It seems an odd thing to do, to write horror. When there are a wealth of genres out there, when I could be writing about perfect love or fantastic dragons or gun-toting cowboys, why choose to create the most terrifying, the most soul-shredding, the most unwelcome?
My answer is a simple one: because I like it. I like horror.
I like to read it, I like to watch it, I like to think about it, and I like to write it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t.
As to why I like it, that’s a more complicated question, with a different kind of answer.
As a child, I was scared. A lot. Most of the time. Not that I wasn’t a happy child, with a normal family and normal surroundings and normal friends. I was. Perfectly normal. But I was also perfectly scared. There was a seeping, creeping horror that hovered around me, enveloped me, and at night I would scrunch my eyes shut and hide beneath the covers in the hope that whatever it was wouldn’t see me because I couldn’t see it.
And there was, as far I can tell, as far as I can remember, no reason for it. Nothing that particularly stands out as being that one specific moment in which something happened – something ghostly and ghoulish and downright petrifying – that haunted me for the rest of my days.
I was a normal girl, but a strange one.
Being alone was bad. I hated it. These days I crave a bit of solitude, but then, when that fear stole over me, I only wanted to be around people. It’s just that sometimes, there were no people to be around. And so I created some. I reached the age of twelve and simply decided that I needed constant, immediate access to someone.
But who? And how?
I started to go to bed and instead of cowering under the covers I moulded myself heroes and heroines, safe houses and refuges. I began to make up stories. These stories became my talisman, protecting me from the real evil by pretending about it. It seemed to me that nothing in the real world could possibly be as frightening as the world I was creating in my head, and so my heroes were slain, horribly. My heroines were kidnapped and tortured. My safe houses and refuges were pillaged by monsters and demons and ghosts.
And because I’d made it all up, just me, by myself, it wasn’t so scary after all. I enjoyed it. And I began to write my stories down. I began to read other people’s stories. I began to watch the films. Because it was all safe. It was all made up.
I’ve been doing that ever since.
Just don’t ask me to read or watch any ‘true’ horror stories.
They keep me up at night.
If you would like me to write horror for you – or anything else – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I wanted a gingerbread house. They asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I told them, a gingerbread house please (making sure to say please as I knew they liked it when I did that). They ummed and ahed about it, but I was pretty sure it was going to come off. The kids at school would go crazy when they saw it. I’d have to invite everyone over to see it, it would make them like me. It would have to. I mean, who wouldn’t like someone with their very own gingerbread house? If it were me, and some kid came up to me at school and told me they had one, I’d be their BFF just to get to see it, maybe to eat a bit of it.
I was so excited about it that I told everyone in advance that I was getting one. And the excitement was kind of like a disease or something because in the end everyone had it. Even the teachers were a bit less strict, as though they thought I might ask them if they wanted to take a look. But I wouldn’t do that. That is not something a popular kid does, and all of a sudden I was popular.
My birthday was a Saturday and I told everyone to get to my house for around lunch time, because there would be plenty to eat and I didn’t think my parents would mind. Turns out they did sort of mind because they had planned to take me out to lunch, which they did, and by the time we got back there were dozens of school children – and quite a few parents – milling around in our front garden, waiting to be let in.
This was it. This was the big unveiling, wasn’t it? This was when my parents were going to show off what they’d bought me and the others, my friends, I guess, would be impressed.
My parents were probably still in a bit of shock over the number of people who had turned up, especially when I hadn’t mentioned that anyone at all would be coming over. I never had people over, so that was a surprise right there. But they were gracious about it, invited everyone in and set about making teas and coffees, offering juices and squash, rummaging around in cupboards to find snacks and biscuits to offer around. Some of the parents – most, maybe all – guessed this was a bit of a shock for mine, and they suggested coming back later, or the next day, or the next week. Whatever. But I couldn’t have that, not when I was about to get my gingerbread house. “No, it’s all right,” I said before my mum and dad could open their mouths. “Really, isn’t it? Isn’t it?” I insisted.
Mum and Dad smiled, a little stiffly, but what else could they do? “Of course,” said Dad, nudging Mum. “Isn’t it?”
