Exeter Magazines – Extra Fun

I’ve been writing for Devon Life from time to time for a couple of years now. Always good fun, I enjoy having the chance to write about a variety of different subjects, from gliding and riding to auctioneers and lady stonemasons.

Recently, however, I’ve had the opportunity to write for two Exeter magazines: Exeter Life and Exeter Living. Exeter Life asked me to write up a visit to Circa 1924 with four different food editors. I’m not a foodie writer so I panicked a little about using the right terminology – there are clearly ways of describing ambiance and food dishes that are not within my usual descriptive vocabulary.

Oh well, at the end of the day it was fine, well illustrated by a photo I took of Devon Life Ed Andy Cooper with a serviette stuffed in his shirt collar.

Exeter Living then approached me to write a feature about Honiton. That was more of a breeze, as I know my local town well, and most of the places to visit, shop, dine and stay. The only problem was the word count was so low that I had a job to cram them all in! Trusty camera to the rescue once again as I ran up and down (and across) the High Street taking photos to illustrate the piece.

Enjoyable stuff. More please!

Awards Season 2015

This year some of my clients are entered in awards that are new to me, as well as one that I know well, having written the submission for the very first Small Business of the Year winner, Nu-Heat, in 2011.

In the annual Express & Echo Business Awards for Exeter and beyond, I’m delighted that Robin Rea and his Ottery St Mary restaurant, Rusty Pig are finalists in two categories; Entrepreneur of the Year and Creative Business. Robin has already won at the Live Love Eat Awards this year – Platinum Award and Regional Champion.

Then there are the Tile Association Awards, which I discovered when trawling for potential awards for my South London client Diespeker & Co. Diespeker has also been shortlisted in two categories; Manufacturer of the Year and Best Use of Tile in Hospitality or Leisure.

I was also asked to enter a legal exec in for the CILEx (Chartered institute of Legal Executives) President’s Award. More of that soon.

It is always exciting to learn that a client is a finalist in an awards event and I wish them all the best of luck. I’ll be at the Express & Echo Awards myself – with some trepidation having learnt that Katie Hopkins is the guest speaker!


I recently mentioned that I was nominated in the Devon Venus Awards – and now I learn I have been shortlisted. Now that was a surprise!

VenusThis is the first time that I’ve been on the other side of the fence, as I usually encourage my clients to enter awards rather than enter myself. The Venus Awards celebrate women in business and entrepreneurs, and I decided to enter for the experience of the process, not expecting to get anywhere.

The category is Home Based Business. This is the way I’ve worked for many years and I’m quite proud of the fact that I work from home. I work very hard, but I don’t have to cope with rush hour (unlike my days in Reading!), I am usually on hand when the children are sick, and I can nip out for a walk with the dogs if all gets too much – there are many benefits. And I’m very well disciplined, which some people might marvel about!

(There was also a category for Business Mum, I might have entered if there was a one for Bad Mum – ask my children who I’m about to desert for a holiday in Crete – evil laugh).

Being shortlisted is quite an odd feeling and somewhat unnerving. I am always very calm when my clients are shortlisted, although at awards events my heart hammers when the winners are announced. Now it’s me I’ll probably be shaking with nerves. I’m not expecting to win but it’s an excuse to don a sparkly frock.

The final is in November. My friend, Sharon Goble of If…Media has also been shortlisted in the same category and I feel a few drinks are required in celebration. The fabulous Deer Park Hotel is calling! Prosecco on ice please….

Watch this space!