Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing
Having returned from sunning myself on a very relaxing holiday in Ibiza, one week back at the MM offices soon beat the holiday vibe out of me.
The blow was softened by a last-minute invite to the New Wembley to see England beat Russia in the qualifier on Wednesday night, where I enjoyed the company of Smithfield PR Richard Stephenson and Thinc Group’s director of mortgages Alex Murray, who amused me no end.
Our half-time drinks were well earned after the 14-mile hike around the stadium back to our table in the restaurant but they were no sooner received than we got the call that we had to return for the second half.
A poorly informed waiter told us that we could take the plastic cups back to our seats so we doubled up the beer order but were then stopped by security. While Richard and I – neither fans of “downing” beer, had to let ours go to waste, the more wily among us (Alex, that would be you) managed to sneak them in.
Crazy Russian ladies who spilled beer down my back: one.
Starters the boys had while waiting for my very late arrival: four each, apparently (but I think they were probably just being polite in excusing my lateness).
Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
It is not often one gets to meet one of the world’s greatest right-arm leg spinners and a glamorous Bollywood actress in one evening. But I found myself one minute chatting to the great Anil Kumble, the Indian cricketing hero who puts fear into the hearts of batsmen, and the next hobnobbing with Shamita Shetty, sister of Big Brother’s Shilpa, and a screen vedette in her own right.
I have to confess that Kumble is the only person I have met who has a city centre traffic feature named after them – he gave his name to Bangalore’s Anil Kumble Circle, at the junction of St Mark’s Road and MG Road.
The glittering event was the opening of the new offices of Easiprocess, the outsourced back-office operation of Kent Reliance Building Society in Bangalore. The stars of stadium and screen, both locally born, were guests of honour and caused a few hearts among the staff present to miss a beat.
The following day, it was back to the airport for a three-leg, 30-hour journey to Newquay via Dubai and London. Chris Taylor, chief executive of title risk insurer London European, kept me entertained with his witty conversation during the flight to London when we were not both asleep and he insists that I report he did not snore once.
Types of curry sampled while in Bangalore: countless.
Number of gardeners employed in the grounds of the Leela Palace Hotel: 1,000. No wayward fallen leaf was ever allowed to lie on the ground for more than a minute and even the stones in the ornamental ponds were polished by hand.
Esther Shaw is deputy personal finance editor at the Independent on Sunday
Just when I thought I had recovered from the shenanigans of Sam “I’m loving being a househusband” Dunn’s leaving do, I found myself at the Hammersmith Apollo sitting beside my former partner in crime, accompanied by the Mail’s ever gorgeous Guy Anker, Mortgage Strategy’s Leah Milner and Mortgage Introducer’s Angela Faherty.
We were there to see Ricky Gervais, courtesy of PF’s own undiscovered comedic talent, Jason Wyer-Smith, John Franklin and Scott “David Brent” Mowbray of Virgin Money fame.
At the end of our post-Ricky dinner, Angela and I decided it was too early for our hosts to return to their Hammersmith Travelodge Express for the night and, to be fair, they needed little persuading to get into a cab bound for the centre of town and legendary Soho venue Little Italy. There, we talked shop over a Sambuca or two and worked our magic on the dancefloor to some of Frank Sinatra’s finest.
Hours of sleep had at the end of the night with the Virgin massive: two. Emails received the morning after stating simply: “I’m not talking to you Esther. You make me do bad things.”: one.
PR s who have spent time visiting virtual brothels in Second Life – all in the name of research for a client, I’m assured: one.