My dearest sister-in-law EMS sent me the following missive today:
“I LOVE Americans – they are so gloriously and effortlessly effusive, there’s no shame in being enthusiastic. I would emigrate tomorrow.”
EMS I post here the house that is for rent in our street – my lovely enthusiastic neighbours would, I know, embrace you with as much warmth as your Harvard Business School protégées have after a week in your company.
The reason for this burst of effusiveness in one who suffered dance lessons at the hands of Mr Flatfoot and was raised in the dankly lit Scottish Borders? Simply three heart-warming thank you emails she received from the Americans in her care.
Email 1: Ladies, your talents are only exceeded by your graciousness!
Email 2: Greetings. As I expressed to Laura previously, I would be remiss if I did not reiterate Barbara’s beautiful and thorough missive regarding not only The Haven but also its relentless, dynamic founder and its consummately professional team.
Email 3: Thank you so VERY much for a week full of indelible memories. I only wish that Silvia could have attended with me to meet the wonderful people and see the fantastic sites that we all enjoyed together.
These emails contrasted starkly with the only one sent by a Brit which ran as follows. “Sorry not to have paid up yet. Have you by any chance found my overcoat?”
What did EMS do to deserve such a shower of warmth and praise, she accompanied the lucky group on one of the most exciting tours of London imaginable. I can only leave it to her to describe. In fact I am dragging her into my blob. She is one of the most amusing correspondents I know. You will hear more from her I hope.
I spent last week looking after 17 Harvard Business School graduates who have done this course called OPM – Owners and Presidents with business turnovers so large it makes your eyes water. What an incredible week. They had all paid £6k each to Breast Cancer Haven to be treated to the most amazing London experience imaginable: lunch with Prince Charles at Clarence House, private tour of the Crown Jewels, boat trips, private tour of St James Palace (seeing handwritten letters in a ledger pertaining to the formation of the Church of England / original 1611 Bibles – mind blowing) – seeing where the queen puts on her Crown before sitting on the throne etc…and then a tour around House of Commons and Lords – led by the most gloriously bumbling life Peer you could imagine – the absolute epitome of the character you might expect to be snoozing on the red leather….he got us wildly lost (“this place is a perfect nuisance”) and we all got completely hysterical. At one stage Times Rich List Newcomer / Asian Businessman of Year and I were clutching our sides in a corridor, crying with laughter and completely unable to contain ourselves – he claims he hadn’t laughed so hard for about twenty years. It was just wonderful to be immersed in a world of people who have ‘made it’ rather than endlessly talking about what a struggle life is – which it is really isn’t it? The conversations were incredible – lots of political debate (US health care reform got me quite hot under the collar…) and some intriguing world views. Plus, to be frank, really nice to be fed good food, drink champagne endlessly, be picked up and dropped off everywhere by a chauffeur and not have to think for one second about whether or not I have hung up the white wash or given nursery a new supply of nappies. VERY hard to re-adjust this week.
I shall leave today’s reappearance of Ms Haunted Alley (see Flamingos and Skeletons) and her son Theo to a later post, along with her offer of a selection of Renaissance swords and a stuffed raccoon, plus her self-confessed obsession with ‘Bling’ followed by the gruff statement: “I used to be into arts and crafts – I don’t wanna to talk about it”.
EMS you will want to emigrate all the more. We’ll luv ya.