Business referrals, butterflies and blind dates

Referrals are the clotted cream of new business contacts.  Who doesn’t love receiving an email or phone call that introduces them to a potential client?  This week I’ve been referred to people running businesses in two of my favourite fields: wine and chocolate!!  How much more like heaven can it be than to visit a vineyard and a chocolatier in the same week?!  And both referrals came from lovely men I’ve met at networking events in London, so you see… it’s not all drinking, flirting and tripping over so everyone sees my knickers! (That only happened once!!) Many thanks Ian and Jason – I’ll think of you while I’m enjoying my noisette truffles and sparkling pink… 

If you haven’t been to the Tate Modern you might not know how lovely the walk is across the Millennium Bridge. At one end is the ugly, dominant fortress looking gallery full of wondrous artworks, and at the other stands beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral, best of British architecture and surrounded by rose gardens.  The sun shone on the river as I tottered across in another pair of unsuitable shoes.  I didn’t take an afternoon off work for fun, if that’s what you’re thinking – I was there to meet a potential business associate, someone I’d met through social media.  Nigel had found me on LinkedIn and invited me for a drink at the Tate members’ club.  Like the loveliest sort of blind date we sat on the terrace overlooking the Thames and chatted and laughed while the world floated by six storeys below us.  All work, of course.  The Damien Hirst exhibition was really something to see!! Weird or what?!  Apart from the dead animals floating in formaldehyde that you’ve probably heard about, the guy is completely obsessed with pharmaceuticals, and we walked through room after room with walls covered in pills and medication.  Large, small, illegal, in boxes, on shelves, in huge mirrored cases, twinkling and shining so prettily; it was all very strange.  His live butterfly installation proved a marked contrast to the cigarette butts and  dead flies he also exhibits.  Nice.  The centrepiece is a diamond-encrusted skull sparkling alone in a pitch black room.  If, like Deedub, you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen it; I tweeted a YouTube video of it being made.

It wasn’t really a blind date, I don’t do that (of course, being a respectable married woman…) But I did once go on one – Gill probably remembers.  I was at home in Kingswood Road, quietly minding my own business when the doorbell rang. I opened it to find a very tall and quite good looking policeman standing there looking a bit more nervous than policemen usually do.  I won’t tell you the whole conversation but, basically, he’d caught my dad doing an illegal U-turn in his taxi. My dad had whipped out my photo and said that if he didn’t charge him, he could take me on a date!!  Naturally my dad had forgotten to mention this to me, so there I stood, open mouthed in wonder, or horror – I can’t remember which.  I did go out with the policeman that evening.  It wasn’t as much fun as the Tate, but it was certainly an experience, and my dad escaped his traffic violation fine.  Sweet freedom…

“Sweet freedom whispered in my ear: ‘You’re a butterfly, and butterflies are free to fly.’ Fly away, high away…” I’m flying, follow me… @weekendwitch

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