This Week….

by Katie on November 26, 2012

This Week’ captures a snapshop of a week’s happenings in the life of Katie’s alter ego, Karen. A lot can happen in London.

‘This Week’ I trailed around press days in wet cold gale force winds, argued with TV Licensing and attended a few parties, natch.

Trailing around press days
It’s a necessary part of the role, this merry-go-round of press events for Spring/Summer’13 but there are good parts as well as bad. The ‘good’ involves catching up with your favourite PRs and familiar faces, seeing new season collections and getting much needed inspiration and ideas for future posts. The ‘bad’ includes planning your route for the day, walking miles around W1 and its environs at speed while enduring unpredictable weather. I’m beginning to feel that I walk in circles. If you checked CCTV cameras in the West End, I’d pop up regularly wandering around the same routes. 

This late in the season, due to the nature of sample availability, it’s the high street round of events. I’ve taken in a good many great ones and a few surprisingly bad ones. But we never name names. A plea to PRs (and trust me I’ve been one for long enough) the mag journos, the stylists and the schleppers out there attending want one thing most of all – an easy to get to central venue with a relaxed vibe. The backside of Great Portland Street or the environs of Camden doesn’t cut it when the poor sods have at least 4 and often 8 or more to attend in an afternoon. No magazine cars with personal drivers for most, I’m afraid. More’s the pity.

Arguing with BBC TV Licensing
Sit back readers. This is a story. I’ll try to be as brief as possible. As you may know I was mugged during the Olympics by an Eastern European hug-mug gang. Getting over this (just), a couple of months later, this in turn led to one of the most traumatic events I’ve had to endure – Identity theft. I was receiving letters every days saying that accounts had been set up and debts amounting to close to £12k had been run up in my name. The fraudsters used my stolen (and reported as such) bank card and driver’s license details to do so. Of course, this took me months to sort out as well highlighting the unprofessionalism of certain brands and stores’ security checks and how they, in turn, investigate fraud. Another story. Part of sorting out this mayhem meant that I had to check all direct debits. And here it is. My bank discovered that I had been paying for TWO TV licensees for 18 YEARS! As I paid by  direct debit quarterly, it was always thought the one license. But, TV licensing had listed my former address with the same name and postcode but TWO flats which of course were the same (Flat 2 and Upper Ground Floor). 

Now, as if that shock weren’t enough, after much communication and letters, I was informed I could only receive 2 years of rebate, a pithy £301. So not the approximately huge sum of £2700 I have overpaid then? Despite the admittance of their error, the fact that two licenses have legitimately been paid for (one name, one address) and, get this, both even transferred to my current address seven years ago (huge error), TV licensing have only offered another £500 pounds of rebate. Of my money. In a climate where the BBC is in serious disputes and losing the public’s trust and where the former Director General was reputedly being paid £450k for 54 days work, it’s no wonder that we lose faith in Auntie Beeb. This isn’t finished. As they say in the Godfather, ‘I’m going to the mattresses’.

Attending a few parties
It wouldn’t be a week without my blog alter ego attending a party. This week’s offerings included the impressive SuperTrash store launch on South Molton Street with the brilliant and professional team at IPR overseeing this as well as Tod’s Vendages cocktail event on Bond Street and the simply amazing ‘hands in the air, like the ’90s have never gone’ 25th anniversary party of Modus PR.

At the SuperTrash party, the pomegranate martinis flowed as guests mingled, got to know the brand and jigged around to Jade Williams’ DJ’ing. The Saturdays’ girls Mollie & Vanessa were there decked out in Supertrash as were many of the ‘it’ girls. It’s a find of a brand. Check it out.

Tods Vendage cocktail party was refined as only Tods could be. Guests were there to buy as well as to sample the wines and bellinis. It’s hard being a recessionista in this environment when tempted by so many goodies. One day, eh?

And hot-footing it from Tod’s in Bond Street, ‘the disco princess’ and I made a dash (as much as a dash on a number 9 bus we could muster) to Modus PR’s 25th anniversary party. But first we stopped by The Mayfair Hotel for the obligatory posh pee. We have several such destinations for pit-stop pees on ‘route de posh’, all judged on swankiness of bathrooms and location. We are usually much more inconspicuous for such jaunts but as she was wearing thigh high boots and, with me in my long brocade cape, we could easily be mistaken for a slightly more glam version of pantomime players.

The Modus PR team are always delightful and after showing a retrospective of past and present clients on their press day, the party kicked off with most of the known faces in the London fashion industry attending. It was a hoot. The Sibling team DJ’ed up a storm, the vodka and prosseco flowed (sometimes taken *ahem* together) and the oldsters far out-partied the youngsters. At one point, ‘the disco princess’ and I were jumping around to House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ and losing it over Azaelia Banks’s ‘212’. We may now be in our forties, but once a club kid, always a club kid. Watch and learn kiddiwinks.

Please let me know what you think of the new weekly column in the comments section. Thanks.

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