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A Shaw thing

Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing
While my industry counterparts were up at the Edinburgh Fringe courtesy of Aegon, I was sitting my final media law exams. I did, however, take a night out of my revision to attend the Spitbank Fort in the middle of the Solent as a guest of Webline.

Despite our best efforts to leave Paul Holland’s (in)famous (and apparently haunted) industry party on the 19th Century fort that night and get the last train home, a slightly misinformed train timetable meant my partner in chaos Mr McMillan and I were stuck in Portsmouth at 11pm. Of course, rather than wander the streets and get the first train home, we felt Tiger Tiger might be a better place to spend the evening. Luckily, our Guardian Angels Lee Greenwood of Mailock and Eric Armstrong representing Synaptic took good care of us.

Trains missed: one. Ghosts seen: none.

Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
I was amused to get a phone call from an eager beaver in the marketing department at Moneyfacts, who was anxious to learn if I had received their mailshot about the conference at the Shaw Theatre in London.

Salesman Jason was anxious that I should attend the conference and part me from my hard-earned to book a place. I explained that, as a journalist, I usually attended the annual event for free.

If I had a little more patience, I would have let him continue his sales patter and see how long it took him as he listed the names of the various speakers addressing the august gathering in order of supposed celebrity to reach my own.

To Number 5 Cavendish Square for the annual summer party of Mainland PR. Sadly absent was the firm’s founder Neil Mainland, who was recovering from surgery. Abbey’s Charlie Ansdell confided his plan for solving the pension crisis. He said he could not help noticing that the homes of the “can’t afford to save” elements who fail to put money aside for their future all seem to boast a satellite dish for Sky Sports, a service which Charlie divulges he cannot afford. Charlie’s devilish scheme involves “No Sky subscription without a matched contribution to a pension plan”. Come on, Chris Grayling, that’s got to be a vote winner for the Tories. I’m not sure that Rupert Murdoch’s Sun would back it, though.

Number of bottle green T-shirts worn this week belonging to my daughter and bearing the motif “Exeter University Symphony Orchestra 2005” since redecoration of my bedroom prevented access to my own clothes: one.

Esther Shaw is deputy personal finance editor at the Independent on Sunday
It is the middle of August which can only mean one thing – time to pack the kilt and the drinking shoes and head north of the border to Edinburgh for the fringe courtesy of Aegon. I bumped into the omnipresent Kevin Carr in the departure lounge at Heathrow still looking rather pale from a rather long day at the beer festival the previous day.

I had, rather tactically only joined the Lifesearch team for just the one pint of Old Goat on the Thursday evening, knowing I was going to need all the reserves I could muster for the weekend ahead. In retrospect, that was a good thing as by the time I got to Earls Court I am not sure that Matt Morris could even remember his own name, let alone who I was.

Back in the departure lounge, dear Kev and I – plus the lovely Jo Gornitzki – got so engrossed in conversation about important protection matters that we managed to miss the call for our flight and ended up jogging swiftly along the corridors to gate 24.

And so to the Aegon headquarters in Lochside Crescent on Saturday evening for the customary meet and greet with chief executive Otto Thoresen and his merry band of Kevin, Adrian, Mark, Lesley and Margaret over a steady flow of champagne accompanied by the rousing riffs of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

After an hour or so of rather good comedy at the Pleasance, it was time to don the feather boas and visors and transport ourselves (from the confines of the Observatory at the uber-luxurious and ever-accommodating Glasshouse Hotel) all the way to Las Vegas. Sad to say, unlike years gone by, I failed to work my magic at the roulette and had only an Aegon pen t show for my efforts at the wheel of fortune.

Number of sore heads at the Glasshouse on Sunday morning: many.

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