Tag Archives: Business and Economy

Nine Two Five

It occurred to me earlier today that I haven’t done a full days work in two years, I’ve had a baby in that time but really, where did the time go? It seems like it was yesterday that I was clocking up a 50 hour week, watching the sun come up and set again while sat at my desk, calling my Dad to prevent me having a panic attack when I had to go down into the dark, scary basement on facilities checks and drinking far too much coffee that almost cost half my weekly wage. Now I’m lucky if I manage to get all my ironing done, take my youngest to play-group and make sure dinner is at least in the oven when Geordie gets home from work.

I’m pretty sure my CV states I am ‘a great co-ordinator’ and ‘organisation is my passion’ (or some similarly ridiculous buzz words) So where has it gone? Did I lose it along with my pregnancy baby weight? Did it slowly diminish while I spent hour upon hour watching Mr Bloom’s Nursery? Or is it still there lurking in the back of my mind behind the lists of size 5+ Pampers and Persil Non-Bio? I really hope it’s the latter as this realisation today has kick-started a plan of action……to go back to work.

Bog Off Eamonn

Bog Off Eamonn

I’ve heard many people say that it’s easier to get a job if you already have one? I’m not really sure I understand the logic there? Is that because you have recent, relevant experience or more chance of a glowing reference from your employer? Maybe I’m discounting this notion because I haven’t learned anything new or relevant to PR or marketing in over two years and I don’t want to believe that I am going to struggle before I even get started. Bearing this in mind I am considering a refresher course but I’m unsure about what I should refresh? I can (just about) speak, write and read English and while I am no Carol Vorderman I can still recite the times tables.

Working in media generally means having to completely submerge yourself in current affairs, so maybe my refresher course can be self-taught? I simply have to reinstate my subscription to The Times, switch Cbeebies over to BBC Parliament, CNN or Sky News (I really can’t stand Eamonn Holmes) and re-follow all those media bods on Twitter who are in the thick of the action around the globe? Also I’m thinking that a volunteer placement with a local paper might help me with the lack of recent experience issue…being the new girl again at 30 should be interesting!

The catalyst behind all of this is that I am missing a sense of achievement, I made it to 30, not without a few scrapes but it has taken me until now right now in fact, to realise what I really want to do with myself. Now I just have to make it happen. Maybe I can have it all, it just takes a little patience and a lot of hard work. Wish me luck!

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Growing Pains

 

I would hate to be a teenager now, with social media invading our every waking moment and some subconscious moments too, it’s far too easy to become a victim of bullying. New terms have been invented ‘cyber bullying’ ‘trolling’ to name a couple of tame ones and as this new wave of hate takes over it seems that teenagers are predominantly in the spotlight inciting hate, riots and openly mocking the tragic deaths of many youngsters, I struggle to work out where it all went wrong?

Angel with mobile phone

Angel with mobile phone  (Photo credit: Akbar Sim)

When I was at school, which wasn’t all that long ago, mobile phones had only just been introduced to the masses and you didn’t need to carry a briefcase to own one, pagers were more common. So when the pager trend hit it was  just a starter for the mobile phone main course. I don’t remember everyone having a pager but those who did loved them and the ability to converse in a whole new way and so the emergence of mobile social media began. Around this time MSN Messenger was also quite popular and I spent many an hour after school chatting to friends who I’d left less than an hour previously talking about the events of that day. Next came mobile phones, if I remember rightly I was 16/17 when I got a mobile, I’d just started sixth form and the text messaging craze began in earnest but it wasn’t until I reached my twenties that I realised my mobile phone had become and extension of my right arm. I quickly got into bad habits, never switching my phone off at night in case I missed anything(?!),  my little Nokia brick needed charging constantly, despite texting never calling….that was far too much hassle actually talking to someone! This impersonal approach quickly escalated with the introduction of our family computer.  I never bothered with Myspace, couldn’t really figure it all out so when I joined Facebook around 2006 I instantly got to work on uploading tons of photo’s from our work nights out and other random adventures and shared them with the world. Now 6 years on I’m more cautious of what information is available online but with Facebook and Twitter constantly changing the goal posts on security and ‘sharing’ it’s becoming impossible to keep up, leaving many with no option other than to deactivate their accounts.

