Baby K, M&S Party, Bookaboo and Barrio Fiesta

19 Jul 10

Hi all, Have had a pretty surreal few days. Spent the first half of last week standing at a shop stall, in an art gallery for what Mothercare called 'Christmas in July'. The set up is basically lots of buyers and press teams turn up at the gallery which has been transformed into a christmas scene and look at what is expected to hit the shops in August and write/buy it all up in advance. I stood at my stall showing my BabyK section and thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and showing them the collection and new classical music playmats.... however, there was one small hitch. I have in the five years that I've been with my management only taken one day off sick (bar maternity leave but don't think that counts) and little was I to know the second day off was fast looming. I totally lost my voice and spent the entire 'Xmas day' spluttering, coughing and croaking at the poor people who dared to venture near me. In the end, I was pretty much reduced to miming 'why I think the collection is so great'. Embarrassing, but oddly quite effective! The good news is there has been a ton of interest over the new fashion collection and the BabyK orchestra. Brilliant. As mentioned, took the next day off where I stayed in bed and genuinely felt sorry for myself as I had promised Ava she could come with me to work as I was meant to be reading a book to 'Bookaboo' (if you have no idea who/what I'm on about, please will be so worth your while!). We had been busy reading and practicing all the 'voices' we could use for the story telling day and of course, as I had completely lost my voice, I was no use to anyone and Ava was upset to hear that Bookaboo had gone on a 'last minute holiday'! Next day was miles better. I went to the M&S party to welcome in the new boss, celebrate a fab year and generally catch up with all the 'girls', staff and my colleagues. The party started off as a girls 'worst nightmare/extremely funny' depending on your outlook. As I walked up the steps into the party, I bumped into Tess Daly who was wearing the same dress as me...ever the pro, she ran back into her car and changed, as she had brought a spare frock (I too had gotten dressed in the back of my car but as I only had the dress I was wearing, she saved the day (and looked fab in the process). Spent the rest of the party catching up with Steve Sharp (the creative genius behind all of those amazing campaigns and adverts) Twiggy and Lisa Snowdon. I think its actually safe to guess that Lisa and I demolished pretty much half the cold meats and cheese buffet, but imagine, M&S food on tap at an M&S party, AMAZING!!! Went straight onto the opening of the Serpentine gallery and had a funny game of ping pong with my manager Jonathan Shalit and my American agent John Ferriter. Both Johns were very good but then again, I was playing in four-inch heels and holding my hand bag (Lulu Guinness herself gave it to me so its sacred!!) After all this, I rushed home, packed my bag and grabbed three hours sleep before flying to Spain for Gray's sister's 40th. It was amazing. A mini holiday, 14 kids between us all and some much needed rest. Oh, and the world cup happened to fall on the Sunday we there so the boys were happy (kind of!). The day I returned, I managed to reschedule 'Bookaboo' and am happy to say that it went very smoothly. (I have never actually seen how puppetry is carried out for 'on screen', its unreal. The puppeteer literally has to be a contortionist, a mind reader and have a good sense of timing (lying on the floor looking at a screen/monitor whilst reading scripts, improvising and coordinating himself and the puppet is no mean feat.) Really enjoyed it and Ava got to keep the book and her VIP Bookaboo tour bus pass! Today I'm aching all over as I did a photo shoot yesterday dressed as, what looked like, someone from the matrix! The moves I had to pull involved a trampet and a car park floor so needless to say I'm feeling a tad fragile! (won't blow the details of the shoot though as they'll kill me!) I took Ava, my Mum and Dad to the Barrio Fiesta. For those not in the know, its basically a huge festival that the Filipino community (my mama is from the Philippines) lays on and it is the best festival you will ever go to as its pretty much based solely around good company and good food (not 'festival burgers and hotdogs') think rice, noodles, seasoned skewers, 'halo halo' (My personal fav...a Filipino desert that translates as 'mix mix' and is a 'mix' of fruits, crushed ice, evaporated milk and sugar. I have easily eaten my own body weight in food today!! The entertainment rather than bands is a mix of everything (Ava loved the fair) but my favs are actually the more traditional dances that include long sticks (like a version of 'elastics'!) and Hula (of course!!). If you ever get the chance to go. You must. The Filipino community is so friendly and warm, we'd love to have you! Lets see what this week brings! Leenie x