10/08/2016

Taking stock .....

I am talking to myself quite a bit at the moment , out loud sometimes ( quite a worry lol) and in my own head .... bit more discreet ....but I'm trying to make decisions as It's official ; I have been ( sadly ) made redundant from a company I have worked for for 8 years .......
So.......for the last 18 years I have worked for only 2 companies .... I feel a little in limbo at the moment as I gather my thoughts, create a CV......and well........get back out there ! 

I loved working in the O & G industry , I have some fantastic experiences , made some wonderful friends and travelled the world !  When the industry recovers ....  Maybe I will return , who knows .....but for now , I need to get my act together ! 
Creating a CV ....woah !  When you have worked in such a specific role as I have you have to look at transferable skills and sell yourself ......if I get the opportunity face to face , no problem I'm good at talking ....( stop laughing ....I am ! ).  ..but as we all know these days ....everything is online , boxes have to be ticked ...  criteria filled or your CV joins the abyss of - online file -viewed ! 

I am also taking stock ....sounds serious I know .....but I am being choosy ....I want a job that suits me ....I work to live ....and live my life as I love to .....not live to work ! 
I don't want to work weekends ....I live by the sea in a beautiful location and have a family ....my weekends are important to me !  
So I have made a start .....it wasn't a shock .....I knew before I went travelling for 6 months it was a possibility when I returned ..... but it has hit me quite hard .....something I wasn't expecting ! 

I have been busy ( alway have - always will ....in the 'voice of Bridget Jones ' ) ........ I relax when I'm busy doing things I enjoy ....the house is almost sorted ....the garden is looking great ....little projects here and there !  I've visited family and caught up with friends....I missed a lot of peeps when I was travelling ......
I have thrown myself into the local community ...... accepting invitations to the launch party of a fantastic new restaurant & bar in Brighton ,  The Jetty ; and rubbing shoulders with the local media for a flight on the tallest vertical cable car & viewing platform the British Airways i360 tower ! 
I must have made an impression , I've been invited back to both ......very exciting ! 
All of this and making the most of the beautiful summer that finally arrived .....so lots of walks and days out at National Trust places ..... 
Also had a fabulous birthday , with a BBQ family gathering , lots of lovely cards & pressies and belated special days & treats .

Just read that back....not sure if I'm trying to convince you or myself that I have been busy ha ! ....so still talking to myself ( all great writers do you know ! ) .....and I am sure something fantastic will come along ......once I've decided what it is I actually want to do hee hee 

New beginnings ! 

















03/08/2016

BAi360 - intelligent structure comes to Brighton

The Victorians discovered & delighted in The Great British Seaside .....getting out of the city smog was beneficial for all! 
Seaside towns thrived as young & old, rich and  poor escaped to the coast! 
Fresh air , exercise , fresh food & socialising was all it took for many to recuperate! 

There were very few Victorians who could swim,  most paddled ....the wealthy hired bathing machines ....the less well off ..... Paddled fully clothed or wriggled around under towels to change into suitable bathing attire ........not that different from today ! 

Many of the  Piers along the south coast were built by the Victorians , to stroll in their finery and reap the benefits of their surroundings!      Buckets full  (no pun) of fresh air ......admiring the surrounding views  from the sea was a way of life for many. 
The Piers offered  the Victorians the ability to walk on water ....which they did rather splendidly ! 

Today, we have been given the opportunity to walk on air ; the amazing British Airways i360 vertical cable car opening this week in Brighton . Designed by Marks Barfield architects , the creators also of the London Eye ; It stands 450ft high magnificently on the Brighton seafront  poignantly overlooking the old West Pier with 360' views along the Sussex coastline , downs and city ! 

The smooth glide of the ascent to just short of the top is effortless......the Pod allows you to stroll around ( just like the Victorians ) taking in views from every which way ! 
The original West Pier designed by Eugenius Birch was described at its opening as " as a kind of butterfly to carry visitors upon its wings and waft them among the balmy breezes of Brighton ".... 

