Trains, dead phones and Lords!

House of Lords


Last week was quite an adventure with a full day out of the office for a training course, a trip to the races with one of our lovely clients and then a lunch at the Lords (check me!).

The CIPR had decided to open up their annual Fellows lunch to Chartered Public Relations Practitioners – I’m one of those.

So off I headed to the big smoke and it was blooming marvellous not to be on a 6.30am train full of commuters. Heading to London for lunch is so much more civilised than heading there to work for the day. BUT, this was my second experience of Hull trains, the first experience, just a few weeks ago, they cancelled the train, this time the train arrived but the electric in the carriage was not working. I know this sounds like a first world problem but I couldn’t work, my laptop was flat and as I’d planned to work throughout the journey it was very frustrating.

I did what any respectable traveller without power would do and turned to my phone. I muddled through what I could and the result was that just as I got off the tube at Westminster my phone battery died. I’m not sure that my mother in law will forgive me for not getting a photo of me at the House of Lords, but there you go.

After the security checks, a necessary evil in today’s society, we were taken through to a great space, given fizz and invited to stand out in the sunshine overlooking the Thames.

Lunch was a lovely affair, they did good to feed me (food intolerance and all!), and I met some really interesting people. We had some great chats ranging from trees (Forestry Commission) to Education (Cardiff University) and everything in between.

Our speaker for the day was Lord Dobbs, writer of House of Cards, I have to confess, I didn’t need asking twice to attend this event once I’d seen his name on the bill. He was a real draw and one of the attendees on my table had brought a book for him to sign (why, oh why, didn’t I bring my Underwood typewriter – best gift ever from my husband – for him to sign).

He was charming, witty and had read the room very well. He shared a few tales from his pre House of Cards time in politics,  talked about his optimism despite what was going on in the world – it was catching – or maybe that was the fizz, and he was a pleasure to listen to.

I’m hoping that by next year’s event there are so many Chartered Public Relations Professionals that there will have to be a system in place to make the invites fair, but for now I was proud to be one of the few.

A visit to The House of Lords to hear from the writer of the House of Cards was definitely something I shall be dining out on for a while.



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