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Sofitel London St James 07.12.2017

WORK DO: Like so many of you, it is usually the work do that kicks off my Festive Social Calendar. Thankfully, despite the financial uncertainty of Brexit, once again this year, our firm pulled out all the stops and it was a Black Tie Event at the swanky Sofitel London St James. Unfortunately, festive celebrations always seem to begin at the end of a long “your boss is out wining and dining clients while leaving everything they need YOU TO DO, until the last minute” kind of day!

Beaded Maxi Dress from Fifty Plus

Haven’t we got enough on our plate pondering if we have packed everything that is going to facilitate a smooth changeover from the person they see Monday to Friday into the glitzy individual that is going to be seated next to a “colleague” from another department that you probably have never met and your picture resurrected and included in the dreaded New Year firm-wide email that surfaces in your inbox.

Aged 55 I always take the day after the office party as annual leave. Not only do I get to sleep late, but my blood pressure remains stable as I avoid the disreputable “…going already?… The night is young…” crowd who party well into the night and call in sick the next day presuming someone else will undertake their work! Good luck with that!

THE ANNUAL BT DANCE: I love the BT dance as like the Midnight Affair, below I feel it is money well spent as it is not a lottery what kind of music the DJ’s are going to play. The choices are the Upfront Room, Revival Room, Party Room & The Soul Lounge. The flyer highlights that illustrious DJ’s - The System, JB Crew, Daddy Ernie and Premier Muziq Squad will be playing in the Revival room where I will position myself all night. My only reservation about this annual Christmas dance is that like all festive work parties I have been to it always takes place on a Thursday meaning for many they have to go to work on the Friday. The mark-up on drinks is, in my opinion, obscene and would give The Promenade Bar at the Dorchester a run for its money i.e. two lagers at a cost of £15!!! I could have bought a crate from the supermarket for that. Despite this fact more and more people attend each year .

Thankfully verbal communication will be neigh on impossible above the music and I welcome this rare “guaranteed lovers rock is going to be played” opportunity to partake in the art of body language. A salacious smile tugs at the corner of my mouth and a conspiratorial spark is in my eyes as I empty my mind of the chaotic festive here and now, replacing it with “Wild Thoughts” of how the evening will unfold.

Maybe a fragrance with a warm, subtle yet alluring note that will stir a yearning for him to have me on lock-down on the dance floor all night long. The split of my dress, while tastefully exposing a seductive hint of thigh, must allow my agile leg, unsullied by age or weight gain to be ensnared between his more muscular one as we rock to and fro to the baseline and my hip like a magnet remains flush against his. Will it be forehead to forehead or cheek to cheek? Will my hands maintain a dignified touch to his shoulder or a caressing hand around his neck?

As expected, our iconic revival/old skool DJ’s did not disappoint. They literally rocked the hall into the early hours as track after track veteran party goers expressed their appreciation by blowing whistles or raising a flashing mobile in the air.

Wig made with Beauti Collection Yakki 10 inch Weave

Hair: Following on from my previous blog A Sense of Occasion & Implicit Dress Code – I was determined to "put my money where my mouth is" and wear a wig or weave for the festive season and when two of your daughters recommend the same hairdresser, you know you are onto a winner. I rigorously researched the colour, type and texture of hair and settled on Beauti Collection Platinum, 10 Inch Yakki Weave (3 packs @ £7.99 each from PAKS) colour 2 and a 10inch Yakki Colour 2 closure as being the closest to my natural baby hair. I wore the corporate office look Monday to Friday. The true test was wearing the wig to the B.T. dance and surviving the raw northerly winds as we waited outside in the "ticket holders only" queue. I avoid gelling my "baby hairs" as I feel that firstly it draws the eye automatically to the hairline initiating the question “is it her hair or not” and more importantly I have only recently managed to regrow the front of my hair after years of relaxing and weaving and try to avoid manipulating my hairline as much as possible. I prefer to bridge the gap between wig and hairline by taking my time to achieve the perfect fit avoiding glues etc.

