Monday, 30 March 2009

Have you guessed what it is yet?

Now, why might I possibly be thinking about champagne? Hmm... Methinks I wrote yesterday's blog too soon! So, back among the ranks of the employed, but not for a week or two yet so still time to finish the novel and add a little more thought to my other creative ambitions - I am nothing if not ambitious! Tomorrow I am having a Masterchef inspired evening where a couple of friends are joining me in the 'invention test' where they get to cook their own dinner - what a cunning wheeze... Will report back on the event to practice my food journalism in a forthcoming blog post.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Inspired by Paperchase

My card design based on the Geranium I painted and fiddled about with in Photoshop. Think I will try a bit more of this, tis most therapeutic. Now, if I could only get my printer to work... Of course, painting and tinkering in Photoshop is not writing, but it is creativity and this is what floats my boat and allows me to go to bed feeling like I've achieved something unique and valued my skills instead of keeping them reined in while I busy myself with other less important tasks like cleaning the house, watching TV. Creativity takes a bit of effort and it's very easy to get distracted, to miss opportunity. Being out of work has given me this chance to investigate this side of me once again. I am fully aware that there's not necessarily going to be any financial gain from it, but let's face it, we should always be open to what life throws at us and learn from it .... I feel really great at the moment; there's a great sense of freedom in not having a job (we'll just gloss over the financial issues for now - let me live in this dreamworld for a little longer please!). Life has conspired to offer me this opportunity for a bit of time to rediscover some of my creative passions and to see if I ever really could write that novel, so let's knuckle down and make the most of it, you never know, could have a job soon!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Stationery inspiration

Yes, that's stationery as in paper, rather than un-moving*. Shopping today with boyfriend (combined with long walk - very healthy!) and I dragged him into Paperchase because I just love stationery and was looking for 'inspiration'. It may seem a little odd to have one's creative juices flowing just as the sight of a floral notebook, but I never claimed to be entirely sane! He can't quite understand my fascination. Maybe it is a girl thing or a writer's peccadillo, but there's something quite special about notebooks, especially new ones and in particular those with interesting covers and bits of ribbon to tie them closed**. A boring old plain red or grey cover doesn't do it for me in the same way. Once again regressing to my childhood (must be because I turned 39 this week?), I used to love a notebook. They were always full of my drawings and stories. I kept some of them for years... in fact ...goes upstairs to see if she can find any and returns clutching an early teens example with a sequel to Return of the Jedi planned out in meticulous detail and also, somewhat mysteriously, a piece of petrified wood which was also found in the 'treasures I can't bear to part with' box).

And it's not just notebooks, I love wrapping paper too. In my poor student days I used to use sheets of it as arty (cheap) posters.

Just sneaked on the Paperchase website to 'borrow' a photo to suitably depict my posting and found a print called Lisa! Then, googled the print name and looky what I found... a blog that "celebrates the world of surface pattern design" aka another stationery fan! Well, that's two of us and seeing as she has had over 56,000 views of her profile there must be more in this obsession than I had first thought. Is there perhaps a medical terminology for this addiction? Just take a look and check out some of these cool patterns. Hmm, I'm definitely inspired now!

Finally got my printer working, but unfortunately not on my pc :(

* if you can't remember which is which 'statione/ary ' - paper has an 'e' for envelope. Many thanks to Hazel Peto for teaching me this useful memory jogger.
** thank you Lindsay - they are both coming in very useful!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


My love of writing began young. I remember as a devising my own magazine called Pelargonium when I was about 12 (I was an odd child!). I set myself up as editor and encouraged my sister and other kids in the street to send me in their contributions. Naturally they were far more interested in playing with their Barbies or charging about on bikes to sit around writing columns on the topic, so I wrote the whole thing myself. I seem to recall it had an ongoing piece of fiction about a girls' boarding school, illustrations, competitions, word searches and general life observations. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get into writing professionally, perhaps it was a lack of confidence. Why didn't I join the magazine at Uni or better still, set one up myself? Still, it happened eventually and once I had drifted into internal communication and all the tools that involves (creative writing, naturally included) I knew I had found my niche.

