New York Day Four: A very surreal birthday

After a birthday phone call from Letad, I set off to the first presentation of the day. With three back-to-back presentations, it promised to be a busy day.

Meeting after meeting ensued and at each one, my colleague announced to the room that it was my birthday. At the second meeting, a birthday cake was presented (they must have had an emergency cake on hand as they didn’t know) and by the last meeting, my colleague, who I like very much, was introducing herself as my birthday planner! So it turned out quite well in the end.

The last meeting of the day was at our NY headquarters. When I walked into the conference room, I saw a familiar face. A girl I knew from years ago in LA. She’s one of my best friends best friends (if that makes sense) and I haven’t seen her for years. A small world indeed!

Finishing up work for the day, I staggered back to my hotel where I managed to track down a parcel which had been following me around Manhattan for days.

Letad, despite me postponing my birthday, had sent my present to the hotel in hell only to discover that I had moved. Several phone calls later (and several phone calls prior to my colleagues in London to find out my shoe size and where I was staying) the parcel was delivered and I found it in the shipping office of my hotel.

An insanely stylish pair of Hermes iconic H flat sandals were revealed. Very Riviera, very lovely and very generous. I couldn’t wear them though as suddenly an enormous thunderstorm hit Manhattan and as I ran from my hotel to pick up my birthday sushi, I was drenched. The lovely sandals would have been ruined so they sit, nestled in their shoe bags and distinctive orange box, for their first outing.

So another birthday passes. Reflection on the year passed and goals for the coming year. It’s been a great year since I returned from LA on my birthday last year as I started a new job and got married. Two major life events.

I wonder what the next year will bring…

New York Day Three: Birthday Eve

After three presentations which started at 8:30am this morning, I’m now waiting to go to a business strategy dinner this evening. Of course, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing on my birthday eve!

I had officially postponed my birthday until my return to London but as I just had a phone call from the hotel I was staying at to say they had a package for me, it would appear my wily husband has other plans!

Tonight is my fourth night. I can’t believe I’m only half way!

New York Day Two: Back to Times Square

I checked out of Hell (if only) and set off back to Times Square. There’s a strong smell of horse droppings in Times Square at the moment, enhanced by the heat and humidity of late summer. Lovely!

Dropping off my luggage I spent the rest of the day in back to back meetings where things went well and lunch was provided.

Many of our licensees are orthodox Jewish families working in the garment district in New York. And the same Kosher lunch has been served each day. An unappetizing selection of sandwiches, sliced beef, turkey or pastrami piled inches high in sourdough bread, potato salad, coleslaw, large pickles and a chopped tomato and cucumber salad. It’s not exactly my cup of tea so I’m living on coleslaw and chopped salad for lunch and sushi for dinner.

As a result, my diet is going well!

New York Day One: Hell or Hell’s Kitchen

Arriving into JFK later than anticipated, I found my driver and off we went to Manhattan.

I was surprised to discover I’d been booked into a hotel in Hell’s Kitchen – 11th and 47th. That means nothing to me except for the crucial details like I couldn’t see anywhere for coffee and it was a fifteen minute walk to Times Square where the office is. That’s not going to work!

After a pretty good sleep (I got up at noon London time!) I walked the fifteen minute walk, found a coffee on the way, got to work, asked to move hotels and then set off for the first meeting of the week.

This week is the dog and pony show as we visit all the companies we work with and show them all the new design for Autumn/Winter 2014. I’m doing a big presentation which takes an hour, three times a day. Talking, talking.

Eight hours later I was finished for the day and so jumping into a yellow cab, set off on my usual pilgrimage to Whole Foods.

Whenever I’m in New York, I live on sushi. I took it for granted living in California but now living in London, the sushi isn’t very good and I miss it. Even Whole Foods has better sushi and so I usually get my first sushi fix there. Tonight was no exception.

Jumping into another cab, I set off back to Hell and before long was relaxing after a long day and anticipating a very busy week ahead.

Perks of the job

One of the perks of the job is that I get chauffeur-driven to the airport and back. Nice. It takes a lot of the stress out of travelling.

Today’s driver kindly brought his lunch along. Hmm, the smell of Chinese food wasn’t mentioned as one of the additional perks.

After a little while I took my shoes off. Problem solved.

On the way to Heathrow… with the window open!

The dangers of housework

I have unfortunately strained my back. It’s extremely unfortunate as I’m leaving for New York this afternoon and face an eight hour flight with a sore back. I blame the vacuum cleaner.

I have maintained for years that cleaning is a dangerous sport and I recently laughed at the doctor who asked how many hours of housework a week I did as part of my over-40s health check. Seriously? Is it 1952?

I live in a tiny one bedroom flat in Chalk Farm. It takes less than ten minutes to vacuum the entire thing so seems strange that in such a short space of time, I managed to pull a muscle. I must have done some extremely vigorous 

I mentioned to Letad that I would let the flight attendants know of my predicament so they could give me extra pillows. His sympathy was lacking as he said it would earn me the title of HFM, the H standing for High and the M for Maintenance. I think the F must be for my middle initial…

And so I’m packed and ready for take off again. My third trip to New York in eight months, I’ve got the routine down.¬†

And so, sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. It’s going to be a manic ten days!