Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing
Having just about recovered from the Headline Money awards, the week was interrupted with a very packed Wednesday meeting some of the key figures in the IFA sector, including the always smiling David Harrison, now of True Potential, and Burns-Anderson’s CEO Mike Hughes, who are both now firmly entrenched in the MMTV hall of fame.
With the televisual feast over, I had to (literally) run over to Thinc Group’s Vintner’s Place offices in the rain. I was running very late as I had totally lost my bearings as my normally reliable navigational skills always seem to fail me in the City. Thinc’s PR Richard Stephenson kindly talked me to the right postcode and all was well and good as he greeted me in his usual calming manner.
A missed opportunity to visit one of my favourite restaurants, J Sheekey, was sadly hijacked by a panicked phone call to run back to the office but James Evans from Norwich Union and myself settled for dim sum at Ping Pong next to the office.
Then there was my erstwhile colleague “Crazy” James Salmon’s leaving drinks on Thursday at Nellie Dean in Soho. It was a PR and MM staff frenzy, with the cherished company of compliance guru and singer extraordinaire Adam Samuel, who did not succeed in getting us all to Madame JoJo’s.
Maps misread: One, very crumpled and wet from the rain.
Games of pool played: Half a game (I nicked Press Association’s Matt Williams’ go).
Nightclub jaunts avoided: One, for this week anyway.
Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
To the Chelsea Flower Show, where I discover that my home is already blessed with the last word in garden design. It looks like the desert landscape of Mars, with absolutelyzero effort on my part.
After battling through the crowds for an hour or two, I drop in on Halifax, who are offering refreshment to florally sated hacks and assorted MPs in the “hospitality village”. There I clink glasses with the omnipresent Simon Read, the people’s money editor, whom I have spotted shovelling down yet another HBOS canape.
At dinner, I am surrounded by women, who all seem to be MPs. Feeling a little overwhelmed by prandial proximity to so many of those whose gold-plated pensions we provide, I ask my other delightful neighbour if she is an MP, too. “No, but I’m an MP’s wife,” she trumps. She turns out to be Wendy Fallon, spouse of Michael, MP for Sevenoaks and former Lord Treasurer under John Major. Garden designs viewed: multiple. Blisters on feet:also multiple. Glasses of refreshing Champagne: A sufficiency.
Esther Shaw is deputy personal finance editor at the Independent on Sunday
Over a glass of wine or two at lunch with the bubbly team from price comparison service, Confused.com, it emerged that the youthful PR manager Jennifer Rose was celebrating her birthday – er, 21 again, of course. We felt it was only right to tell our waiter so that he could place a candle or two in the appropriate dessert but on soliciting his opinions on the cheesecake, he replied: “Oh no, don’t go for that one – it’s not that great and we usually end up scraping half of it into the dustbin.” Ah well. At least we couldn’t go wrong with a candle in the cheese selection.
Later on at lunch, we got on to the subject of the latest beau in the life of Confused’s managing director Debra Williams, who it seems is on to a bit of winner. It transpires that in recent months when she found herself caught up in a traffic jam and concerned that she would not be able to pick up her daughter from school, he sent his private jet, no less, to collect her from the hard shoulder to ensure she made the school run.
Elsewhere, while out for dinner and drinks with my dear boss Sam Dunn, and other Sindie colleagues, I was surprised to see this PF editor extraordinaire struggling to remember his Pin number when it came to paying up. It was not until he’d failed on his first two attempts that I, rather fortuitously, looked over his shoulder and realised that he had completely unwittingly been trying to foot the bill with my card rather than his own. Good to see the nation’s finances are safe in our hands then, huh?
Reported sightings of Dan Judge, post-Headline Money Awards at the Chesterfield with his top off: Some.
Bottles of Champagne sent to me to congratulate me on my award: Several.