Seven days in the middle of May: a more varied, demanding, entertaining week I can hardly remember and although it threatens to belie description, I’ll try. My efforts are necessary if only because, as a failed diary keeper this blog is in effect my personal memoir of things that may raise a hazy smile or few in my dotage (or some time before.)
The preliminary event is the office move, to a space double the size of the tiny fourth floor Turret that has witnessed as many years of business battles, yielding I am proud to say, overall success. Our HQ is transferring to the same spot in the same building, three floors below, a direction designed to prompt a continued, diametric rise in our fortunes.
Monday sees me packing up files and files of past efforts, many of which I archive. These include approaches to manufacturers back in 2001 when the medical device my brother invented was a persistent twinkle in our eyes; early website incarnations … approaches to investors … battles with rogue consultants (who between them could provide a source of rich narrative alone, for another blog, some other time) … and much, much more. Ten boxes of The Past are consigned to a cupboard, no longer a part of my daily environment. What remains are The Present and The Future, which happily, condense to something more promising. In short, this is a pertinent and pivotal move for the business and me.
On Tuesday, two strapping men arrive courtesy of my lovely, long-time, trusted and effective events contractor Active Exhibitions. Within two hours they have transferred everything from upstairs into the bigger downstairs; they dissemble and reassemble, they move shelves, they shift furniture, they get the job done uncomplainingly (not a bad back between them); they smile and they declare it to have been a pleasure. They are a joy.
Finance Director and I get the place settled, he installing all the techie stuff, whilst I worry about the bookshelves and how the different files will be accommodated in alphabetical order, whilst maintaining colour coordination. Because our files are identifiable by topic: Grey for Quality Assurance (reflecting the management-speak apparently necessary for this work); red for Patents and Trademarks (very important), and matt black for everything else. Our nascent HQ starts shaping up.
That evening brings the week’s highlight: a rare dinner with four Girlfriends, two of whom I have known for years whilst two are a more recent addition to my female Rolodex. As we make our somewhat sassy entrance to The Groucho dining room, I am not mistaken – heads turn. But why wouldn’t they? For with me, is the most arresting of feminine A-Teams: Raven Haired Marilyn Monroe, glamorous Psychotherapist, distinguished Design CEO and beautiful Businesswoman.
The evening flourishes; we eat, we drink, we make merry … and round things off at the bar with a post-prandial digestif. I am happy and with that happiness comes devil-may-care … The Girlfriends appear to seamlessly peel away, the company changes gender and within the flutter of an eyelash, Prosecco is being poured at a late-night Soho basement bar; conversation flows, the entertainment factor is high and I am floating in fun until eventually, most chivalrously, poured homeward bound, into a sturdy black cab.
Wednesday is understandably a little woolly, but the new HQ is knocked into touch, work is achieved, progress is made. With dwindling stamina, I wonder how I am going to cook dinner tonight for visiting Surrogate Daughter, best friend of FirstBorn, part of our contented Family? Add to this the announcement that good friend Enigmatic Engineer is camping at mine too, and a rethink to the planned Risotto falls urgent; what suddenly amounts to a dinner party is just not, in my jaded condition, do-able.
I visit Favourite Bar to consider my predicament over a reviving glass of Cava; the Beta Boys are out in force and, as ever, provide the advice I need. Eat there. This is exactly what we do, and deliciously so courtesy of one of the Best Chefs in the UK (a view corroborated by the British Library.) At around ten, we head home. EE and SD want to dance, so we dance. I abandon them none-too-soon and drift asleep to the distant sounds of Motown and animated conversation downstairs.
Thursday: EE treats us to breakfast at The Rivington, after which there is much to achieve in the office. FD and BK (Bookkeeper) required me to comb invoices, payments, statements, confirm cheques and balances. I must also prepare for the RSM Urology meeting in Southampton, sprung on me earlier in the week. This involves a train journey and dinner tonight with the well-connected medical industry expert Count Fraisie (blogs passim) and his French colleague Pierre. I prepare, I visit, I meet, I dine, I converse, I laugh and somehow I wake refreshed.
Friday sees me chatting intently to Consultants from some of the most august medical institutions in the land who are, to a man and woman, impressed with our Peezy MSU system. I obtain numbers, e-mails and interest in adopting our exceptional preanalytical device. I receive enthusiasm over our new male version, currently under development and return to London heavy with opportunity and happy with progress.
On Saturday morning, after a civilized sleep-in, I embarked upon a brand new adventure and visited super-helpful local nursery Growing Concerns to procure evergreen shady shrubs for the recently acquired planters in my yard: Fatsia Japonica, Bergenia, Trailing Fuchsia and a beautiful burnished Acer tree, not to mention the herbs.
Since when … since when I pottered as any Domestic Goddess Par Excellence might; I have been swimming, tidied the house, laundered, shopped, cooked, read the redoubtable FT Weekend (published I am certain, especially for me) and dozed my way through a pedicure.
And so Sunday night finds me, against the odds quite rested in preparation for the week ahead. On which note: if there is a God, may she provide less crazily spontaneous drama than experienced in this frenetic week gone by …
But somehow … please … may I have just as much fun?
© Giovanna Forte