From the first certified Sustainable Salon in London to Chichester and Antwerp

Sometimes you get so bogged down with life admin and general ‘stuff’ that your creative mind just doesn’t get a look-in, and at the moment I feel like I have creative schizophrenia with multiple personalities. Pretty bad timing considering I’m planning for my 2018 shoot, which is being shot in Melbourne in April. So, to distracFrom the first certified Sustainable Salon in London to Chichester and Antwerpt me from my non-existent creative process I thought I would write my blog…

Following on from the last one it’s still busy, busy, busy!!!

We have the honour of being the first certified Sustainable Salon in London and to mark the occasion we hosted an event and invited other London salons in the hope they will complete the course and work more sustainably. It was a fun evening and we had an amazing turn out so thank you to everyone who attended.

Jo, Catherine and I had our second meeting at Skylon for the President’s Network; it really is a stunning view – London and the Thames spread out in front of you. I’m really excited about the President’s Network; it’s going to be something different so if you’re a member, work for a member or sponsor save the date, Monday 9th April, and if you can’t make it watch our live feed on Facebook.

The weekend’s come round so fast I blink and it’s Friday, Julie Allen’s husband was away skiing so we took a road trip, a wet (actually full on downpour) but fantastic weekend was had in Chichester.

Julie had booked the fab The Harbour Hotel in Chichester, with a great vibe, artwork and rooms.

In the one point of the day where it didn’t rain we went for a refreshing walk on West Wittering beach, then it was duck for cover as the heavens opened (yes, more rain…)

We popped in to see Dawn and Paul at their really cool beach house and had a little glass of champagne.

Back to the hotel for an amazing dinner and lots of champagne. Although “light weight Julie” crashed out early.

It was good to rest; I went to bed and watched an interesting film, Water Diviner, a few years old now but really moving.

The next day it was pouring with rain but we still drove around and had a look at some beautiful villages and towns, on our way to Portsmouth and then home.

Monday I was at a L’Oreal meeting with Monica and Darren, talking about how we’ll be collaborating with the Fellowship this year. It really is very exciting, so much is happening this year. HJ Live will all be on instastories; Pro Hair will be on FB live. Our all new look Masterclass HAIR AND VISION is launching at Sway in Covent Garden.

Back to Monday: it was over to The Library Space in Battersea to meet this year’s F.A.M.E Team on their first day. It was a great setting for the meeting; thanks to Antony and Pat Mascolo.

The team are in for a mega year ahead; amazing days are lined up with a host of special guests and the team’s mentor Nick Irwin was really excited about the calendar. Andreas Stavrou was also there armed with boxes of BaBylisspro electrical goodies for the team.

We all then went over to Barbican to see Basiquet exhibition, the team really took inspiration from this and are going to take elements from it for their first show at Pro Hair Live in February – if you’re in Manchester on the 25th and 26th pop along to the Manchester Central conference centre if you want to have a look.

It was a full on week in the salon; we announced the winner of the competition we ran all last year to come to Australia to assist on this year’s shoot. Congratulations to Marcos who won, but unfortunately he can’t go! So our lucky runner up was Sophia. Great work from all the team last year. We’ve been having our reviews this week and they all had a great year last year, laying the foundations for a brilliant 2018.

Friday it was off to Janett’s birthday drinks at the Lauriston Pub in Hackney. Once again that off switch forgot to kick in, it was back to ours for a little dance off and a good old putting the world to rights.

This week as I said at the beginning was a little challenging. Monday was the judging of the AHFA (Australian hair fashion awards), which was back at the Library Space Battersea. David Mannah editor of The Journal magazine in Australia is the organiser; good luck to all the entrants!

I rushed back to the salon for a fully booked day, before heading to The Coterie at One Alfred Place for a fab evening listening to industry leaders Johanna Cree Brown, Zoe Irwin and Cassie C and others talk about #creativeRituals.

Mid week was an experience: Marnie and I had given Jacki a day trip to   for her birthdaFrom the first certified Sustainable Salon in London to Chichester and Antwerpy.

Talk about a day of comedy and disaster, I should have known when the cab turned up 15 mins late… We got stuck in traffic and only just made it in time to St Pancras station. Finally on the Eurostar in our seats starting to relax, we realised that the train only goes to Brussels and we had another 1 hour each way and platform changes on the train. Our well planned 8 hours in Antwerp ended up being only 5 ½ (although actually as it turned out that was more than enough time…) It was meant to be a day of walking the city, popping into concept stores for fashion houses, especially Ann Demeulemeester, catching the Ai -Weiwei exhibition and hanging in a café for a champagne lunch watching the people go by.

Having to re-evaluate, our lunch booking was now going to be first, not mid way. We set off on the 45 minute walk which would take in the old town and some shops. NO – the rain was driving down and the wind was sweeping us along the street, it was freezing and there were no people, it looked like a ghost town.

Occasionally we would look up to take in a beautiful building before taking cover under another. Determined to finish this walk we got to the Ann Demeulemeester store, not looking very open… We go past saying nothing, me secretly hoping maybe it’s siesta time! The brassie we had booked was just a few doors up, we go straight there – no sitting outside watching the world go by. Bottle of champagne ordered, the girls had omelette and chips (there is a reason why I’m giving you this detail) we asked for a glass of water but NO, they are not allowed to serve tap water!! I mean you are kidding me!! Lunch over and we go to the Ann Demeulemeester store and as suspected it is shut for the change over of season. Can you believe it!!! Marnie, determined to give Jacki a little of the day that was planned and the main reason why we were there, knocked on the door. What amazing staff there, they let us in for a private view and apologised for the ladders and stock not yet put away. It was fab, Jacki was in her element. Spirits lifted a little we deicide to get a cab to the Ai Wei-wie Exhibition at the Photo Gallery. We go to the cab rank in the driving rain, get in the cab and he starts yelling at us to get out it’s a 10 minute walk and he wasn’t taking us, Shocked and annoyed we got out (I couldn’t resist leaving the car door open, I think I even said take that – so mature I know – sort that one out.) Then there is a big argument between all the cabs, the police get called and a cab at the back took us there – he was very apologetic for the cab driver in front.

Giggling, what else could go wrong, maybe the exhibition would be shut? To our delight it wasn’t BUT and yes BUT it only took cash or Belgium credit cards between us we didn’t have enough cash and it was a 10 min walk in the driving rain to the cash point. Enough is enough – we can’t get back to he train fast enough.

We had a funny train journey back laughing at the disastrous day. Marnie announcing “well, that was a long way to go for lunch”; Jacki “considering we only had egg and chips” summed it up.

Note to self – city breaks in the winter are NOT FUN.

To end the week it was flat out with clients with everyone wanting a January lift so that was fun.

I had a great meeting with Suki Kalirai on Friday. We went for a drink at St Martin’s Hotel, I hadn’t been in ages but I really like the bar, great atmosphere and a place to thrash out how our industry is doing with the dramatic changes that are taking place right now.

A few glasses of Champagne down: oops I was late for dinner and Jacki had cooked up a feast for us Biryani and chicken curry, it was a lovely end to the week hanging with friends……………………………….

Sunday evening… Since starting this blog on Saturday morning, I’ve finally got my head together to create some moods boards for my shoot. Feeling much happier about my headspace, thanks to Margo who gave up a good 4 hours of her time to brainstorm with me. All ready for my creative meeting tomorrow with Errol…

What a beautiful day today, the sun’s shining I have just finished an experience of “Apricity” (please look it up, this is a word I am trying to revive!) around the east and west wetlands of Stoke Newington.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend and here’s to a new fulfilling week.