I could have talked all night to the talented and stimulating group of successful women I met at the Lord Mayor's Dinner Party

I had a delightful time at the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Cheryl Buggy's Successful Women's dinner last Thursday night, thoroughly enjoyed it.The company was stimulating, the food great and the entertainment a very pleasant surprise.

We were entertained by Jennifer Parker-Lummis a classical soprano with a stunning voice and a great sense of humour who told us in plain and amusing terms about each piece of opera she sang before she performed it. She is a Licentiate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and sings at weddings and corporate events and I can certainly recommend her. You can see Jennifer Parker-Lummis performing on You Tube.

I was sitting next to author Betty Burton, which I thought might be a mistake, two authors together, but we had a grand time chatting about the authors we knew and those we didn't, the novels we have written and are planning to write. I was also fascinated to learn and green with envy that Betty had worked on television scripts with the late and enormously talented Alan Plater, Pete Postlethwaite and Anthony Minghella all sadly no longer with us.

There were so many interesting women there: Chief Executives and Directors of some very worthwhile charities doing a tough job in difficult and challenging times, the Beneficial Foundation, Keep a Child Alive, and The Life You Want  There were women running businesses, a solicitor from law firm Biscoes, specialising in divorce (which could come in handy for my detective DI Horton), the Head of Communications and Operations for the major attraction of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and I enjoyed a stimulating discussion about Portsmouth architecture, a subject that interests me greatly, with Professor Lorraine Farrelly, Deputy Head of the Department School of Architecture at Portsmouth University and I briefly chatted to Celia Clark of the Portsmouth Society about that icon (and her best selling book) Portsmouth's Tricorn which has now been demolished.

I could have talked all night and so could everyone there. My only regret is that I didn’t get to speak to everyone in the room.  My thanks to Lord Mayor Cheryl Buggy for putting together such an interesting mix of people and for inviting me.


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