I am spending most of July in the south west of England. My parents live here so I’m camping out in my old room. There are quite a few family events going on down here in the next few weeks, so I felt I’d stay down here for a while to save constantly going up and down the motorway, which regular readers will know I abhor. I’m fortunate in that what I do I can work from wherever. Consultancy work means that one goes to the client, and as for the media side of things, the BBC has stations all over the place so I can just pop into my nearest one to do an interview (or it happens on the telephone). Modern technology can be wonderful.
I was still in Manchester at the start of the week. My parents had to come up north for a funeral and so stayed with me on Monday night. We went to San Carlo in Manchester, possibly the best Italian restaurant that I have ever been to (and I’ve been to a few). I’m told that there is one in Bristol too (I think there are about 4 in the UK) but I’ve only ever been to the Manchester one, and I don’t want to spoil my feelings about the restaurant by going to a different branch. For any Manchester-based readers of this blog, if you go to San Carlo, I recommend the Tornado Rossini: fillet of beef with pate on top, with the meat sitting on a big crouton. Now that I type it, it sounds dubious, but it’s actually very, very nice.
Tuesday saw a journalist from ShortList magazine ring up and ask me for my thoughts on power couples/politicians’ spouses. They were duly given and I think the piece is out on Monday. Then a friend popped over for lunch (@CraigSharp). I served a Chicken Caesar Salad. Then in the late afternoon (having spent the time after lunch cleaning the guest bedroom and bathroom) I then went into the centre to meet Laura Graham (@laurajgraham), who… big news… is now my agent! I am very pleased and excited about what the future has in store.
Wednesday was the drive back to Bristol. Traffic mercifully light. Thank you, God.
Thursday I spent seeing family, as well as doing various emails and writing letters/pitches for work; in the evening I had been booked to talk to the Next Generation Women’s Institute in Keynsham, just outside of Bath. I gave them an hour of my time and spoke about social networking etiquette (for that is what I had been asked) and also spoke about my own background in etiquette and why etiquette is still important in today’s society. They made me feel very welcome and I gained some new Twitter followers from it. What more can one ask?
Now Friday I had a big urge to cook. I made my strawberry and mascarpone tart, which I have done before. I also made Battenburg cake, which is a first. And probably a last. Everything didn’t seem to be quite right. That said, it tastes lovely. It just looks a bit suspect. I won’t be defeated and I will try again one day. But that day may be a very long way in the future.
Tomorrow (Sunday) I am headed for Legoland in Windsor with my cousins. I haven’t been for ages and am really very excited. I’m probably more excited than they are. I shall report back next week how it went.
I apologise this week for a slightly bland blog – but as my friend Jay (@etiquetteguy) says, it proves I ‘don’t always live life in the fast lane’!