Sunday, 28 February 2010

A song of enchantment

A Song of Enchantment by Walter de la Mare

A song of Enchantment I sang me there,
In a green-green wood, by waters fair,
Just as the words came up to me
I sang it under the wild wood tree.

Widdershins turned I, singing it low,
Watching the wild birds come and go;
No cloud in the deep dark blue to be seen
Under the thick-thatched branches green.

Twilight came: silence came:
The planet of Evening's silver flame;
By darkening paths I wandered through
Thickets trembling with drops of dew.

But the music is lost and the words are gone
Of the song I sang as I sat alone,
Ages and ages have fallen on me -
On the wood and the pool and the elder tree.

My entry for Mixed Media Monday's Enchantment theme. I was inspired by this beautiful poem which I think does most of my talking for me today!

The photo of my piece looks a bit flat which is a shame because this really does have some depth of colour and texture to it. The more observant among you may recognise this enchanted nymph for she graced my blog just a week ago in a more reflective mood.

She was a part of a painting that didn't quite turn out as expected, but seeing as I think she has a bit of my Muse in her, she wasn't going to take that laying down. No siree, as I contemplated what I would paint for this, a red haired beauty with green eyes came to mind. Something nagged at the back of my mind and I remembered I had left her abandoned and unfinished.

The wonders of acrylics - so forgiving, you can just paint over your mistakes! I also used a bit of collage at the bottom and I'm sure you can spot the fibres. The flower on the left was a print out of a photograph of mine, the bird and flowers on the bottom right are gift wrap - though they have both been so heavily painted over that they bear little resemblance to the original!
My Muse was happy with the result. She's very vain and likes to be seen out as much as possible!

Friday, 26 February 2010

A missed anniversary

I thought I would sit and plan my one year anniversary blog post. It's at the end of the month right? WRONG! It was last week! Oh well, never mind. I guess it doesn't really matter when we celebrate. I've been having similar thoughts about my 40th birthday party which I have still to organise. I can't say I really feel much like going out much in this weather. I'd rather wait until the summer and have friends round all day for a barbie. I can hear a steady dripping on the windowsill. Is it melting snow or rain?

Anyway... Yipee! One year of blogging, well done me. Time to reflect and share some deep thoughts on the matter. A matter indeed that ties in very well with today - Friday - when I share happy thoughts from the week for Jamie's Happy Book Group.

How many posts have I written then? 281! Wow! I can't even remember what prompted me to start in the first place aside from a desire to write, but how happy am I that I did. I can confidently say that this blog has changed my life. How's that for a bold statement? So, how?

1. I have made new friends across the world. This was an unexpected bonus, but one I treasure so dearly.

2. I have rediscovered my love and passion for art and grown in ways I never thought possible. I picked up a paintbrush again around the same time I started this blog, but at first it was the same old watercolour flowers and landscapes that I'd always painted. Then, I came across a blogging group who together 'Wrecked their Journals' (thank you so much for pulling this one together Jamie!) and that was it - something was released and I haven't looked back. Watercolour rarely gets a look-in these days when so much fun can be had with mixed media. I found all these wonderful creative challenge sites where the support from the wonderful artist has helped me grow and develop as, dare I say it, an artist. Without this support and encouragement (particularly from the ladies at Inspiration Avenue) I would never have dreamed of opening my own Etsy shop let alone actually selling anything I had made. Thank you one and all. If I could hug you now I would. I've taken online courses I found via my blog hopping and have seen my work grow and develop. I really feel like I've made some progress.

3. Writing is becoming second nature. Last year I promised myself to try and write every day and this blog has been the natural catalyst. And I love it! Words pour from me rich with creative juice. I've learnt from both the writing and the art that what is most important is that I do this for me, that I am happy with the outcomes. Receiving positive comments is naturally the icing on the cake and adding to the list of followers gives me a warm glow, but I am proud of myself too. I feel like I have really achieved something by sticking at it.

4. I fill my evenings with all the above, rather than watching mindless drivel on TV just because it's there. Most evenings will find me floating off somewhere around the world via my pc or if not that, delving into a fantasy art world land. When I'm creating - whether words or pictures, I feel like I'm doing what I'm meant to do. I am ME and that is someone who went missing for a while. I'm pleased to have her back and keep buying her nice treats like paintbrushes, clear gesso, pretty fibres, canvas boards....

Yes, it does have its downsides. Sometimes I spend far too much time travelling blogland and painting when I should be doing something else (notably cleaning the house), but hey that's not too high a price to pay is it?

