Dong! First new thing was going to the Bell at Boxford. Lovely!
Dong! Second was the Five Bells at Wickham, also lovely!
Dong! Er that's it!
Carnarvon Arms – I’ve always, always wanted to come here since I was young, and we decided that we’d have a look around and hold the wedding here. As a child I had a fascination of Lord Carnarvon and Tutankhamun, and was delighted to have gone on a school trip just up the road to the museum display. And the venue is lovely, just what we wanted, and although slightly out of our budget, we had a really good feeling about it. Except I managed to upset the bar manager because I got lost as the map took me round Kingsclere and towards Whitchurch, so I was very, very late and flustered and reacted badly to the tone in which he told me I had the postcode wrong (I didn’t!). I felt bad about this, because I know he was trying to help, so I joked that I felt old when people called me “madam” to which he said: “Sorry MADAM” in such a tone that we fled to see if we could have the wedding in a shed somewhere....anywhere.
The walk up through the trees was the worst bit – I really need to get fit! One poor guy banged his face and his legs and so climbed back up again, so I decided to go righjt there and then before I started thinking about it too hard again. I admired the view while I was being fastened in, and then down I went, giggling all the way until I noticed two climbers right below me. We said hello to each other, which was hilarious, and then I carried on bounding down the rocks until the bottom when I couldn’t get out of my harness! Mabel came down a little more gingerly and we marvelled at how the friction had caused our figure of eights to become hot, hot, hot! A great experience and some nice people which helped boost the confidence!
Back to school after 15 years to sell some fudge! New thing was a marquee for the occasion! The fudge went down an absolute treat, thanks to its lovely texture and taste, but also my dad’s phenomenal selling ability! It was really nice to be back, but I was startled at the magpie qualities of some of the pupils, one of whom took a fistful of fudge from my tasting plate!
New thing was seeing the Julian Tulk Band live http://www.myspace.com/juliantulk – amazing performance, and wonderful support from Kat Marsh www.myspace.com/katmarsh who has an incredible voice and the impossibly talented Jumblebox Consortium http://www.myspace.com/jumbleboxconsortium - could not believe what I was seeing....
New thing today was meeting the absolutely lovely F1 driver for Red Bull Racing Mark Webber who was at Renault London West to open the new business centre called Renault Pro+.
FORMULA ONE STAR MARK WEBBER HELPS LAUNCH RENAULT PRO+,
NEW ONE STOP SHOP FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES
The largest Renault dealership in the country, Renault London West, in Acton was the setting yesterday for the official launch of Renault Pro+, the French marque’s new service for business customers.
Created to build on the success of the company’s existing ‘Business Centre’ network which was introduced back in 1999, the new Renault Pro+ centres will enable participating dealerships to deliver even greater standards of service quality for sales and after-sales to local business customers for both cars and vans. New service ramps capable of taking vehicles up to 8 tonnes, will also allow them to handle all makes and sizes of commercial vehicles, as well as the forthcoming New Master van which is set to be launched in Spring 2010 in larger and heavier variations than the current range. A total of 11 centres are expected to open across the UK before the end of the year, with a further number of equal size to follow in 2010.
The flagship centre was launched with the help of Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber, powered to victory by a Renault engine in this year’s German and Brazilian Grands Prix and to second place at Sunday’s final race of the 2009 Formula One season in Abu Dhabi. Also in attendance were several company executives, including Thierry Braems, Sales and Marketing Director of Renault’s international van division, Roland Bouchara, Managing Director, Renault UK and Ian Plummer, Managing Director, Renault Retail Group.
Following a tour of the site’s new workshop facilities, including a new 8t ramp, the 100 guests took the opportunity to chat with the Formula One star over lunch before the inevitable clamour for autographs and photos.
The star of Renault’s current van ad campaign, ‘Le Laitier’, a pristine Renault milk float from the early 1900s, was also shipped gently over the Channel, much to the delight and intrigue of the attendees.
Each of the new centres will act as a ‘One Stop Shop‘, delivering high levels of service to time-pressured business customers. With fully trained sales and after-sales staff, visitors can expect guidance on every aspect of owning and running a commercial vehicle, whether it be new and used vehicle sales, after sales, finance, or service and maintenance.
The benefits of the new Renault Pro+ are considerable, with an 11-point ‘Business Customer Promise’ to ensure that the new standards are consistently met. Among the aspects covered are the requirement for an enhanced range of demo and display vehicles including converted products, rapid diagnostic work, personalised finance proposal in under 48 hours, extended opening hours and a suitable courtesy vehicle to ensure that a customer’s business operations are not unduly interrupted at any stage.
At Renault London West as a prime example, a selection of 25 light commercial vehicles were on show, highlighting the depth and breadth of the Renault range for every type of business use.
Speaking at the event, Roland Bouchara, Managing Director, Renault UK, said: “We’re delighted to be launching our first Renault Pro+ centre. Combined with the recent strides we have made in the quality of our products, this new initiative will enable us to deliver even better levels of service to our local business customers, as well as put ourselves ahead of key rivals.”