I was recently invited to the House of Commons to attend a JCT Construction Industry event. I attended with my business partner and mother, Hilary Fearn, who is the other half of the Psyche & Heart LLP mother daughter team.
And…look, I have never been to the House of Parliament before, let alone been invited to a special event there. To say it felt daunting would be an under statement. I tried on far too many dresses before settling of something my mother insisted was perfect (though I think she was by then bored of watching me twist about in minor variations on the same outfit). As I passed the Brexit protesters and police officers I felt like I had stepped onto a TV set.
I think we actually ended up on TV, later, as we swiftly walked past a BBC reporter filming an interview with an MP. It was all a bit surreal, and I didn’t totally understand how the twists and turns of my life had led me there, to that moment. I kept thinking, I’m not supposed to be here… I was supposed to never learn to read or write, not amount to anything, and there I was playing dress up, strutting along the corridors of power in my high heeled shoes, dodging tourists.
Still, I met some fantastic people from within the construction industry, learning about their wellbeing challenges. I drank from fluted glasses, sampled canapes and stood next to the river Thames, sunlight in my hair. I also took some time to visit the strangers gallery so I could watch live proceedings within the House of Commons. I didn’t realise how vast the ceiling were, nor how small the seating areas. Massive cameras attached to the walls contrasted oddly with the delicate stone architecture.
I don’t know if it will lead to anything, I’m never sure if anything I do will, but it was an adventure. Worth something in and of itself, even if the whole time I felt like an actor playing a better version of who I might one day become.