I have just started reading Gary Barlow's autobiography and what's interesting is understanding how he became famous. It wasn't about turning up for an audition one day and being on Top of the Pops the next. Since his early teens he worked his guts out becoming a musician and a performer - the magical mixture of hard work, determination and raw talent is what took him to where he is today. Good things come to those who wait (and while they are waiting they do their prep!).

Inspired to paint again this evening as I wanted to illustrate this posting with a piece of my own work and painting a pelargonium seemed a sensible choice. Naturally, because I wanted to use it for something it didn't quite turn out as good as hoped, but I shall keep practising - can't expect to put my brushes away (or lose them!) for about 10 years then suddenly expect to be Leonardo da Vinci... (or I may turn into a Mona Lisa - sorry, couldn't resist a bad joke at this late hour!)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Please read above notice

Just as I am sure a professional singer winces when they watch the X-Factor auditions, so do I as a communicator/writer feel actual pain when errors and omissions from daily communication attack me unsuspectingly as I go about my business. Please don't get me started on apostrophes - even M&S commit the sin of sticking them in places where they have no right to be - the word biscuit's hanging on a sign in the grocery aisle had me juddering in true consternation. If a bastion of englishness and quality like M&S can't get it right then God help the rest of the country! Yesterday I was in Hobbycraft (buying new paintbrushes - still haven't found my old, trusty ones). I obediently inserted my payment card into the chip and pin machine and was confronted with the rather odd instruction 'please read above notice'. This was rather ambiguous - was it asking me to read the notice above or read something above the notice? It also didn't make sense since there were no notices to be seen above, to the side or anywhere close by (not even one that said biscuit's). As I have very little to do these days, I thought I would spend my time wisely and questioned the assistant as to the meaning of this obscure request. She replied that "no one knew what it meant or why it was there". In which case, why hasn't somebody done something about it? How long could it take to amend the little message to say something else like 'please wait' or 'thank you for your custom' or 'we love biscuit's'. Shows a shocking lack of concern for standards...

Ever get the feeling that perhaps my time would be better spent in paid employment? Just as well I've got that job interview tomorrow... Shop assistants around the country cross their fingers in anticipation...

Monday, 23 March 2009


A word of advice to the out of work. It's a common afflication for those not in regular employment to openly state "I don't know how I found the time to go to work". Indeed I seem to recall writing about it myself. The days seem to fly by and although I am constantly busy with 'something', I do wonder at the quantity of achievement coming out of each day. It's very easy to just drift through the day, slowing down your rate of output, prevaricating, day-dreaming, checking for emails! What is needed is direction and self-guidance. To be your own boss, to knuckle down and write, job search, create your brand identity you need to approach the task in the same way you would while at work. Set yourself tight deadlines, write 'to do' lists, challenge your output. Without them I am afraid of drifting into apathy, of finding the excuse to 'just watch TV for half an hour', to recline on the bed. It's only by having a sense of achievement that I can feel satisfied in life and it makes it a lot easier to achieve if you plan what you're hoping to do in the first place. It is about seeing set backs as opportunity, structuring your day to make the most of it. Take this morning for example. I had planned on an energetic workout but pulled a muscle in my neck when I got up and can hardly turn my head. So, I can't do exercise but I can get on with that mountain of paperwork that is sneering at me, thinking it's won one over on me. While we are out of work we have to keep as much an eye on our mental state as we do our finances. I am off now to make my time-managed to-do-list for today and the rest of the week. This includes writing in this blog but writing as a means to an end - practice and not as a time-wasting exercise putting off tasks I am not so keen on (paperwork) but are essential to providing the bedrock for a happy Lisa.