The room did not relax. If anything, the atmosphere got more strained. No one was really speaking, there was a lot of foot shuffling and throat clearing. “Nice coffee,” someone murmured. My mum thanked them, glanced out of the window at the garage, looked back into the room. “Well, we were going to do this later,” she declared, the silence shattering at the sound, “But since everyone’s here…” She gave a fleeting look at my dad, willing him to take over. Ten years of marriage and he knew what to do. “Yes, the big unveiling. Do you want your main present?”
I was tempted to shake my head, say no, do it later, forget it completely, it doesn’t matter because I was gripped with the terrible sureness that they had got me something else. Something that, although most probably amazing and brilliant, was not what I had promised the guests. Instead I grinned and jumped up and down and said, “Yes please!”
This cheered my parents up quite a lot. My being happy always put a smile on their faces, which is why I didn’t want to be a pain about things. My dad trotted off to the garage, and my mum ushered everyone into the garden. She looked pretty excited by this point. She was sort of glowing with the fun she was having, showing off what she’d bought me. Fair enough. If it made her happy…
And then there was a strange squeaky sound, and my dad was pulling a massive something covered in a sheet along the grass on a platform, the wheels making the high pitched yelping as they rolled. “Ta da!” Dad shouted tunelessly as he got near to us. He whipped off the sheet and there, golden brown and chocolaty sweet, there in front of me was a gingerbread house. Bet you thought it was going to be a cake or something. It wasn’t. It was huge, and it was mine. The crowd gasped, and there was a spattering of applause from the adults. The kids just stared.
“Is it all right?” asked Mum, a bit breathlessly. “Is this what you wanted?” asked Dad, a lot breathlessly.
I said nothing. I walked up to it, sensing my school mates behind me, itching to rush forward and start chewing. The pink and white candy canes, the massive chocolate buttons, the red and black liquorice laces, the sprinkles, the sparkles, the sherbet and the jellies… it was beautiful.
Before I could stop them, I had tears on my cheeks. That was unexpected. That was unwelcome. But it emptied my head of nonsense and it set my brain thinking. That feeling of tension was still behind me. It was palpable, a living thing raring to be set free. But I, I chose to keep it caged.
“Thanks for coming,” I said, turning around to face them, their red faces and gleaming eyes looking through me at the gingerbread house. “You can go now.”
Faces dropped. Parents looked at one another. Kids laughed, then stopped because my expression told them I meant it. “Er, that’s not very polite,” my mum said, attempting to save me from exile. I shrugged. “I’m not trying to be polite,” I said. “I’m saying these bullies, these jokers, these snobs who think they’re better than me, the ones who pull my hair and steal my lunch money, the ones who copy my homework and kick me and laugh at my clothes, I’m saying this is mine. All mine. Goodbye.”
I turned back to the wonderful, amazing, magnificent gingerbread house and waited. Slowly, I could feel the crowd growing less until I was alone.
The humble (actually, not so humble) book token is something to be celebrated. It’s not only something that could (and is by many) be considered a national treasure, but it is also one of the most wonderful gifts anyone can give.
Books are intensely personal things. These magical worlds that can be escaped into are different for everyone. And just because one person found something to understand, something that spoke to them in one book, it doesn’t mean someone else will. So buying books is something that is fraught with danger. It’s too hard. It’s too difficult to get right.
And what if the recipient already has that novel, that biography, that cookbook?
A book token solves all of those problems. Giving a book lover a book token is like giving them the key to their own universe. They can go into a book shop full of confidence, knowing that they can buy one, two, three – maybe even more – books that they want. Not ones that others have chosen for them, not ones that others have presumed they will enjoy, but books that they have had on their wish lists for months, years, their whole lives.
Now isn’t that the perfect gift to give a loved one? I think so.
What’s more, book tokens can be personalised, making them even more special. Whether it’s a card that can be coloured by the recipient as any extra treat, or one that has their happy face all over it, these book tokens are pure joy.
National Book Tokens can be bought and spent in thousands of bookshops including independents, Waterstones, WHSmith, Blackwells and Easons. They can be spent on eBooks at The Indie eBook Shop (indieebook.co.uk) and online at Foyles and O’Mahony’s.
Brighton Festival is delighted to announce that this year’s Peacock Poetry Prize will have the theme of ‘everyday epic’, a subject chosen by Brighton Festival 2017 Guest Director Kate Tempest.
