There are certain dreads in life one never gets over. Having been on Richard & Judy a few times I now don’t stay awake all night worrying about the prospect of a TV appearance. As a mother of three I am just about able to cope with a summons to the headmaster’s office, though as it was with me during my school days this rarely means good news.
But PUBLIC SPEAKING – that is something I will never be comfortable with even if I live to be 150. Last night was the launch party for Renew Retreats, my new PINK business. We had pink balloons, pink champagne, lots of glamorous guests, including my lovely step-daughter, the Telegraph gossip columnist and the editor of YOU Magazine. Then it was time for the speech…I had been dreading it for weeks. I had asked Mary to do it instead. She refused. At 7.10 (ten minutes after the time I was meant to make the damn thing) I thought I could get away with it. And I would have done if it hadn’t been for my friend Annika. This is a girl who was a very successful model, is about two metres tall and can be extremely loud.
“Speech time,” she bellowed and everyone shut up. So there I stood, pink champagne in hand, expectant faces looking at me. Is there a worse feeling in the world? Possibly the dentist’s drill, but even that seemed like a good option at the time. My step-father once told me that the way to deal with nerves is to squeeze your toes hard and all your nervousness will go to your feet. I would have done that but had earlier invested in a pair of incredibly high pink satin shoes which don’t leave any room to squeeze a toe-nail let alone a toe.
“Welcome,” I began. And then went on, and totally miraculously, it all went fine. At least I think it went fine but by that stage I had drunk so much pink champagne to steady my nerves that I was beyond noticing. Let’s hope everyone else had too.
Anyway Renew Retreats is officially launched and a jolly good party it was too. As far as I can remember.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008