An Unexpected Delight

Having spent many days and evenings including almost every weekend for almost two years in my basement office or in my study alone creating the documents, agreements, partnerships and content (during its founding two years 2009/10) that has built SBID from an idea into an international brand and business it has finally paid off. When I could not get support I ensured I documented my creativity and ownership as my proof. It has become extremely helpful.

I had to fight against the negativity of many around me who got caught up in envy and jealousy. Some of those people were inside my own camp. I monitored everything – but looked at nothing – my vision was not blurred by disillusionment. Nonetheless, it’s strange to watch some of those that you should trust, out of jealousy, simply want to see you fall while secretly admiring you sufficiently to want to take what you are or have created away from you for their own glory. It took a while for me to grasp it, and then to believe it, but after monitoring it and checking from different angles, reliable and independent sources I had to reluctantly face the fact that I was being smiled at and stabbed in the back by one and the same people who proclaimed to befriend me. I did not want to face it but fact is fact.

How depressing that is – and now like cancer – I have cut them out of my business and my life and on I go. It’s my life. As Julian Lennon said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

It happens to us all at some stage – it’s like my favourite opera; Tosca.
Puccini is my favourite operatic composer. I’m not knowledgeable in music whatsoever – I just know what I like. I read the life story of Puccini one day and was so fascinated with it, a penniless Italian boy who walked an hour each direction each day to hang around outside the theatres. He became friends with the prostitutes who gave him money and cigarettes, he traded and protected them and it inspired him to compose. I wanted to hear the music knowing how he had come about writing and I started with Tosca. It’s remained my favourite opera ever since. It’s a story of love, betrayal, passion, religion, abuse and death and all in ninety minutes. I love it. A demonstration that life doesn’t change. I used to think opera would be boring – although grand opera to me is still …misunderstood!

When I was in Milan at the trade expo last year I was invited by an Italian magazine to collaborate again with them. We had agreed when SBID was first launched but with a recession etc. the idea was shelved. Well we finally did it. I was invited to Malta and I had a great time. I have never been to Malta previously, it is quite beautiful. Malta had helped Britain during the war and we have a lot of joint connections in our history.

I was part of a delegation of ninety architects from Italy and Britain. Between them some of the most important projects in Europe were being or have been designed.

We all took a trip to the famous island; Gozo. When we all left the Blue Lagoon Ferry there were thirty branded jeeps awaiting us and we were each placed in teams of five, we allocated a driver among us and along with a map and a series of just two destinations to visit we were to meet on the beach restaurant for lunch. Well needless to say not all the jeeps arrived. Ask five architects how to drive to a marked destination and you get eight reasons why the way chosen won’t work … It was hot, we were on the sea I was with mostly strangers as were other delegates so we all did our own thing. When I said goodbye to the groups of tables at the final night’s dinner, I was treated like a long lost and loved family member. It is trips such as ADM hosted in Malta that restores my faith in the human race. We are as human beings a race intended to share and co-habit. The warmth and passion of those in the creative industries is second to no other sector. Unfortunately we still need to round off some sharp edges. If not by kindness and example then it will be by regulation and punishment but it will happen.

That means in groups and families in other Countries there is a root of human kindness and decency that is instilled, it’s something I have not witnessed near or afar for a very long time. Britain lost its spirit in that regard, and as I say, out of everything bad comes something good.

The brutal and barbaric killing of a British soldier on a British street has brought a community together in Woolwich. In grief, strangers shed tears at the place where the brutal decapitation of a soldier took place. I watched people on the news walking about clearly in shock. There are some mentally ill and hateful people often of low education who are easily manipulated, fed with hate then let lose. Such people are increasing as the Internet brings them together. The movement and information sharing between governments to protect ourselves, others and our borders is higher than ever to prevent this surge from rising. In an ever increasing need to belong, misfits and desperate people will carry out inhuman missions for the price of a loaf of bread. It’s chilling.

I have just changed the professional team around me and that has drastically changed my life. I am not only working hard as I always had but I’m having fun. I no longer need to work so hard to achieve success. My plans, without restrictions succeed.

I am working on a furniture collection for a major project. This is my first ever, I have rejected previous invitations but now I’m doing what I want to do and this collection is exactly what I have always wanted to do.

We are now live with the new British Plaque Trust. It is a charity that erects blue plaques. It now has a scheduled list of potential people and buildings where historical things took place within or homes or people who have impacted on our British way of life. The first honour… truly that ….it is an honour, for the British Plaque Trust to launch the first plaque in the most local, national and global event of celebration is so exciting! I can’t say more other than we have a great Board of Trustees and we achieve things democratically, timely and hopefully …successfully.

Rock against Cancer

I was invited to this outside rock concert to raise money for several cancer charities. Our very own Mike Read was asked during an interview on air if he would host it and as ever he simply said, yes I’ll do it, no fee it is charity!

On Saturday morning after he finished his breakfast show on Magic Radio he said come on VB it won’t be late, come with me you should go out, stop working – I’m not a night person thank goodness – rock and roll is not my music choice so not really somewhere I would choose to go for fun but I thought …suns shining, it’s bank holiday, beautiful countryside – why not. It was great. Well ….it was more than great, it was fantastic. I didn’t even take my iPad for probably the first time, I went to an event simply sat and enjoyed the environment and the normality of doing nothing at all. I have to say I met the loveliest people; they were warm, friendly, health conscious, sporty, funny and talented. What stands out in my mind every time I meet the music industry in action is their warmth to each other. Interior design is an absolute nightmare in stark contrast. I think I made my position clear now the industry chooses with its feet.

I have been a little involved with Cancer Research but no other cancer charities so this was a great opportunity to support Mike who is always ready to support me, SBID and my charity. The artists were mainly my generation and although I confuse names horrendously …the line-up was impressive with names I knew and some performers I had previously met so I could chat with such as jazz singer Madeline Bell. One thing I learned many years ago is that everyone is different, but ultimately everyone is the same. Most artists prefer a soft drink or a cup of tea – no bottles of scotch there!

My charity the Vanessa Brady Foundation is officially open for business this week. After over two years in planning its now ‘going to work’. I’m very proud of it but more of that at the official launch.

On Sunday I collected Mike Read for lunch to a celebrity home to discuss business. We went en-route to the French Horn at Sonning. I’ve never been there before but know so many people that stay there, apparently they don’t do lunch unless you are resident! We went onwards to the amazing celebrity’s home, he loves design. I have seen him at Robin Gibbs house but we have not spoken properly before. What a welcome, we sat outside in a garden of chocolate box beauty. Everything was unexpected. We talked ….actually I talked for England! As we left, he gave me a tour of his home, then he gave me a gift that is priceless – it was formerly owned by Einstein. It’s the gesture, the open heart, the business opportunities and the pleasure of messing on the river in the sun on a bank holiday weekend – genteel, inspiring. What have I been doing until now I ask myself? I must have been blind. I don’t have to work so hard.

My life begins a new journey. …. it’s not what I had expected I think I’m in the bumper cars, but it’s a fun ride and now for once I’m enjoying myself. Now as they say, it’s my turn.

I’ll have another go!

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