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A shaw thing

Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing

Despite having had to turn down at very short notice an invite to Goodwood, courtesy of Invesco Perpetual (sorry Rick), I assure the I team I will make up for it on Saturday at England v Wales at Twickenham. Promise.

I do not know about the rest of you but between the weather, the RDR, the numerous mergers, acquisitions, trade sales and launches, there has been no such thing as a “silly season” even remotely on the horizon yet.

Not to worry because we are loving every minute of it.

Thursday saw me lunching at a lovely new find, La Trouvaille, just off Carnaby Street, with one of my personal favourite PRs (and by the way, he is a fantastic dancer) Richard Janes from HBOS. We admired the serenity of the surroundings, moaned about how quickly time is flying (are we getting old?) and enjoyed the grilled sardines in lovely and very French surroundings.

Number of times we had to tell the waiters “we’re not quite ready yet’: four (but we were aiming for five). Silverstone souvenir bag-spot by Steve Young from Sesame: 1 (yes, I am one of those people that uses a free giveaway bag, I admit it).

Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist

It was always going to be a bad idea to set off round the M25 for a wedding in deepest Sussex with a techno-phobe husband at the wheel and the spanking new SatNav I won in a Headline Property draw at the beginning of the year freshly out of its box.

Not only did we get caught up in a major traffic hold-up, which rendered us stationary for four hours just before the Dartford crossing, but one of us managed to press the “Home” button on the SatNav by accident. This meant that, once we had crossed the bridge we found ourselves back in the tunnel and had to cross the bridge yet again – about an hour later because of the traffic and three pounds poorer because of the tolls.

We arrived at the wedding of Sunday Express property editor Jane Slade – for which we were invited for lunch – at about 6pm. We sat in state among the cleared tables in the grand marquee as flunkies rushed round and served us with a variety of – delicious – leftovers and much cheering Champagne. Guests included Channel 4 financial guru Jasmine Birtles and “TV Annie” Davies, two of my fellow writers on the Independent on Sunday, and Neil Mackwood, founder of the website 08004homes.com. Sadly, we had no option but return home via the motorway , so left before the dancing, prepared for the worst – and got home in less than an hour.

Hours spent in the car for a three-hour round trip: about eight, swear words uttered at Dartford: more than I knew I knew; glasses of bubbly on arrival: nowhere near enough but more might have appeared desperate.

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

I am very pleased to say the rains had cleared ahead of the Cartier Polo on Sunday, which meant I did not have to resort to teaming my strapless little beige number with a pair of wellies. It felt positively hot as my plus one and I made our way through the pashmina’d picnicking masses to the hospitality tent to join Abbey’s polo-loving Anthony Frost and the delectable Natalie Eyles for a glass of Champagne and a light lunch. With thirsts quenched and appetites sated we took our seats, rubbing shoulders with royalty and cheered on James, Henry, Luke and, er, Nacho Gonzalez.

We partook in the “treading of the divots” at half time although I missed the fifth “chukka” queuing for a pint of Pimms. By the time I made it into the China White tent, I could barely recognise my plus one, let alone any stars of stage, screen or sport who may have been strutting their stuff.

After a delicate Monday, I was able to sip just the one glass of Pinot with Charcol’s tenacious Katie Tucker and lovely Lansonette Susannah Walker-Robertson during lunch at Sri Nam on Tuesday. While conversation began with talk of Hips, interest-only mortgages and foreign currency mortgages, Katie impressed us with her tale of chatting to Red Dwarf’s Chris Barrie at a black tie awards do – and engaging him in conversation about, er, his mortgage.

Number of vodka Red Bulls consumed in the China White tent: double figures. Number of fights nearly entered into in the taxi on the way home when some scallywags tried to steal the windscreen wipers: one. Number of journalists who have described me as being “quite big boned for a vegetarian”: one too many.Any Out of Contexts or Diary stories? Send them to Diary editor Sam Shaw, email: sam.shaw @centaur.co.uk or telephone: 020 7943 8042

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