Better Late than Never!

Hi all,

So it’s the start of the so called summer holidays, who’s stuck here in the rain and who’s managed to escape for some sun? And could someone please bring some back for me?

I’ve super busy this past week, and let me tell you finding glamorous outfits to wear in this weather isn’t easy!

Wednesday was the launch of The Big Dance 2012  at St Pancras station, where the fabulous choreographer Kate Prince had young dancers from all over the UK strutting their stuff and getting everyone around them up and dancing, including myself and the Mayor Boris Johnson!

Then it was on to fittings for my new Marisota collection that I had a shoot for later in the week (more about that to come!) and I know I always say it but I really am most excited about the latest designs.  It’s very different from anything I’ve done previously, and you’ll soon see why…

Thursday was office mania with Coco and Tully – it’s getting so hectic even my PA needs a PA!

Fri was an early start in Manchester where I was filming for a campaign I’m working on with Save the Children, that highlights the unimaginable poverty kids are living in right here in the UK.  We visited a young girl and her 2yr old son who lived just outside of Bradford in Keighley, and the steps she has taken towards making a better life for her and her son by using the help available from Save the Children is just fantastic, but still heartbreaking to see.  To find out more about how to get involved or donate click here  Bizarrely, it’s the second time filming in the exact same area in one month, as I was there only a couple of weeks ago with the Antiques Roadtrip, and not only that, until then I’d never even been there!

The weekend was great fun, on Saturday I attended a fabulous fundraiser dinner for the Jamie Oliver foundation, where we were entertained and scammed by Alexis Conran from The Real Hustle

I spend most of Sunday rifling through the rails at a local vintage fair, that I always get very excited about whenever it’s on, and this time was no exception!

Monday I was thrilled and very lucky to attend a private viewing of the Picasso exhibition at the Tate Britain that was arranged by the wonderful Margaret McCabe of Debate-Mate.  I learnt so much my brain was practically spinning, all of it utterly fascinating though.

Tuesday was the auction for Richard Hopkins, a young, enigmatic producer I had the pleasure of working with at the BBC for many years, who sadly passed away from cancer last year.  It’s tragic for someone so young with so much talent, and the support from all in attendance to raise money to help fight this so far incurable disease was really overwhelming.  It was at the Paramount club at the top of the Centrepoint building on Tottenham Court Road, where the views were simply breathtaking.  It was lovely to see so many familiar faces, and some of the prizes available in the silent auction were just mindblowing.

I spend Wednesday running around in town trying to find all the bits and pieces one seems to need on a regular basis, until it was time for grand opening of my dear friend Fiona’s new beauty clinic Skin Associates on Wimpole Street.  It’s a one stop beauty shop with anything and everything you could possibly want.  From the the more lightweight options such as nails, tanning, lash extensions, massage and facials, the non surgical procedures such as the Indiba machine that I used to keep my skin firm, laser hair removal and some magical sounding weight loss laser (which I’ll be queuing up to get on!) and then of course for the more daring of your there’s all sorts of Botox and fillers, and even their very own top plastic surgeon Paul Banwell who can pretty much do anything you want! I’m am however most proud to say you’ll be able to book my very own personal makeup artist (and daughter!) Alana there for anything to do with makeup you could imagine.  Makeovers, tips, celebrity makeup secrets, weddings and more, book in with Alana to find your perfect look

After I left Fiona’s I made my way across town to the screening of the upcoming BBC4 Kenny Everett biopic that’s showing this autumn, and is an absolute must see.  I sobbed all my makeup off, and was still going when I got home!   The drama is so true to life, and it brought back so many wonderful memories of my days working with him and Hot Gossip, and just what a special person he truly was.

Thursday was a long yet very exciting meeting with the Lord himself, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the rest of the creative team all about the new changes going into the upcoming touring production of The Wizard of Oz in Canada.  Then it was off to Milton Keynes to check in on Midnight Tango, and make sure the show is still looking as fantastic as ever, and boy was it!  Vincent and Flavia are utterly spellbinding, and if you STILL haven’t seen it then GO!  I was accompanied by the show’s director and my long time friend Karen Bruce, and of course the two of us not paying any attention managed to get on the slowest train possible, but filled the time with the fastest gossiping ever!

Friday was Youth Dance England’s U Dance festival, where dance groups from all ovet the country performed pieces they had choreographed themselves, the most powerful and definitely my favourite was a group from Cardiff, with kids aged from 8-18yrs called Unique that really blew me away.

Saturday was spent with my wonderful family, as being here there and everywhere during the week meant I didn’t get to see too much of them!

To finish off my week of dance I spend Sunday at the 02, judging the Dance Make You’re Move contest on behalf of the British Red Cross.  It was an extraordinary event where dance and storytelling was brought together by schools from all over the UK creating pieces depicting events that the Red Cross has been involved in, many of which moved me to tears.

So after such a busy time I’m going to pretty much hibernate over the next few days, and I’ll be back with more stories soon.

Enjoy the rain…

Arlene xx