Tag Archives: Business


Hi, how’s you weekend going? Mine has involved lots of usual household chores and chilling out with the family. Geordie is currently besotted with the Insanity workout that I’m told is sweeping the nation after originating in the US. For the last 20 days or so he has spent anything from 30 mins to an hour sweating his bits off slogging away at this high intensity exercise regime. There’s something slightly unnerving about being woken up by the sound of your husband grunting away in the living room at 5 am. Obviously the first time it happened I raced downstairs wondering what the hell was going on only to be confronted with his stinking sweaty body doing spider man push-ups on my expensive rug! The next few times I simply turned over and went back to sleep without opening an eyelid (but silently hoping he wasn’t ‘having relations’ with the post-woman…I mean who else is up at that hour?)

So this evening after You’ve Been Framed, Take Me Out and X Factor snuggled on the sofa with the family Geordie suddenly realises that he’d not done his Insanity today and promptly jumps up to rearrange the dining room furniture and set up the laptop to begin. At this point the kids have realised that once again Christopher Maloney is belting out another karaoke classic and decide that joining in with daddy’s ‘running about’ will be more fun. Note that our youngest is wielding a bag of Malteaser’s in one hand and Minstrels in the other….motivation or what? I think it’s brilliant and much more realistic for people to see that as a parent this is our version of going to the gym! Apologies for the slightly wobbly camera work I filmed it from the sofa while eating Malteaser’s!



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Suits You Sir

We had a fight yesterday, well actually I had a fight, launched a half ironed shirt at Geordie and stormed into our daughters room to play with Lego to calm down. By now most of you will have worked out that Geordie is a constant cause of distress to me, and while I love the scruffy sod he gets on my nerves so badly sometimes I could cry. Here’s how it went down.

‘Should we go for a walk around the village, get a bit of fresh air?’

‘Yeah okay then I’ll stick the iron on to sort some clothes

‘Why what’s wrong with what I’m wearing?’

You can probably guess which side of the conversation belong to whom? During this exchange Geordie was sporting a pair of Adidas navy blue track suit bottoms, with marks on, a long sleeve blue training top with a white marathon finishers t-shirt over the top, also with visible marks on it. Plus he wore the same clothes the day before (hence the marks). While we were conversing I started ironing a plain white t-shirt for him and silently bullied him into finding a clean pair of jeans. I pulled out a blue shirt and began to iron the collar when I stupidly asked ‘What’s up with you?’ to which I got a very terse reply resulting in me chucking the shirt at him and cracking on with my Lego building in the next room.

It’s so frustrating, why go out dressed like a retired P.E teacher when you have three, yes 3 wardrobes full of clothes that are perfectly clean, well-fitting and on trend? Arghhh I’m actually getting annoyed again writing this! Twenty minutes later he saunters out of the bedroom wearing jeans and the t-shirt, clearly ironing the rest of the blue shirt was a step too far and would seem like I had won that particular battle. Okay so he’s spent the last 10 years in the military being told what to wear and how to wear it, so what difference does it make if I give the orders? Oh dear that doesn’t sound like a recipe for a long and happy marriage does it? Just call me the domestic chief of staff.

If Geordie had no decent clothes (which lets face it would never happen) it wouldn’t bother me so much, but I’ve bought him shed loads over the years and its a constant battle to get him to take some pride in his appearance and to give a crap about how I feel walking down the street with the northern version of Worzel Gummage!

We’re off to a farmers market this morning, I’m genuinely worried someone might try to buy him to frighten off the crows!


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Make It Pretty

Just finished a conference call with the lovely peeps at Pixie Dust Merchandising, following our project with a well known high street pharmacy/retailer. I was very excited to be getting back on the North West high street as my daughter says ‘ to make things look pretty‘ I’ve never really taken offence because aside from the extensive research behind Visual Merchandising, that’s pretty much what my job entails and more importantly it pays the bills.

I am lucky enough to work with products that are constantly in demand and almost sell themselves. Its my job to ensure that the stock is readily available, displayed in an orderly fashion and prominent on the shelves among the competitors and I love nothing more than chatting to shoppers about how much they love the range. I’m not sure of the exact figures but lets agree that the majority of women and girls have worn false lashes and or nails at some point. I found after a few days on the shop floor that the average age of consumers for these products was around 19, with an influx of girls in school uniform boosting weekday sales post 3.15pm.


Superdrug (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not really in a position to offer advice when it comes to working in merchandising, I’ve not had a long career in the field but I have learned a lot of things in a short space of time. Thanks to a certain UK Head of Visual Merchandising at a global sports lifestyle brand I have learned how the little things make a huge impact. If your a little obsessed with ‘ a place for everything and everything in its place’ you may well enjoy merchandising. Also, if your handy with a screw driver, are not too bothered about your nails being broken and you can look good half hanging off a ladder in a store window you could go far. Whilst I love working with new products, keeping on top of the trends and meeting the staff in store the reality is you often end up covered in dirt and dust, spend far too much time on public transport and if your OCD like me, I always think I could have done a better job.

I’d love to know more about what goes on behind the scene’s when it comes to merchandising. How do the powers that be find out how to entice shoppers into the stores, what store layout to go for, what graphics will catch our attention and put our hands in our pockets?  I think it would be a real eye opener to discover how the store fixtures and fittings are decided on and how subliminal messaging can affect how we spend our cash. Mind you I have been called a nerd on many occasions!

Next time your in Superdrug, check out those nails and lashes that’s my OCD in action right there!

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