Last week I read my children’s storybook, ‘The Last Christmas Tree’, to an audience of around 200 pupils at a Richmond Primary school. It was so exciting and I loved every minute of it! I had no nerves at all and now I can’t wait until next year when I can share the story (and a recently completed companion tale) with a wider audience.
This week’s adrenalin rush has been to be a Harrogate Fashion Model for an afternoon!
I was invited by a beautiful, elegant friend to take part in a charity fashion show for the RNLI. Without a moment’s hesitation, I agreed. What has come over me? I used to be so shy of the limelight and fearful of making a huge fool of myself. Perhaps passing the landmark age of fifty, and realising that actually there is no reason to put things off, to say yes to new opportunities and certainly not to waste precious life worrying maybes. Wherever this injection of confident self-belief has come from, keep it flowing – I’m having a ball! Time to put my replaced hip to the challenge – high heels ahoy!
Last week we (myself and five other models) met to be fitted for our collections of garments that together would tell six ‘stories’ to an audience of 64 in the Imperial Suite at Betty’s, Harrogate. Two other ladies, previously uninitiated in the ways of the catwalk, were perfect companions as we tried on outfit after outfit in the most amazing Haute Couture shop in Harrogate, Julie Fitzmaurice. The changing room curtains were frequently pulled back to reveal the selection from an extensive range of fabulous gowns in fabulous colours, stylish separates and some really rather ‘cutting edge’ jackets.
My ascent to the Imperial Rooms and ‘stardom’ were temporarily impeded when a very well spoken couple asked me if I would supervise and ensure an elderly lady’s return from behind the stiff sliding door of the Disabled Toilet? Of course I did and I’m sure that Heidi Klum would have done likewise. After my ‘good deed for the day’, I arrived to find a beautifully set out dining room and our ‘dressing area’ laid out with ordered rails of our outfits, some I hadn’t seen before. A huge mirror, food, wine, the other models and such a professional support team were arriving, the chatter was high and bright lipstick was in evidence.
First outfits were adorned (mine with a huge blue hat), the first professional photographs were taken, we spoke with the compare, a lovely called Catherine, who I know I have met somewhere before. The next couple of hours swept by in a whirl of colour and smiles. I followed the lead of one of the most poised, beautiful ladies I have ever met and found myself enjoying this new experience (even when as I casually whipped off my wrap to reveal more of a perfect ‘Race Day’ dress (outfit no.3), and also unseated my precariously balanced occasion hat. Fortunately, I held on to it like a rugby player about to score a try so no damage was done). The professionalism of the team and the camaraderie made this day so memorable. Was I nervous at any point? No! I was proud to help to present Julie Fitzmaurice’s new collections and to share a new experience with such a wonderful group of ladies. I wonder if Mrs Palm will enlist my services again? There was also the small matter of me wearing one top back to front to be taken into consideration too! Watch this space!
So now I have a couple of singing engagements ahead and they always take me out of my comfort zone. Beyond that, perhaps I may try sky-diving! Who knows?