New beginnings

Monday marks the beginning of a new era for me. A new job. A new city. A new commute. A new boss. A new company. And new products to market.

I’m filled with anticipation and anxiety.

It’s one of those times in life where I need to find some self-confidence and have a little faith in myself. 

It’s also a time to make sure I set the ground-rules from the beginning. I need to make sure I manage the work/life balance thing from day one.

Hmmmm. Any tips?

Contract is over

10 weeks after been made redundant my ‘life-saving’ contract for three-days marketing consultancy has come to an end. It’s been an interesting journey. My experience is 98% B2B, so working in consumer has been a fantastic opportunity, but yesterday, my last day highlighted just how large the gap in knowledge is.

Interviewing for my replacement (a full-time, consumer-focused marketer, but more junior than me) we encountered some wonderful people. It was the last interview of the day that really showed my inadequecies… The interviewee is not the right person for the job, but what that person did in one hour was prove that marketing is absolutely necessary for the company to move forward. Most of my ideas were reinforced, but then added to. The knowledge of the market, coupled with very real experience from one of the business’s target customers was invaluable.

I leave the company wishing them the very best of luck for the future. I think it’s going to be an exciting time moving forward.

18th Birthday!

Yesterday was my (eldest) god-daughter’s 18th birthday. Oh my goodness. I can’t quite believe that 18 years ago when she was born I was living in Switzerland, teaching English.

I remember getting the call to tell me that LAR had been born and that all was well. A couple of months later, I became a god-parent for the first time – and I didn’t even go to the church service – I had a stand-in. Even today, I’m not sure how that works, but apparently, it did.

LAR is a great girl. Over the years, she’s aspired to change lots about her life. She wants independence. She wants a university education. She wants a career. As with (all?) teenagers, we went through the “work hard if that’s what you really want” conversations as other interests got in the way of the dream, but she’s pulled it together every time and is in a position to go to uni. 

I have always thought I would support her uni education. Somehow. But, she just told me she’s going to do a degree at a college close to home. She’ll carry on living at home, she’ll carry on with her weekend job and she’ll do a degree.


She went out last night with her mum, sister and a friend. I got a text to say that she wished I was there. Bless. Me too.

I shall celebrate with her next time I’m there.

Grumpy this morning…

Me, yes, I was grumpy this morning. I need to share the source of my grumps…

I, unfortunately, had to visit the supermarket this morning. It caused me to be grumpy for a few hours afterwards. The reasons:

  1. people who allow their children to sit in the shopping trolley. DISGUSTING! VILE FILTHY CREATURES! (Erm, when I say in the trolley, I mean where you normally put your food).
  2. people who allow their children to push the trolley despite them not being tall enough to see where they are going and then laugh when the child bumps into or runs into the ankles of unsuspecting shoppers.
  3. children who throw tantrums…and in the process block a whole aisle.
  4. parents who insist on praising their children (for no apparent reason) ala you’re such a good boy/girl and asking the person next to them to agree (WTF?)
  5. the people carrier brigade – ugh. I park as far away from the entrance as possible, just to avoid them dinging my car as their little ‘dahlings’ just ‘tap your car as they opened their door’!!! (WTF!!!)
  6. the buggy brigade. ‘If I push my child’s buggy in front of  your car, you’ll stop even though I’m 2 meters from the crossing, right…’
  7. and, today’s piece de resistance…”he’s screaming because he’s tired” (as explained to the cashier, who then looked at me as if to say “HELP”).

Sorry for the rant, I actually feel much better now. Thank you.

3bts – cuddles, tea, puddy tats

I haven’t 3bt’d for a while. It’s just not been a great time for it. Life got a bit stressful on the 25th August, but now I’m hoping things are changing – for the better. Here’s my first 3bt of 2009…

1. Getting a cuddle from my step sons before they go to bed. The small one sits on my knee and pats my back as he squeezes me.

2. A cup of refreshing tea, made and drunk while we chat about Twitter and the things people say… 

3. Coming home after a long day out to find both puddy tats waiting for some attention from me. Now, the smallest sits behind my right shoulder, her paws resting on me.

New gadgets?

I’m seriously thinking about getting a new phone. My HTC Tytn ii is getting old. It still works well, but needs a makeover…an extreme one. A year of abuse, being dumped into a cluttered handbag, sports bag or into the cradle in the car has done the fascia no good at all. With an 18 month contract still in play (why, oh, why do we have those now?), I need to wait a little longer – apparently, any leftover contract term gets added…before you know it, a contract could end up being 24 or even 36 months…with one handset? Get real! They are not built to last, and it certainly wouldn’t be cool to have a three-year old phone, would it?

