31 December 2017

Reflections

It’s almost time to say au revoir 2017 & bonjour 2018….

Some folk find themselves in no man’s land between Christmas & New Year, whereas I kind of like those strange days as a way to say adios to the year, & enjoy looking forward & making plans for the year ahead.

Often when I’m out riding I daydream & earlier this week was a good time for reflecting on the year, thinking about everything that went pretty darn well & wondering what 2018 might hold.

I’ve picked out a few of my favourite moments…

Barley

Unlucky for some but finishing 13th at Aldon BE 100 marked the end of a long & winding road, recovering from a benign tumour in his foot. It was an emotional return to the sport we both love & as we stormed round the XC gave us a huge adrenalin rush which we’d been missing for some time.

Barley doing the thing he loves best at Aldon... knees up, ears pricked!
PC: James Pyne Photography
We’ll be wrapping him up in cotton wool over the winter & aiming at some British Evening & British Showjumping comps in the spring. He owes me nothing now & every time we head out I’m always grateful for being able to ride a sound & happy horse.

Jonty & Leo

We said a sad goodbye to Jonty in the autumn. After 7 years we knew deep down he just wasn’t going to be the eventer we so desired, so he’s gone off to a lovely home to become a dressage boy & strut his stuff.

Jonty strutting his stuff at Dorset County Show PC: James Pyne Photography
In November, we headed to Ireland & came home with a new addition to the family in the form of Leo a 4-year-old Irish Sports Horse. He’s one cool dude & we can’t wait to see what his future holds, so watch this space.

Oh hey there Leo!
SUP

SUP Yoga has become quite a thing in Dorset, so when Jez from Helios Colour Yoga started running SUP Yoga on the lake at Kingston Maurward College my friend Rachel & I jumped at the chance to have a go. It was pretty surreal to be striking a yoga pose whilst the sunset with swans swimming around you in the most amazing grounds.

Casually SUPing into the sunset with the swans as you do...
Once again I did a bit of solo travelling & headed to the Algarve in Portugal at the end of October for a week of surf, SUP & yoga as well as pretending I was 21 again with the gang at Tiny Whale Surf Lodge. One of the highlights has to be learning to SUP surf with Dave of Nowhere 2 Far SUP @nowhere2farSUP on insta, it gives you such an adrenalin rush when you ride a good wave into shore, I think I’m going to find it hard to go back to normal surfing!

Was worth the 5am wake-up call to see this sunrise...
Running & Tough Mudder

In the spring, I fell in to some friendly peer pressure & signed up to Tough Mudder. One of the main incentives apart from raising money for charity was that it was based on the hallowed grounds of Badminton Estate, so if I never ever get to go with a horse at least I can say I’ve been round on foot.

I actually got into my training & found my running mojo again, posting a new 10km PB of 51.25 at the Egdon Easy, & took part in my first night time trail race ‘Run from the Romans’ around Ham Hill with my bestie Rach.

Egdon Easy....was far from easy...
PC: Dazma
Night time trail running in the mud is fun when you have friends like these by your side...

Oh & I completed that little race called Tough Mudder, probably for the first & last time. It was a great experience… although plunging into freezing cold water & being electrocuted at the finish line isn’t really my idea of fun. However, I’m keen to do some other obstacle races…so if anyone has any suggestions – let me know!

We definitely earnt that cider!
PC: Tough Mudder
Blogging

I’ve had an up & down year with blogging. I sometimes had moments when I wondered if anyone really cared, does anyone actually read my posts & then when I do publish a new blog post & receive some lovely messages & my faith in blogging is always restored. At the end of the day, writing is one of my passions & makes me happy & if it can make some else happy too then that's a pretty cool thing to be able to do.

I attended Blogtacular the festival of blogging in the summer & it was a whirl wind of colour, chat & creativity – as well as some blimmin lovely folk who all cheerlead one & other on with their personal projects via Insta.

A sea of colour & creativity - can you spot me?
PC: Blogtacular

So, that was a bit of a quick low down on some of my best moments… I’ve left out some topics around love & career – as they’re probably worth a blog post on their own.

Anyways, 2017 you’ve been pretty okay, let’s see what 2018 brings with it.