MAKEUP: I posted this “I am home” after the BT Dance photo, stating “The curls may not

Home after BT Dance

have held up by the time I got home but my drugstore makeup withstood the strong winds, and dancing.” The MaxFactor All Day 3 in 1 Foundation Shade Sun Tan 100 gave a flawless complexion meaning I could avoid the unsightly step of applying foundation to my neck. Yuk! The Colourpop More Better Ultra Matte lipstick did not fade despite many sips.

Sleek Highlighter Palette

A touch of Hemisphere on a fan brush followed by a hint of Equinox from the Sleek Highlighter Palette, (Superdrugs) accentuated the high points of my cheekbones. A subscriber commented that “you look fresh”. I owe this compliment to “The Maybelline 24 Makeup Fixing Spray” as it clearly done its job.

SHOES: Whilst on Outlook these shoes popped up in the right-hand column as being a mere

Joanna Hope Peep Toe Sling back Shoe
Floral Swing Dress from Very

£13.25! While my mantra is “comfort is priceless” I could not resist clicking onto JD Williams to see if they were available in my size. Need I say more? This low heel, wine/purple Wide E Fitting Joanna Hope Peep Toe Sling back Shoe with cushioned inner sole not only dictated the dress that I wore but was literally what the doctor ordered post-DVT. The dress from Very, one of my best buys some 3 years ago skimmed effortlessly over my stomach/hips and attracted complimentary glances and comments throughout the evening.

Midnight Affair 2017

THE MIDNIGHT AFFAIR: Having been spoilt the past 3 years and used to the convenience of the Midnight Affair being held at The Grange Hotel I am the first to admit that I did find travelling to the Excel London, Royal Victoria Dock, a bit of a trek this New Year’s Eve. Cocktails were at 18:30 coupled with the promise of dancing into the early hours of New Year's Day which equates to an 11 Hour 30 Minute marathon not including travel time. The venue was plush but I felt, the intimacy of The Grange was lost in the sheer vacuum of this setting. However, the change of venue did not impact on the standard of this prestigious event.

JUST POSH MASKS despite the festive season and short notice came through for me once again. After a silver service three-course meal I put on my mask, rooted myself on the chair provided by management in the Platinum Suite ready for Studio One, JB Crew and Daddy Ernie

Just Posh Mask at Midnight Affair

to seduce me with the voice of Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond, Glen Washington, Sanchez, Marcia Griffiths, Louisa Marks, Mighty Diamonds, John Holt, Junior Murvin etc. well into 2018. All who attended did so in the spirit of the event and wore their masks. There were sequinned dresses, long and short. Tailored suits and needless to say joy and laughter was the staple of the evening. Thankfully I had the wisdom to bring my flats! I think I can attest and affirm for all those in attendance that the Midnight Affair organisers have defended and retained their title of best planned and exhibited New Year's event. We just couldn’t get enough and ultimately stayed much longer than we had planned.

Dress, Hair & NYX Professional Glitter Gunmetal

MAKEUP: The NYX Professional Makeup Pigment in Gunmetal provided a welcome pop to the otherwise conventional black smokey eye.

Dress: You may recall that I bought this online from Rosewholesale. Black Plus Size Off Shoulder Prom Mermaid formal Dress 3XL for £18.00 on 01.11.2017 in readiness for the Festive Season.

Hair: I tried to be creative and styled the wig following a YouTube video Updo for Short Hair by Renee Marie published 11 February 2016 with bendy rollers a little difficulty I was able to create this style for the evening.

Conclusion: When my aching body finally stirred at 16:25 New Year’s day, I woke to the twenty first century version of a note on my pillow. The text simply read "Thank you for the happiness you have brought into my life xxx". On that romantic note, I thank you all for your support in making my blog a success in 2017 and wish you all a happy healthy 2018 and look forward to many more catch ups together.

P.S: Is that the whoosh of Cupid's Arrow I hear signifying that Valentines is just around the corner?


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