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A shaw thing

Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing

Usually, the thought of working on a Saturday fills me with dread but when it involves sitting in the sunshine at Twickenham courtesy of the wonderful host (and Facebook virgin) Rick White, one cannot really complain. Thank you to the Invesco Perpetual lady whose Clinique sun cream I kept using, surely to her annoyance. Much appreciated.

A request by The Money Portal’s Alan Easter (or rather his eternally patient PA Natalie) to go to the Gaucho Grill was immediately usurped by Alan’s desire to visit Benihana in Piccadilly. No complaints as it was fantastic, with its chef’s sushi-acrobatics, and my choice of peppermint tea was immediately thrown out in favour of a double Hennessy. Ah well, I did have the day off afterwards.

Having tried in vain to get my esteemed politics and regulation reporter Mr McMillan into a “massage parlour” (but Paul’s just not that kind of man), we ended up at Madame JoJo’s. It is becoming a rather regular haunt – particularly when I am out with a certain young lady from Lansons.

Journalists lost: one, momentarily. Beers spilled: just the one.

Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist

Skandia Cowes Week dawned inauspiciously. Not only were there were no croissants – or indeed any other baked goods – at Chelsea’s Bluebird Cafe in the Kings Road, where our excursion started, but the banquette at the supposedly upmarket eaterie had been slashed by a vandal leaking stuffing on to my trousers. Perhaps Pigeon Caff would be a better name for the establishment. It was raining, too.

The trip over to the Isle of Wight was, however, fabulous. We rocketed across in “Centime”, a four-year old Fairey Swordsman 40, a replica of the 1960s’ powerboats that featured in the James Bond film From Russia with Love. On arrival, we drank bucks fizz on the roof terrace of Harbour House, just down the road from the home of Dame Ellen MacArthur. The seafront house is being used as a sales office for Number One The Parade, Cowes’ ritziest new property development, and has spectacular views over the harbour and the events of the day.

At lunch, we were joined not only by the ineffable designer and marketing whizz David Liney of Samphire Marketing and various bods from the Pimento Group, who are undertaking the Number One development, but also the mayor of Cowes, who turned up in full regalia. After a post-prandial turn round the Solent in Centime, it was time to return to Blighty a trip dramatically delayed when first mate Simon Chides missed his footing while tying up, plunged into the briny and had to be carted off to A&E with a suspected broken ankle. And everyone thought it was me who would end up in the drink.

Close encounters with starting cannon: quite a few. Heart attacks narrowly avoided as a result of reports from said ordnance – the same number.

Esther Shaw is deputy personal finance editor at the Independent on Sunday

To the Royal Exchange restaurant with luscious Lansonette Lisa Stanley for a long overdue catch-up over a civilised glass of pinot. “We must remember to eat this time,” she’d said to me in an email earlier in the day but as we nibbled delicately at some olives and pitas while ordering yet another bottle, it was clear the (until then) civilised affair was about to take a nosedive.

Elsewhere this week, the chic yet cheeky Kevin Carr has been running a journalist competition inspired by the launch of vegetarian life cover – encouraging us hacks and hackettes to think of a country that can be amended to a food type, “vegetarian or otherwise”. Dear Kev set the bar with Hamerica and Porktugal and I was rather pleased to throw Caliquornia into the mix. But one of the entries which must urely be among the front-runners for first place was Pakispam, which had poor Kev in tears, I’m told.

Number of nappies changed by London & Country’s new proud dad David Hollingworth: many. Both mother, father and Hollingworth junior are all reported to be doing well. And James Cotton reliably informs me that young Harry is “cute.” Like father, like son.

Number of IFAs who have brought to my attention – since reading this column – that they used to play with John Hannah as a child: one. The dashing Donna Bradshaw, of course.

Number of celebrities cohabiting the same hotel as Dominic “Polecat” Hiatt of Glowbe PR in Majorca: one. But then it was Bob Geldof.

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