I’m really happy that Marion has officially joined the team. She’s full of fun with whacky ideas and fantastic skills for managing some of our social media clients’ accounts. I’ve known her for years; we started working together in the days when sisters were doing it for themselves and our friendship has endured through pop concerts, blue dinners, holidays, children, balloons, and Andrew Wright. (But that’s another story.)
When she’s not looking after clients’ social media, Marion walks her three dogs through the landscaped park in Hawick. There’s a tiny museum there that houses a memorial to motorcycle legend Steve Hislop. ‘Hizzy’ died tragically eleven years ago last week, when his helicopter crashed into the next field to Marion’s cottage. I was staying there then, and remember the day so well. Although the tragedy didn’t involve a bike, I can’t help playing Bat out of hell in my mind whenever I think about it.
I go up to the cottage when I need some peace to write quietly, diametrically removed from London’s bustling metropolis. It’s a wonderful place to design new training courses; no distractions, other than the dogs barking and chickens clucking. My new social media sessions (which were partly written there) have been so well received this summer that I’ve been commissioned to run them again through the autumn, let me know if you’d like any details.
Aside from the new courses, I had an influx of bookings through July for my traditional plain English training sessions. Being on page one in Google searches definitely helps, plus the sprinkling of enquiries that came via LinkedIn. So I’ve been all over London de-jargpning and clarifying texts to suit the clients of various organisations. It’s taken me to some areas I hardly knew before, with unique places to discover.
Coming out of Paddington tube, I quite literally stumbled upon the cutest bookshop ever. A moored Rosie and Jim type barge that’s fitted out as a delightful bookstore. It was absolutely lovely, totally unexpected and completely full of charm and character. I chatted to the owner, who invited me aboard Word on the Water for my virgin voyage. Well, not voyage exactly; it was stationery, bobbing about on the Grand Union Canal, but I enjoyed it anyway. It was one of my three favourite places this week.
The second was Richmond, as I ventured out west to visit a potential social media client. I would have liked a picnic lunch among the deer wandering elegantly through the park, but as I have a habit of getting lost and a fear of close-up large animals, I decided it wasn’t a clever move on my own. Made up for it on Friday, when a trip to Queen Elizabeth’s hunting lodge in Chingford came a close third. No deer roving around now, but in Tudor times the area was rife with Bambi’s ancestors. The lodge is a beautifully preserved piece of Elizabethan architecture set amongst ancient fields. (Although I have to note, the wilderness of Richmond is a far cry from Chingford’s Premier Inn, plonked right next door to the lodge.)
Anyway, neither compares to the beautiful scenery surrounding Marion’s cottage. We’ve danced around in there – not quite the same as in the Annie Lennox days, but still fun… “Now we ain’t makin’ stories, and we ain’t layin’ plans… ’cause a man still loves a woman, and a woman still loves a man.” Making stories, making training courses, making words on water… if you need something written, here I am: @WeekendWitch.