From a pebbled beach to a stranger’s smile, from a sporting milestone to a quiet read, budding writers are invited to reflect on the small observations and achievements of our daily lives which we piece together to celebrate and share our common humanity.
Kate Tempest says: “Music, literature, theatre, film – these things are so important, they bring us together into the same space, they give us ourselves, they bring us to life, they beam our humanity back to us in all its hideous beauty. And in these times, with the fear spreading everywhere and the divisions between us deepening daily, we desperately need to remember that we are all part of the same thing.”
The annual creative writing competition, produced by Brighton Festival and Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC), encourages young writers to explore the written word from a creative point of view and aims to get young people writing right across Sussex. The competition asks local poets aged between 8 and 19 years to explore and respond to a specific subject in an imaginative and inventive way. Submissions are divided into four age groups: 8-11 years, 11-13 years 13-16 years and 16-19 years. In addition, this year the Brighton and Hove environmental education project (BHee) will also be giving a special prize to a school pupil whose poem celebrates our interaction with the natural world.
Pippa Smith, Head of Creative Learning at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: “The Peacock Poetry Prize is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get involved with Brighton Festival. I’m always taken aback at the number and range of submissions we receive, and this year I hope Kate Tempest’s theme of ‘everyday epic’ will inspire our young writers’ imaginations to produce some wonderful poetryonce again.”
William Baldwin, Principal of Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College, said, “I am delighted that BHASVIC is once again able to promote the Peacock Poetry Competition with Brighton Festival across Sussex. I’m very much looking forward to reading this year’s entries on the theme of ‘Everyday Epic’ and to meeting the runners-up and winners in May!”
The competition is open to residents of Brighton & Hove, East and West Sussex. Each budding writer may submit up to three poems with a maximum length of 20 lines per poem. Entries must be emailed, together with full name, age and date of birth to email@example.com or posted to Peacock Poetry Prize, Brighton Festival, 12a Pavilion Buildings, Castle Square, Brighton BN1 1EE.
The deadline for entries is 5pm on Monday 3 April 2017. Finalists and their friends and relatives will be invited to a reception in Brighton Dome Thursday 25th May 5 pm when the winners of each age category and the BHee prize will be announced.
Murder, intrigue, and sex combined with a shocking conclusive twist – Sweet Oblivion is the tense debut novel of Sussex writer and serving police detective, Rhiana Ramsey (pseudonym).
What genre would you classify Sweet Oblivion as?
I’d describe it as a dark crime thriller thread with eroticism.
Tell us about your book – why this story and the focus on S&M?
The story follows DC Elizabeth Lane and her colleagues as they hunt down the killer of the chilling emasculating murders that keep happening around town.
With my history serving as a police detective I’ve always been fascinated by the psychological angle of a killer. I wanted my character to hold true power over men and a dominatrix character was the perfect way to convey this, while weaving in some elements of S&M. With the release of 50 Shades of Grey this area of eroticism has become more mainstream and a subject people are interested in reading about.
What was your reason for setting the novel in London?
I worked in London for many years and know the area very well. My knowledge and background of the city made it easy to visualise my settings and scenes.
This is your first completed novel. What gave you the courage to write the book and what inspires you to write?
When I first started writing my book I was a single woman, completing my psychology degree whilst working full time in the Criminal Investigation Department and yet I was felt something was missing. I needed an outlet. I find writing therapeutic and an opportunity to take a step back from the real world.
When I first put pen to paper so to speak to write Sweet Oblivion I had no idea where it was going, but I got the bug and began to create storyboards and backgrounds for all my characters.
Throughout my life I’ve suffered with depression. When I was younger I used to write music, I still do on occasion, but these days I prefer creative writing as, it provides me with the perfect opportunity to escape and have complete control of a story – the situation, characters and outcome etc.
I suppose I actually wrote my first book when I was 12. It was called ‘Ravenscroft’ and was based upon a satanic crow that encouraged a pack of wolves to kill for him – needless to say it wasn’t published but I’ve obviously always seemed to have a passion for the macabre from a young age. My policing experience in my adult life has helped to re-ignite my imagination and it’s this that has ultimately led to the creation of Sweet Oblivion.
How long did the book take to write?
The book actually took nearly three years to complete from conception to publication however the bulk of the writing was completed in two months when I decided to take time off work.
What made you finally sit down and complete your book?