Yes Yes Yes

I am reading a book called the Yes Man by Danny Wallace. You may have heard of it, in fact I think there's a film based on it starring Jim Carey - I guess the Americanised version! Anyway, for the uninitiated, Danny is man in in a rut. In his mid-twenties, he has turned into a boring 'middle-aged' singleton whose social life revolves around the sofa. He finds it very easy to say "no" to opportunities until one day he meets a man on a bus (who at this stage in the book, may or not may not be some kind of prophet) who tells him to "Say yes more". And so he does (no doubt the movie adds the by-line 'with hilarious consequences'). I'm about half way through, it's very funny. Go read it. Anyway, the point of this rambling is of course that I have been inspired by the 'grasping at opportunity' philosophy as it coincidentally follows parallels in my own life. I have seen this time of redundancy as a chance to focus on my own dreams of becoming a writer, the additional free time means I can once again explore old hobbies (see painting of cat below). I've even had time to tidy up! It's very much a period of 'dusting off' for me and I am quite enjoying it so far. Naturally at the back of my mind is the obvious concern of paying the bills, but that problem may be solved soon as I have a job interview this week for a 6 month internal communications contract. Just as well I've been keeping my hand in - this morning I presented to 30 over-excited five-year-olds. I took the 'opportunity' to do something different and told my son's class all about my trip to see the Queen - complete with powerpoint presentation! My son was almost bursting with pride, it was great fun!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Eek 39 today!! Well, I don't feel any older. Lovely boyfriend bought me a printer/scanner so I have scanned in my cat painting from Friday night just to prove I did actually get my paints out! I'm really looking forward to getting creative in photoshop with some scanned in images. Had a great day, weather glorious. Went for lovely walk along the canal and had lunch cooked for me. If you read back a few weeks you'll see that on boyfriend's birthday I made him go cocktail-dress shopping, so he got his own back by delighting in watching South Africa trump the Aussies in the cricket - but thankfully we didn't have to watch the whole match and I got to relax on the sofa with a suitably stuffed belly!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Van Gogh watch out

Well, what a fine thing it is to have a bit of free time on your hands. This evening I dug out my watercolours which I haven't touched for years and years and years. Painted my Mum a Mother's Day card of some tulips in a watering can. I was rather pleased with it, especially as I couldn't find my quality (read expensive!) sable paintbrushes and had to use a rather sub-standard one that came free with my paints. What a pleasant way to spend an evening. A bit more practice and who knows what next...

It's War!

Yes, spring is in the air once again, the scent of flowers drifts upon the warm breezes, birds sing happily while nestbuilding and the dreaded bindweed once more begins its assault on my garden. I've had a number of battles with this scourge of the garden over the years - even won a few - but the war has been lost to date. HOWEVER, this year I approach the growing season with a distinct advantage - a spot of free time! The last two sunny afternoons have seen me on the offensive - digging, hacking, pulling, grappling. Filled two big buckets just with the dastardly roots. Regrettably, as with any war there have been a few casualties - some plants had to come out so I could unravel bindweed from their roots, they have gone back in the ground (in an impromtu 'field' hospital!) and hopefully injuries will not be fatal. I can safely say that I dessimated the bindweed forces today. Unfortunately they have green troops the other side of the fence waiting to make their incursions when I'm not looking... but I'll be ready...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I won't lie to you ...

... but the strangest thing is happening. I just watched two episodes of Gavin & Stacey back to back on my Virgin on demand and ever since it's finished I'm thinking in Welsh, more specifically a hybrid of both Bryn and Ness. Even as I'm writing this I'm hearing Ness's voice in my head eek, now it's Bryn and I haven't even been drinking. Beware the strange power of Welsh sitcoms...

