I've met someone famous today, I'm sure you will have heard of her. She's the first lady of France, Carla Bruni no less, the glamorous wife of the vertically challenged French President.
Carla, as she insists on me calling her, is guest of honor at the engineering company my husband works for. She's been invited to cut the ribbon and reveal their latest creation, one half of a machine developed in harmony by Britain and France. It's called The Euro Machine, but it's so technologically advanced everyone here is referring to it as the The New Concorde.
Everywhere I look there are engineers, scientists and Government officials standing around, all beaming with pride at their magnificent détente achievement. The New Concorde will put Britain and France way ahead of the field, America and Germany will go crazy with envy and orders from all Government departments are going to be huge.
"Unemployment will be consigned to history," Carla says in her speech.
Warm applause follows everything she says in her sexy French accent, especially her comments regarding jobs. At last our two nations have something the Chinese can't manufacture, our industries will rise again and both our economies will be saved.
The big moment arrives, Carla cuts the tri colored ribbon, the screens slide away and the music from 2001 A Space Odyssey begins playing. I'm tingling with excitement as from one side the French half of the project glides into view, whilst from the other side of the platform the British half appears.
They both look a bit like huge washing machines to my untrained eye, but I'm stupid as far as technology goes so what do I know? The music continues and the two halves slowly approach each other on a moving floor. It's all very impressively done and the best part is when the two machine halves finally unite.
It's like watching the dawn of mankind. With a smooth clunk the machine becomes one, a mechanical version of Adam joining with Eve. A whole new beginning is almost upon us, and it's my husband who has the noble duty of pressing the start button, as that's the part of The New Concorde his team have been working on.
That start button is the most expensive button ever made. The British Government poured millions upon millions of pounds into its development, constantly changing the specifications and driving my man half insane with their continuous demands.
"It's only an on or off switch for Christ's sake," he told me. "What's the big deal?"
Well I didn't know, I just assumed the Government knew what it was doing.
More applause breaks out as my man approaches the machine, except the engineers and scientists are no longer clapping, only the political representatives are. All the technical people look as if they know something is wrong.
Carla wanders over to talk to me, science and politics aren't really her thing and she's already told me it's a relief to find someone more down to earth to chat to. That someone is me and I'll talk about anything she wants to. We seem to have hit it off as friends, and it's good to know I'm helping the cordial relations between our two countries.
"Can I ask you a stupid question, Steffanie?" she says.
"Sure, Carla, what do want to know?"
"The Euro Machine. What does it actually do?"
"I don't know, Carla. Don't you know?"
"All I've understood so far is that it's going to create lots of jobs."
Hmm. That's all I've understood as well. Even my husband has no idea and he's spent years working on the thing. Except each team has worked in strict isolation, none of them actually knowing what the end purpose is. Something way beyond brilliant according to the Government.
"Well now we'll find out," I tell her.
My husband presses the infamous start button and both of the parts that look like washing machine drums start revolving, only in opposite directions. Lots of lights flash and dials display the power of whatever it is the machine is doing.
All goes well at first, until it becomes obvious that the two halves aren't in the least bit compatible. The British side is making the most awful noise and the French part is actually smoking. Things get worse, The New Concorde begins violently shaking, bouncing around and small parts begin to drop off.
"Switch it off, switch it off," screams my man's boss.
The machine grinds to a halt with a shudder, but there's still smoke pouring out of the back.
"Brilliant, absolutely brilliant," screams a British Government official.
"Even more extra jobs," calls out an important man from the Ministry.
Carla looks shocked and confused, everyone in the room does except the Government officials. Those not dancing about with joy have their calculators in hand, working out numbers and statistics.
"Er... What extra jobs?" Carla asks the man from the Ministry.
"Service engineers Ma'am, we'll need thousands of them to repair The New Concordes."
Carla looks cross now, she's lost patience and she wants sensible answers. She spells out each word of her next question slowly and very precisely. Her accent sounds even sexier to me when she's angry.
"Tell me," she says. "What. Does. The. Euro. Machine. Actually. Do?"
"It creates jobs Ma'am," the Ministry man replies.
"Mon dieu," she says in despair.
I think Carla is going to cry. She closes her eyes and places her hand to her forehead as if she's easing a headache. I place my arm around her shoulders to comfort her, give her the time she needs to compose herself.
"Come on, Steffanie, let's get out of here," she says, snapping out of her gloom.
She takes my arm and off we go, her bodyguards follow but she orders them not to. We keep on walking, out the door, down the corridor and finally we're outside in the open air. We walk in silence and it's nice because I don't feel awkward or inferior despite her being so glamorous and famous.
"Where do you want to go to Carla?" I ask her.
"Anywhere, take me anywhere sane."
"We could go to my house," I suggest. "Have a cup of tea in the garden if you like."
"Perfect," she says.
"We'll have to stop off for some milk."
"Black tea is fine," she replies.
Black tea it will be then. I just hope my husband hasn't eaten all of the nice cookies. I'll need something to offer the French President's wife.