My invitation to meet the Queen obviously prompted a stream of comments about my date with Prince William. Well it wasn’t a date, as such – me being a couple of years older than him… It was a lovely sunny day when I wandered aimlessly through Hyde Park after a meeting in Holborn. Unusually for me I’d gone out without a scrap of make-up and hair bunched up in a scrunchie, wearing ripped jeans and wrangler boots. I look reasonably ok without slap, nothing dreadful enough to scare the window cleaner, for example (apart from the shower incident last year which did end up with me telling him he’d have to marry me…) So there I was enjoying the tranquillity of the greenery when I came upon 3000 people milling around. A friendly policeman told me the royal family were due to officially open the Princess Diana memorial, so I decided to hang around and watch. Then suddenly the policeman pushed me through to the front row where Charles and Harry briefly shook my hand before William stopped by for a very pleasant chat. And we spoke for quite a while, considering he had 2999 other people to converse with. Chatting away, and I remember the conversation word for word, I suddenly noticed a giant boom hanging over my head and realised we were being filmed. I made it onto every British TV channel that night, and front page of the Independent the following day. And now I never leave the house without at least a smudge of lip gloss and a splash of mascara. So you can be assured that when I meet her Majesty at the end of the month I will be caked in make up and hidden under the largest hat I can find.
I’m naturally very excited about the whole thing – I feel honoured to have been asked to represent local businesswomen at such a prestigious affair. This is a fine example of real networking in action. I tell my strategic planning clients they should always attend local business forums and industry events, and keep in touch with their customers even during economic downturns, so their business remains front stage. As you know, I spend a lot of time extolling the virtues of social media and on line interactions, but you really can’t beat a face-to-face meeting over a full fat mocchachino with extra foam and chocolate sprinkles, and a mao feng green tea with mint. Apart from, as mentioned previously, a bottle of rosé, but that’s more common in Soho and less so in the suburbs, where I shall be curtseying to the Queen.
On Friday, in fantastic ancient stables in the heart of Shoreditch, Dieneke, who runs Hidden Art, a not-for-profit organisation supporting designers, told me that she has also met the Queen. I’m in good company. She promotes and markets some of the most amazing design concepts in furniture, lighting, ceramics and jewellery. I’ve introduced her to Mark and they can work together to help emerging designers run successful businesses with healthy turnovers, converting their creative talents into solid cash. I’m also arranging for her to meet David from Technica Solutions, the best IT networking specialist in London who, incidentally, has helped me sort out more computer problems than one person has any right to make. In fact, he advised on something yesterday and to say thank you I baked him honey cakes. Again, networking and cakes – clearly this is what makes the world go around. The business world, anyway. (Well ok, my world…!!)
So, cakes, cakes, cakes! Remember, I’m happy to provide them for any training session you would like to book, home baked to order – cup cakes, fairy cakes (Sue!), muffins… But just so you know, I don’t provide the rosé… you have to take me to lunch for that!! I rarely have lunch with Bro-Lo, but whenever I see him he’s going on about Billy Joel. So if you want to chat about work, life, 80s musicians, anything… “A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rosé instead. We’ll get a table near the street, in our old familiar place – you and I, face to face…”
If you would like to be face to face, you can find me here, as always: @WeekendWitch