Destiny calling

Well, after the excitement of mingling with royalty on Monday, I'm back down to earth with a bang and once again ensconced in front of the PC getting creative. I am wondering how on earth I actually found time to go to work as my days are non-stop activity (although, saying that I did actually fall asleep yesterday afternoon for an hour...). I am busy writing, looking for work, signing up on recruitment and freelance writer websites, selling things on ebay, cooking, and err day-dreaming BUT still no rubbish TV... I read an interesting line in a book recently about destiny "to each human born, the Gods gave a destiny, and free will either to fulfill it or turn away. No one can live another's life - or at least, not live it as it was meant to be lived. No one can embrace another's destiny. We can each only take up the burden of our own, and seek it with all courage and hope." (from Talyn by Holly Lisle). These words really struck true with me (and somewhat bizarrely as I write them there is a song about destiny on the radio!). I will not fulfill my destiny of becoming a writer by sitting around dreaming about it. I won't be a freelance communications professional just by building a website and waiting for the work to come to me. To succeed at anything we have to work really, really hard. It's up to us if we follow our calling. Do we have the strength and determination? Is writing my destiny? It feels like maybe it is, I might have to fit in a 'proper job' too but I know I can do it. Fate has placed this 'free time' in my hands to allow me to go out there and be creative, so Lisa, get on with it!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The Queen and I

I love London! Every time I go back I wonder why on earth I ever left. I just find wandering around the West End such an uplifting experience, drinking in the architecture, the people, the history. Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours in a part of London that not many get to see - no less a location than St James's Palace and in the company of Her Majesty the Queen! I had been invited to the 25th anniversary celebrations of the charity Help the Hospices as a thank you for my work in setting up a charity partnership with Carlsberg - linking each of the sites to their local hospice. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed myself despite not much really happening - no wild party! We simply turned up, had a glass of wine and nibbled on a (very) tiny canape or two and chatted with some random people. Then the Queen and Prince Philip came through each room and were presented to notable people then we wandered around a bit and left. However, it was the whole 'occasion' that was so enjoyable, the sense of where you were and the company you were keeping. The ghosts of monarchs past wandering those same corridors where suddenly I, a lowly girl from Northampton was strutting her stuff in her new Coast dress and stiletto heels. We even saw the Throne! No idea if it is in regular use, but imagine what important bottoms must have sat on it! I got to pass my business card around a bit so you never know... Maybe I'll get a call from HRH next week!
Help the Hospices are a great charity to be involved with on a corporate partnership. One of the reasons Carlsberg chose them was because each of the sites could team up with their local hospice and, through fundraising and volunteering, give something back to the local community.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Me and my Muse

It's funny, a week ago I wrote a post worrying about blogger's block as I seemed to have dried up on ideas to write about. Then, last night I'm at the PC trying to work on my novel when my Muse kicked in and bombarded me with more blog ideas than I know what to do with, she (for I instinctively know she is feminine) was interrupting me so much I made little progress on the fiction. The interesting thing was that I was actually partaking of an exercise to kick-start my Muse, but she decided that blogging was far more fun. The secret is that I don't much care at the moment, as long as I'm writing. You see the more I write, the more I feel like a writer. I just love sitting down at the keyboard or balancing my notebooks on my lap and seeing words flow from my fingers like magic. It makes me feel great! I think my Muse knows this. She is after all privvy to my unconscious thought. We all have a Muse inside us but modern technology and scientific-driven lives make us question too much so we don't often react when they start talking to us, pushing us in certain directions. I'm a strong believer in following gut instinct. If you don't believe me, read a book called Blink by Malcolm Gladwell!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

He scores...

Seeing Smithy give the England football team a good dressing down was the highlight of Comic Relief for me last night. In a superb piece of writing and performing, Smithy got to say to that bunch of 'no-hopers' just what we all have yelled from the comfort of our armchairs. As soon as Smithy asks the smartly-dressed and highly paid footballers for "reimbursement of his plane ticket to Austria which he bought 3 years ago UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU MIGHT QUALIFY FOR THE EUROS" we knew we were in for a treat. The delightful Essex plumber goes on to justify his continuing faith in the team but gives them some valuable advice which clearly current and past management have failed to provide. I have no idea how most of them kept a straight face, though Becks was clearly struggling to hold back the mirth most of the time! Not sure if James Corden wrote the sketch himself, but hats off to the writers - goal definitely in the back of the net there! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, take a look on YouTube.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Looking the business

My business cards arrived today. I feel like a really important Communications Consultant/Writer now (minus the paying clients!). As a logo I've used the eye that's on my blog. It is my actual eye in case you were wondering! I have another, it looks pretty similar though... Website is working again too - with another blog on it... how I love writing! Nationwide weren't interested. Well, I am sure they would have been but they wanted me to work in their Swindon offices rather than Northampton which would have been a tad easier.

