We are six months old and we wanted to celebrate with a great big Get Together. We picked a hotel, based entirely on the fact that they had lots of cool art and gigantic pink penguins (it’s the only way to choose a good hotel.) We set a date and sent out invitations.
It was quite an emotional weekend. I told David I had felt like crying on the first evening when I saw everyone gathered together. “You were just tired” he said, in a very English way. I was, really, really tired but that’s not why I wanted to cry.
The weekend was exciting. The new collection was revealed, our CEO talked about our solid foundations, Jeanette spoke about our unique qualities as a spirited lifestyle brand and about storytelling, trailblazers and adventure.
I realized that not only were several of my very close friends there, now partnered in business with me but that I had also made many new friends. I asked every one in that hall to stand up, if they too had a friend in the room or had reconnected with a friend from the past or had made a new friend for the future, and when nearly every person moved to their feet I knew we had created something special.
In the wood paneled dining room on the last evening a steel band played as the smell of orange blossom and night blooming jasmine filled the room from our candles and we acted like proper grown up people, until Donna Summer played and then we danced and arm wrestled.
Somewhere in between all of this I was given the keys to the city of Durham, North Carolina. I knew something was happening when a hush filled the hall, I looked at the IH team to see what was up and they smiled back in that secret way. And then I guessed, a Magic Mike Strip-O-Gram, that’s exactly what they were up to. So when the Lord Mayor walked in I really was confused.
I returned home to the normal madness of family life, Domino had thrown up spaghetti bolognaise all over the kitchen floor and Banger was drinking the water in which Conrad’s tadpoles were growing. I walked in and sat down unnoticed until someone saw me…. “Oh hello Mum, what’s for supper?”