Happy Blog Anniversary to me - and thank you to all those who helped it happen - you know who you are. You have done more for me than you can possibly imagine.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Soft furnishings and the modern man

I was in HomeSense at the weekend. If you don't know the store, it is, as the name suggests - items for the home. Pictures, mirrors, frames, storage, lamps, ornaments, interesting ironwork - a girlie haven. . I love it in there and could happily spend a fortune. For those of you who read my post about Anthropologie - it's very similar products but about a quarter of the price. The place for the 'sensible' shopper.

Anyway, I was browsing on Saturday. Gently fingering fabrics, peering at paints and coveting cushions. They had some real beauties with frills and fancy bits. A young couple were standing in the way of a particularly fetching deep purple paisley print velvet specimen I couldn't wait to get my hands on. The female asked his opinion on two she was dithering over. The poor chap, he looked terrified. "The thing is" he stammered. "I'm just not all that interested in soft furnishings..."

I couldn't help but smile and, seeing as I really wanted to get to that purple velvet, I just had to butt in.

"Of course he's not going to show an interest in cushions" I lamented. "He's a bloke."

Bloke in question looked at me with gratitude and agreement. Here was a girl on his side at last. And I wasn't even finished yet..

"You're lucky you got him in here at all" I continued (receiving a nasty look from the cushion coveter). Then I returned home to my man who was on the edge of his seat in the closing minutes of the big game. We had tuned into the radio on the way home just to check if it would be safe to cross the threshold, but needn't have worried. His team won.

Clearly the girl hadn't a clue how to handle her man. I mean, seriously, you don't take them shopping for cushions for one very good reason. No, not because they don't care; they get bored in 2 seconds; or would rather be watching sport. The reason is simple... they will never find out how much you just spent on two squares of fabric stuffed with fluff!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Bad Hare Day

A bit of a cop out going on here. Well, you see, I just know I'm not going to have enough time to create my purple entry for Inspiration Avenue this week without putting myself under undue pressure so I'm showing you a couple of purple pieces I made earlier!

The first is also rather topical since I am indeed suffering a severe case of the bad hair day. I actually looked better with bed hair this morning than I did after shampoo, conditioner, 'styling' and product had all attacked my mop. My hair has never been a tame puss cat, more like a Tasmanian devil I think. Fine; straight; brown. A cause of much distress to my mother over the years. As a child she'd torture me with rollers and granny-style hairdryers before parties - you know the kind, they look like you're wearing a bucket on your bonce. I grew up believing not that blondes had more fun, but that you needed to look like Shirley Temple to be popular (love you really Mum!).

So, we have a purple homage to the bad hair day. This was painted as a preliminary sketch for .... drum roll...... my commissioned piece! Look at me... A proper artist or what? I rather foolishly forgot to capture the final work in digital technivision but you get the gist.

Below we have a piece entitled simply 'Sister's birthday card'. The small blue flower in the middle is from my ephemera stash and I created the painting around it with acrylics and ink. I was rather chuffed when she framed it and gave it pride of place on the bedroom wall.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Happy Birthday Boy!

This time six years ago I was some way into my 'giving birth' story. As all Mum's will agree, being able to share this tale with others and watch their horrified expressions is an unexpected perk of the experience.

Fear not readers, I'm saving it from you today. Let's just say it was long - we're talking days here) and involved virtually every pain relief method - and leave it at that.

No, today I shall be recalling how wonderful it felt to finally hold that little bundle of joy that I'd been growing inside me for the past nine months and to thank him for all the love and pleasure he has given me ever since. I am such a proud Mumma.

He had his party at the weekend which was loud and energetic as all good parties should be. He's still of an age that when Mummy suggests he gets up and dances with her, in front of all his friends, he's only too happy to oblige. He danced in the Italian restaurant we went to for dinner tonight too and showed all the waitresses 'his moves'.

Doesn't seem like 5 minutes since he was a gurgling newborn in my arms and I was suddenly struck with the realisation that I was now responsible for this little chap.

Happy Birthday my sweet little boy!

PS: Can I have a go on your scooter?

Monday, 22 February 2010

What's the big deal about cupcakes?

I live in a rather dull provincial town. Here, if you fancy a cake that doesn't come ready boxed and poly-thened, you head to the bakers. We don't do patisseries here - far too posh and most people couldn't pronounce it anyway. Donuts, iced buns, custard tarts... that's what you get and be thankful for it.

