A few weeks ago I was invited to the Lucas Alexander Whiteley (LAW) agency party, at their offices in Kensington. The weather was good enough to be outside in their garden, where trays of canapés were brought round at regular intervals. I was grateful that instead of tiny finger food, these canapés consisted of giant slices of pizza. The party was great fun, and I got to catch up with Kira, a friend of mine from the Columbia course who is interning at the agency. I was the last person to leave – obviously – which meant I got a tour around and sneak peak at some of their upcoming releases.
The following week we had a more fully fledged Columbia reunion for all the Brits, and newly adopted Londoners: Carolyn, Kate, Kira, Jess, and Daniela. Weird and wonderful to see them all out of the New York bubble, and catch up on news and updates. Also crucial to this gathering was food. Lots of it. Homeslice in Covent Garden is a favoured spot for many a Penguin, and I’m no exception. In short, they have cheap and good wine, much Prosecco, and pizzas so large that when they’re placed on the table there is no room for glasses/cutlery/anything. I look forward to doing this regularly.
Last week I had a day out of the office at BLE – Brand Licensing Europe – 2014. It’s huge fair held in Olympia where all the major brand owners from around the world have a presence, the aim being to sell licenses in their properties, and also to schmooze and see and be seen. It’s big, bright and colourful as you’ll see from the pictures below. I spent a lot of time wandering around with Emily and Rich, scoping out the various licensors, and going to a few meetings, and collecting some all-important swag. I was slightly overexcited to discover a ‘Table Dennis’ area of the ground floor – a Dennis the Menace themed ping pong table where I dragged Rich in between meetings. When I wasn’t exploring or playing Table Dennis I was curled up on a sofa at the Penguin Random House stand, catching up on some reading. Another highlight was seeing the Universal screening, where they showed the first ever footage of Jurassic World. Very excited to see it next year.
After the fair we went for a drink and then to dinner at Yas, a Persian restaurant on Kensington High Street, where I managed to find the one dish that didn’t feature lamb (ugh!), and thoroughly enjoyed it. We trekked further up the road to Kensington Roof Gardens, for the Mind Candy party! Mind Candy are regular collaborators of ours (the photo of me in bubble wrap on PopJam? It’s their app) and we have an exciting new project together, which I AM allowed to mention, as of four days ago. We’ve acquired rights to publish a range of books based on their new World of Warriors game, and I’ll be assisting on the fiction titles, written by the wonderful Curtis Jobling.
The party was great, and the venue pretty special – hadn’t been before. I gather there are flamingos there in the day time. We think we found where they keep them and tried to get in but couldn’t. Luckily it was a warm evening too, so we got to make good use of the promised gardens. The highlight of the evening was the spotting of Dick and Dom. What do you mean, ‘Who are Dick and Dom?’ Um, Dick and Dom IN DA BUNGALOW, the show that every child of the 90s remembers with fond memories, chiefly when our titular presenters had to shout ‘BOGIES’ in public places, obviously. Anyway, we got a photo with them, and it made certain members of our group very happy indeed. Photo achieved, drinks drunk, mingling complete, we piled high our bags of sweets from the snack table, and made our way home.
Next time: visiting Zurich.