Subconscious thought

Last night I dreamt ... I went to Manderley again... err, well no actually. Last night I dreamt that I was attending a job interview for a role at the Nationwide I have been put forward for and I fell asleep while waiting to be collected from reception. So what does this tell us? Is it a warning that this position might bore me senseless? Perhaps I was just a little tired, I seem to recall that earlier dreams had me running around in a crazy fashion, so it really wouldn't surprise if I was just worn out. Maybe I just felt relaxed about the whole thing or was it an anxiety reaction to the thought of going for a job interview - a bit like the naked in public dream? Well, what does it matter since I don't actually have any interviews to attend at present... Best keep on with the writing... Where there's a will, there's a way

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Comic Relief

How time flies. Can't believe it is two years since I last dressed up in my scuba gear for work. Ever since some fool put me in charge of internal communication I have taken the opportunity to use Comic Relief as an excuse to get encourage the workforce to get dressed up in a crazy costume for work. Two years ago was no exception and I delighted in organising a 'dress as outrageously as you dare' day where you had to donate if you didn't dress up. Naturally we raised a goodly amount since colleagues either didn't take me seriously or simply didn't have a fancy dress costume lying around at home itching to be worn. Last time I couldn't quite decide what to wear so settled on three changes of clothes. First was the wetsuit and snorkelling mask, but I knew (from past experience) that you tend to get a bit hot while not immersed in water, so next was a quick change into pyjamas and dressing gown and off I headed to a meeting with my teddy. Finally, a bit of glamour to finish the day in an evening dress. This year I am unemployed but why let that stop me, I feel a trip to Sainsbury's in my hula skirt coming on...
Donate here

Sunday, 8 March 2009

What do I sell about me?

How do I find my niche? What of what I can do will sell? It's all very well sitting here with these grand plans for 'freelancing', becoming a consultant, a writer... What I offer must fulfill the needs of those prepared to pay and what makes me so different? I have always just 'been myself' and let the natural flow of ideas take off. I find that when I try too hard I get stuck up against a wall. I like to be bold and crazy, do things my own unique way, I like to inject a bit of my own personality into my work and this is what I want people to buy. How do I sell this? How can I persuade corporates to buy my personality, my ideas, my dreams and my internal communications plans? One thing for sure though, when I finally get around to actually starting to write the novel, I'll just write it for me. It's been a long time coming, it needs to be a labour of love. I think if I try to fit it to a specific genre it might lose its sponteneity. This one is for fun and not to worry about being published... Of course, it would be rather nice if it did end up on that table in Waterstone's that's just by the door ... the one everyone stops to look at... and maybe Richard & Judy might like to stick it in their bookclub... Ah dreams....

What's occurring?

Well, in terms of making it as a freelance comms professional, I've made the beginnings of a website and bought my own domain name (had to have the annoying hyphens because some blighter already nabbed the easy version!). Unfortunately the website is currently down because somehow I broke it, but bear with me! I really feel quite excited about the prospect of going out on my own, being my own boss and getting to work for loads of different companies, meeting lots of exciting new people. I guess what thrills me about the idea is that you always get to have the 'early stage of project' excitement, the bit where your creative juices start flowing and the ideas come thick and fast. When you're doing the same old thing for the umpteenth time it is sometimes hard to really let the mind open up to new possibility. Instead of challenging what has gone before, which is much easier to do when it's something new to you, you run the risk of getting stuck in your own rut. Of course, constantly being the 'new girl' has its obvious down side in that you never really get to know the business, but I guess that's where talking and asking lots of questions comes in. I really want this. I feel ready for a different challenge and strongly believe it's the way to make the most of my talents.
Impressed myself today with my photoshop talents - see how I got the writing to curve around the glass. It's amazing what you can achieve with a bit more free time on your hands... just need to earn some money now...

