Square Mile Salute is a charity set up by my friend and colleague Anne, with the aim of delivering a night of fun and laughter that celebrates all that’s great in the city while raising money for some worthwhile causes that support our servicemen and servicewomen. The sumptuous banquet she organised jointly with CSARN at the Honourable Artillery Company was fantastic with amazing food, gorgeous flowers and incredibly interesting people.
At the beautifully dressed and perfectly laid table, Ben looked to his left to greet his dinner partner, only to be faced with… a dog! (No, I’m not being bitchy about anyone.) We had the pleasure of Allen Parton’s company along with his assistance dog EJ (Ben’s new friend) and another lovely creature who is deemed to be the cleverest dog in the military family! As well as the standard jobs these dogs do, such as loading the washing machine, using a cashpoint and getting their owners into the recovery position, this canine lady can sense Cancer and pregnancy, and makes a fuss of the relevant person. Fortunately she didn’t fuss around me. The woman who went out of Masterchef last week was saying she has one daughter of 35 and another of 2 – born when she was 50…. Just imagine that!!!
Anyway, the evening was a roaring success, raising over £50,000 for four very worthy charities, including Soldiering On Awards. Comedian Tom Binns was exceptionally funny, providing the entertainment in character and keeping the hall giggling throughout. The champagne helped with that too…
I’ve walked past the Honourable Artillery many times, and wondered what was going on as I peered through the wrought iron gates. Soldiers in uniform playing cricket in the heart of the city, a fairground (!!) and some very impressive architecture. Now I know. This magnificent Georgian house set in a five-acre garden houses a charity set up by Henry VIII to support the Regiment which bears its name. It’s a lovely estate and it was certainly one amazing night!
The venue can be hired for private functions and I’m thinking about running a social media workshop there. I’ll need to be organised though, I’m guessing that everything there runs to military precision. I ran a social media training session recently for businesses based around Liverpool Street and Shoreditch. Although it didn’t start until 9 I like to leave home very early to get parked at the station and beat the crush of morning commuters. So I arrived an hour early and, it turned out, without any make-up, without my hairbrush and without reading glasses (an item that is becoming more of a prerequisite as each year passes).
I’m running a series of 121 sessions this week – hopefully a bit more pulled together! I’ll be all over London, from Spitalfields to Westfield to a barn on a river by the A10. It’ll be fun. I love working closely with businesses to help them generate more activity on social media. I’d have quite liked to have worked with Henry VIII to help promote his artillery too, although probably best to have steered clear on that one. (I can fire in a fairly straight line as it happens.) He’d have had an interesting LinkedIn page, that’s for sure. As would EJ the dog…
Wise man Tom Bailey said, “Diamond rings, and all those things – they never sparkle like your smile. And as for fame, it’s just a name that only satisfies you for a while.” Sparkle online – and keep smiling – ask me about it here: @WeekendWitch.
(Thanks to Roy Strutt for the lovely photos.)