It’s not that we’re not used to mixing with savvy London journos and media types. We often provide content – products, images and comments, for their features. The fact that we’re ‘up north’ and not down there in the big city doesn’t come into it. They ask and we deliver.

So as our clients and coverage will testify, the ‘nationals’ are no stranger to us.

But last month saw a slight curve ball thrown in. Marie Claire wanted a ‘real-life’ case study, someone who would speak about festive shopping and hotfoot it down to London to be photographed. This is a request which strikes fear into most clients and one for which there were no takers. So in the interest of maintaining good relations with our media friends there was nothing else for it but for me to step up to the mark. And Kate Moss I am not.

Undeterred and one very early train journey later I arrive in London, studio address in hand and the best ‘what this old thing?’ outfit I could muster. The shoot was quite overwhelming. The X Factor make-up artist, a beautiful Diane Von Furstenberg silk dress, killer Gina shoes and lots of ‘smizing’ – which is the art of smiling with your eyes the super-sophisticated artistic director informed me.

And that was that. Armed with my new ‘smoky eyes’ and a bundle of new names for our contact book to serve us and our clients very nicely in the future I made my way back to King’s Cross, via Selfridges of course.

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