Yesterday up in the i360 we were treated to a grey day with gale force winds , which didn't spoil the event and displayed admirably that the Pod with its intelligent structure is able to respond to weather conditions with its unique design ! 

British airways crew greeted each guest to the flight in the same manner you would expect on a first class flight to anywhere in the world !
have first class knowledge of this ( again no pun.....forgive me but I am still very excited ) as I was invited to the Media launch on Tuesday , official opening & fireworks to celebrate later this week 
this event  plus 'Pride' means Brighton will be dazzling over the coming days !

I understand August flights are almost completely sold out, so you will have to be fast ! Secure your tickets and prepare yourself for some stunning views & excitement ! 

I remember seaside holidays as a child, before families discovered that flights to foreign destinations were affordable with guaranteed sunshine ! ( British Airways now fly from Gatwick - our local airport to over 40 European destinations ) .
Armed with bucket & spade.........sand in your picnic .....collect shells , some fun in the amusements if your parents could afford it, and a walk on the pier and a bag of chips if they couldn't ! 

I'm a resident of a seaside town now, and although I love foreign travel ....( you have read the 6 month travel diary havent you ?) I am still that excitable child ......collecting shells at every opportunity ( my husband will vouch for this - we have shells everywhere !) 
I love the views from the top of the cliffs and walking  over the seven sisters from Seaford head .....so I had trouble containing my excitement even though the weather was awful, whilst exploring the  view from the i360 ! 
Yes it was cloudy way up high , but the amazing British Airways pilot & crew descended down to a suitable height to make the most of the flight !

Local residents get special memberships, local Nyetimber sparkling wines are promoted at the Nyetimber Sky bar , a little bird (seagull of course ) told me that Brighton Gin will also be available .
The Nyetimber Skybar is a gleaming metallic curve to emulate the backdrop of the central tower ! 

Sustainable energy, the boost to tourism in this area and of course employment are a bonus of this wonderful project ! 

In the  making for more than a decade ...I won't go into all the technical & innovative details , this is all available on the BAi360 website and guide book. 
Those who attended the launch and involved in the creation had beaming smiles , very enthusiastic & proud!  

A few nicknames for the tower have already caught on ......I'm not fond of the 'doughnut' although warm doughnuts are always available at the seaside ...ha!   The elegant design, gleaming metal & glass work deserve a tag far more in keeping with its beauty ! 

As the Pod with its double curved mirrored underside made its way down ,  the interior perforated  aluminium cladding of the tower rippled as if water were trickling down ..... I thought of the butterfly vision from the bygone age and a dragonfly hovering over water came to mind !
The i360 will now be beautifully regarded as the ' Dragonfly' ! 




21/07/2016

The Wood Shed

We have a beautiful kitchen in our new house ....  Compact is a good word to describe it , the owners when doing their refurb did not scrimp on materials , and it has all mod cons ......
We had a void though amongst the sleek fitted units , dazzling white China sink and sleek taps ...... ......I needed something chunky and solid .....real wood .....with the lived in feel ! 

I love upcycled , I don't throw anything away that has a use - somewhere , someday or for someone! ...... So I was blown away to discover The Wood Shed in Sussex, who are not only local ...(you all know by now that i will support local first ) , but has a like minded soul in the form of Dan the Designer & Carpenter of  The Wood Shed , along with  his colleague Thomas . 

These guys have a passion for design and reclaimed wood, they have the backing of The Princes's Trust and support local charity Emmaus in Brighton - which is a charity that fights against poverty .
Volunteering time money and effort to support this group , along with consultation, design , sourcing reclaimed material , carpentry and getting your goods delivered to your door , sure keeps this young team busy ! 

I had an idea for a butchers block type unit , not necessarily to chop whole cows or anything quite so carnivorous , just an additional surface in my kitchen for preparing or dishing up ..... I wanted it unit height , solid and with space for a few of the bulky kitchen items we have , you know the ones you bought when it seemed ike a good idea , then dust off for evermore ! 
I also wanted space to hang a few items and store veg ! 

