I’m old enough to remember those classic Ferrero Rocher ads of the 1980s with the receptions at the ambassador’s residence in some unidentified European capital.
But in all these years, I’ve never met an ambassador . . . until last Thursday, that is.
So it was with a mixture of deference, fear and uncertainty that I approached my ‘first time’ with the British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Sir Geoffrey Adams.
Zaun showed its expertise in temporary overlay for major events at the Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel in The Hague at the Public Security Exhibition organised by ADS, the premier trade organisation advancing the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries.
Sir Geoffrey was at the one-day event energising the exporting efforts of UK public security equipment suppliers and showing his support for British industry.
The Hague is home to Europe’s largest security cluster, major international courts, Europol, The NATO Communications and Information Agency and the continent’s most important logistics hub in the port of Rotterdam.
Although Holland is small, it offers huge opportunities as the UK is seen as a centre of excellence for defence and public security equipment. And we’ve played our part in building that reputation when three months ago, just down the road, we helped protect world leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), other delegates and the citizens of The Hague.
That earned us praise from Chief Superintendent EN Mooy of The Hague Police, who said Zaun ‘did an outstanding job in realising the fences and barriers’ for the NSS.
So perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised when Sir Geoffrey strode directly over to me and started eulogising about Zaun. He said, ‘you guys are rather famous around here for the work you did on the NSS’, and he added that we had made a name for ourselves rather in the city.
I’ve got to admit, I was tempted to reply with the Ferrero Rocher reply: ‘Ambassador, you’re really spoiling us!’