Work was tough, I’d been in court as a victim after dealing with a bad relationship and I lost my father all in a matter of months. Everything happened at once and I needed time out. I took two months off from the CID and that gave me the time to complete my manuscript.
At what point did you know you were ready to publish?
As soon as I’d finished writing the first draft I knew I was completely happy with the story. However, I spent about six months editing and tweaking little snippets before I finally submitted the manuscript to the printers.
What made you decide to self-publish and do you think this was a positive or negative experience?
It was a very positive experience! I decided to self-publish after speaking with a couple of agents who only seemed to show interest in you if you could prove you had a following already and were ultimately going to make them money. Being a self-published author means you have more control over what happens and if you have the time to promote it properly, it can be a very successful and enjoyable experience.
What would your advice be to anyone hoping to self-publish?
Unfortunately, as with most ventures, you need to have a little bit of money behind you to get started. Most people these days don’t actually print, they self-publish online. Whilst printing can often be expensive (and you should pay a little more for a good quality printer), it’s the most amazing feeling when your book turns up in the post.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently in the middle of reading Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer who’s one of my all-time favourite authors. Once I’ve finished that I’ll dive straight into the seventh Clifton Chronicles novel – This Was a Man – I’ve been waiting with baited breath for it to come out.
In this day and age, do you prefer e-readers or a hard copy book?
An e-reader will never outsell a classic hard copy in my opinion. I love the feeling of actually reading a printed story and holding the book in my hands.
With the release of your first novel, what are your ambitions for your writing career?
I know it’s very clichéd but I would love to become a full time successful author. I dream of being able to live off my completed novels and write books from anywhere in the world.
If Sweet Oblivion was made into a film, which celebrities would you love to cast as your characters?
That’s a tricky one. For my main character, Louise, the actor would need to be intelligent, attractive and have an athletic build, perhaps someone like Mila Kunis who often plays relatable characters. I would love for Sandra Bullock to play Elizabeth as she is seen as a strong, attractive and savvy woman just like my character.
Now you’ve written your first novel, could there perhaps be a second in the pipeline?
I am in the early stages of writing another novel, which will also involve Elizabeth, but that is all I can say for now!
Since it’s (almost) Christmas time, I thought it would be a good idea to mention a few things that the writer in your life might appreciate during the festive period. So why not take a look at these gift ideas? Remember, what a writer really wants is a bit of time to write… In the meantime, these will also do nicely:
An Old Typewriter
It has always been a dream of mine to come across an old, dusty typewriter in a junk shop and bring it home with me where I set it up on a proper heavy oak desk and use it to create masterpieces. It may not be practical, and it may be making more work for myself (no copy and paste, no find and replace, no saving here), but the idea of those click-clacking keys and my hands dancing across them just like Jessica Fletcher still resonates.
An Old Typewriter With A New Twist
No, not an electric version of the good old machine mentioned above, but a totally modern concept in typewriters. I’m talking about a USB typewriter. The fantastic kits from USBTypewriter.com allow you to transform your old typewriter into a gorgeously quirky new one. Simply plug in your tablet so that you can save things and amend your prose with ease, and you still get that authentic typewriter feel and sound. The best of both worlds? Maybe so.
Now this one is super useful. Why is it that writers often have their best ideas in situations when it’s impossible to write them down? By the time we get to a notepad and pen, the ideas has been diluted down and the initial rush of excitement has withered. In the worst cases the idea is lost forever. For many, the shower is the place where ideas come flowing freely, and a waterproof notepad from AquaNotes would work wonders. No idea ever need to be lost again.
Intensely Strong Coffee
My working schedule involves me getting up early (5am) and working for a few hours until the school run starts. Then it’s back to it for as long as possible. But sometimes as long as possible isn’t very long, despite looming deadlines, which is why coffee is an essential part of my writing toolkit. A crazily strong brand of coffee (Death Wish Coffee springs to mind – the name is enough to wake me up, and this is, indeed, the strongest coffee in the world after all) is just about the most wonderful gift a writer can be given.
A Nice Tipple
By the time evening rolls around, it’s time to pack up my day time writing and bring out the night time stuff. So the blogs and the non-fiction are all saved and closed down, and the fiction finally gets to come out to play for a bit. Now, as Ernest Hemingway so eloquently said, it’s best to ‘write drunk and edit sober’. Not that I’m advocating having a huge amount of alcohol to drink, but a little sip of something is a nice treat at the end of the day. A good slug of dry gin from Anno Distillers in Kent (with some tonic, of course) is the perfect end to a writing day.
