Renee

Being 17, prison lunches and the marvelousness of LinkedIn

I fell in love with Andrew when I was 17 and in charge of the balloon department at Hamleys. He was blond, trendy and more than a bit whacky, working on the computer games counter which, in those days, was still a very new concept. The romance lasted a week and the friendship a fair while longer, as he lodged with Marion in various properties across London where we partied plenty and cooked blue food.

Andrew vanished from our lives once we started to grow up, and neither Marion nor I had any contact with him after about 1985. We didn’t forget him though, and often laughed about our youthful shenanigans over a bottle of Baileys or whilst wandering through the Scottish hills.

Imaginative Training | social media blog | social media training | Plain English training | Plain English editing | copywritingThen last week, everyone started posting ‘throwback’ photos on Facebook, and a hoard of smiling late teens / early 20-somethings started to fill my timeline. In choosing a suitable photo to add of myself, I came across one with Andrew; Marion and I laughed about it, again! But it spurred me on to find out if he was a) still alive, b) in the UK and c) well, never mind what we were wondering.

How amazing is LinkedIn??! Well, I can answer that in a professional sense, of course, as I run training sessions on its marvelousness – so a quick input at bedtime and three seconds later Andrew’s face was smiling up from my iPad. The exact same face, slightly older, hair a darker shade of dirty blond than the bright yellow of the 80s – and a beard! But the same nonetheless.

Whilst everyone thinks of Facebook as the hub for seeking out old friends and LinkedIn for professional contacts, they can naturally overlap.  Within 24 hours Marion and I had reconnected with people we’d worked with more than 30 years ago. We’re not planning to meet up, although it turns out that Andrew moved to Australia decades ago, so if an invitation is forthcoming, Marion and I will be quite happy to blog, tweet and post from Brisbane. Not that we’re hinting or anything…… (It’s pure coincidence that Preston Morley at Winchester Hawkins arranged my world-wide travel insurance only yesterday!)

This coming week’s quite busy, with a networking event today in Bank, dropping off my poetry artwork for next week’s New Home exhibition at the Mile End Gallery and lunch at Brixton Prison.  Yes, really!!  The Clink is an award-winning restaurant run by the ‘guests of Her Majesty’s establishment’ and has fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor.  It’s a brilliant concept that’s generated much press attention and even won the OFM award for best ethical restaurant 2015.  (I liked this Guardian review.)

Incidentally, I was in Brixton last week Imaginative Training | social media blog | social media training | Plain English training | Plain English editing | copywritingtoo, to place a bunch of budding daffodils along with the thousands of other floral tributes at the Bowie memorial wall.  Very touching for a DB fan like me, but I’m not going with Bowie again for this week’s closing lyrics…

Instead, trying to think of a suitable prison song, my mind kept returning to Chicago, (possibly) one of the best musicals adapted for the screen, in my opinion. With Brenda Edwards being (possibly) my all-time favourite X Factor contestant, and she playing the part of Mama Morten on the west end stage, I thought game, set and match.  However, on reviewing the lyrics, they could (possibly) come across as being a bit rude (possibly).  Knowing that there’s a good chance my mum will complain, I’ve decided to go with it anyway – the cleanest verse, at least…

‘Got a little motto, always sees me through – When you’re good to Mama, Mama’s good to you!  There’s a lot of favours I’m prepared to do – You do one for Mama, she’ll do one for you!’

Off stage I don’t actually believe in tit for tat.  I’m always happy to help out where I can.  It’s equally true in business – to a degree!  If you need help with your social media and you’re a genuine start-up or small business on a tight budget, call for a chat about what we can offer you this spring.  As the daffodils grow, so can your business.  Ring me on 020 8551 7077, or ask me here: @WeekendWitch.

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