Saturday 30 June 2012

#SMDay Happy #SocialMediaDay !

Yep, I just found out there is a social media day, an annual event to recognise the digital revolution.  So, I thought I'd use this day to let you know that you can also hook up with me on line in the following places;

However, if you just like good old fashioned email, join my mailing list. I'll send you a free ebook and tell you real life stories about what I've been up to and what I'm planning to get up to!

Do we really need a social media day? I'll celebrate anything - I'm off to have a glass of wine!

Friday 29 June 2012

Hotel Boats to Tackle Stairway to Heaven

Sometimes when you work at a computer it’s nice to watch a leisurely relaxing video, and when I stumbled across this hotel boats video this week I enjoyed a virtual journey around the English canals and rivers. Right now the hotel boats Snipe and Taurus are in Burton Upon Trent. They are about to begin Cruise 12 and will be thinking about tackling the Hatton Flight later this week: That’s 21 locks over less than two miles, rising 148 feet. If you talked to a working boater back in the day, you might find out that the flight was then known as the “stairway to heaven”. Working the flight is pretty hard work so they would have their sights set on the heavenly easier journey to Camp Hill to receive their wages. As we now know, it later inspired Led Zeppelin to compose a certain legendary acoustic-turns-rock track. (Just kidding.)

Read the whole article.

Disclosure: I wrote this post for my client Canal Voyagers Hotel Boats.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Monday 25 June 2012

Choose Your Wish Friends Wisely

Imagine if you had a kind of dream team to help you organise and plan your life. Just for fun, picture a board room table with a bunch of people sat around it. You are standing at thefront of the room with a flip chart, a chalk board or a projector showing avery slick Powerpoint presentation about the way your life should go. In thisdream you are confident and comfortable standing at the front of the roombecause all of the board members are your friends: your little wish friends. So who have you invited to the meeting? Who is influential in your life?

No doubt there are your closest family members and friends; the people that love you. But consider also that there are the celebrities, musicians and writers that you admire. Put famouspeople dead or alive around the table and watch your dream team develop into something quite impressive. Then there are the less famous people; anacquaintance or colleague that you admire, a blogger that you follow on line.All of these people are providing suggestions to your subconscious mind. Someof them are teaching you; setting an example by the way they live their lives.Some of them unwittingly may have given you negative suggestions. “You’ll neverbe good at… (insert talent here).” “It’s not possible for you to achieve…(insert dream here)” You may find that sometimes it’s you coming up with thenegative suggestions.

Beliefs that have been formedabout the nature of reality are stored in the subconscious mind and affect yourconscious thought processes and behaviour patterns. This can happen without theawareness of your conscious mind.

You can’t throw people off the board simply because not all of their ideas are good. But check your flipcharts, flow charts and diagrams. Did somebody else’s ideas get into your plan,without a fair vote from the board?

These are just some ideas I’m mulling over while I’m writing my e-course about making a wish come true. At my table I have my husband and children, friends and family, mum bloggers,entrepreneurs, narrowboaters, writers, musicians and philosophers. You may notice The Beatles are there, sitting between Kahlil Gibran and William Shakespeare.

Who’s at your table?

To be first to hear about the launch of the wishes ecourse sign up to my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will be invited to join the course either for free, or for a dramatically reduced rate!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Community Boat Wins Queen's Award

As part of my work for the NCBA I wanted to share this press release, which highlights the work of a local community boating project.

Rivertime Boat Trust wins The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2012

The Rivertime Boat Trust has won The Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2012. The award recognises volunteering work that is a social, economic or environmental service to the local community.

Rivertime, is a 12-seater day boat based in Henley for use by disabled and disadvantaged children and adults, for the summer season. The boat was launched in 2008 by David Suchet for the Rivertime Boat Trust  to operate on the Middle Thames between Windsor and Oxford. .  The objectives of the charity are to provide and maintain a specially constructed boat and other facilities for the disabled and disadvantaged, to work with other charities that have similar objectives and to organize boat trips on the Middle Thames for these groups.  From  March to October 2011 Rivertime undertook 200 bookings. Rivertime already has 156 bookings which will keep Lucy Herbert, her senior Skipper and crew very busy.  Since it was launched the boat has completed over 500 trips and taken out more than 6000 people with disabilities.

Speaking at a party to celebrate the award at Dorney Lake, Trustee and Founder of the charity Simon Davis said “We are thrilled to receive this award. It is recognition for the large number of volunteer skippers, crew and others who give so generously of their time and also help to raise much needed funds. We are now working with many local groups and charities providing the pleasure of boating for many people who would not otherwise be able to experience it.”


