I was late leaving Cologne and I needed to be in Brussels, in under two hours, I was concerned that I might be late for a meeting with my editorial team. But the road was strangely clear and it looked like I would make it. As usual, my agenda had been packed full to the brim and I would only have half an hour before welcoming guests at a strategically important evening reception.

It hit me the moment I arrived, my Partner was paler than usual and looked concerned, apparently the door to the room where the reception was to take place was locked. One guest had arrived early and was hanging around. The organizers were nowhere to be seen and by all intense of purposes had completely forgotten!  Any moment more guests would be arriving expecting a friendly welcome, chilled drinks, cool music and food. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I couldn’t be of much help as I was needed in my meeting.

By the time I joined the reception, the locked door had been opened, guests were standing in groups looking relaxed, smiling and talking with drinks in their hands, there were nibbles to eat and within another half an hour, by the time the latecomers had arrived, there was hot food and a really buzzing atmosphere.

The organizer had apparently mistaken the dates, she lived one hundred kilometers from the venue and was already at home when the phone rang. Quite how the recovery was made is not all clear to me but it seems that some fellow tenants of our building heard about the impending disaster and jumped to ours and the organizer’s rescue; contacting a relative that owned a Greek restaurant nearby.

Where they got the drinks from and where they found the barman – who was very relaxed, friendly and extremely efficient, I do not know but the atmosphere in the room was electric. Of course some of the talk was about how when the early guests arrived there was nothing and how sorry they felt for us and in particular the person responsible.

My company, The Bayard Partnership, stands for excellent planning; a high level of service, fun and efficiency. Ten years of image building was suddenly under threat.  I needn’t have worried one moment.

My mother sometimes talks about ‘the war time spirit’ of how everyone pulled together and looked after one another but then I read alternative history books that talk about looting and selfishness in times of need, and who needs a war to create a team spirit that can seemingly make miracles happen anyway?

All I know is my mother doesn’t lie and our Bayard Café had a very special atmosphere and I am sure the event has entered the company’s history books and will be remembered and talked about for years to come. “Remember the time when…?”

Have a good week,