Thursday, 19 November 2009

Shop Girl on the Case

Today we visited the Fashion and Textile Museum.
Me, Petra and the Date.
We wanted to be certain everything would run smoothly on the night.
The launch is all I think about and have done for weeks. Every minute of the day.
I'm e-mailing as if it's just been invented, spreading the word with the efficiency of a tummy bug.
Of the many things I've learnt this week, the most important is this:
When organising a book launch don't assume anything.
For instance: don't assume the colour of the wine you've ordered is compatible with the venue.
"Nothing red," our contact said.
I wasn't sure what she meant at first.
We weren't allowed to wear red?
But my launch dress was red!
I couldn't believe she was referring to wine.
"We're having red and white," I said, to clarify.
"No, there can't be any red."
I gazed at her blankly.
Did she hate red that much?
Couldn't she just ignore the people drinking it?
"There can only be white drinks," she explained, "because of the exhibition."
I'd only just upped the wine order. It was being processed at that very moment.
My mind went into a panic as I wondered how I could stop it.
"Usually we only have white wine or champagne," she continued.
I held on to that thought for a moment.
Then let it go.
We headed to The Woolpack after that and coaxed the owner, Michael, out of his office.
"You're joking!" he gasped, looking dumbfounded. "What do you mean only white drinks?"
He'd promised us 20 litres of hot Pimms.
That was now out of the question.
"What about Vodka?" we wondered.
"Mixed with?"
Thoughtful silence.
"What about soft drinks?" he asked.
The museum had suggested Elderflower cordial.
"That's alright if you like flowers."
Despite the hiccup, we left the Woolpack feeling confident we'd find an alternative.
Next Stop: My Shop.
Petra, theatre designer by trade, has been determined to give this lauch a wow-factor ever since she found out I was getting published.
Petra plus Mum and you get a pretty dynamic team.
Within ten minutes, they'd put together a mock-up of a very elegant, free standing chandelier.
Now, cross an artist, designer, an electrician, paint and lots of crystal... and you get a decoration that sums up the Shop Girl experience.
I am.

BTW Petra, real name Piera Lizzeri, is a Rada Theatre Design Graduate, for all those theatre directors in need of a creative genius.

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