I HAVE been mingling with the magnificent lately. Well, if you call meeting an Olympian and a cookery writer magnificent and to be honest, in each instance, I do.

To the first encounter and I take you to a thoroughly filthy Saturday afternoon in Penarth. The children and I had been running in the rain from shop to shop on errands, increasingly like a damp dog and her soggy pups. We eventually sought refuge in Waterloo Tea, my son determined to have a wedge of their chocolate and avocado cake, my daughter dreaming of scones with jam and cream and me thinking: “Coffee, coffee would be good, coffee is needed, must have coffee...” whilst feeling a bit guilty asking for it in a place unashamedly stating that the focus is on tea.

Drenched, we bundled through the side door and saw both that the cafe was full and that we were in the eye line of Colin Jackson - Cardiffian, Olympian, hurdles world record holder and ‘Strictly’ star. The former and the latter most interesting to me, but I appreciate everyone has something about Colin that most impresses them. He was engrossed in conversation and we were like three soaked stray cats, mewling at the cafe incumbents hoping someone would take pity and shift out their seats. Colin Jackson’s athletics achievements are impressive and he always comes across on the telly like a good ‘un. My son does athletics, so, wrestling with myself and feeling rather awkward, we approached him and thank goodness, he was incredibly gracious. He chatted to my son and agreed to a photo and we headed back out in to the rain happy, and found cake at the Waterloo Tea on the Pier.

A few days later, now battling snow, I met my mate Amanda and we met Matt Pritchard, aka ‘Dirty Vegan’. Another Cardiffian, plus skateboarder, endurance athlete and the presenter of the BBC’s first vegan cookery show. This was a little less sprung upon him and more “booked in to see him at The Glamorganshire Gold Club in an event organised by Griffin Books”. Like Colin, he came across as gracious and happy to natter.

Privacy is such an important thing. We should all have the right to a private life, in my opinion, regardless of our profession. I still feel bad about interrupting Colin’s lunch for precisely that reason. I worry about how much of ourselves some of us are giving away and how our children will grow up in this world in which the personal is often public and any notion of private is eroded with every data breach scandal or new social media platform. If I ever see Colin eating again, I will let him enjoy his meal in peace, I promise. But I must thank both Mr’s Jackson and Pritchard for their grace, charm, understanding and patience, all qualities to respect and aspire to, in private and in public.