Going public

Well, my blog is now out there and being read and no longer just the ramblings of a crazy Lisa talking to herself. Strangely now though I can't seem to think of anything to write - it's the pressure of knowing I've got an audience! However, that is no way to go on as a potential writer - can't go getting writer's block at this stage of the game. I decided to view other people's blogs as inspiration and just kept clicking 'next blog' at the top of the screen. Well, let's just say there are some really 'interesting' people out there. It is a strangely addictive pastime though it seems most people seem to use their blog for posting pictures rather than doing much writing - though somewhat frustratingly the ones with most words tend to be in a foreign language and unless they are asking for directions to the train station in French or German, I'm unlikely to be able to understand them. The best one so far in terms of mirth generation was a lovely middle-aged Virginian housewife who liked sewing and had made a nice little storage 'thing' for her scissors and sewing tools. It really was delightful and was her 'make of the month'. Still, one musn't mock. I might be desperate to find that site again when I get a job for Stitch in Time or What to do with your Crochet Hook magazine and no doubt if she were so foolish as to attempt to read my ramblings she might find them useful as an insomnia cure. (This last bit is me feeling guilty at ridiculing some poor woman who I've never met and is probably very decent, and just because she wanted to make something useful to keep her scissors in, and maybe I am just jealous because I am so rubbish at sewing!).

Time to shut up and go and browse some more blogs...

Friday, 6 March 2009

It couldn't last...

My desk is a bit of a mess. Well, a lot of a mess. It's kind of spread onto other surfaces around me and underneath me and all these bits of stuff are sitting there laughing at me. In fact, there's a post it note openly mocking me. Ah but what these flyers, business cards, notebooks and crumpled sheets of paper don't realise is that ... I AM ABOUT TO TIDY YOU UP! Be afraid... be very afraid...

BUT... is a tidy desk an unproductive desk? Maybe I'll just make some neat piles.

Ah, that feels better

Thursday, 5 March 2009

A feast for the imagination

OK, so we've already established that I watch little else on TV except cookery programmes. Who saw Heston's Victorian Feast? It's not often that we come across a genius at work. Heston is the Einstein of the kitchen (minus the crazy hair). For those that missed the programme, suffice it to say it was not one where you sat with notepad jotting down ingredients and instructions ready to follow later. Indeed, the bespectacled one did implore his audience "not to try this at home" as he happily boiled a cow's head, reduced the stock, froze it, centrifuged it, froze it, did some more magical reduction then poured it into a mad hatter's pocket watch mould and covered the resultant jelly with gold leaf. His guests then dipped this into a cup of tea whereupon it dissolved into the stock for his mock turtle soup! It reminded me a little of the April Fool's joke I posted on the intranet at work last year for edible beer bottles. I suggested that the specially created plastic could be melted down for soup stock. My clever ploy of offering some free samples to give away in a competition prompted a shocking number of serious entries! But even my fertile imagination could not have come up with Heston's blooming marvellous dessert. According to Heston's research (who knows what books he read?), the Victorians had a passion for jelly and erotica. It seemed sensible therefore to combine the two and this seemed a perfect excuse for the Chef and his enthusiastic band of helpers to spend a memorable hour or two in a pink sex shop picking the perfect vibrator to make his jelly wobble. Truly television at its best, and I didn't even get to mention the insects injected with tomato sauce served with 'soil and gravel'...

The reason for this post is not just to enthuse about Heston, practice writing about food and critique a television programme. It is to celebrate creativity. Heston is a man who thrives on it, cut him in half (not recommended) and he'll have it written through him. It doesn't matter whether he creates menus, posters, advertisements, films or employee engagement activities. It's about having the nerve to fire up that creativity with inspiration from the most unlikely sources; never being afraid to try something different and, possibly most important, keeping at it until you get the results you're after - it may not be exactly what you set out to do at the start, but it's giving people what they didn't know they wanted - and boy did they want it!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I did it!