(image credit: The Little Cupcake Company)

Fortunately, I get to travel - all around the world. OK, so it's mainly virtual travel, but don't knock it. Frankly you wouldn't believe the places I've been via my computer in the kitchen. Too bad I can't collect airmiles, but at least my CO2 emissions are low.

On my travels I have discovered a new revolution in the aforementioned delicacies. The cupcake seems to have enjoyed something of a transformation in recent years. Last time I had one it was a small sponge with some icing that was deceptively thicker around the edge then in the middle. Usually, there was a choice of four 'flavours' - orange, yellow, pink or chocolate. There was a ritual to be observed when eating. The icing was always carefully removed first and placed to one side on your plate. The dry sponge would be washed down with a cup of tea or orange squash before the sweet food colourings and additives were allowed to tingle on your palette.

Now, the cupcake has suddenly become an art form. Less topping is no longer more. In fact, I believe that unless your topping measures a ratio of at least 3:1 it can't be considered a bona fide cupcake. Colours and flavours sparkle and delight. Artists can't paint enough of the things, they grace greetings cards and gift wrap. Open a copy of Vogue and the sugar and buttercream sits strangely alongside the skeletal models - one model even claimed to eat them (though I find that hard to believe). When I was in London (for real, not virtual) I even spotted a whole shop selling nothing but them. It was very pretty!

Where did this new obsession come from? I thought we were supposed to be all calorie-conscious these days and eating our five fruit and veg? Is it a fad or are the Marie-Antoinettes of cakes set to stay?

I feel I must investigate further. Perhaps a trip here, here, or here to sample the best of British. Or, maybe I need to go further afield... I'm thinking New York, LA, Sydney, Rome, Paris... I wouldn't want to cultivate a biased opinion after all.

At the very least, I feel I must make a purchase just so I can paint one. What do you think? The perfect excuse? The question is though, would it be with me long enough to paint?

Sunday, 21 February 2010


You would think that when I set a creative challenge over at Inspiration Avenue that I would have something pre-prepared (or at least in mind) for what I might be presenting. Sadly, in this hectic world, that is never the case. And this week, more than ever has been rather busy with no free time for artistic endeavours. However, I couldn't let the side down so the sketch book came out and a few ideas were pondered.

Naturally, because I was in rush and painting this late last night, things didn't go entirely to plan, but then again I'd like to reflect that this is not such a bad thing after all. You see the top half of this picture was a mermaid rising from the water, the bottom her mirror image in the moonlight. Well, that was the plan... Instead we ended up with a multi-coloured blur where the effervesence refused to glow and the moonlight looked more like spilt milk.

Well, we know not to cry over that my friends. So this morning, she paid a visit to my good old friend Photoshop and we created a new bottom half. Ah, how I love a spot of digital manipulation. Photoshop saves the day!

She still needs a bit work... another day perhaps...

Friday, 19 February 2010


For my happy sharing this week, I am cheating slightly and borrowing the talents of others. I'd love to direct you to some wonderful postings that made me smile and clap with joy.

First, have a read of Amelia's musing on what art can teach us about life.

Do you believe in fairies? Read this post and watch the YouTube link set within (be sure to view it all now), then tell me you don't believe...

Finally, more YouTube magic. Have a listen and let the dance vibe invade your soul.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

A meeting of minds

I went to a meeting today, in fact I went to several. This is a welcome novelty for the new self-employed me. After all, I don't have any team meetings unless I decide to talk to myself in the mirror, so spending time discussing exciting internal communicationey things with real people was actually rather fun. I spent the day at a client site where they fed me pancakes. Life is good.

I also got to spend some time today on the nation's biggest car park. Yup, the M25 did not disappoint readers. I guess all the commuters heard that I would around today and decided to join the queue to see me. What it is to be famous eh?

Speaking of which... I just watched the BRIT awards on TV. I feel I missed my calling... I should have been a pop star. Imagine getting paid for raiding the dressing up box and prancing around on stage. Ahh. It's a hard life for us mere mortals, having to wear 'normal' clothing and being frowned upon for singing in the workplace.

No doubt you are bemused by choice of illustration this evening. No, it's not an Enya album cover... It is in fact a little entry for the Three Muses nature challenge. I just didn't feel like writing about the natural world this evening...

A coloured pencil sketch mixed with some of my photographs of warmer days...

