28 March 2010

Not Ideal!

I had a day out in London yesterday. I'd arranged to meet my school friend, Liz, to celebrate our fortieth birthdays and to celebrate our thirty year friendship.

On the journey down I had the pleasure of sharing my train carriage with a group of people who had clearly never travelled by train before and had never been to London. I felt like telling them that they sell Malibu in London, so they really didn't need to lug two bottles each with them. Or forty packets of crisps. I didn't have to point out that you have to pay extra to sit in first class, the guard did that as he kicked them out and sat them next to me. Grrr,

I met Liz at Euston station. We went down to the Tube. I wish there had been a sign like this at the start of our underground journey:

If we'd seen this we'd have chosen alternative means of transport. Never mind, we had a good chat in the hour it took us to get to Earls Court.

Many bloggers had been offered free tickets to the Ideal Home Show, but I wonder how many of them actually received their tickets from Stuart Higgins Communications? I know I didn't. The last contact I had from them was Thursday evening where they apologised for not sending me any tickets and promised that my name would be on the guest list for Saturday.

I went to the press office, as instructed, and surprise surprise there was no Sandy Calico on the list. Thankfully I was able to I flash my Baby Baby 'business' card and Liz and I were handed two press passes and two official showguides. We felt quite important... for about thirty seconds!

We then headed into what I can only describe as HELL ON EARTH.

I was expecting to see aspirational home ideas, but, apart from some gorgeous glass tiles, pretty much all we saw was tat.

We headed for the Ideal Woman section hoping to get a promised free beauty treatment. The queue was about fifty deep. We walked away. We did have a wonderful vibrating power massage at one of the stalls. I would tell you who by, but I can't decipher the map.

There were far too many people in the building. It was poorly signposted and the maps in the showguide were no help whatsoever. At one point, as we were trying to find the single escalator we got caught up in a sea of people. We couldn't move. Eventually we shuffled along, feeling extremely sorry for the babies, children and those in wheelchairs.

We queued for thirty minutes to get a coffee and a sandwich. The catering staff had clearly never worked a coffee machine before. They were so slow. I looked around for hidden cameras, but this was not a prank. These people were totally inept.

I hate to be so negative, but I will never go to anything like this ever again.

We left after ninety minutes and breathed a sign off relief when we finally found the exit.

Next we had to find our way back to Euston, avoiding the tube. We took a couple of buses. Yes, of course, we were accompanied on our journey by the resident bus drunk, Doo Dah Dave!

We rounded the day off with hot chocolates and chocolate cake at the station. I had a peaceful train journey home (i.e. I slept for most of it).

Liz and I enjoyed our day, in spite of all the obstacles thrown at us!


In other news, I was interviewed by the lovely Emily O at Babyrambles this week for her Blogger on the Spot feature. You can read all about it here.


Finally, late last year I wrote a post where do chips come from?. Quite a lot of people search for this on Google (thank you for telling me Google Analytics), so I thought I would let you  know that the potato story bus is back! Look out for it in Scotland and the North of England.



  1. Sorry you didn't have the best day. As you know, my experiences with the PR agency handling the event were less than brilliant, too.

    But glad you had fun in spite of the obstacles!

  2. Welcome to London, the city where everything's half functioning or closed on the weekends.

  3. I'm feeling very sorry for you, and very relieved for me - had thought about buying a ticket (we're about fifteen minutes away from Earls' Court - so wish I'd known you were stranded as I would have been delighted to rescue you) for inspiration for the new house. Very pleased I didn't waste the money....

    But isnt' it amazing how there's really not very much that can't be improved by hot chocolate?!

  4. Sounds like my kind of day. ;)

  5. We used to live just across the road from it so nipped in outside the weekends to find things (cut price garden furniture to save it being taken back to the shop) but its horrid, I'd never go unless I really had to

    But at least you got to have a nice day out and a chat

  6. What a disappointment, and a long way for you to go to find that out! Still, at least you got to spend time with your friend. And when it's a goodd friend it doesn't really matter what you do. Thanks for the mention!

  7. Shame about the show, but am glad you and your friend had a lovely day x

  8. Not good service, such a shame as I know so many people usually enjoy these shows.:0(
    I was in London too yesterday, my nightmare was the train service....never mind. Maybe we crossed paths- wouldn't that have been funny! ;0)

  9. what a load of poop! It should have been so good, what a huge disappointment :(

  10. How dreadful. Sounds like a nightmare day and how bad that the tickets did not arrive as promised. I'm pleased you wrote such an honest post, that seems only right. At least you met your friend. It would have been even worse if you had gone there on your own xx

  11. Your day sounds so similar to mine! I think my friend managed 45 minutes before she left to seek starbucks and I followed her an hour late! It was chaos! Too crowded. Poorly organised! I also wont be going back!!!

  12. Sally, I hadn't made that connection. We had a good day anyway!

    Glowstars, I know. I checked Virgin Trains but forgot to check the undergroud!

    Plan B, I hadn't realised you were so close. Liz used to live in Earls Court, so at least she knew which bus to catch! Yep, the hot chocolate was good :-)

    Beth, aw, things don't always go to plan!

    Muddling Along, we did spend the whole day talking, so it wasn't all bad!

  13. Emily, I was meeting my friend anyway, the Ideal Home Show was a 'bonus'!

    B, thanks, we did :-)

    Chic Mama, haha, maybe we did!

    Heather, yep, it was disappointing, but at least I've been now and don't need to go again! The Legoland Discovery Centre was much better!

    Rosie, I'm glad I didn't go on my own! I had a great day with my friend, that's the main thing x

    Hayley, I can't understand why they let so many people in, it's just not enjoyable! Shame we didn't bump into each other :-)


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