Yesterday I got up really very early 😠 for a Saturday morning and took myself off to to Alexandra Palace 🏤. I have been there once before and I can tell you it is VERY FAR from Wandsworth. I walked 🚶, got a train 🚂, got the tube 🚅 and then a bus 🚌 and finally made it. However my journey wasn’t over – some very suspicious security people 😎😎 finally let me into the Palace 🏤 (I’m an exhibitor, I promise 😇) and trekked to the other side of the Great Hall 🚶🚶, to discover my Mother 🙎standing on a table amongst a number of canvases 🎨 and a lovely vase of daffodils, witch hazel and camellias 🌼🌾🌺. There was a reason for the table standing – she was setting up for a day of tourism trade excitement, as High Beeches Gardens was exhibiting at Excursions Exhibition 2016.
The exhibition interestingly shows all sorts of attractions based in the south east – so big names such as the Tate Galleries 🎨 and Royal Collection were there, along with small independent people like us, and even some magicians (although I am still confused by their presence). It’s a odd mix of exhibitors – landed gentry (who have an ‘attraction’ on their estate) pottering about it tweed jackets, the rather aloof RHS organisers wandering about in zipped up fleeces, the travel company owners in crumpled shirts and ties, and the odd Roman soldier…
Anyway we were sharing the stand with Bolney Wine Estate 🍷🌳 for the day, and we had a lovely time on stand SE23, with only a few small confusions ‘so you are a vineyard and a garden…’ No – for the record – High Beeches is just a garden, Bolney are just a vineyard – but we are 15 minutes down the road from each other, so please do come and visit both in one day, you can have lunch at either.
I have spent a number of days on stands at trade fairs before – mainly at Kensington Olympia with Gabs handbags 👜and Elia B shoes 👠 and once in Milan. Milan was one of the most amazing and overwhelming experiences ever – there was many, many halls the size of Kensington Olympia next to each other and just filled with shoes👠. So many shoes 👠👠👠. It was truly wonderful. David who I worked with at these fairs is an absolute stickler for ‘stand etiquette’ – the stand must be tidy at all times, no sitting down, and always a keen eye 😳 for any passing potential handbag 👜👜buyers. I think I did you justice David, I did keep the stand tidy (removing the endless empty tea cups) and I did accost a number of potential garden visitors, although they are certainly a very different sort….
The visitors to the fair appeared to be fairly officious retired older ladies 👵 (members of U3A are the most terrifying, the WI are kinder), flogging tours to other older ladies 👵 who need entertainment. ‘Ohhh we do love your garden 🌳but it’s a bit too hilly 🗻 for our ladies’, ‘What a lovely garden, can we fit you in with another attraction as a nice day out’ (Yes we’ve already told you Bolney Vineyard 🍷 is down the road…) ‘Oh we do love coming to you, such a good cream tea ☕️🍰’.
Anyway is was a super day, I met an owl called Twiglet 🐦 (he was quite sleepy), had a delicious Bombay Sapphire gin cocktail with the Mad Hatter 🎩and Harry Potter 🔮(apparently they do tours of Oxford), and learnt quite a lot about wine 🍷 from the lovely Charlotte of Bolney Vineyard. If you grow the grapes in England – it has to be called English wine not British wine. British wine is when they buy the grapes from another country but make it in England. AND very kindly Goodnestone Park gave us a little pot of their honey to take home 🐝☺️
Today I went cycling 🚴in Richmond Park 🌳which was great – I haven’t done that much proper exercise for quite sometime, and my fellow cyclist certainly put me through my paces. I dug out my Sweaty Betty trackie bums and looked sort of athletic (the glittery Bimba and Lola trainers were maybe a little overkill – but there is something very satisfying about overtaking lycra clad cyclists whilst wearing glitter) It was a wonderful day out and we sat in the park and had a coffee ☕️ and then cycled up ‘just a small hill’ – it was really very steep 🗻 and I may not be able to walk tomorrow. But it really was a super nice day.
This evening I have been editing some copy of a website 💻which has yet to be launched, which I have enjoyed immensely ☺️. I spend rather a lot of time ‘thesaurusing’ words and it makes me realise I need to read more 📕. Lots more📕📘. I think I need to set myself a reading goal – so will report back when that is in place.
Tomorrow we are having a Burns 🔥 dinner, which is super – and I am very excited 😊😊. We have given all the guests one verse of the ‘Address to the Haggis‘ to learnt off by heart to be recited tomorrow evening – you better all be practicing your best Scottish accents!! 😉