Friday, July 28, 2006

April 2006

April 2006 came back from Wales in the afternoon of Monday thus could not attend the ACE council meeting. Met with Anita at the IOD on Tuesday to talk about developing the Ladies on Tour business, everything is ready for the Trip in June to the Lake District. Met afterward with Michael at the RTYC with regards to dinners for the Anglo-Belgian Society and the Rotary Club of London, stayed in for the first Tuesday drink of the Anglo-Belgian Club and took a cab to rush for the reception at the American Embassy, got a few good contacts. I met with John and Janice on the Wednesday at the IOD for the business plan of ACE, great ideas, let’s implement them! On Thursday, I went to the First Novel Awards organised by the Author’s Club to bring my support, I think that Anita actually invited me. Friday was catching up day; need to have some, don’t we?
On Saturday was the Strictly Ballroom Dancing at the Old Chelsea Town Hall (lovely room) organised by my associate Eugenie Absalom who has very good contacts with the Russian community ( actually I have some rather good one too!)
Monday 10th, I had a meeting of the International committee for the Rotary –of which I am the Chairman. On Tuesday, I had a meeting with Patrick for the Royal Belgian Benevolent Society -of which we are both Honorary Treasurer. I met Celine at the Arts Club with regard to the Mas de Pierre (I since been and will be on a separate entry, lovely!) before the Cercle Francais where Ann Kodicek gave us the most entertaining talk about Diaghilev and other people of his time. Easter was upon us and Selfridge’s did well out of me buying all the little rabbits, ducks and various other chocolates… we had friends staying for the weekend so prepared ourselves for this.
The Open BC network seems to be quite good and attended the IT Hall for an evening that went well on the Tuesday following and on the Wednesday attended a , for me, very boring conference on Euronext, good god people can waffle about! No contact there that I did not know some very very important people or assuring themselves to be.
A good party was organised at LLadro on Piccadilly for Valencia, I went there for the prospect of the Anglo-Spanish Society visit there in October, very nice people but most very invited by Lladro and I am not quite old enough to start collecting this piece that are amazingly expensive. Then Richard and I went to Sitges report of which is here below. (and am completing it too) As I came back from Barcelona, I went straight for Lunch _could not eat anything_ at the Rotary as I though that there was a council meeting afterwards, there wasn’t one! Had a meeting the following day for the Arts Club Charitable Trust where I championed a candidate for a grant and was pleased to have another of my candidate championed by someone else, so they both got something! One of them is Dunja Lavrova, mentioned before, I went after lunch to the New-York City Sales Mission where I got some great new contacts and then to CIRCA. On the 27th I was delighted meeting Patrick (another one) at the Loriner’s Luncheon in the Apothecaries Hall, there was a meeting of the GBA at the New Connaught Room in the evening, but I not quite sure that I attended! In fact, I must have felt quite tired after one of these City Luncheons…. To add to my predicament, I went again to the City the following day for the Bishopsgate Ward Club AGM and Luncheon at the Leather seller’s Hall and I had to meet my good friend Ricardo in the afternoon, I arrive with a good two hours late! Sorry again! I had to pleasure to see Ricardo ( he is our contact in Argentina) again on Saturday when we had a gathering of friends.

May to be updated after the weekend, catching up! Have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

March 2006

March 2006, on the 1st, I attended the first meeting related to the Rotary International 2013 Convention, this is very exiting as I can reveal that London is pre-selected to host this event where up to 60,000 will attend, the year after the Olympic. On the 2nd, I met various people from the London Development agency with regard to 2012 this was a presentation to businesses in the East End entitled ‘Olympics and your business’ I have made the best of it and came up with a lot of contact. On the 3rd was a meeting at GTA (Gulliver’s Travel Associates they actually own Octopus Travel and various other brands) with regard to taking care of the accommodations for 2013. On the 4th for a little more fun we went to Making your Mind Up with Terry Wogan and ended up in the Green Room with all the artists and their families throughout the show! I liked the wine and nibbles….
The following week I have attended various meetings, luncheon and dinners at my various clubs one noticeable was my City Managers Luncheon Club held a the Butcher’s Hall, always love to get there (meet every month) but don’t always have the time. Diana Armfield and Bernard Dunstan (both RA) were feted at the Arts Club on the same day.
I spoke to the Rotary Club of London (still have to frame this Speaker’s Certificate) on the 13th as Ambassador for Springboard about Hospitality as I was asked not to speak about charity, bit difficult but I obliged. The following day I went to Scotland and full report is found on this blog. I was supposed to attend upon my return from Inverness a Rotary evening and a St Patrick’s Reception at Claridge’s needless to say I was too tired to attend either. (apparently it was a bit chaotic at Claridge’s).

