I had secretly sneaked over to my mums house on Monday (2.5 hours drive from here) to meet up with my sister and her two kiddlies (a 2 hour drive for her as well) and dad let us into the house whilst Mum had lunch with her friends. She had no idea we were all going to surprise her on her return and she broke her heart with happiness that we did that! Of course then I get choked up, my sister gets choked up and mums friends ball their eyes out. Then my brother came over later (he had to work but it was 1.5 hours drive for him) and we were altogether and happy and celebratin'.
Like I say all was perfect.
Then my sis went home (cry, cry) and we came back from a restaurant to settle in for the night at Mums.
And I was emptying the car, on my own as everyone had gone in to eat cake.
Then I tripped over.
And in my hands was my prized Macbook Pro and on my arm was my prized D200 complete with my most favvo 28-70mm Lens.
Forget that I was almost dead in the middle of the street.
For before my very eyes was the end of my 28-70mm lens life and the beginning of the end of my mac book.Hmmm, nice wound. I suddenly am catapulted back to being 8 with grazed knees like that. Classy.
Although now it seems the camera is in full working order (it took the following pics) and I am still alive and Mark, Belle and Eddy are healthy so that's all that matters right?
And of course Im insured.
But do you ever wonder where the rewind button is?
And here we are on Weds with a chock block full blogging session about to appear before your very eyes.
**Hang on, let me send the dog out. It smells rather stanky in here. That dog is a danger to the ozone and all my belongings**.
Hmmmm, fresh air and Maya Gold chocolate suddenly replenishes the green mist.
Anyway, I want to take you back to last week and finish off telling you about my trip to London. Id written about Tues and Weds but need to finish Thurs, Fri and Sat.
Clare and I woke up for breaky in our fake fabulous hotel. There is one small room appointed for the residents in which to scoff the first meal of the day. To be honest, this room is a bit spesh. It has a rather ornate table with extra groovy ornate chairs to match. There is a beautiful sideboard finished in gilded mouldings and beneath it lies a glass cabinet filled with accompaniments you would expect to line a dining table. It is dated but in a very antiqued fashion and I quite like it. When Clare and I sat down we noticed that amongst the furniture was this rather ugly piece of unfabulous furniture which did not match the decor. It had that fablon style lining and on each shelf were doyleys and a tray of cutlery. We commented on how much it was hurting our eyes. The waitress/porter/clerk/cleaner came to our table and took our order. She asked what would we like for breaky. We had a choice of cereal and toast or cooked breakfast and toast. And cooked breakfast consisted of one egg and one rasher of bacon. Not one to moan (much) I opted for the cooked breakfast because after all I am made out of lard. Whilst the waitress had gone to cook our breakfast, Clare nudged me on the shoulder and pointed in the vicinity of the ugly cupboard.
And we both burst out laughing.
And I mean squealed with laughter (and leaked a little, eeeks).
That ugly cupboard was being lowered through the floor and we then realised that ugly cupboard was actually a incredibly groovacious dumb waiter. And when the cupboard had gone, all that was in its place was some flooring which was the top of the cupboard.
And I didn't take a picture because I was dead on the floor from over laughter.
Then the waitress come cook come prime minister brought our food and she said nobody had laughed at that event before but she was smiling and was probably thinking we were only allowed out from the sanatorium for a week. She tossed her head back and laughed and flicked us a few toffee's to see us through the day.
We took the tube down to Westminster from Sloane Square. It was oh-so-cosmo taking the tube to work. I used to travel by tube to work in 1992 for a while when I lived in Nottinghill. I don't miss the soot up my nose nor the heat of the tube. I certainly do not miss horrible body odour from commuters holding the hand rail nor having my face shoved into some matted beard of a really smelly man.
Wouldn't you agree that there is at least one smelly man on every tube or is it that I attract said smelly man complete with halitosis and BO?
Upon exiting westminster we were met with the sight of the Houses of P. You just can't top that big ben fella with his glorious, proud flanks of amazing architecture. Clare and I stood for a while taking in this wondrous sight as everyone else hopped, skipped and jumped about their daily business.
We got to the QEII centre in good time, unpacked 17,000 boxes and made the table up for the guests to arrive. Clare had designed two lovely cards and we were expecting 200 guests that day and 200 the next. All taking home two mags and £9 worth of products. Every one of our guests thoroughly enjoyed their Design Objectives experience and it was a pleasure to meet them.
That night we bummed around Chelsea harbour and ate out in a fabulous thai restaurant where I tried buffalo (posh beef) and chatted with some great people from Jolly Nation, Personal Impressions and QVC themselves.
It was then back to our fake fabulous hotel for Clare and I and I really couldn't wait to go to breakfast again. Just to laugh my head right off its shoulders.