Monday, 15 February 2010

Angel faces

Well here's a date for everyone's diary - especially for those magpies among you who are attracted by pretty things. The ladies of Inspiration Avenue (and that includes yours truly) are holding a charity auction from March 7th-14th.

Naturally in this day and age no one expects you to travel to a draughty hall and sit on your hands for fear of bidding £100,000 accidentally. No, it's all virtual these days darlings and as long as your zero key on your keyboard doesn't stick you should be OK (not that we'll be turning down bids with lots of zeros naturally!).

All donations from winning bids will go to an incredibly worthwhile charity - Angel Faces that supports burn victims. For more information on how to participate, pop along to the Inspiration Avenue blog, then be sure to pay us a visit on from March 7th-14th to take part.

OWOH Giveaway


What wonderful fun it was participating in this blog party - I've zoomed around the world several times and taken tea and cakes with the most delightful bloggers and marvelled in all that wonderful talent and generosity out there. We're quite a tribe aren't we, and it's great to be a part, a tiny cog in the blogging wheel.

Many thanks to Lisa Swifka for being such a wonderful Queen of the party. How she coped with us all cramming into her house I'll never know. Mind you, seeing as I got there via her computer and a spell and a wish from the fairy Godmother, maybe she employed a little magic too?

Well, without further ado, I will let you into the result of my prize draw. The winner is...


Sandra from Thistle Cove Farm


Sunday, 14 February 2010

It's Mardi Gras - let's party...

Pack away your winter clothes and blues and come with me to New Orleans - I've ordered us the house special at Pat O'Brien's in the French Quarter and we've a spot by the window reserved to view the parades.

Yes, it's Mardis Gras here and we banish the cold with a warm and spicy celebration of music, food and culture. A heady cocktail of vision, finery and a thumping creole beat will knock the winter socks off you here readers. Let your hair down, pull on some feathers and enjoy...

You know what, I think I should start making some serious plans to visit some of the gastronomic places of my dreams... Maybe it's because I'm cooking in between typing, but I can't stop thinking about creole spices, jambalaya and gumbo...

Perhaps I should dance in my feathers to take my mind off it...

My entry to Mixed Media Monday - Mardi Gras.

Acrylics, coloured pencils, fibres, sparkly stick-ons and a dash of wild creole imagination.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

And we will all the pleasures prove

A HeART or two for Valentine's... Cards for my two best boys (one of them is my son!).

Friday, 12 February 2010

Juicy fruit

I find blog-hopping can be such a rich source of inspiration and general warm snuggly feeling. The last year has seen my artistic endeavours bear some really colourful and juicy fruit and it is thanks in part to the treasure trove of artists, writers and generally lovely people I have found on my travels.

I also love reading the profiles - the words 'self-taught' being particularly reassuring for one dipping a toe into the ocean of creativity. Fortunately for us creatives, our calling is indeed one that can be self-taught and even attributed to other 'beings' - my Muse after all regularly joins me on these pages and few bat an eyelid. A Muse to the artist, is after all the equivalent of the spanner to the mechanic

However, imagine viewing this blog* and seeing such a description alongside this blogger's profession - self taught ER physician who relies on his Muse for inspirational diagnoses. Hmm... I think not. And would you step on on a 747 built by a self-taught aeronautic engineer?

Yes, I think us creatives are rather lucky actually. We can get away with all sorts of eccentricity and, in fact, it rather becomes us. We also can get away with being not terribly good at our art - beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder, and I wouldn't imagine that applying a brushstroke too many is likely to cause much damage to body or mechanical parts.
Of course there's nothing to stop you being a mechanic, physician or engineer and also creative; why, you can even have a Muse - or even two - if you want to. I guess we'd just rather you left them at home during the 'day job'.

Regulars will know I've been toying with the idea of writing a book (for the past 30 years or so...). I even got so far as writing a few chapters of several...mostly involving elves and magical landscapes or modern chicks seeking romance; but... well... you know... I guess that maybe blogging satisfies my need to see my written word out there in the stratosphere. Or maybe, my direction should shift to non-fiction? I've been toying with a few ideas...
Now, I'm a great believer in serendipiddy (I have even invented a new spelling in its honour). So, there I was browsing the inspirational Shona Cole's Artful Life blog and reading about her new book ('The artistic Mother: a practical guide for fitting creativity into your life' and definitely on my Amazon wish list**). She tells how it came about. Hard work. Well, that's fine, I can handle that. Getting known. In Shona's case, her artwork published in Stampington magazines, where an editor 'spotted' her and the rest is history.

