(Daddy speaking) It's widely established (that's one of my posh copywriter intros, btw) that I love a pampering. By pampering I usually mean a nice bath. When I get an elusive moment to myself I like to pour a glass of french red wine and run a nice deep bath with a generous helping of lavender muscle soak and sink in. If I'm lucky I'll manage to avoid the battery powered plastic shark on my way in.
I usually manage to exhale for at least 90 seconds before I'm intruded on by a nine year old who's desperate for a poo and a chat about something riveting like the whereabouts of his old shin pads or best friend Alfie's latest invite to a party at the football stadium.
So, there I am, lying in a bath, holding my nose in one hand and my wine in the other with a flannel covering my modesty while an oblivious Lyall sits on the loo about a foot from my face, chatting away.
Thinking about it, I didn't really used to have baths very often before the kids were placed with us; if only I could pop back in time and have a nice long uninterrupted bath!
Anyway, as usual that was a digression from the topic of today's blog update which is actually rather exciting. I was invited to Everyman Barbers to mingle with the city's lifestyle and grooming journos at the launch of brand new male pampering brand - The Modern Gentleman.
When we adopted the boys, we decided that we won't depend on babysitters but rather take the boys with us, wherever we're going. Lyall was at a kids' party and Dad away with work so this was an excellent opportunity for me and Richard to enjoy some one-to-one school night fun.
Best outfits on and hair brushed (Richard's hair, not mine, obv), selfies in the bathroom mirror and a spritz of aftershave (right into Richard's eyes, a scream, a cuddle and back to normal) and we set off on our bikes toward the city centre, smelling overwhelmingly of Joop Go.
The event was hosted by lifestyle mag DLUXE Magazine and PR agency FU Media. On arrival the lovely PR people made Richard and I feel very welcome - as usual at this kind of thing I was the only guest with a kid in tow, which is actually quite a good point of conversation when you're on a mingle mission like me! It turned out that the PR company also produce a magazine that Tom and I used to read when were were in our trendy-twenties, SIXTY9° magazine. I always remember buying the most expensive Levis denim jacket I've ever bought after seeing a hunky model in SIXTY9° modelling it (Tom naturally went bananas when he found out how much I'd spent, bearing in mind I was a £4/hr temp in 2002!).
Anyway, Richard enjoyed a very snazzy new haircut, wash, dry and style courtesy of possibly the best hairdresser we'd ever met, Sam. Richard's hair, as mentioned in our previous cheese slices blog post usually falls into a simple side parting, a bit like a cute little WW1 soldier. With the opportunity of a restyle with a top stylist, we decided we'd keep the length on top and aim to grow out the front into a kind of bushy american fringey instaboy. This is the first installment of two trips to see Sam; each time we expect to see Richard's hair become deliberately less controlled looking!
Meanwhile, I chatted away to the lovely PR people from the local brewery, Everards. They had three or four different local summery pale ales to sample - delicious. It turns out that the team at Everards are relocating to a landmark new brewery next year, complete with parkland, seating areas and a visitor centre... just a stone's throw from our house! Needless-to-say, watch this space for a review when that opens!
Rajvee and Danny, the founders of The Modern Gentleman launched their new service with a fantastic speech and a toast with bubbly. Their online store brings together a collection of sophisticated male grooming products, specialising in hair, beard grooming, facial and even a beautiful vintage looking toothpaste which caught my eye (not having a need for anything hair or beard!).
We left the event looking, smelling and feeling as fresh as a daisy. To break the long cycle home, Richard and I popped into my friend James' beautiful bistro The Laundry Bar for a break and to reflect over the fantastic evening we'd had.