The day pretty much went like the day before but with even more lovely guests to share a joke or two with. I even got to meet the mother of Sam Nixon (from The Bill) who is as craft daft as the next man. The end of the day saw us wrap up the show and whilst being at the end of the room next to the Mic's, clare could not resist getting up and having a sing song. i kid you not, the girl has got balls of steel and she had everyone in fits of laughter as she sang "and now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain.......". That then ran into a Back street Boys track I can't recall but by then I was gasping for air from laughing so hard. She is so much fun to be around. I love working with her.
Of course we had to celebrate the end of a good show with a few drinkie-poo's so it was over to the nearest "pab" as they say in Landan. Ooooh did I get a little bit wasted or what? We spent most of the night with Dawn and JJ and some darling girls from QVC. It got to about 10 and we had not even had tea so we scurried over to Drury Lane to this amazing and I mean amazing and I don't lie about this kind of stuff restaurant. I have never been anywhere so theatrical, fabulous, cosy, enlightening and superb. Its a Turkish restaurant that's all close and cosy. There are little wells filled with tables and cushions and above those wells are mezzanine turrets with more tables and cushions. Its the most spectacular place I have ever sat in. The food was not completely fabulous but it was just so fun to sit quite intimately and casually around the most groovacious table ever. Wine and conversation flowed and it was one of those evening where you just don't want it to end. But of course they do. Anyway, Its called Sarasota's on Drury Lane. Go there and be happy :)
So it was back to our fake fabulous hotel for one more night and I did not want to get up at 5.30am to get the train to Kettering to work in a shop all day demoing. the though filled me with dread because I was knackered.
Had to skip our breakfast due to catching the train at the crack.
It left at 6.30am prompt and I was prepared to get an hours shut eye on the train before Traci picked me up and whisked me off to Prima Crafts in Warwick. Two seriously grumpy guys got into a kerfuffle on the train and I stood up between them (bold as brass but secretly crapping my pants) and asked them to not be so aggressive. They could see the fear in my eyes and they took their argument on the platform where they were arrested shortly after by the transport police. It got nasty, shall we say. I mean what could I do, a girl has got to catch up on her beauty sleep. I wasn't about to let two guys fighting over luggage space ruin my zzzzzzzzzzzz's.
Traci met me at the station with a lubbly coffee and we set sail for Warwick. I wondered how I would manage to stay awake. But you know, when I got there and freshened up and slapped a bit of mazzy on, it was all systems go. I am so pleased that the shop had a record selling day running out of Flocking and Big Bytes. The shop owner, Emma, really enjoyed the demo and I enjoyed being in the company of Rosie and Hannah who kept filling me up with conversation and cake. It was a fabulous little shop with the nicest of shopkeepers and customers. I'm so glad I went and I wouldn't have swapped it for anything.
Traci then picked me up and took me to her house where I went to another Thai restaurant with her daughter too. Traci is such a delight to be around and I couldn't have asked for more perfect days than these. Except of course when I flamin fall over and smash all my bones and belongings.
Pappa poo pants :(
Anyway, Friday (just gone) and QVC.
Holy shag bags, I had the train journey from hell.
My train was due to arrive at 12.30 which meant I had 1.5 hours to luxuriate in the smog of Landan.
I took my phone to be charged on the train (you know, they have sockets!!!!) but when I sat down and took out my charger it turned out to be my old charger for my old phone.
And my phone was dead.
And the train was already an hour late arriving which meant I had half an hours grace to get to Chelsea Bridge from Euston upon arrival in Landan.
Fine, I thought.
I had a tube ticket prepaid to ease the speed.
Speed is not a word Virgin understand.
God bless him but Richard Branson has not got a scooby on what its like being a third rate passenger on what is commonly known as the Pandolina service (meant to be very very fast). Except I think it was called "Piss-about-ina" that day.
Every conceivable thing that could go wrong on a journey, did.
We ended up skirting round the midlands to avoid a points issue and there was me, frantic and trying to cope with this guy who was complaining most audibly.
"I wanted to get the carriage that had one man on it and then he had to be asleep" he said.
"Yup, and I bet you also wanted a gold encrusted seat complete with a personal masseuse too - on a Friday. Aint happening babe." I thought.
Then he huffed and puffed when a baby started crying.
And inwardly I started crying.
I was going to be very very late.
Had I of known morse code I could have sent kinetic signals to QVC or indeed tied a note to a carrier pigeon to fly direct and deliver my "please excuse me".
The guy sat opposite, who I thought was Irish and turned out to be Canadian (who had just spent two weeks in Ireland and had lost his accent so quick....random) offered me his phone to call my hubs. Only his phone was still connected to Canada and I had to fathom how to call the Uk from his phone even though I was in the UK. V. Weird indeed.
I rang mark to call every one at QVC, even the porters, cleaners and key grip guy (I love the term Key Grip. No idea what it entails but I think i want to do Key Grip and see my name on rolling credits at the end of a film). Mark duly rang everyone to tell them i was going to be horrendously late thanks to Richard Bransons major branded company being a complete failure.
