Renee

Magic at Arch1, grown up boys and a business plan for the healing bear

My dating disaster prompted considerably more emails than usual, with at least two people begging me to write a dating blog.  I have to report that since casino man, I’ve met only nice people.  So I’m reverting to a life of privacy, secrecy, discretion…  For now, anyway.  I will go ahead with an ebook later this year though, so please do send me your tales of on-line dating fiascos.  All shall remain nameless…

Arch1 is an awesome venue.  (I didn’t go there on a date, but with my sons.)  Musicians and entertainers are lining up to perform in this teeny tiny railway arch, shadowed by a giant willow tree and differentiated from the other arches by a simple sparkling string of fairly lights across the door.  It’s barely larger than my front room.  A cute bar is slotted in one corner, and the toilet is in a broom cupboard behind the stage.  No lock.

Yet, despite its size, around 150 people crammed in last Saturday night to pay tribute to Keith, a young soul who died tragically a year ago.  I didn’t know Keith well, although he was a regular in my home, usually at parties and on the boys’ poker nights, back when I wasn’t allowed to join in.

11831684_10153543628656255_3122798006444406782_nMy son Oli’s mentalist act was the highlight.  Obviously I’m going to say that, but he really, really was amazing.  He stunned the entire audience with his (what?) sorcery?  Maybe.  Skill? – for sure.

Four of Oli’s friends performed at Arch1 too.  These boys have played in a band since school – Passenger Casanova.  I’ve watched them grow from 11-year-old children playing in my garden, to incredibly talented young musicians.

Passenger Casanova

Passenger Casanova

We’re quite a musical family.  (Apart from me!)  Wishing a happy tenth anniversary to my Bro-Lo David and sister-in-law Dawn; he plays guitar and keyboards rather well.  I never remember to send them a card, so hopefully a mention here will suffice.  A funny Facebook baby photo of David reminded me of the Cabbage Patch Doll craze – do you remember it?  They hit the stores in 1982 while I was working in Hamleys, and the queue snaked right the way along Regent Street.  I didn’t want one at the time, and didn’t fancy adopting one when they started appearing as collectibles. Had a tamagotchi though….

I’ve had a passing involvement with toys this week too, as I arranged for Crystal Healing Bear – and its creator Tina – to meet with my accountant Mark to talk through a business plan. Tina has identified a gap between emotionally disturbed or stressed children who could benefit from alternative therapy and mindfulness training, subconscious guidance for parents, and a strategy allowing them to project feelings onto an inanimate ‘friend.’  Thus she created Crystal Healing Bear – a teddy and book that includes mindfulness techniques. She’s planning to present the business to schools later this year, and the book is available on-line now.

A percentage of Tina’s profits will be donated to The Dream Factory.  This charity is very close to my heart.  It’s run by Avril Mills, one of the most inspirational women I know, who helped Oli when he was in the Royal London Hospital for several weeks.  So if you happen to spot Tina wandering around Essex dressed as a giant bear, pop a pound in the Dream Factory box please.  (I actually dressed as a giant bear in 1982 – it’s a lot harder than it sounds…)

This was the best-selling record in ’82; I remember rushing out to buy the 12” the morning it was released. (That will confuse some of my younger readers!!)  “Our mothers cried.  Sang along, who’d blame them.  You’ve grown, so grown up – now I must say more than ever…”  You know the next line!  You also know my next line…  Feel free to call if you’d like to know more about mindfulness, business plans or anything social media-related.  Or ask me here: @WeekendWitch.

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