I think I have been quite lucky in that I have only received a handful of negative comments/status’ during my 6 years online, compared to some this is just a drop in the ocean. There are pages and pages online specifically set up to mock, abuse and hurt others, for what gain? Despicable people who go out of their way to contact grieving parents or those who have disabled children purely to mock them should be reprimanded with an iron fist, but how do you police online behaviour and what punishment would be right? My generation did their fight picking in person or by writing on the wall of the underpass outside of our high school, they did not hide behind a vague FB status that is written especially to cause hurt but not specific enough to be able to point a finger, you know the ones along the lines of ‘Dont you just hate it when people…blagh blagh blagh’ Accusations of lying, two-faced attitudes and violence have become the norm because it’s so easy to type it and press enter.

English: MOBILE PHONES AND CHILDREN

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I worry for my two little girls growing up in this online society. If I say no to them wanting to use the laptop, have social media accounts  or shop online will they be mocked for not being the same as their peers? Will they be targeted because I want to protect them? I dread to think how far the online social media world will have developed by the time my little ones are teenagers. It’s so hard to not cave into peer pressure as a parent too, my eldest has an ipod, controlled access to my laptop and my old mobile phone that’s purely for texting her grandparents and she’s only 6! It’s astounding how many toddlers know how to work dvd players and Iphones.To the teenagers of today and tomorrow I feel for you. It’s truly awful that you have to deal with such pressure to conform on a daily basis, to agonize over the consequences if you dare to stand out from the crowd and be constantly reminded of it every time you pick up your phone or start-up your computer. Bring back pen & ink?

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Three Piece Please

I’ve been engrossed in BBC drama Silk for the last few weeks, a series about life at the Bar, the dilemmas and problems that modern-day barristers have to face and what it means to become a silk. I’ve met my fair share of police officers and solicitors but my knowledge of the legal world ends there. I’ve found the characters fascinating especially Martha, the female lead who is strong, fiesty and so likeable, if she had come to career’s day at my school, I’d have wanted to be a barrister.

Another important element to the programme is that there is an abundance and very good-looking men in three-piece suits. It’s only now after episode 4, series 2 that I have come to realise just how a 3 piece suit turns an ordinary guy into a total babe magnet. Okay, so this is just my opinion, but on voicing this through the magic of online media, it seems I’m not alone in my thinking.

 Let’s take Daniel Craig, until he played Bond I had only vaguely heard of him. Stick him in a well-tailored three-piece suit on a train with a bond girl and pow, suddenly he’s catapulted to the top of the Sexiest Male Movie Chest Poll according to India Express. I think it might have more to do with the blue swim trunks, but I’d rather have the suit.

There is a new Aramis fragrance advert doing the rounds on ITV at the moment featuring model and Jennifer Anniston‘s ex Paul Sculfor. The Aramis brand focuses on what it is to ‘be a man’, and low and behold Paul is featured wearing a beautifully cut three-piece suit, the previous brand ambassador was Andrew Agassi photographed fastening cuff links into a crisp white shirt. The whole campaign just oozes sex appeal.

One of my favourite annual events is Royal Ascot simply because I love to see so many men of all ages dressing up for an occasion. The timeless Oxford stripe trousers, waistcoat and tails gives men of all ages an opportunity to pull off a classic gentlemanly look, even if it’s just for a day. Times have changed for the daily three-piece suit wearer with the loss of the bowler hat that would have completed the look, although I think it takes an older gentleman to stroll the city streets in a bowler hat and not look like a berk. I’m not a big fan of the grey shiny suit, nor the black skinny tie and white shirt popular ensemble, nothing worse than being mistaken for the waiter. I prefer my man to be a gentleman, and Geordie does look particularly good in a suit. I think I might be on to something with a new website……..www.threepiecesuitdating.com a new take on uniform dating??