Dan took measurements , ideas and hints as to what we would like , sent a drawing for our approval (which we loved ) then set about creating our beautiful piece of kitchen furniture ! 

When I heard the words bespoke when The Wood Shed was recommend to me , I was concerned it would be very expensive , which is why it's good to discuss with Dan the cost , ideas and materials upfront ! 
The prices are very competitive for a hand crafted piece , personally designed , item of furniture that will last ! 

When I was out and about with my mum on route to Hertfordshire , I spotted a display of small crates for fruit and veg, so I messaged Dan and had that idea included in the finishing touches ! 

The guys have recently been involved in set design , produced a Pop up Bar for parties on the bigger end of the scale , but also smaller items like wardrobe units , shelving and coffee tables. 

If you have an idea and it can be made of Wood - The Wood Shed is the place to head ....ooh sounds like a logo ha ha !  

Check out their website , or look them up on FB / Insta ! 



www.thewoodshedsussex.com

@Thewoodshedsussex 









The charity the guys support is www.emmausbrighton.co.uk , which I think is fantastic ! 

15/07/2016

Launch party - The Jetty


Champers darling ! 

Attended the launch party thursday evening of 'The Jetty' restaurant in Brighton, situated just along from the famous Brighton Pier with uninterrupted views of the ocean . 
Brighton is a typical English seaside resort , buzzing with life and the hub for surrounding seaside towns. 
The Jetty restaurant  is new to Brighton but is a very established concept in Dorset , Devon and other coastal areas and is part of the Harbour hotel chain . 
The HarBar & The Jetty Restaurant are destined to be 'The Plaice '  ( sorry couldn't resist it !)  in this fantastic location .

I took along two guests, my sister Kate blogger of Lifedaily.co.uk , and my cousin Sinead , soon to be a neighbour of mine & resident of Brighton , all very exciting ! 

The launch had a great vibe and an eclectic group of people gathered to sample the delights the team of Chefs at   The Jetty   had on offer ; rising to the occasion fabulously with  Seaford Canapés , wonderful displays of artistic creations , mouth-wateringly delicious ! 
Tantilising  seafood bites , crab ....Oysters ( which are my absolute fav - and I missed ) clearly mingling again ...Sushi ...oh the Sushi....amazing ! 

Ok I'm guilty .......I was having such a blast .....nibbled on so many delicious tit bits .....yes indulged in quite a few stems of Champers ..... I didn't take as many photographs as I should have .... .... Shoot me now ! 

Charlotte , that's Charlotte Drew , the Sales Manager for Harbour hotels , greeted everyone personally and made all feel welcome ! 
The staff were all very attentive and emptying glasses were not on the menu , the whole affair was very slick, sleek and vibrant .
The Jetty is the type of establishment  to gather with friends for an impromptu supper selecting maybe  'The Catch Mini Gastro' 5 fantastic taster courses or the A La Carte for special occasions....catering also for private functions and celebrations with personalised menus.
The Jetty has it covered !

A great touch at the entrance were silver buckets ( as in bucket n spades ) filled with sticks of signature Harbour seaside Rock ..perfect! 
Continuing on that theme were scrumptious mini ice cream cones...sitting in buckets of sand ( biscuit crumb) a simple but brilliant effect , adding to the sheer delight of the evening !
It's a seaside restaurant and I'm very proud of our great British seaside , so I loved the theme !

The atmosphere for the evening combined with the elegant surroundings was relaxed;  I really think Brighton has found what it has been looking for ! 


www.thejetty-Brighton.co.uk

www.brighton-harbour-hotel.co.uk














13/07/2016

Seaford Train Service - Our town !