Wow, this writing down your ambitions thing really works. No sooner had I typed those words about sorting out all that paperwork than there I was on the lounge carpet surrounded by piles of recycled trees! I am very impressed with this. What next? Well, write the novel obviously, getting a job would be a good one too. This is day 3 of unemployment and still feels strangely like a holiday which is not good. Perhaps tomorrow I will wake up in a cold sweat wondering how I am going to pay the bills, but so far I must say I am rather enjoying myself. I've done two workouts - that's another one - GET FIT! I bought a gorgeous dress yesterday ready for when I meet The Queen (that isn't a joke - I really am meeting the Queen!). It was my boyfriend's birthday and to help him celebrate I took him dress shopping - what a considerate bird eh? Well, truth is, we just popped into Debenhams for a "quick look, I promise" and I came out with a dress. I only tried one on, but it was perfect and he got to sit down for 5 minutes and read the paper.
Anyway, I digress... It's time to get this show on the road as they say. It's all very well writing a blog about me becoming a writer but doing it is another thing. What I envisage is earning money doing a variety of creative things. I want to write a novel (big project; big risk); I want to write and get published some short stories for magazines (doesn't pay much but good experience and how cool would it be to see my creations on the newsagent's shelf). I would like to do some part-time/freelance Internal Communications consulting. This is where I will earn some money. Let's prioritise then. Next ambition - sort out a business plan for consultancy, write to my network. Finally, I just want to write, so we'll start with this blog and see what happens. By the time Masterchef comes around again next year we'll have something about food published.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Getting ready for writing

When I finished work last week I brought home with me what seemed like a small truck load of papers, magazines, examples of my work, course & conference notes and miscellaneous bits & bobs that I always thought would come in useful one day. Most of it sat in my car for a few days while I plucked up the courage to bring it indoors and now it is hiding around the house looking scary. I had planned on sorting it out today but progress was slow. I did, however, TIDY MY DESK! Now, those that know me well, particularly those (un)fortunate enough to work with me will know that this event is as rare as a chocolate teapot. Yes, indeed, there may be those reading this who are having to pick themselves up off the floor in shock. Well, my friends, be prepared for more shocks. I actually went out and bought some desk storage/tidies to put much of this paraphenalia into. I am serious about getting organised, whoever would have thought it? And no, it wasn't just an excuse to put off writing because look - two blog posts this evening written whilst sitting at my beautifully tidy desk. OK, so I haven't quite got around to sorting out all the paperwork but one thing at a time, let's not get too carried away. I will do it though - look there's another of those stated ambitions! Watch this space...

A Tuscan Muse

I watched a beautiful film last called called Under the Tuscan Sun, about an American writer who buys a run-down Italian farmhouse on a crazy whim and moves to the land of swaying cypresses, corn fields dotted with ruby poppies and a cast of whimsical and colourful characters. I've always yearned to go to Tuscany - perhaps it was watching Room with a View for the first time and reading the book so often or maybe it's just a natural affinity with the place, I don't know what first started this dream... Anyway, in the spirit of the new Me, who openly states her, ambitions, I am saying it here for all to read. I WILL GO ON HOLIDAY TO TUSCANY. I WILL GAZE IN AWE AT THE MASTERS IN THE UFFIZI IN FLORENCE. I WILL STAY IN A FARMHOUSE OVERLOOKING IL DUOMO. I WILL WANDER OVER THE PONTE VECCHIO. I have to say I was somewhat inspired after watching the film. My muse made a welcome return and started bombarding me with some great story ideas. I also have to confess I did indulge in a little holiday dreaming googling B&Bs with romantic views... well, one has to have a focus for one's ambitions after all!
One of my internet ramblings led me to a page designed by a creative soul with a passion for both reading and Italy and London (not quite the same, but there is no reason why you can't love them both - I do!). This enthusiastic reader had listed books and films set in Florence, Venice and London. He also treated us to some photos of his cats which looked rather cute but not a patch on my two beauties. I just love the internet for sites like this,just being able to share your passions with others who may stumble across it. There was actually something on the page that gave me inspiration for a bit of my own literature but that, as they say, is another story!
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