Periodically, I get the urge to have a linguistic workout which is really just an excuse to go abroad for a few days. This week we grabbed a couple of days in Hamburg, which meant I got to practice my rusty German and Hubby got to drink beer and admire German cars.
Hamburg is very nice but it rained almost as soon as we arrived which meant the trips I had planned were scuppered and I had to take Hubby to one of the huge department stores in town for some retail therapy. It's always dangerous taking him shopping because as regular readers know, Hubby has a penchant for clothes. The Karstadt department store not only has some of the nicest clothes I have seen for a while but it has hundreds and hundreds of ranges. Hubby was beside himself gawping at orange trousers, red one, yellow ones, pink ones and so on.
In short, we were in the men's department for over two hours. I allowed Hubby a new jumper and after trying on every single type of jumper imaginable he settled on an orange one. The staff were wonderful. They were charming, in fact and when I went to pay they told me that if I came back the next day I would be able to have free champagne because it was the official opening of the store by a top supermodel, Lena Gercke.
Those two words have an effect on me similar to Pavlov's bell on dogs. No, not "Lena Gercke". I didn't even know who she was until I Googled her. I meant "free champagne". I always salivate when I hear those words, actually, I salivate when I hear he word "champagne". Of course we would be back the following day.
Now, being one of those people who doesn't like to miss any opportunity, especially a potential promotional opportunity, I had an idea. If I could get Lena the supermodel to pose with a copy of one of my books, what a coup that would be. I always carry a spare copy. You never know when you might be presented with an opportunity to promote it or sell it. I'd send Hubby to ask her. He can charm birds from trees. How could she refuse?
The following day Hubby and I made our way to the store just ahead of the big opening. Imagine my glee when I saw signs for the Press directing them to the pre-opening press conference. I told Hubby my plan. We'd be reporters and get into the conference. I'd tell them we were from the Facing 50 Gazette. Hubby thought I was bonkers. I insisted it would work. You see, I've done this before. I once managed to interview OMD in the eighties after a gig by pretending to be a member of the press and using my University pass which I flashed at the body guards on the door. It worked then so why not now? I checked my bag for a pass. I carry all sorts of useless rubbish in my bag and sure enough in a travel folder was my PADI diving pass, although why I had it for Hamburg was a mystery.
"You've got a camera. You can be my photographer. Now, come on," I hissed at Hubby. Luckily, he had had a pint of beer or he would have refused. I think part of him wondered if the plan would work. Anyway, we followed the signs up to the very top floor where there was a large room.Outside the room stood two official looking men in uniforms. Hubby was squirming because he had just seen Andrew Jennings the CEO of Karstadt going into the room. I took a deep breath and off I went waving my 'pass'.
Did it work?
Click here to find out...