Over the weekend I met my friends from Lithuania and took on this very talented painter and was given a few etchings (very good see my other blog – Edita) to suss the market for her. Prepa

On the 21st I took the Anglo-Belgian Society to the Wallace Collection for a guided visit followed by tea and cakes, I know very civilised… it was and I will repeat this next year, very successful.
On the 22nd I attended Promo Marketing at the Barbican, France at Lord’s (Trade wine Fair) and a reception for the IOD at the new City Hub. On the 23rd There was a Rotary District Council a private view at Alexia Goethe’s Gallery and a dinner a the Savile fro my Whitefriars Club. The next day I went to Malta and this is also reported in this Blog with pictures. Coming back just in time on Monday for a meeting of the Rotary Club of London International Services Committee that I was chairing. ( had to skip lunch) Had another meeting for the 2013 project in the evening. The first meeting I attended of the Red Cross Ball Committee was also in March at the Residence of H.E. The Swiss Ambassador. Also attended STEPS at the RHH and a very good London Road show at the Westbury before taking to train to Wales on the 31st.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Diaries - December 2005 to February 2006

December 2005 Back from Barcelona, where I had a fab and educational time at the EIBTM, Friends from Paris visited over the weekend.
Michael Crawford came to talk at the Rotary and had to leave promptly to attend the council meeting of the Association of Conference and Events, in the evening Red or Dead had a party at the Kempinsky Courthouse Hotel with my good friend Tatiana H-S’s hats and other creation. “Le Tout Moscou” was there and we had a bit to much of Stolli-Bolli. Rasputin was indeed in jail but somehow manage to be with the models too, these monks, really!
The rest of the month, there were many events such a Mandarine Napoleon at the Sheraton Belgravia and the monthly drinks at the RABC, a party in the Middle Temple, Christmas parties for the Anglo-Spanish Society at Canning House, Danish Club at the Arts Club, Rotary, The Arts Club, RUKBA’s Carols service at St Michael’s Chester Square and the Press view of Tintin at the Barbican where we met the cast and even the widow of Herge.

We went away to Belgium for Christmas and going through Wales before returning to London for New Year Eve, which we spent at home!


January 2006 was spent actively organising a seminar in Scotland, a booking that came on the 23rd December for February 2006! In addition, a re launches party for a big bank that I cannot speak about.
There were many parties again, Happy Andalucía at the Meridien Piccadilly, parties at the Newly opened and abs fab Opera Gallery in Bond Street. I went to a pub lunch with my fellow of the Whitefriars’ Club in Fleet Street and took the Anglo-Belgian Society to see the Show Tintin at the Barbican, Brief weekend in Athens for the Exclusive Travel Show, that was really very good and might be here on the blog already. I attended also the Events Show where we has a stand with ACE , a reception at the Carlton Club with the IOD and a fantastic exhibition of Warhol at Hausser Wirth where I was either pleased or disappointed not to see me in any of the pictures… Had lunch at the Glazier’s Hall but was not overly impressed with the venue, blank canvas they say but the Hall looks more like a big basket ball arena or perhaps a big squash court. I went to Paris for the Bedouk Show and had a great time too.

In February there was much travelling too, back from Paris I went to Cardiff to see a client, Brussels for the EMIF and Edinburgh where I had the seminar for this big French Group. Notable dinners were for the Cercle Francais at the Arts Club, the Spanish Residence for the Anglo-Spanish Society (after a Civic Lunch at the Guildhall where I met Karl-Ludwig Rehse of H.M.The Queen’s Dress Makers fame- He was actually there with Philip Sommerville)

I have attended in between the Shows: Hotelympia, Confex and London Fabric

I co-organised an evening concert for Dunja Lavrova, a talented young violinist at the Mall Galleries, during which I received a phone call from the facilitator of the French Seminar in Edinburgh saying that as they were mostly ladies they did not particularly care for the visit of the distillery scheduled for the next day. Could I organise something else like a panoramic of the Town? Within an hour, I had confirmed the coaches and French Speaking Tour Guides to take them around Edinburg the following day. I do find a lot of contact under my hat!

