I was lucky enough to share a box of chocolates with Pauline Quirk this week. I’d been invited to her dressing room for a glass of wine after watching the penultimate episode of Birds of a Feather being filmed at Pinewood Studios. You may think the show is funny, but the camaraderie between the cast is much funnier. Forgetting lines, sneezing, ad libbing, bursting into fits of laughter – the whole filming process was incredibly entertaining!
I’d gone along with Mark, Henry and Jane – long term friends and business associates of Pauline and her family – they’re her accountants, and mine. (Thank you for the invitation Henry!!) We knew we’d be invited to an after-party in the Green Room but I hadn’t realised that it was Lesley Joseph’s birthday, and we were invited to celebrate with her. I didn’t have cake but the prawn sandwiches threw themselves at me despite my aversion to bread…
Lesley Joseph’s character has a style all of her own, and she looked kind-of-amazing on the set. 70 years old in FM heels (extremely high and spikey!), satin leggings and crimson lipstick; the irony wasn’t lost on me.
Anyway, in Pauline Quirk’s dressing room, while I was not drinking wine and instead munching my way through her choccies, I asked the obvious question one would ask a British institution of an actress: can she get me Rob Lowe’s phone number?? Well, yes, she can, but no, he won’t want a date with me – he’s been happily married (allegedly) for over 20 years, but he does have a son…. Okay, but you can’t blame a girl for trying. So that potential date is now crossed off my list. Might set my sights on Damian Lewis next…
I also chatted for a while with Katy Cavanagh, who played Julie in Corrie. Gill and I used to talk about her retro dresses with their gorgeous cupcake designs. I saw them once in Camden, but they were too pricey to justify as a one-wear item. Maureen Lipman, on the other hand, is not a one-time lady. She was sporting an olive green cardi that her mother knitted in 1964 and which she had worn on her first day at drama school! I’d have liked to have chatted to her, but it was that or grab a chilli chicken wrap from the diminishing buffet, and the chicken won.
I missed out on wine at the party, as I was driving part of the way home, but made up for that at a wine tasting evening on Friday. The Barbican held this Virgin Wine event, and my friend took me as an early birthday treat. I was careful! Not being a seasoned drinker I realised that 162 ‘tasters’ are probably equivalent to around 40 glasses of wine.
It was very funny watching the people around the room. They arrived after work, mostly dressed in professional clothes and sounding very knowledgeable about vineyard etiquette, oak smoking, autolytic bouquets with depth; flabby, grassy, jammy, toasty… As each hour passed the laughter increased, conversations became louder and more slurred, less wine-related, and people stumbled from table to table, forgetting which country produced which wines. It made for some interesting networking…
I stuck with red and made my choices wisely, interspersing my alcohol with the nasty Italian crackers that are supposed to ‘cleanse the pallet’ and would probably be delicious spread with thick butter and a slathering of creamy brie. I managed to stay within acceptable limits of giggliness. My friend not so much. I was chatted up by a charming and handsome doctor-turned-software developer, to whom I willingly gave my phone number in exchange for him seeing my friend safely onto his train at King’s Cross.
I saw UB40 several times at Hammersmith in the days when you’d go in clean and innocent and come out high on other people’s spliffs. Not sure what Neil Diamond would have made of that?! ‘I’d have sworn that with time, thoughts of you would leave my head. I was wrong, now I find just one thing makes me forget.’
If you’re running a business you don’t want anyone to forget! On the contrary, you need to present a clear image that they’ll remember. If you’d like to know how social media can help your brand awareness, ask me here: @WeekendWitch.