A-ha, a eureka moment! If there are any editors out there (fiction or non-fiction, I'm not fussed) who would like to discuss a few book proposals, please note that I am in the market for just such a discussion. Just leave a comment below and I'll be in touch! Many thanks :) I shall also be submitting to Stampington Magazines on a regular basis... cause if you don't try...

And maybe, I could try writing to a few myself... now how's that for a novelty?

* If you're quick, you can vote for the good doctor in the best blogging doctor awards (or something like that!). He's very good, properly qualified (as far as I know!) whilst also being creative, AND, it's OK - you can read his writing... he types it. Closing date for voting this Sunday.

** If you're quick (but you don't need to be as quick as the quick above), you can win a copy of her book by visiting Shona's blog and writing about her book on your own.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The simple things

I'm sitting in a green haze. Yup, my kitchen has been decorated (by Gary from Nuneaton) and the wintry light filtering in through the windows seems to be giving it a slightly illuminous quality - one which I'm not quite sure I intended.

I would love to sit and blog all day today, but I have work to do so must leave you to find your reading matter elsewhere (but do come back soon!).

My breakfast blog run this morning though did take me to Theme Thursday where they ask for 'flowers'. How we in the Northern hemisphere long for Spring. There's an icing sugar dusting of snow outside which is scaring off all the bulbs - hardly a shoot shows through so far. The birds have stopped singing in disgust, in fact I saw a queue of them outside the travel agent this morning clutching African safari brochures.

As my yearnings turn to spring, I could have posted a picture of a tulip (my favourite flower and easy to spell) but was drawn instead by the rich hues of this chrysanthamum, a digital manipulation of a photograph I took last Autumn.
And while we're on the subject of flowers, it being Valentine's Day and that this weekend... Tulips... my favourite... I'm also quite fond of daffs... (He checks this blog often readers....)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Travels into my imagination

Jamie Ridler's wishcasting prompt this week was travel. I could spend the next 10 minutes rattling off a list of desirable travel locations - everywhere from The Seychelles to New York, Italy, Morrocco, the Amazon rainforests.... However, after the adventures I had in my dreams last night I'd like to explore somewhere far more surreal.

What secrets lie in wait to be discovered in the depths of my imagination? How can I travel further in and explore all those nooks and crannies? Last night I visited a post-apocalyptic world, a magical palace with room after room of treasures from the past waiting to be rediscovered, people to be both avoided and befriended and stories to unravel.

When I pick up a paintbrush or set fingertips to keyboard I open the door in the back of the wardrobe. I've placed tentative steps into the wonderland that waits but I feel a strong pull, luring me further and further in. Is that an elf beckoning me from the trees? What song does the siren's call whisper? How that horizon sparkles with such magical colours and textures.

Here is a world of infinite possibility, the stuff literally of dreams. To explore and travel within its twisting paths, mighty oceans and towering mountains is surely my destiny?
PS: And can it also be my destiny to visit New York with a well-stocked bank balance; enjoy a week or two of indolent bliss in The Seychelles (or frankly any other tropical paradise); travel around Italy soaking up the colours, scents and delicious aromas for a lifetime of artistic inspiration; be amazed in the Amazonian rainforests and buy a magic carpet in a market in a Marrackech!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Happy Beverly Hills Day

Yup, if you're in the UK and read your dates the right way round (cue protests!), you'll find that today is, in fact.... drumroll....

9 0 2 1 0

Just a little bit of fun for a Tuesday when I don't have time to blog properly!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Mess and destruction

Something strange has happened in the last year. I have never been what you might call a particularly tidy girl, but you could never have accused me of being beyond help. I admit some areas of my life have always been a struggle to keep under control - notably desks and anything to do with paperwork, but in the past it has always been confined to these areas. Oh yes, and my car for some reason...

Anyway, I digress... Since I started being all creative again I'm afraid that any attempt at order in this household has packed its suitcase and left in tears. I can't seem to keep on top of anything. I sit at my desk now surrounded by chaos. The dishwasher needs emptying and filling again. Groceries need putting away, the skirting board and radiator require a second coat of paint; there are art supplies taking over one end of the living room and toys the other... I found a dead mouse under the fridge (thanks cats!), washing needs doing... And that's after I've spent all day doing proper paid work.