I'm Our little town of Seaford came out in force last evening , to demonstrate over the reduced service of trains on an already poor service !   
Local people demonstrated with banners and whistles , reporters showed up joining the growing crowd and slow passing vehicles tooted in support ! 
The day before at the opposite end of the line in Victoria a demonstration was held .....I suspect people there were not even aware of the small town suffering at the other end of the line ..... Hopefully they do now.

Replacement buses have now been installed instead of the already inadequate hourly service, reports yesterday of a local disabled man being turned away from that very bus service due to his wheelchair being to heavy and big.....did nothing to restore faith in this service and the word of Southern rail ! 
In recent months cancellation after cancellation has been made as commutors got caught up in the Southern rail staffing and internal problems row! 

I do not usually demonstrate on my blog ....but feel very strongly about the knock on affect this will have on our little town !
It would be easy for a 3rd of Seaford population to sit back and say well actually I do not commute to London ...so it does not affect me !  

WRONG! 

Seaford is a seaside town .....with a growing population of 27,000 , we do have a tourist industry , people love to visit our coast because it is unspoilt, we don't have a pier or fun fair.....just a good old fashioned shingle beach for kids to have fun and to play & explore , for the elderly to sit and relax; people watch ( my fav pastime ) ....have an ice cream or lunch at one of the several small cafes along the beach !
We are the gateway to the Seven Sisters.....the famous landmark , brimming with history,  Cuckmere Haven, Birling Gap which is supported by The National Trust ; The Martello tower & museum at the Seaford beach .
Newhaven port with already its suppliers , fish market , manufacturers  and Fort and the ferry service to Dieppe; has undergone a huge development with a fantastic Marine college, new housing and so much more , preventing Newhaven from becoming a forgotten dot on the map....this will be disaster for all involved. We also have the vital RNLI base and shop here and Tide Mills country park and historic walkway .

The trains are a vital link to young families , elderly , students , and of course the work force of Seaford, the commutors  who have been let down, spending hours trying to get to and from work as if life isn't stressful  enough. 
Reports have been heard where  the build up to this , over a period of several months, have left commuters so frustrated they have  given up jobs which meant they had to rely on the trains , as they just could not cope any longer !    2- 3 sometimes 4 hours to get home just isn't fun ! 

Many who do not use the rail for work , rely on the trains for family visiting , college and university ; its part of every day life when you live in a small seaside town . Even the local football supporters ( and you know how I'm sooooo not into sport ) will struggle to attend matches .....come on Southern Rail , are you trying to obliterate Small towns as we know them ! 
Mums with buggies , elderly who are less mobile , all who find  a train so much easier to use .
We are told let the train take the strain ....  Leave the car at home ...  Well even for the most enthusiastic environmentalist it is difficult to think about being green if that also means being stuck ! 
It must be infuriating to pay huge sums of money out of your salary for a season ticket only to find your journey home again is disrupted and I think people have been patient enough !




A huge concern for many will be the additional traffic that will be on then surrounding roads and the A27 , it isn't only Seaford that is affected ...Newhaven , Bishopstone, Denton , Piddinghoe , as locals take to their cars, traffic will double . Small towns from Lewes to Seaford , Brighton to Seaford , Brighton to Eastbourne will suffer . There is basically one road in and out.... So this really isn't good news ! 

I am a huge advocate of support local business, and our great British seaside , the last few posts have been on this very subject ; many of the small businesses supply a service for visitors, day trippers and tourists ....if those very people cannot get here , or the whole journey is made so difficult they won't bother ....then many small businesses will go under !

We love our high street ....as as much as I like ( and support ) a little rummage in the many charity shops we have already , I don't want our high street to become a ghost town with only charity shops managing to survive on the goodwill of locals and nothing but empty  shops , boarded up windows and forgotten businesses ! 









The campaigners requested we all wrote to our local MP's and to Southern Rail , I did just that .... If everyone shared Just one post on the media network then word is getting around ....
Let's hope Southern rail , local council, and parliament listen to our plight ! 

Please share this blog if you have the time ....




