For those that know me, when I haven't published a diary for a while, you may imagine the following: I have been hit by a car, I am stranded, or I simply have no internet access. This is what one would think. But in all honesty that wasn't the case, I will totally admit that I was on holiday at the famous Disney World. Don't laugh too hard. I even liked it. At times it felt like I was stranded, surrounded by a truly unusual environment and well out of my element. Even in Disney all I did was either critique the enormous amount of yellow food, how the rides were even designed and the interiors of spaces and hotels. I can never leave the world of design even if it feels like I am supposed to. I took more photos of interiors than family photos and even got into the detail of how much money was spent on a Harry Potter ride which had such an impressive design and virtual reality experience. However, I do remember texting as I jumped onto Space Mountain and bringing a portable charger for my phone to receive and send emails, which I did constantly. One never really switches off no matter how hard we try.
Just before Disney I spoke at the United Nations in NYC and that was an event of a lifetime. You just don't get to do that everyday and contribute to the International Women and Girls in Science forum and be on UN TV. It was a real honour to have been asked by HRH Princess Nisreen El Hashemite of Iraq and to meet so many Ambassadors and interesting women working on some phenomenal projects around the world. There were over 65 countries present. Meeting Gloria Starr Kins has to be my highlight. An 88 year old woman who runs the Society & Diplomatic Review. If there was ever anyone to know in NYC this is the lady who happens to own the most stunning apartment in all of Manhattan with its own lift. She kindly introduced us to Princess Sarah Singh of Patiala, an established and award winning film maker, which leads me to talk about our latest sponsorship.
Sarah arrived in London a week ago and we met up and decided to sponsor her film sort of last minute but it worked out well 'A Million Rivers'. It launched at the V&A as a one time showing but will be traveling globally. Prior to the launch, I had the great pleasure of networking at an afternoon tea held by the Sorority Group and met Princess Yasmien Abbasi of Pakistan and Princess Nauf Albendar of Saudi Arabia who will hopefully soon be clients of The Longest Stay. During the tea, Sarah talked about her film and then actress Lillette Dubey, from Exotic Marigold Hotel, made a few comments since she was the star. I also enjoyed spending some time with Lillette as we have both had a similar personal loss in our life. The next day when the film aired we had about 250 guests and then, in 24 hours, we organised an apperitivo at Montepelicano near the V&A for about 30 guests. This included inviting the High Commissioner of India as well as Gurinder Chadha, the director of Bend it like Beckham. The film is beautiful and it will be presented at many future venues such as the Barbican. Every shot is like looking at black and white photos which leave you a timeless impression. Some described it as "Hauntingly Beautiful" which I tend to agree.
For me the The Longest Stay is not just about selling luxury furniture but it is about supporting our good causes such as Women in Science and Technology, artisans from underdeveloped countries, and the arts overall. We don't try to be cool, I think we just are. We do try and give back. My goal at the UN as I said we don't have a men's club we have one club and I mean that. When the Longest Stay becomes even more successful I plan to set up a fund that backs other women businesses, on the guarantee that women will back another.
Besides all of these great and exciting times, it seems that Dubai are also big fans as we procure some very large jobs in record times. Georgina and T managed the fort so well when I was away and helped me crank out some fast results in record time. It is good to have anchors in the business when you are riding the wave. Next we are looking forward to one of us attending MIPIM next week the largest property development conference in Europe if I can escape I will be there. Tomorrow is Donut's birthday she turns 4. We will have cake.