The concert was a success if not financially and Dunja gained some exposure with an article in the Independent.

There was a reception hosted by The Prince of Wales Theatre for the IOD and if you would like to organise a reception, concert or conference in one of the Theatre in London please speak to me.

Finally there was also a reception held at the RABC for the Olympic Business Club, fostering business relationship between Belgium and UK business with a view of getting awarded contract for the 2012 game.

Speak to you soon, this will be updated after this weekend. Have a lovely weekend

Diary - November 2005

Some people have been very nice and asked why I was not sending much information lately; the answer is quite simple... I have been travelling about and please find below some excerpt of my diaries:

In November 2005, I was mostly in London except at the end when I went to Barcelona for EIBTM, during the month, I have attended and helped organise many events such as: The Torch Kindling Ceremony- A ceremony happening in Westminster Abbey repeated every year ever since the end of the second war- The Flame of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels was extinguished by the occupying forces - to symbolise the union of Belgium and United Kingdom, the then Ambassador organised to collect the flame from the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey and walk it to the Embassy from whence it travelled to Belgium and kindle the flame of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels on the 11th November of every year.
I attended also the Tatler’s Party at the Baglioni Hotel following the AGM of the Royal Anglo-Belgian Club, went to several private views at Alexia Goethe Gallery and the Halcyon, cruise the Thames with the Silver Sturgeon hosted by Laurent Perrier. Had a Ball in Marlow for several Charities, organised a dinner for the Belgian Tourist Office at the Beginning of the World Travel Market that I have also attended as a Meridian CLub Member,had a party for NYC at now defunct Pengelley's soon to be replace by someone else and on the same night went to Harvey Nichols for a splendid party hosted by the Spanish Tourist Office. Went on the the superb penthouse suite of the British American Tabacco building for lunch and attended a Gala Concert in Chelsea. I facilitated the Golden Bridge Awards held for the first time at theThe Golden Bridge is mainly award to Belgian Companies exporting in UK companies such as ECOVER and VLM have won in the past. This was a splendid occasion with many people (about 300-400) and several bands… the following day I had lunch with my associate from Spain from the bureau of Barcelona and Marbella to go on to the wonderful Bedford Lodge in the Royal Opera House.
The following week (yes, what is above was in a week) On Monday we had a Gala dinner in the wonderful Trinity House for the Bishopsgate Ward Club where I was delighted meeting Philip Sommerville of H.M. The Queen Hat Maker’s fame. On Tuesday morning, I had a meeting of the Trustees of the Arts Club Charitable Trust immediately followed by the AGM and Luncheon before taking the Eurostar to Brussels where I was hosting a ‘soiree’ for friends in their fabulous flat overlooking the Grand Place and Place Royale, all went well but was stuck in the lift for some time (They couldn’t even pass a straw to have some champagne in the cabin!) The following day I visited this great house a the Avenue Bergman that is going to be the new show rooms for Pierre Marcolini and Chanel (there are still two flats available see the other blog www.brusselshouse.blogspot.com ). Had lunch with my nieces (AFIM) and a quick word with the DRM- Brussels Office. No time to spare as we quickly came back to London for a reception hosted by the IOD at the Botswana High Commission and somehow managed to go a drink at the Arts Club with some friends. On Thursday the Annual Dinner of the Anglo-Belgian Society was well attended and I organised this, as usual, at the Royal Anglo-Belgian Club in Knightsbridge. The following day I made a attempt at taking on board a new caterer but since he did not reciprocate the link have just dropped them, I wish them well though! A friend did organise an Art Quiz at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and this was really fun to be eating and drinking in the gallery surrounded by these masterpieces. (My team incidentally did not fare much) .

Did I mention that I have attended every Rotary Club of London Luncheon during this period? Every Monday Lunch – usually- at the Portman SAS Radisson. As I am the Chairman of the International Service Committee, I am quite busy on this front too. Speakers during the month were HE Baron T. de Gruben Ambassador of Belgium to the Court of St James, The RIBI President and Esther Rantzen who told us about the imminent merge of the Child Line with the NSPCC. In the evening I went to a private view of Rubens at the National gallery organised by the Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.

Speak to you soon!