Taxi contracted to BLV arrived at 9am. I opened the passenger door; the driver snapped 'In the back!'
I waited silently until he'd cleared all the detritus from the passenger seat and sat there. Silence for the whole 35 minute journey
But from then, it was pure delight. A professional studio with all the bells and whistles. Photographers (still and video) filming every move. Several more people arrived; we were each posed for multiple shots, mock up scenes (playing Braille Scrabble) and groups.
We were interviewed for podcasts, brochures and TV/radio adverts, asked our opinions, our history and ambitions and made to feel very important.
Ages ranged from about 10 to late 70's; the dogs were a little younger.
One experienced guide dog, Imogen and one ebullient puppy, Orissa who was still teething, loved everyone and showed it. I was in heaven.
Before I arrived I had absolutely no idea what this was all about. I'd been told I'd have my photo taken but no idea it was to be a full-day professional photoshoot.
We had lunch: gigantic wholegrain sandwiches, the bread a chunky 2cm thick; no one could get their mouths around them.
Wraps (I still don't know what they are made from, rolled out and dried wallpaper paste perhaps?) filled with delicious salads and meats.
All the foods were neatly labelled with contents.
I chose a roast beef salad sandwich which turned out to be ham and cheese. My neighbour picked chicken and found she had roast beef. I don't know what traumas the vegans suffered.
We jettisoned the doorsteps and enjoyed the salad innards.
Fruit kebabs followed.
There had been, since our arrival, coffee and tea on tap and a table full of supermarket mass-produced muffins, cakes and snacks but most people, self-included, ignored them.
It was a wonderful day and for me at least, the dogs were the best part. I spent most of my free time stroking and cuddling two gorgous Labradors, something one is not generally allowed to do with working dogs but they were having a day off and loved it as much as we did.
Home by 4:30 tired but very happy.