Yesterday was a day of firsts. I ate my first oyster, which, thankfully, was covered in batter and deep fried (everything tastes better fried – this is a true fact,) and, contrary to popular belief, it was also my first time in a Penthouse … but more of that later.
I left home at 8.30am, packed my cold toast in silver foil for breakfast (nom,) then paid a gazillion pounds to travel to London at peak time and met my friends Manda, Liska and Kerry at Kings Cross. Eventually. (Seriously, do we really need that many exits in a train station? Really? It’s just confusing for a woman like me who loses a few hundred brain cells each day. It’s bad enough I lose my car every day in the multi-storey car park, giving me more than one train exit will just lead to trouble.)
THE XIJ CREW!
The main reason I was in London was to attend an XIJ event (or Christmas in July to those ‘in the know.’) I was invited by Evolution PR and UK Mums TV (who I did a guest post for last week which you can read here.) I was a member of the bloggers judging panel and we were asked to look around at all the toys on display and choose our favourites. There were a LOT of toys. It was difficult trying to work out what were the best pre-school toys, or best toys for girls but I had a lot of fun playing with them all. Yes, I know I’m 40 but Lite Sprites were amazing! They changed colours and everything!!!!
Here are some of my favourites:
ZHU ZHU PETS
After a glorious lunch of sandwiches (I think the generically labelled ‘Meat’ selection were a little dubious but hey, they tasted great!) chick-pea-y things, fruit kebabs and cake (mmmm … cake ….) I handed my form in, picked up my Trunki (nice freebie but not sure I’ll fit on it) and made my way across London to meet the lovely Laura to talk about up-coming blogger events I’m about to arrange with Living Social. Happy days!
(I just need to interject here. I’m writing this post whilst on the train on the way home from London. It’s 23.15. I’m tired. My feet are throbbing. Suffice to say, after the way my evening ended, I’m a tad cranky. So, if the man in front says ‘f*ck’ one more time I’m going to take his copy of the Metro, roll it up, and repeatedly batter him round the head with it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m partial to dropping the F bomb as much as the next woman, but it’s not necessary to say it every other word!)
Where was I? So … I had a meeting with 3 Monkeys Laura (they have monkey wallpaper and a big, gold cow in their office …) she’d nearly made me wet myself with her tales of how she loves a ‘meat treat,’ and we had beer and shortbread. I think that’s a pretty successful meeting in my books.
Laura’s office happens to be a few doors away from Bar Salsa where I first met my Other Half nine years ago so I just had to pause for a quick photo opp …
… and then I was off again to the Kiwi Social.
It was now 7,000˚ and I couldn’t face the tube again so jumped in a taxi before realising that New Zealand house was literally round the corner. Dur.
(Sweary Fella is now regaling the whole carriage about how he once ‘nearly’ got close to Ashley Cole. “So, he turns up in some great big f*cking car and I asked if I could have a picture. And he was like a f*cking dwarf! Could only have been 5ft 6” – couldn’t f*cking believe it. Seemed alright to me. Take him as I f*cking find him.”)
So, I met my lovely Kiwi friend Claire outside and we made our way to the 17th floor where we’re then told to go to the Penthouse. Oh, if you insist.
The photos I took with my iPhone don’t do the panoramic view justice. But whoa. I was speechless. Until I found the bar that is:
The event was a chance for a handful of bloggers to learn about New Zealand from Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and all organised by the Abbi and her team from Diffusion PR. After talking to everyone there, all I can say is New Zealand looks frickin amezzzin! I was determined, DETERMINED I SAY, to win the competition they were running to win a ticket to visit. Yeah, that didn’t really go to plan. But I’m not bitter. Much.
I drank New Zealand beer, avoided New Zealand wine (although I was assured by Chrissie from Mediocre Mum that it was glorious,) ate nibbly bits, chocolate, nuts and smoked salmon. I drank vodka shots of 42 Below vodka (which smelt and tasted of medicine yet was strangely addictive … after four shots.) I met some cool travel writers, food bloggers, great PRs and awesome Kiwis that were so passionate about their country it was infectious.
Yesterday was a great day.