The National Community Boats Association (NCBA) is an umbrella organisation supporting & representing inland waterway community boating organisations. We’ve seen an amazing few decades of canal restoration, but it would be great to also see the canal used a bit more for social regeneration. The NCBA has a vision of making the waterways more accessible to all. 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about the valuable work done by community boating projects.

Monday 18 June 2012

Peg Don't Live Here Anymore

There's a couple I know that travel around on a red narrowboat selling things painted with roses and castles. The wife of the couple also creates little handmade peg dolls which my daughters love. Whenever we see The Peg Boat they ask for more dolls. As well as traditional boat men and women the peg dolls sometimes have costumes like faires or witches. Pictured here is a very ordinary peg doll, but she is about to go on an extraordinary journey. I've made a static web page to tell her story. Read on and you'll see why. The Peg Project.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

It's me! Live! On BritMums Live!

Just a short note to let you know I'm excited to be guest posting on the BritMums Live blog today! Pop over to read about BritMums Live, what it is and why I'm going.

Monday 11 June 2012

Is There Anybody There?

Abusy bee (Image credit: Marilyn Jane)

I am currently out of the office. Well I haven't got an office. I'm out of my blog. I am such a lucky girl because I've got too much work to do for my clients; but also if I don't spend some time studying my driving theory I will never pass that ole theory test.

So while I am out of my tree away from this blog I hope you will stop by and visit me in the other places I hang out and write on the internet:

Boatshed Grand Union - a blog about all things canal and boaty.
Canal Voyagers - a blog about places to visit on the canals and lovely things to see and do while on a hotel boat.
Boatshed Essex - The only way is Boatshed Essex - a blog about boating and sailing in Essex, check it out.
NCBA - The National Community Boating Association is my newest client; find out about community boating on the canals and more. - my own business blog about freelance writing, social media, business blogging and so on.

Back soon. Byeeee!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

#CrickBoatShow in pictures

Many thanks to Waterways World for our tickets to the Crick Boatshow. Read the full story here.

See the bigger collage on Google+

Introducing The Little Wish Friends

A bedroom with flowers and castles.
My daughter has little wish friends; lots of them. One is bigger than the sun. One is smaller than a threadworm egg. They sleep beside her in bed and she says they help her to be a good girl.
“One of my little wish friends is called Alfie, and he knows everything in the whole world so he is even more gooder than  me.”
New wish friends are introduced all the time. There is an invisible dog called Frank and he is on a very long lead. She also has an invisible cat called Safety Cat, who can go in the canal and swim underwater.
“I wish I had an invisible cat.”
“You can share mine,” she said.
One evening, after her bedtime story I said,
“I’ll leave the fairy lights on so the fairies can see their way in here.”
My daughter gasped and looked over my shoulder.
“Here they come now! Some of my little wish friends are a family of fairies. The little boy is called Frankie, the little girl is called Poppy, the mum is called Pippa and the dad is called Joshua.”
“Oh! I thought the fairies didn’t come until after you were asleep.”
“No, they come before I am asleep so they can look after me.”
The next morning I asked her if her little wish friends had looked after her that night.
“Yes, my little wish friends do two things. They look after me, and they also make my wishes come true.”
“What do you wish for?”
“Well, I wished for a bedroom like mine with flowers and castles, and I wished for a lovely mum like you and a lovely dad like Daddy and all of my wishes came true!”
“Can I have some little wish friends?”
“No. They are just for four year olds.”
“Where did you get them?”
“In a charity shop.” She pauses, and then whispers, “Can I tell you a secret? They are just pretend. If you dream them tonight then tomorrow you will have little wish friends. 

What would you wish for?

Saturday 2 June 2012


Writing is not normally a problem for me. I write a lot, and when I start I can't stop. But words fail me when I think of what is happening in Syria. I'm only one small person and sometimes it's easy to feel powerless faced with things you wish you could change. But I do have one small blog which is a "voice" on the internet. 

So I will say this. Last week 49 babies, toddlers and children were killed in Houla. 

On 1st June the UK parent blogging community united to call for action in Syria. After I read about it I wanted to add my voice.

Add your voice. 

Join the protest at The Syrian Embassy in London on Sunday 10th June 12 - 2pm.

So far 84 parent bloggers have added their voices by blogging about this. If you want more details of what is happening there try reading Luci's post at Mother.Wife.Me. It moved me to tears. I tried to hide them from my own small children who sat near me, safe in our home.