04/07/2016

Out & about on a Sunday

After a Saturday night out and huffy being the designated driver ( doing 100 mile round trip ) for a family birthday meal , I decided to keep him company at work on Sunday ! 
I don't need an excuse to go on a road trip as I love it, especially  if I'm not driving and can take in the scenery ; with huffy covering  lot of the Sussex south coast & some of Surrey ....Bonus! 

We set of early after a cuppa , I'm not a vehicle snob and have no problem sitting in a tatty old van ....it does have advantages , being so high you can see over hedgerows , take better pictures and it's ...well...fun? 
Huffy might not have the same opinion as me because it's just another days work ..but he loves having me along to have someone to chat too ! ( he does he does ) ! 

You would think after spending 5 months solid together travelling , plus a lot of the last month in new house ( we had one night apart in all that time)  I stayed  over at mums after taking her on a road trip; that we don't have anything to chat about ...... but I do ...( oops WE do )!

I love our countryside and Seaside ( you knew that right ? ) if you get the right weather the UK is a fabulous place for a holiday . 
It's beautiful , green and lush  in most of Surrey and Sussex , so much history to take in , beautiful quirky buildings , stunning landscapes . It was a mixed bag of weather to start ( sound familiar ) but as the day progressed it got better; amazing fluffy clouds ......beaming sunshine ! 

I take photos at any opportunity , spotting little things that make me smile , how people proudly decorate the outside of the homes ,  runners taking part in a marathon -  enjoy the scenery .....  Looking as if they need oxygen not the water that's on offer at a nearby checkpoint ...but it's the taking part that counts and as Pa would say ' FairPlay to them' ! 

We pass beautiful cars , just the hint of a dry day and the great British public are out in force in stunning cars, soft tops  or motor homes!  
As I said I am not a car snob....huffy is and hates our little red rocket with a vengeance....and would give his right arm for the yellow flash Ferrari that glides past ....I on the other hand have caravan  envy - in any shape or form .....you name it ....if you can do a road trip in it , park up and make a cuppa , sleep over in it ......Then i love it ! ......Winnebago , motorhome , trailer , bug van ( ultimate) or the beautiful VW California ! ( that was the perfect road trip - hiring that for the weekend from Mark at Kamperhire) hope you read that blog ? ....no ! don't you feel bad now ....pop back and have a look ! 
Its one we hope to repeat again very soon! 

After a long day we returned home to what was a beautiful evening , and even though both feeling a bit wacked ....we decided to hit he beach ......fish n chips , an ice cream and a stroll 
.....well come on ....this is The Great British Seaside ! 









 


www.kamperhire.co.uk @kamperhire 👍🏻

27/06/2016

Let's look local first !

It's no secret that I'm loving being 'beside the seaside ' and that I'm not a lover of huge towns.
Gigantic shopping  centres fill me with dread , anyone that knows me , wouldn't bother to invite me on a shopping trip ! 
Give me a market , ( especially a night market.....oh heaven  ), or rows of lanes - Brighton, perfect ! 
 The opportunity to chat , stop for lunch .....the odd vino and I'm there with my girlies ! 
Vintage stores , upcycled , second hand and of course the good old charity shops ....exciting ! Amazing  what you can find .......have you tried it yet .....I seriously recommend it ! 

Now having a high street....minutes from my door is wonderful .......we have so much here ....there is ........ ( I've so gotta do this ....read this aloud and sing it ....go on ! Lol) 
A butcher ....a baker and a ...... Nope we don't have a candlestick maker .....but I'm sure we can find candles and candlesticks in the other little gift shops !    A greengrocer .....habadashery ......2 hardware stores , there's an upholstertory , a chocolatier ( I kid you not ) ......  2 travel agents ?? Who even has travel agent shops these days isn't it all online ? Personal service or what ? 
Do you know of a toy shop that's not part of a major chain....I do ...yes ...we have one ! 
My grandchildren love it ! They cater for babies through to teenagers ! 

