My diary has been packed with events this last month. I guess that’s just the start of it, in the run up to the festive season. I always wonder why there appears to be more invitations to gatherings during this portion of the year than at any other? I haven’t done the hard scientific research on this one, but I’m sure I’m right. Maybe because we are all busier, it feels like we have more commitments?
I’ve been more successful at attending some of those events than others. Like the Chocolate Week Festival that was happening in West London recently. I had friends and old colleagues from my time working in the industry (as a chocolatier running my own chocolate events) who were at the festival, and I had arranged to meet them there. Who can refuse the opportunity to taste chocolate?
Plans made and tickets secured, we made our arrangements to meet. I rushed home after work to shower, change and head off.
As I rushed out the door and took my first steps towards the lift in my apartment building, I suddenly had a feeling that something just didn’t feel right. What was it? I couldn’t quite think.
The it hit me. The keys in my hand, that’s what didn’t feel right.
I looked down and – sure enough – they were the wrong keys. As this moment of realisation dawned and indeed came into full and glaring view in my mind, I simultaneously heard the soft click of my front door closing securely behind me just as I spun on my access and reached out my hand to stop it! Why those moments always happen in slow motion, I’ll never know, but it did!
In a split second, another wave of realisation passed over me – this time it was the fact that I was now locked out.
I had the fastest mental debate in my head about what to do. Should I just go out, as planned, meet my friends, and deal with being locked out when I returned much later that night? Or, should I stay where I was and call a locksmith there and then?
Honestly, I was so close to just going out and dealing with it later. You see, I had been working hard for a number of days in a row and hadn’t really had an evening out for a couple of weeks – and I really wanted one. Besides, what about all that free chocolate I was going to be sampling?
Common sense prevailed though. I called a locksmith and arranged for him to come round. I then had to call my friends and cancel as the locksmith couldn’t give me an exact time of arrival. I was gutted. When the locksmith finally arrived he took all of 90 seconds to break in, which was both pleasing and worrying in equal measure! Worst was still to come when I discovered that his 90 seconds of work (and my several hours of sitting on my doorstep and waiting) was going to cost me in excess of £150! A costly mistake, to say the least.
Other social events were not so troublesome though. I have wanted to go and watch Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) for some time now and I eventually managed to get some tickets. So I recently got to see our democracy in action, something I think everyone should do at some point in their lives.
We were restricted in terms of photographs and electronic devices, but I managed to take one quick pic before we entered the chamber. You’ll have to take my word on the pomp and ceremony of the Speaker. How they entered the chamber with the ceremonial mace led by liveried men and women in stockings, starched shirts, and bow ties. It really did make me think of the hundreds of years of debate, argument, and lawmaking that’s happened in those hallowed halls. It was actually a little humbling.
I got to sit in the gallery inside the chamber, rather than behind the glass of the Public Gallery. The atmosphere was buzzing. As more and more MPs arrived, the hubub grew. The noise levels were almost akin to the terraces of a football or rugby match. It was boisterous and loud!
Whilst there was a lot of theatre and pantomime in the process of Prime Ministers Questions, which at first can seem like a trivialising of the gravity of the discussion, there was some real and meaningful debate on both sides.
A few days later, I was back in Westminster, in the crypt this time, for a baptism. Again, no pics as requested by the celebrant. We could take pics for our personal use, but not for posting on social media, so I am respecting that request. All I do want to say is that the crypt in Westminster is stunningly beautiful and ornate in the extreme. It’s gilded in gold leaf from end to end and it has some of the most exquisite mosaics. It’s definitely worth a visit if the opportunity ever arises. A very special place.
Oddly, upon returning home from the baptism, I noticed that the nursery school next to my building was using Richard Jackson’s Compost for their plants in their little garden that they grow there so the children can learn about nature and the seasons.. That Richard Jackson gets everywhere. Lol. It was so unexpected to see it. I don’t know why, but when I buy something from QVC I am always shocked to see someone else with it! Makes no sense I know, but what can I say?
With Halloween now out of the way and November 11th fast approaching, I wanted to mention The Poppy Collection® at QVC. Jackie and myself hosted a show together last week that was dedicated to the range. It was about so much more than that though. It was also about remembering all those, past and present, who have served their country, as well as highlighting The Royal British Legion and all of the good works they do, not just in November but all year round.
Lola Rose, Kipling, and many others have The Poppy Collection® items that are definitely worth checking out. As the Royal British Legion have said, they don’t mind how you wear your poppy, as long as you wear it with pride.
Remember, a third of the sale price goes directly to The Royal British Legion and Poppy Scotland to assist them in the work they do. Over the years, this collaboration with QVC has raised just over £1.5 million, and this year we hope to raise approximately £250,000. Every penny helps to support and fight for those who have fought for us and others. Please get involved if you can.
Until next time,