The story and gossip…

On the 10th June at 7pm we all gathered at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London, for a champagne reception at the glittering affair, all dressed in our finery. A five course banquet was served while tall melting ice crystals provided the table centrepieces, before the highlight of the evening – the Awards.

The atmosphere of anticipation was exciting, the company excellent. The ‘Royalty’ of the Beauty profession were all there as BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy And Cosmetology) celebrated its 35 year anniversary.

I shared a table with Lopo Champalimaud Founder of the social media spa and salon promotions bookings site, top fellow therapist Paola Bassanese with salons in London City and Marylebone, and Rachael Dunn (a finalist in the Make up artist category) and of course the all important support fans.

There were 9 award categories, each one was read out individually. One winner (the Elizabeth Training College) came from South Africa, showing just how internationally BABTAC spreads its wings. My category was read out last in the main awards section.

The compere began “The winner is someone who for 30 years is so dedicated has developed a new face therapy using years of experience, and demonstrated through ongoing intensive research the demand and effectiveness of the treatment. The business and marketing plans along with the branding is exceptional…..’’ then my mind went into overdrive and I missed 3 out of 4 words after this.

I will admit I was stunned, in shock, but very, very, happy and had an ‘Oscar’ moment and bit my lip. As I reached the podium I was speechless. I was presented with my award and had to be shuffled around the stage. It felt unreal as I posed for my official photo. To be recognised by my peers in this way means a great deal to me. I am the proudest person to receive this award.

There was a lifetime achievement award then presented to Joan Thornycroft – 95 years of age and still working! She received a well-deserved standing ovation from the appreciative audience.

Afterwards I got to meet the BABTAC Chairperson – Kim Ford. We shared a joke about managing not to spill the beans earlier, and Vice chairperson – Carolyne Cross. My Beauty College Principal – Dawn Cragg where I trained originally, who took me on when others wouldn’t, plus so many others when many photos and hugs and laughs went on.

As soon as it was over I was texting family and friends around the world, waking some as they jumped up and down on their beds in Australia! As we left in the taxi the winds were strong and the London rain was a deluge, but it didn’t matter as I clung tightly onto the most beautiful piece of dusting I will never begrudge! I was so glad I opted to bring the stronger suitcase with us. The next day I had lost my voice!