Im on a personal campaign to buy local , as I think the high street is a dying breed .....so if I need something I will try here first .....if it's not available then of course like everyone I will go to the superstores ! However my philosophy on this is ....if we don't use it ...we lose it .....so if your local high street has a few shops .... Support them..... If those that are there thrive ...others will join .....change just one way you shop ....think of something you buy every week in the superstore that's available locally ...... Pop along to your high street and make that purchase ..... I bet you get conversation and a smile ....and you will want to go back ! Go on try ! 

As we have only just moved In I have bought lots of household items from the hardware shop  , from door mats to light bulbs .... Not very exciting .....probably not as cheap as the superstore....but not only would I have to drive quite a long way for a few bits ....the staff in the superstore wouldn't necessarily have the knowledge , time to chat , and helpful manner of our local stores !
 It really is addictive ! 

On Instagram there many people who have cottage type industries , and we have bought some fantastic gifts for the family , never more so than when travelling over the last 6 months to have sent home ... individually wrapped, little notes put inside , delivered when required . The personal touch you get form someone who is making a living for their family , lovingly making items with time, effort and usually in their own homes ! 
So I count my friends on Instagram and online as local .......  Local , individual and loyal ! 

Two of my favourite local businesses  at the moment are  the beautifully decorated 'Millie's'  3  Broad St,    the windows are a real treat , impossible to walk on by ....just have a peak ! 

Gifts  , jewellery , scarves, unique clothes , bags and hats ! 

I'm like a kid in a sweet shop as the displays adhourn every inch of both front windows and several glass cabinets within .... Displays are colour coordinated and arranged to catch the eye ! 
The staff are so helpful , purchases can be gift wrapped ..... Clothes can be tried on in the quaint little dressing room ....and if you pop out again to check out your look in the full length ornate mirror you are  bound to get some advice and compliments from the other customers ......it's just that type of place ....you could be in a 'Ladies dressing room ' in another era .... 

I visited twice this weekend , as the owner Sue had been busy on a shopping trip ....many regulars had heard and were eagarly awaiting the new arrivals ! 
I love our high street , but if you can't make it to Seaford for 'Millie's' there are two other stores ....Hailsham and Eastbourne, so if that's nearer to you pop in and say hi !
 I defy you to come out empty handed ha ha !  

Next ....The Grumpy Chef restaurant , it has only been open a few weeks ....but already packed at weekends.... and a generous amount of customers throughout the day for breakfast brunch or lunch ! 
Clean crisp decor and lighting ..... Kitchen on view , which really is great on two aspects ...... Cleanliness .....and effort ....you can just see all the work that goes into producing you that amazing plate of food !
 There is a real good menu for a small venue , plus a specials board .....and a beautiful display of homemade cakes for dessert or afternoon tea! 
Staff are enthusiastic .....the Chef and his partner Emma are putting their heart and soul into this place , you can feel it! 

I had a mouth watering  dish of skate wing , brown shrimps , Samphire and nut brown butter , when I complemented the Chef , he humbly said it was all down to the local caught fresh fish and he really didn't do much ! ........  
This is #TheGreatBritishSeaside and I'm delighted to eat fresh local fish ....  but don't underestimate this chef !  
Dishes were steadily coming out of this kitchen on a busy Friday night ....you could hear the delight at tables as beautiful food arrived ..... 
Tables are set to accommodate the size of the party which is a nice touch .... we were a small group of 3, and it was set for 3 and only 3 chairs around the table .....nice to not feel like someone missing lol Equally the bigger groups were positioned where tables could be pushed together and not crowd the other guests!  
We had a sharing platter of breads and olives and sipped our wine while we waited on our main courses.....it was a place where you can sit and chill & wait in anticipation of your wonderful food ..... not feel rushed .... a great place to spend the evening ! 

That was our first meal there, we will go again soon ......as it is really only is minutes away......although we did walk the long way round ....to support the local pub too !