Friday was AMBA day. I had a leisurely breakfast and got ready, and my CP Michelle Styles blew in like a whirlwind and off we headed for the luncheon. We got off at Green Park and couldn't seem to find Kate Hardy until Michelle phoned her and was told what she was wearing as Kate was waving at us, lol. We headed to the RAF club and the fun began!
I met so many wonderful people, including Fiona Harper, Abby Green, India Grey, Carol Townend, Sharon Kendrick, Natalie Rivers...the list goes on and on. And I'm chatting and having a drink near the bar when I hear a voice behind me...."This MUST be Donna." I turned to find Kate Walker, gave a squeal and was enveloped in the best hug EVER. It was just...yes girls here's that word again...Lovely.
Lunch was very nice...I was odd man out and had the saffron noodles which were quite enjoyable, and after the main course I had to switch tables and ended up having a great chat with Karen Walker, the internet marketing rep from M&B. We had a question and answer period which was very informative and then we went to Selfridges for tea.
I bet lots of people were cursing me as I wanted to walk. It was a long way but I knew I wouldn't get to see anything on the tube! In fact we saw a rather grisly scene along Park Lane as someone had jumped from the Hilton. At Selfridges I had to buy a new pair of tights and I also bought a christmas ornament for the family - a tradition we seem to do a lot when we travel.
From Selfridges it was on to the Oriental Club in Stratford House. What a fabulous time. Literally - a bottomless champagne glass. Which became crystal clear when I was talking to Jo Carr and managed to slur a word and was horrified at myself. Nice thing is everyone is in the same boat and she just laughed. It really is a relaxing time and I got lots of hugs and have to say I simply love the editorial team. Not only glam but so very nice and FUN! (waves to Lydia, Jo, Maddie, Kim and Lucy if they happen to read!) I did miss a few editors that I hope to meet next time around.
And I had surprised myself at the lack of sentimentality - I'd expected to cry at lunch....and then Kate Walker was accepting her pin for her 50th book and I looked around and saw where I was and who I was with and got all teary. At which point my CP hauled me away to meet Jo and Jo had to put up with my trying to put myself together. She thought it was sweet that I was affected so deeply. But really...this was a dream come true. It really was. THis is a pic of me with my editor, Maddie Rowe. I'm starting to look a little tired...and warm!
After the reception a group of 13 of us departed en masse to Browns for dinner and a private room which was a great thing for several reasons...most of all the raucous nature of our group!
And there were tears at the end...I had to say goodbye to Trish Wylie and India and Abby and Natasha Oakley...and to Kate. And what Trish started with her hug, Kate absolutely finished as someone pressed a tissue in my hand.
Michelle and I had Biddy's flat to ourselves for the night and stayed up wayyyy to late talking. But a talk that was long overdue.
I'm going to leave you with a picture from dinner, featuring glamour in the form if gorgeous India Grey, and look in the background. That's the cheeky Julie Cohen...and that picture pretty much sums up our time!
Thank you, ladies (and Babe Magnet) for a most wonderful, memorable day. I won't ever forget it!