"Tax doesn't have to be taxing" - OK perhaps not but still...
I suppose that if you've decided - as I have - to take the plunge and ask (OK, pay) someone else to do your tax return for you, then admittedly it's not 'taxing' in the intellectual sense. But it's no less stressful when faced with the 'how MUCH?' moment when the amount of your required contribution to HMRC is revealed. It's enough to make one weep. But seeing as it came on the same day as a valued client confirmed it wanted me to do a new quarterly magazine (thanks - you know who you are!) then it'd be churlish to make such a big thing of it. But I will anyway. Give me a few days and I'll be OK. Ah, the joys of freelancing. Happy new year to you all - may 2012 be fruitful.
Billy, Thea, Seth et al - we salute you
No excuses. Well OK, just one - I've been really busy. My lack of blog entries shames me and you can consider me suitably purged. Anyway...I've finally come up for air after a hectic few months - much of which you can blame the beer for. Just so we're clear though, that's working with beer. And can I just say, right here right now, a huge thank you to any of you who came to Pocktoberfest 2011 and helped make it such a huge success.
More than 1,000 music and beer folk descended on Pock for an event which, although has its place on the local social calendar, admittedly took a risk by making some big changes this year. A new venue for one thing, not to mention a whole host of notable music acts who played over the weekend. But it paid off handsomely - from the gorgeous gentle tones of Thea Gilmore to the rousing fiddle of Seth Lakeman, and the glorious hillbilly sound of Hayseed Dixie to the politicised rock of Billy Bragg, we had it all - and then some.
So, on behalf of the Pocklington and Market Weighton Round Table (no I'm not a member but thanks for asking), can I also pay tribute to Pocklington Arts Centre for working tirelessly to secure the music, and Pocklington School for providing such a fine venue. Will we do it all again next year? Let's just bask a little longer and we'll get to that in good time...
Variety and all that
Councils, dentists, beer festivals...I do love this job.
Read your own CV - and enjoy the memories
When did you last update your CV? I've been doing it recently and a very thought-provoking process it was. It really takes you back and gets you thinking about where you once were and where you are now. What wer
e your dreams? What's the reality in 2011? I can honestly say I don't have any complaints - there have been some big ups and yes, a couple of downs but that's life. Life - and I don't say this flippantly - really is what you make it.
Keeping it local
Respect to Pocklington's "premier fishmonger" (it's not a trademark yet my friend) Guy Scott for his campaign to keep people shopping in our town. Almost single-handedly he's been rousing fellow shopkeepers and business owners to get behind his 'buy local' campaign and I'm delighted to be offering him my support with some proactive PR, marketing and design. "I'm trying to encourage other shopkeepers to think outside the box," says Guy. Good luck to him.
Note to self: Remove certain songs from iPod...
Let's be clear - I think Rockafeller Skank is a hell of a tune. But, and here's the thing, it's not a running song - something I discovered when I was running up the hill near Meltonby, about 3 miles into last Sunday's Snake Lane 10 Mile road race. All those crazy tempo changes play havoc with your running rhythm, trust me. Oh don't worry, I got around the course (and very happy with my 1h 34 time as well, given my shocking fitness level at the moment) but it got me thinking - what are the best and worst running songs? Just a thought.
'A collection of surreal moments'
That's the title I'll be giving to the travel piece I'm currently writing about the cruise holiday I've just returned from. I mean, how else can you categorise a 30-day odyssey which included sharing a breakfast table with Christopher Biggins, supervising your 4 year old son's involvement in an impromptu radio interview with a travelling Welsh baritone and a slightly hair-raising wicker toboggan ride - with the kids - down a hill in the capital of Madeira? Exactly.
What a twit(ter)
I hold my hands up - I've been ever-so-slightly distracted this week. As a Liverpool supporter for most of my 39 years, the on-going saga over our ownership has been - and continues to be - played out on Twitter, and it's been a nightmare. Right in the middle of something I hear that little 'bleep' to tell me there's a new update and I just have to see what's going on. The benefit of all this coverage of the High Court case is that I'm probably going to be qualified para-legal by the time it's all over...but for now, I'll stick to what I know. And that is getting all my projects wrapped up before going on holiday this weekend!
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?
The 7th Annual Pocktoberfest of beer, ale and Chilli Challenges (??) was a huge success and thanks to everyone who supported it. More than 400 people came to Pock over the weekend - ensuring that every last drop of ale, lager and cider was sold out. And that's wonderful news for all of our charities, who will again benefit hugely this year - thanks again
Roll out the barrel
Forgive me, for it has been more than a month since my last blog. Kinda negates the very essence of a blog eh? I have an excuse - the ever-ready excuse of 'technical problems' has been a major influence, so that's the story I'm sticking to. Anyway...it's pouring outside and as I write this I am just putting the finishing touches to the marketing drive for this year's Pocktoberfest. Yes, a festival of beer here in Pocklington over the weekend. Come along, Saturday 12-7 or Sunday 12-6. All for a good cause. £5 entry including a festival glass and tasting notes - and every penny goes to charity. There, 'good cause' duty done. Have a great weekend everyone :)
Deer - the sequel
If you ever have cause to drive to Ashton under Lyne from Yorkshire, then come off at J22 and drive over the top of Saddleworth Moor and through Delph and Mossley. It's a lot, lot nicer than the M60. I promise you.
Oh, and yesterday I hit a bird with the courtesy car. Wildlife just loves me
Have you ever hit a deer while driving? Well I did yesterday and it was an almighty whack which sent 'Bambi' flying into the air and left me with a filled in bumper and front grille. I went back to drag it off the road but it had gone. I fear it limped away to die somewhere but what can you do eh? Now for the repairs...grrr
Something for the weekend?
Another birthday party (for the kids, not adults that is) this Sunday. But as an 'accompanying adult' it's always nice to hoover up the leftover crisps etc, right? Anyway, have a nice one - whatever you're doing!
Lovely, lovely paperwork
Yes, it's a necessary evil but hey, it's only once a year eh? Just about finished the books - for now. Looking forward to getting back to the frontline on Monday. Another couple of days providing PR support at Tameside Hospital in Ashton-under-Lyne. Every time I'm there I'm humbled by the dedication of everyone who works there.
So, SO proud...
It's nothing to do with work, per se, but...how proud am I today? Just come back from my first sports day at my son's nursery (missed last year but that's another story) where he won both of his races - the sprint and the cup-and-spoon race. As I'm always telling him, it's not the taking part that counts, but the winning. Hang on, that's not the 'English way' is it? Well it worked and he deserves a big lolly tonight!
My blog starts here. Finally.
I've just set up this blog. So I guess now's the time to write something. As a writer, that shouldn't be too tricky should it? However, if you're already following me on Twitter @PointMediaPock or LinkedIn or Facebook then you'll know I'm not shy. I guess it comes with being a nosey journalist by nature. Anyway, there's always a lot going on to tell you about - I'll be right with you...