What plans do you have for 2018? I love reading other people’s goals & resolutions so please feel free to drop a comment below.

28 December 2017

Foundation Art Show

In early December, my workmate Haylii Wall hosted the inaugural Screwfix Foundation Art Show at the quirky Eastville Project Space venue in Yeovil.

The event showcased a multitude of talent across Screwfix from photographers, illustrators, designers, graffiti artists, crafters & a whole host of other types of artists. As well as raising money for the Screwfix Foundation with 50% of artists sales on the night & a pop up show at HQ.

It was such a pleasure seeing so many of my friends being given a platform to showcase their work outside of the corporate humdrum & made me appreciate how much talent there is under one roof.

The 2 events along with sales from a yummy curry by Sri & bar raised nearly £3,000 which is a phenomenal effort.

It’s pretty awesome what creative people can do when they put their mind sto it! 

Here's some snaps from the night I took on my trusty Olympus Pen E-PL7.

Art Show organiser Haylii & partner James

Designer Lloyd Insta: @i.lloyd 

Designer Katie Gillard  - www.katiegillard.co.uk

Photographer & Artist Chris Shaw - www.shaw-arts.co.uk

Designer Jon Rowland 

Curry Expert Sri & Chris

Glamourous helpers Sally & Nicky

Lovely guests Holly & her mum

Marketing Director Graham Smith with Illustrator Cathie Hood (www.catherinehoodillustration.com) & Designer Lloyd (Insta i.lloyd)

Guests Sam & Immy in front of Lloyds wrapping paper prints 

Guests Andy & Juanita

Hostess extraordinaire Haylii Wall

10 December 2017

Yeo Valley – more than just yoghurt!

Even on an autumnal grey day this view looks divine. 

Last month we held our monthly team huddle off-site at yoghurt connoisseurs Yeo Valley HQ, tucked away in the rolling green hills of the Mendips in Blagdon, North Somerset. The aim was to have a creative space where we could forget about the hum drum of the office, get together as a team and feel inspired by our surroundings. Of which the latter definitely delivered on.

From the moment, you enter the Yeo Valley reception you feel transported into another world – the Yeo Valley world. For anyone who may dismiss the importance of interior design or retail theatre, I challenge you to take a visit to Yeo Valley and not leave feeling inspired. When it comes to office branding they’ve got it spot on and a perfect example of how good authentic branding should be executed. And I’ve been to Google, Twitter and Facebook offices this year, so that’s saying something.

It’s all about the detail, from the grass Yeo Valley logo in reception, a corridor adorned with memorabilia and photos showcasing the history of the brand, the most wonderfully decadent ladies toilet (this is usually a tell-tale sign of culture), through to the Cow meeting room with aptly printed cow wallpaper finished off with the most amazing view of Blagdon Lake – which made me instantly want to grab my paddleboard and go SUPing.

Nice bush!
Every corridor needs a disco ball... 
Iconic...
Caller, please hold...
All the pretty things. Now, this is why girls spend so much time in the toilets... 
Oh hey there... this room is moo-vellous
It's all in the detail...
If only every meeting room was this cool...

As we were residents for the day we were fortunate enough to have both breakfast and lunch in The Canteen. Again, a proper authentic experience, you can see why people pay to come for lunch. The food is healthy and organic, using Yeo Valley produce – of course, and the decor although rustic chic has an upmarket Nottinghill-esque feel, again with beautiful views of the Blagdon countryside. I can see why half the team were suddenly thinking about how they can make a transfer to work for Yeo Valley!

So many pretty things to look at, where to start.... 
Bringing the outside in...always a good idea...
Big night... 

First impressions do count but don’t take my word for it, you can visit Yeo Valley at any time during the year. They also do tours of the HQ with a ‘farm to fridge’ theme, deli days and they even have their own festival ‘Valley Fest’. Yeo Valley – a brand that thinks with their hearts and remains true to their roots. They definitely grabbed a bit more of my heart that day and I was already a  Yeo Valley yoghurt lover and now I'm fully on board with their ethos.

Have you come across any cool creative spaces recently? Let me know as I'm always on the lookout for inspiring places to hold team meetings.
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