Renee

Old friends, winning awards and psychedelic chocolate cake

Nicky and I met on our first day at college.  We’d both caught the wrong train and met up at the wrong station going the wrong way.  It turned out we were both signed up for English Lit, although I never attended the lectures, choosing instead to spend my afternoons in the photography lab.  Strange that I ended up with a Masters degree in Linguistics and couldn’t take a decent pic if my life depended on it. She’s got three degrees, so I guess we both found our way in the end…

We took psychology together but, while I was dipping films in a chemical bath, she was studying drama – with Alan Davies, with whom I fell in love, unrequited, and draped myself around during the never-ending lunch breaks in the refectory.  I could share my photos of him on social media now, but they’re old and faded; you can imagine how many fingerprints covered those proof sheets after he became famous!

There was no social media of any kind back then – computers were for spacemen and PacMan.  How different our lives might have been had not Winston raved about his Saturday job in Hamleys, encouraging us to sign up for weekend work selling balloons.  There was a small computer department there at that time – yes, Pacman – also Aliens.  No one was sure they’d take off….

After a year of unbelievable and unmentionable fun in the world’s best toy shop, I started my career in fashion while Nicky ventured off into the police.  We kept in touch for a few years, partying with Marion, then our lives diverged and Nicky moved up to Newcastle. Friends Reunited brought us together in 2004 for a brief breakfast in Vegas but we hadn’t seen each other since then.

hamleysSo a Whatsapp call out of the blue led to this weekend of frolicking (as much as women of a certain age are able…) through our old stomping ground of London’s Regent Street and surrounding areas. Gill joined us for our trip down memory lane – better known as Carnaby Street.  It’s a buzzing, trendy area that’s never lost its charm, despite losing the psychedelic orange paving stones.

The hour we spent in Hamleys generated a lot of laughter.  We didn’t realise at the time, but one of our old colleagues still works there – 38 years of service – how many people can beat that??!

‘Lunch’ was eight huge wedges of chocolate cake with a few dollops of ice cream and a generous squirt of sauce at Choccywoccydoodah – one of my favourite London cafés.  We all shared nicely and brought home the remainder for Sunday’s afternoon tea.

This week has started well with the news that four award applications I wrote for clients have all been shortlisted! So I’ll be attending a finalists’ celebration dinner next month in a swanky venue with wine and more delicious food.  Nicky commented that she ate more during her time with me than she’s eaten in the last whoever knows how long!! Perhaps I’ll switch from a social media blog to a food one…

Barbee, Beard and Shelby (otherwise known as Shalamar, but I like the sound of their names), said these very wise words: “If I had a dollar for every time that they have stood by my side helping things turn out right, I would be a millionaire.  And my wealth they would share ’cause I’d be nowhere without my friends.”

blog april 19Never a truer word.  Marion and I have worked together on and off for 33 years and she’s a fantastic asset to my business.  Wishing her a very happy birthday today!!  If you’d like to know what Marion does to keep our social media clients happy, ask me here: @WeekendWitch.

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