My fellow blogger Caroline tells her conference story…
It didn’t come as a great surprise (she writes) that wearing stiletto heels and walking through mud was a bad combination. I was being taken out to a fancy lunch by a contact when this unfortunate pairing occurred.
Our first hurdle was the Berlin marathon. Thousands of sweaty athletes blocked our route, causing our driver to tip us out of the taxi a matter of seconds after we had got in it.
Big up to the runners n all, but I believe my suffering was about to become greater than theirs.
On stepping out of the cab, I spotted the second obstacle – cobblestones. I knew there and then that I couldn’t afford to feel embarrassed by my immediate adoption of the Nureyev stance, as I proceeded to tiptoe across the road towards my next hurdle; a big, old, intimidating German forest.
We shuffled into a single file, with my host becoming our unintentional leader. My heart and my heels sank as my beautiful, designer stillies took their maiden step deep into the thick mud of the forest.
A machete would have been a far more useful accessory than my ICIS folder.
With warning calls of cloying foliage and hungry thorns, I steeled myself to respond to my host’s inevitable cry for help as he rapidly sank into quicksand! Fortunately, this didn’t actually happen.
Our fixed smiles and forced jokes helped us overcome our swelling sense of doom as we ducked and dived to avoid branches and falling timber.
Rather farcically we managed to hold a conversation about the price of methanol, which was only briefly interrupted by the sound of a male runner’s screams as he ripped the plasters off his nipples.
Madness only really set in when the rain came.
As we crawled out, leaves and twigs stuck to our heads, I did have one lasting thought: if a pricing editor falls in the forest, would anybody hear it?