Monday, January 16

Absolutely Fabulous is real - I was Bubbles!

We've been involved in setting up a craft fair recently and it dawned on me where my experience came from. For those of you that remember the first series of AbFab you may remember some of the absurdities of the show. Well I am here to assure you that a lot of it was based in fact! OK, so it was exaggerated but the essence is there, no doubt - and I was a real life Bubbles.

I have fabulous memories of the phone calls from a London cab as my boss randomly asked for a name of a shop she had passed earlier and could I check an order, err which shop please? Oh Darling I don't remember! was the reply. All this from a phone which was attached by a pink ribbon to the handbag to avoid yet another trip to the railway station lost property office. I fondly remember the strange and wonderful presents she would arrange for clients' children; or driving her home in her Jaguar after the wine bottle had been emptied to a large sigh of 'Bother, it's all gone'.

Fast forward a few years and we got The Devil Wears Prada, I love this film as again it brings back so many memories of working in PR. The clients were different, but the basics were the same.

However, what may not come across in either of these two is just how much you learn from a woman like Miranda (or Gina in my case). Yes, it was a bonkers and often surreal experience. Telly Tubby hugs on the lawn while a record player blasted across the garden is a personal favourite. But she was so aware of trends, what would work for a client and people in general that to not learn from her would be a crime. It was only years later - as a colleague predicted - that it really did hit home. They are just so busy that to them details bore them, what do you mean you didn't realise I would want that today? was a standard question, that over time you came to recognise and had ordered in ready. What a training for arranging craft fairs, having worked on trade shows for her.

Sadly, I think many of these characters are lost in today's world of business which is a shame because love her or loathe her she was good at what she did and in hindsight I'm very lucky to have had such a teacher, even if I wasn't grateful at the time. And you do come to be very protective over them, just as Andy does to Miranda because you begin to see the woman behind the work.