So, I’ve been watching Tweets to see what phones get ‘Twitter Traffic” and @willcarling is all BlackBerry’d up (the Javelin, don’t you know), @StephenFry has seven iPhones (though don’t ask him why) and many others are talking about various Nokias…

Personally, I like the HTC Touch HD. It looks good. The functionality sounds great and it’s available on one of the two networks in the UK that I will sign a contract with (that I already have contracts with).

Yes, I’d like an iPhone, but I’d miss TomTom and it would mean a contract with a company I have no intention of signing with!! I know I could buy a ‘hacked’ iPhone from eBay, but would I really want that…? I don’t think so. So, how do I get iPhone functionality without ‘that contract’? I buy an iTouch and an HTC Touch HD. A little bit extravagant? Perhaps…but it sounds good, doesn’t it?


Last nights’ ‘Friday Night with Jonathon Ross’ featured Stephen Fry (as well as Tom Cruise and Lee Evans). During the conversation between Ross and Fry, they mentioned Twitter…the micro-blogging website. @Wossy as he’s known on Twitter and @stephenfry discussed it briefly (according to their Tweet, it was edited down). This morning the Telegraph has a feature about Twitter (, and it seems a wave of new Twitterers joined the phenomenon last night.

I’ve been using Twitter for a while. I have Tiny Twitter on my Windows Mobile. I get it. Most people don’t. Well, not at first. And then comes the addiction.

This morning I’ve discovered there’s a whole new group of people and with a different agenda to their Tweets…”The Thanks for Following” crowd. They collect followers apparently…

I follow people I find interesting, or who Tweet in a funny or thought-provoking way. I follow friends because I’m interested in the friend. I don’t follow people to add numbers to my followers. Maybe I would if I were trying to compete with say @stephenfry or @wossy, but I’m not.

Twitter etiquette is going to be interesting as the number of users grow…
Here’s what one Twitter member says about his Tweeting  

Apparently I could add my Tweets to my blog, and to my Facebook and I could promote my LinkedIn…but, I’m not really sure I want to do that. At the moment Twitter, FB and LI are different communities of contacts…friends, business associates, casual acquaintances…but not all in one place…separate, discreet communities. Am I wrong? Am I missing the point?

Another birthday approaches

I can’t quite believe that it’s time to prepare for another birthday (well, not the birthday, but the party/drinks evening we will have). Another year, another few wrinkles and lots of changes in life.

I look back over the year with mixed feelings. I’m healthy, OK just got a new job, and I have a great boyfriend, but the year was full of challenges…redundancy, Gran’s illness and move to Yorkshire, mum’s illness, my sister’s nightmare emergency surgery, and, and, and…ugh. What a year.

I’m hopefull for the next year. The year that will take me to a milestone. Am I ready for that one ? (See earlier entry about ticking clocks…;-)).

If you’re reading this and haven’t had an invite to the drinks, send me an email to remind me I forgot. (I’m getting older…see!).

The ticking clock

Most of you that know me know that I’m not a mum, that I would have liked to be a mum and that it’s not really going to happen (for many reasons, too many to explain here). 

Years ago, I was adamant I didn’t want to be a mum – for all the reasons you’ve heard me spout, but when I was told that it was unlikely I would ever get pregnant, I started hearing a ticking clock. For a long time after that appointment at the hospital, I couldn’t bear to think I would never be a mum, so much so it nearly drove me mad. Then, other things happened and I just got on with life (as you do!).

Recently, the clock has started ticking again. I don’t know whether it’s the impending milestone birthday (yes, I know it’s many months away), or whether most of my friends now have babies & small children, or whether it’s just nature rearing her head…I really have no idea. I just know that it’s difficult to listen to. It’s getting more difficult.

At what point do you become too old to be a parent? Will I accept that I’m not a mum, or that I don’t have my own family? Am I just too damn selfish to do anything about it? I wonder if there are other people out there in similar situations and how they reconcile the arguments?

Busy month ahead

The month is crazy and we’re just over halfway through. Work is pretty good at the moment – there’s been a bit of a change in the team dynamic, but I think for the long term it’s progress. I’m helping the CEO recruit a full-time marketing manager to replace me (part-time, temporary). I think there’s a lot of scope for a great person to make the most of the opportunity, but it’s going to take a special person to fit in with the team.

Today I’m taking the cats for their annual health check…deep joy! They hate it. Injections, thermometers in places they don’t normally acknowledge and a thorough examination by someone very strong. 

Before the beginning of next month I need to replace the rear tyres on the BMW – deep joy again.

And, then, I am starting a new job. Wow. Redundancy is still fresh in the mind, but I’ve had some good luck.

It’s exciting.