As with all fashion trends, not all men would feel comfortable wearing a three-piece due to shape and size, but I believe that with a little guidance from a good tailor, and not a high street sales assistant who is more concerned with KPI’s, a three-piece suit can give even the most self-conscious a huge confidence boost.

I’d love to spend a few hours wandering down Savile Row learning more about the craft and skill that goes into producing top quality tailoring for men, in fact the next time I’m in London, I’m going to do just that. I have a feeling there may be a few girlfriends who will want to go with me on that trip. There’s nothing wrong with a little window shopping!

Hurrah! for 3 piece suits and even more so for the men who are confident enough to wear them, I salute you.

Gentleman wearing bowler hat and three-piece suit

Gentleman wearing bowler hat and three-piece suit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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A Sticking Point

Not everyone is lucky enough to have siblings, I believe growing up with a brother and sister has had a massive impact on the person I am today, I also had terrible middle child syndrome. My older brother is a gifted artist and very academic, he was the first in our extended family to go to university and eventually into the Armed Forces. My baby sister is almost ten years younger than me and as my mum was well into her career and had two grown up, self-sufficient kids, she could afford bigger and better holidays, gifts, clothes and toys for the little one. I was never going to be the baby, and I wasn’t ever sure I could live up to the academic achievements of my older brother, ages 13 to 17 were particularly horrid for all concerned. While I spent most of that time wondering where I fit in and what my kind of special attributes were I know now, age 29 that I was the glue. I spent most weekend evenings caring for my little sister so my mum and stepdad could go out after a long week at work. I always took her shopping with me, and spent many hours wandering around the museums and art galleries in town trying to keep her entertained.  Whenever my brother came home I would be there at the station waiting for him, make sure he had the right change for the bus to get back to our family home and then spend a few hours play fighting and then catching a movie at the local cinema.

Birth Order

Birth Order (Photo credit: Jessicizer)

We’ve all moved out now pursuing our chosen career paths and caring for our own little families but I’m still the glue. I speak to my brother and sister all the time, more so my sister as despite our age difference we’re into lots of the same things. My brother works all the hours gods sends to pay his astronomical London rent but still manages to give me a call and shout obscenities as soon as I answer. I love having siblings and while we have our ups and downs like everyone else, they will always be my brother and sister and I’ll always be the glue.

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One Store, One Life

If you were only allowed to shop in one store for the rest of your life how difficult would it be to choose? Selecting a store that not only fits your current style and taste but one that also grow’s with you and adapts to changes in your lifestyle would for me, be top of the list right above paltry decisions such as what to name my child and ‘Do you take this man…..? I’ve pondered this question since around 6am and its taken me until now (18.41) to make a final decision. My choice would be Zara because I’m a stickler for tailoring and I love that year on year they produce quality on-trend,  seasonal fashion as well as the classics with a twist. Lets face it, according to today’s budget from a sheepish looking George Osbourne, I’m going to have to work til I die, so I may as well look good doing it, right?

I’m lucky enough I am working for Pixie Dust Merchandising next week and as I’ve been off work for 12 months I desperately need to head into the city tomorrow to buy new luggage and a capsule wardrobe for my foray back into the world of business, naturally my first port of call will be Zara. This transition has come at a bit of an awkward time, apparently it’s Spring yet the temperature here hasn’t reached bare leg status, neither can I seem to let go of my pashmina’s so I suspect I’m going to find it difficult to match my attire to the change of season. But fear not, I have just received a style email from the über chic bods at Zara who tell me that new season twill Capri pants and crochet hem shell tops are now available in store. A perfect combination teamed with a tailored blazer, pashmina and heels (emergency ballet flats in my bag ) Hallelujah!

Now all I need to do is find some stylish luggage from the high street. Hmmm not such as easy task. My options are fairly limited due to time frame and location, so House of Fraser and Debenhams are looking like my best bet. To my delight there is a stunning little silver beauty on offer from Samsonite, however the price tag is one I can ill afford until my work is complete, I will settle for the less glamorous Tripp at Debenhams version until my riches are received.

I shall report back on my shopping trip and see if my purchases match that of my virtual fancy. With a bit of luck no one will get hurt, tally Ho!

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