I ought to have known booking a virgin train was trouble. The reason why I know this is that when Ellie was conceived, she indeed was conceived through the failure of a Mates condom (also made by Virgin...... condoms by virgin - how frikkin funny is that?)
I know that is TMI but there you go - trivia is power.
Not that Ellie is a failure, mind.
She is a major success in my eyes.
Mark does all the PA stuff and QVC and Dawn know I am late and v. peed off about it.
I listen to gold encrusted guy moaning about the air quality on the train, I listen to Irish Canadian guy talking about his life (He was, to be fair, a great guy but I was seeing red throughout the rest of the train journey and I was desperate for a wee and the train lavvies are hardly hygienic, even after a good bleaching).
So we arrive ten thousand years late and I hail a cab. I lift up my arm and rain clouds of sweat pour from the anxiety of it all. Cab driver whisks me to QVC and dons his gas mask. And chunders on about all the famous people he has had in his cab but to be fair I did ask him the question and the most famous people he had in his cab was Guy and Madonna - and even then he said they were arguing. No shocks there then, Heat magazine clearly write the truth!
16 sheets later and Im in QVC and in the green room waiting to be called forward. This woman comes over to me, a little wisp of a lady she was and asks am I the make up artist.
No I am not. For I am a scrapbooker. Why, even a life artist (he he heeeeeeeeee).
This lil wisp was Lulu Guinness as she introduces herself to me.
I have heard of her before in Heat magazine (the mecca of all juicy goss and all things spangly). I explain I knew of her name. And she casts a glance over at my handbag and my bag is only a little carry tote and is not strikingly fabulous so therefore she has inwardly labelled me as a loser. I could see the glint of disdain in her eye over the shock of her ruby red lippy.
She only makes v. expensive bags and is showcasing them later that night on telly.
They all sell out in 25 minutes.
400 sheets a piece some of them.
And she didn't offer me one although I think she ought to have for mistaking me for a make up artist. That's sue-able in my eyes and only comforted by a very expensive bag in all honesty.
Didn't happen though.
Liked her bags and loved her uber cool presence.
I get called up for my screen test.
Im quite composed at this stage but inwardly shagged off that I was late.
And it was noted that I was late.
Although they knew I was gonna be late.
So Anthony is my presenter and I get miked up.
The young guy (miking me) practically fainted at the prospect of shoving his hand up my top to feed the mike through had his eyes bulging to the sound of claxons. Classy but cute, I think. I offer to do it myself. It is, after all, a tricky business to get that mike into po-zish.
And they run VT and Im being talked to like they do on the telly!
"Look mum, its me....." I think to myself.
And I manage to get through it using words I normally tongue tie over.
And I am a little nervous but not overly cacking it.
I am displaying Basic Grey layouts from a made up kit to look like I was supposed to be helping to sell it.
It all goes well.
I don't die.
I don't eff it up.
But my cheeks start to burn although I do think it was from relief.
And then it all ends.
And I get the feedback from the gallery saying "a-ok".
And they present me with a copy of the VT.
(watched it later that night and as a result its nil by mouth forever. The camera is not forgiving infact its a nasty little sod and it adds a million pounds although my skin looked fabulous. Have to say that QVC is not HD but will be soon so then my skin will look relatively cack).
Afterwards I meet Clare who had previously had her screen test and successfully passed.
And then we hail a cab to Harrods to meet Dawn and JJ for a celebratory coyk and then back to QVC to help set up craft hour and watch a live show.
God did we have such a scream doing that. We had approximately 45 seconds to whip up 10 cards although really we had longer but it felt like it. I got to play with the melt pot which I LOVED IMMEDIATELY and would so use again. We also got to go to the gallery to see how everything comes together and I was fascinated. You can see how many callers were ringing and how fast the products sell out which they mostly do. Dawns show is a very popular show and she has an army of crafters who just adore their craft. Horses for courses and judgling by the massive cardstock pack at the begining of the show, Im not suprised those little gems sold out.
After the show we went out for a lovely meal on Fulham road then back to our hotel to watch the VT on our complimentry Mac computers in the room (tres swish). I can totally recommend the City Inn at westminster for a night in London.
The next day Clare and I lounged in our room and woke up looking incredibly stunning for our jaunt around Covent garden. As well pulled up to a nice little eatery I saw JK Rowling at a table near by and almost died on the spot. She is just such a heroine to all her readers, more than Harry Potter himself. I admire her and the need for privacy so we didnt bother her whilst she was eating lunch. I did take a picture of her from afar (ive masked out the face of her daughter here) and whilst it was tempting to flog the picture to Heat magazine for like 16 million pounds, I thought better of it.
Clare has "chipped teeth!".
The hunter gatherer.
Started his new job on Monday.
Its just me and the dog from now on at home all day.
Belle is my Mommas for two weeks then her nanna's for one week.
Time to do some much catching uppy.