In fact, why on earth am I writing about it? Get on and do it love, then you can sit down guilt free and plan your next load of mess and destruction! In fact, that's it... self-imposed blogging and art ban until I have spring cleaned my home. Things may be quiet around here for a wee while, but I hope normal service will resume shortly providing the clutter doesn't get me first!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Love's layers

There are many layers to every love story. It takes a wise soul to see through to what lies within...

My entry for Mixed Media Monday's 'Romance' theme. Open to your interpretation.

Mixed media journal page. Acrylics, coloured pencils, stencilling, stamping.... then I had a little play in Photoshop...

Friday, 5 February 2010

With a cherry on top

It's Friday. It has been a grand week. I've been working, painting and my kitchen ceiling has finally been repaired! Not only that but I finally managed to choose which colour to paint the walls. It was a tough call between Willow Tree (which is actually blue, rather than the green you expect it to be) and Melon Sorbet. The fruity concoction won, the decorator will be here on Wednesday.

All this talk of melons leads me nicely onto my next subject - fruit! (I should have been a tv or radio presenter with link lines like that, don't you think?).

I'm hosting the Inspiration Avenue fruit challenge this week and as I wish to be the hostess with the mostest I hurried down to the greengrocers to stock up on fruity delights. As I flitted between the bananas and pineapples my mind was a blur and my mouth a salivation. What treats would my guests most desire? Sweet cherries or plump grapes? A moist mango, a palatable pear, or the nectar of an orange. I couldn't decide so I bought the lot.

Now, this greengrocer takes his reputation most seriously and being 'green' does not provide his customers with plastic carrier bags. Being a forgetful soul, I had omitted to bring anything with which to carry home my purchases so....

I put them on my head!

The spirit of this post is one of great joy and frivolity and, being a Friday and all, it fits rather snugly into Jamie Ridler's Happy Friday group too. Why not pop along there and share what made you happy this week. Well, I think you may have guessed that for me the 'cherry on top' was definitely getting fruity with my painting!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Swan Princess

This feels like a proper grown up painting. Yet again I was inspired by The Three Muses - which as their name suggests is naturally their intention. Create something around the theme of 'birds of a feather' they suggest...

For the next few weeks at least, most artistic output also has to double as homework and practice for my Suzi Blu portrait class, so it seemed both natural and sensible to combine the two. We all know that fair maidens have a strange tendency to turn into swans on occasion - or is it the other way around - so the idea was hatched!

My Princess belongs to the swans. One day I'll tell you her story, but I'm afraid the effort to create her this week has been something of a tiring affair since I don't usually start until bedtime. It's a busy week, but painting helps me relax so is a welcome finish to the day! I struggled with her face. I wanted a darkness around her eyes reminiscent of the swan but at the same time don't want her to look like the undead... A touch of immortality without the festering zombie flesh was the general idea. And let's not talk about her nose... Anyone know a good plastic surgeon?

I've also decided she needs a tiara, but the sparkly Princess headwear shop was closed tonight, so she'll have to wait another day or so.

I probably should have taken the photo in daylight (too big for scanner). Her dress is much more purple than you can see in this image and the shading on the swan a pale blue rather then grey!

Mixed media on acrylic paper. Coloured pencil, acrylics and some sparkly bits.

Monday, 1 February 2010


Sunday Scribbling's prompt this week was Milestone. Next month I will be 40, can't get much more a reminder eh? I still haven't organised any form of party so unless I get my bottom in gear it will be passing by un-noticed. Ah tish! Maybe I just don't want to think about reaching 40.

What other milestones can I ramble on about instead? Well, next to spring to mind are those that appear in Project Plans. For those that don't work in the kind of business environment which requires the use of Microsoft Project, might I point out how lucky you are. These are very long lists of things to achieve and by whom and by when, marked in degree of importance and usually dissected to the smallest detail. They are much beloved by those of an analytical mind but strike terror in the 'fly by the seat of their pants' creative types. You see, I'm more of a 'know what needs to be done and by when and just get on with it' type of worker. I'll scribble down some essential notes and dive in. I keep on track because I know what I'm doing. I don't need constant referral to detail to force my output down a track it doesn't feel like investigating on that day. If I attend a meeting about where we are in an exciting project I like to discuss what needs to be discussed rather than tediously work our way through a long list of dull tasks. I do not like to refer to stages of my project as 'milestones' - the resemblance of the word to millstone is far too close for my liking. I prefer the JFDI methodology which is very close a word to JEDI and when the force is with you, what more could you ask for?

I'm sure the picture is foxing you... It is of the Milestone Hotel in London - looks rather nice doesn't it?
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