Friday, 30 June 2017

A day in the life

Sometimes the contrasts in my double life of country bumpkin slash corporate whore seem just a little bit surreal. Check out this one day this week for example….

5am. Up and out with the dog for quick blast up the hill, desperately pleading with him to try and squeeze one out as a matter of urgency, what with, you know, my somewhat pressing schedule an’ all. Throw some food to the pigs, taking care not to get mud all over my face as I perform the precarious task of filling the water trough up whilst balancing over a 12-volt electric fence. (I’ve got it wrong and had the mother of all kicks off this fence before – it’s not the kind of wake up call you need at 5am believe me).

Mind the fence!

6am. Hurriedly change into clothes newly purchased on the internet this week. Try not to think about how much I have spent and how I still don’t look at all ready to be seen in public. Fail to notice tags hanging down my back until much later in the day. Apply makeup very badly and sneak out of the house trying not to wake everyone and face the sorrowful questions from my girls asking me where I am going with a suitcase and an inordinately strong waft of perfume at this ungodly hour in the morning (well you have to mask the eau de piggy somehow…).

9am. Make the ferry to Ireland just in time. Make (what I hope to be) convincing small talk with truckies whilst standing in the queue for coffee about the state of the roads in Ireland and what a f*!king joke it is the time it takes the port staff at Holyhead to load and unload the artics (truckie speak for articulated lorries I later find out). To be honest I had completely no concept of time standing as I was with my eyes firmly glued to my phone desperately genning up on the latest thought leadership in digital management (see below).

2pm. Mad dash across Dublin for emergency hair cut at Toni and Guy in Dublin’s trendy Dundrum district. Attempt to sound down with kids as I point at various styles in the ‘look book’ describing them as 'rad', ‘sick’ etc. In reality, the only sick I am feeling is from the dreadful coffee from the massively inappropriately named Stena Superfast Ten ferry. Despite all the pumping music and strobe lighting (were hair salons always this intense?) hipster Steve takes nearly TWO HOURS to cut and dry my hair! WTF! I know the Irish are laid back but really?

Can you make me look like this so I really make
an impression with the senior leadership team?

4pm. Hour late for meeting with crackshot video crew flown in from Chicago especially for our event. Shake hands with the ex-news producer from Fox news and make terrible joke about Anchorman movie and immediately regret it. Spend an hour wandering around state-of-the-art all-glass  office in the so-called Silicon Docks during the only hour the fecking sun shines in Dublin all week and nearly pass out in the heat. Hope to God someone has opened the polytunnel so my tomatoes don't do the same. Nod intelligently as they run through a litany of complete gobbledygook terminology – B roll, booms, steadycams, sizzle reels (sounds well dodge) - and hope to Christ it doesn’t rain on my hair before it’s my turn in front of the camera (postscript: it does rain on my hair. A lot. I look like Diana Ross in the final shoot).

Lights, camera, action!

6pm. Check into 5-star Intercontinental hotel.  Phone home to check in and make sure the new hens are not being bullied by the old hens and have enough to eat. Remind husband the mega-strength slug pellets are on the beans and cucumbers so keep the dog and kids away. Don’t forget to water the tomatoes. Check the birds are not in the peas. Close the polytunnel. Check the geese. The list goes on.
8pm. Dinner with the Editor-in-Chief of one of the world’s leading business publications. Dig deep to try and regurgitate all the erudite political commentary and digital management thought leadership I have been trying to inwardly digest from my phone during taxi zig zags across Dublin. Judging from his polite nodding and wry smile I have badly muddled my concepts so he steers the conversation to his daughter’s driving test before we land on common ground discussing smoking various types of meat in a Green Egg (turns out he has the same model as us). Who’d have thought that I’d have been discussing our little self-sufficiency project with one of the world’s leading business journalists. Surreal.

The future for all smoked meat, apparently

11pm. Collapse into bed and watch re-reruns of Gardeners World on the 75’’ screen TV, scribbling down a list of all the jobs I need to do in the polytunnel when I am back on the hotel’s watermarked creamy-white notepaper, whilst adding the finishing touches to the CEO’s keynote speech on my laptop at the same time. Open the balcony doors of my suite to hear Phil Collins belting out ‘Another Day In Paradise’ at the Aviva Stadium next door and fall asleep hoping to enter a slightly less incongruous life in my dreams.

That screen is as wide as my polytunnel (I checked)

Postscript: You will be pleased to hear that the event passed off without incident and the CEO did not end up discussing the black fly on his broad beans nor did I do a Naomi Campbell and go arse over tit whilst being filmed walking around the office in my new, incredibly uncomfortable stilettos (note to self: never wear brand new 4 inch heels for a two-day summit which involves walking approximately 10 miles over five floors each day – my feet may never recover and my wellies have never felt so good). I also managed to survive without my daily dose of fresh, home-grown veg, swapping my greens for the black stuff, because as we all know, Guinness Is Good For You. I applied the same principle as fruit and veg guidelines, opting for 5-a-day, you know, just to be on the safe side. Slainte!

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