Finding a Shoes poster, and a friendly member of the airport staff offering to take our photo next to it at Heathrow, was a brilliant start! 👞 👟 👠

I have been along this amazing coastline before (recently went to the wedding of a wonderful young couple in Monaco!) so I made sure Flo had the window seat – what a view! 🌞

It was Lemon o’clock when we arrived in Menton. Lemons were everywhere!

Shoes AND lemons!! 🍋👞👟👠🍋

If life brings you lemons… 😂

A beautiful spot to stop and relax and take in the early evening sun

The next morning, everything was very lemony indeed! I have a theory that if you go looking for something, you will find it. 🍋 A lemony boat! 🚣‍♂️ 🍋

Lemon HQ!

A nice salad (Salade Nicoise) and a lemony drink. We were having a great time – and the Lemon Festival hadn’t even begun! 😀

The perfect excuse for ’meetings’. “I can’t, I’ve got a Lemon Festival !” 😂

We enjoyed posting clues on Twitter as to where we were and what we were up to! Lots of our friends were following our lemony adventures!

I have a very poor sense of direction. Left to me, we would still be going round in circles. But Flo was on the case. We arrived at a lemony paradise.

There were some extraordinary creatures. We marvelled at the care and attention that had gone into designing and building them. We wondered how many people had been involved, their roles, how they had worked together. Making something special. A bit magical. Just like #MatExp.

Huge fun! 🍋🍋🍋 The spirit of #MatExp was everywhere!

We couldn’t quench our thirst for all things citrus. Sporting our new lemony hats, we returned to see how different the lemon displays looked at night! 🍋

Quelle transformation! 😉

Quick Flo! Don’t miss the lemon bus!! 😂

We didn’t catch the bus. We walked back along the front. We enjoyed watching the boy racers with their little cars - the whole weekend had a lovely uninhibited atmosphere, Everyone doing what made them happy! 💜

It had been a long day. I went to bed with John Lemon.

We swotted up on lemony facts ahead of the main #LemonSummit. Fascinating! 750,000 rubber bands to hold the fruits in place. 12 people constantly replacing deteriorating fruit! 🏃🏾‍♀️ 🍋 🏃🏼‍♂️ 🍋🏃🏾‍♀️🍋 🏃🏼‍♂️ 🍋

We checked the pickup point for our bus back to the airport. Just as well! Diverted by the lemon parade!! 👀

We bought real lemons from the beautiful market stalls

The stallholder kindly took a photo. 🍋 We both managed to hold the lemons so that they were hidden by the leaves! We’re not used to leaves on lemons.

We were fascinated by the posters with the stories of the diverse people involved in setting everything up!

Whose hands? Why the ‘worry beads’?

How many years had Eric done it for?

‘Just’ a lemon - but a vital part of the whole. You could detect a sense of pride, being part of something put together by such a large and dedicated community. The analogy with #MatExp was everywhere.

I could tell that the Flo was starting to get a bit anxious about the number of lemony photos! (I have the same problem with @MrWhoseShoes) But it is a good job someone keeps me on track so that we actually arrive at the main event! 😂

We were thrilled with the number of people turning up for the plenary of our Lemon Summit. We were heading for our #MatExp VIP seats but stopped off to talk to some of the international delegates.

How lovely to meet this wonderful Israeli family, doing an extended ‘hen lemon tour’! A birth doula, a dietician and family, all wanting to hear about #MatExp #WhoseShoes!!

Security was very tight!

Phew! 😂

We were just in time to see our opening speaker at the #MatExp #LemonSummit, Sarah-Jane Marsh, sprinkling the fairy dust.

Someone tried to upstage her by wearing a very similar dress! 🍊 🍋

There was an important man with a beard.

Can you recognise our other main speakers? It made a nice change from lots of men in suits!

Extraordinary effort in some of the outfits! And, look closely …

There were a few gatecrashers. People will go to any lengths to get into the Lemon Summit! 🍋

One of our main speakers gave a fascinating talk about conferences. How this one was different. How sometimes you just hear the same old things …

But there was a lovely carnival atmosphere, and no one took anything too seriously!

Other people were having lemony fun too. We couldn’t believe it when @BeciWard tweeted this from the NHS Youth Forum!

You could really see how the care every individual had taken, contributed to the whole. Fantastic and totally beautiful experience! 😍 Like the sum total of #MatExp #WhoseShoes pledges!!

Our Lemon Summit was reported in all the quality papers.

And Zoe @4AdsThePoet informs me that I am now going to be known as Dame Lemon of Leamington. Who would have thought? 😉

@WhoseShoes Dame Lemon of Leamington.

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