A day out in London

I’ve delayed posting this in order to keep my facebook/twitter guessing game going for as long as possible, the cat’s out the bag now though 🙂

It’s 11:30 PM, I’ve been awake for the last 21 hours, spent 10 of those travelling, and I can feel the exhaustion weighing me down.  Still, it’s been a day like no other.

Crowdsourcing, the act of throwing out a question or request to a large group, has found a home in social media. So when Jacqui, a journalist at an established woman’s magazine, sent a tweet asking for people of a particular relationship status, and Tv personality Dawn Porter (@hotpatooties) sent this to all her followers, it came to my attention. I then sent it to Clare; we spoke about it, and completed the circle by replying back to Jacqui.

I’m not going to write much on the article as it’s not my place to give away what Jacqui and the team has been working so hard on.

Jacqui and I sent a few emails back and forth, and before it had really struck home, I was offered a place in their article. This is how I found myself waking at 3AM to get the 4:30AM train from Glasgow to London.

Being more introvert than extrovert I’ve not had a great amount of time in the spotlight. Having the attention of a makeup artist, a stylist, a journalist, and a photographer (as well as their supporting staff), and put alongside four guys I’ve never met before would normally kick off all kinds of anxiety. How often though would a guy like me get an opportunity like this? It was time for me to get some backbone and try to do the best that I could.

So at 10 AM I found myself inside a London bar in Maida Vale. This was certainly a woman’s world, with talk of hair, make-up, clothes, and weddings; myself and the first of the other participants Joseph were left to stare in wonder at this whirlwind of activity. Then the whirlwind got us.

I’ve never really had much call to wear make-up, Vicky (the make-up artist) thankfully put me at ease throughout. I’m not sure how you ladies cope with wearing it all day, it certainly does get a little itchy and I was very conscious of touching my face and having it smudge. In my case I could understand the necessity, my large cro-magnon forehead threatening to add its own flash reflection to the photos.

As a thirty-something guy I’m well aware that I’m never going to be a style icon. I tend to dress myself with whatever’s first to hand, and if it wasn’t for Clare I’d probably run out of clothes. Never before have I had such an array of choice, with Laura (the stylist) plucking out items with her practiced eye and sending me off to get changed. I put my faith in her choices, she did a great job on the other guys so I can only assume (or hope) that she somehow managed the same for me.

Speaking of the other guys, that was certainly an experience! With only five guys we were a diverse group, a real melting pot of backgrounds and experience, similarities and differences. Finding myself to be the oldest I was probably the most commonplace, filling the traditional family-man role. Several of the others worked within “The Industry” and were brimming with confidence, almost an opposite to myself. Their confidence alone could be enough to send me screaming towards my mid-life crisis, desperate to prove i’m still capable of wooing the ladies; although if you have to prove it then I’m sure that itself is an indicator of the truth.

It was a real treat seeing how much time and effort goes into producing a few short pages. The whole day had a very strange feel, with one minute having lots of energy as the photographer snapped frames, the next minute just sitting around leisurely chatting whilst someone else has their turn. Lots of time was taken with photographs, they must have been numbering into the hundreds. Furniture was moved, drinks became props, single profile shorts were followed by group shots, all with Jacqui holding interviews in between.

Then just like that it’s finished, for us anyway. We change back into our own clothes, say our goodbyes, and head off out into the rain. For Jacqui and her team there’s still lots to be done, but none of us will see that, only the finished results.

So thanks to Jacqui (@JacquiCosmo) for the invite to participate, Laura (@Stylaura) for her fashion sense, Ben (@benriggott) and Anna for the photographs, Vicky for making me look presentable to camera, Joan for organsing the shoot, and everyone else involved. It certainly made for a more interesting Tuesday than most. 

Cosmo pdf link


Clare says:
Awwww, I LOVE this - Cxxxx