No matter what kind of writing you need, I can help you. Please get in touch – and have a lovely Christmas.
It’s that question. The one that writers detest and interviewers love.
But why do we dislike answering that one so much? Or do we? Perhaps, now, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy; we’re told that we should hate it, that’s it’s anathema to our creativity. And therefore, when we hear it, we do hate it, it does feel like giving away too much. Even if we have an interesting response. Even if we’re quite sure that our readers would like to know the answer.
I don’t mind it. If I’m honest, I quite like it. As a question it’s much better than being asked why I started writing (umm… I just did… I just gave it a go and quite liked it… er… something about school and an English project…) or why I write horror (I enjoy reading it, I enjoy writing it) because I never have proper answers for those ones. I always feel a bit of a fraud, a bit like I’m grasping for something – anything – to say just to sound interesting and intellectual.
At least with that question I can answer with either a piece of pure fabrication, or complete honesty. It simply depends on whether I can remember where the idea came from, and if I can whether it was an interesting occasion. Although, admittedly, even when telling the absolute truth my answer will vary from day to day, story to story to novel to flash fiction to poetry… Because that’s the beauty of it. Ideas come from everywhere and nowhere. They are incredible, intangible things that appear in a dream or a cloud or are gleaned from an overheard word or a misunderstood laugh. They are magical, existing in nothing, invisible and incomplete until they are written down and given form and meaning.
If I were asked where I got my idea for my current novel, I might say it was the main character, Jude, who came first. Just popped into my head. Or was it a dream? Did I see him on a train, or walking down the street? Perhaps I based him on someone I know, or someone I’d like to know, or someone I’d never want to know. Or I could say that it was the thought of murders that looked like accidents, and that that idea came from a newspaper, or I looked at a bus and wondered what it would be like… well, you know. It could even have been a song I heard on the radio. Maybe I didn’t quite catch the lyrics and made up my own, and maybe they led me to my first line, which then set the tone for the rest of the book.
Say anything. When asked that question, say what you like. Because who is to say what is right and what is wrong when answering, when telling the person who put the question what they want to know?
Equally, who can describe an idea? Not me. They aren’t there, are they? They aren’t real. Except that they are, utterly and incontrovertibly real. Without them we’d be nothing. And not just writers, but scientists, artists, doctors, teachers, lawyers, children, adults, anyone and everyone. Think about it… There, you’ve just had an idea. Just like that.
Now what are you going to do with it?
If you need help, advice, or writing services, please contact me.
I have had many novels and short stories published since 2010 when I began writing. Each one has been exciting, and I’m proud of each of my publications.
But Trip Trap, my latest novel, is very important to me. I have taken the decision to self-publish all of my work from now on, and Trip Trap is the first.
Over the next few months, I will be re-releasing all of my older published works, as well as publishing a new children’s novel, a murder mystery, and a family saga. In the meantime I am also writing a new horror novel for adults, and I am putting ideas together for a collection of children’s stories.
2017 is going to be exciting – I will be writing and publishing more fiction throughout the year. It’s something that I have let fall by the wayside a little as I’ve concentrated on my freelancing services, but I am going to be making more time to keep my fiction writing dreams alive.
I hope you like what I come up with. Here is the beginning of the book…
A quick kiss on the cheek for his wife, and William Spender stepped out of his house and into the early evening warmth. His front garden, bursting with late spring flowers, colourful, new and fresh, gave off the scent of lavender and life. He loved it. He could feel his heart swell because of it.
This was his favourite time of year, April turning to May, with its blossoms and lightening evenings. He took in the smell of cut grass from the meadow just below the horizon, and watched the farmer as he toiled back and forth on his tractor in the field beyond. William could hear the buzz of the engine as it worked.
Except for the heat. Too hot for spring, this was summer warmth, summer sun. It was getting too much, which is why William used the early evening time, before it was dark but after it was sweltering, to take Cliff for a walk.
“I won’t be too long,” said William, turning back, speaking as an afterthought when he realised the door hadn’t closed behind him. He tugged at the lead he held loosely in his hand, enticing the weary old dog attached to it to start creaking his way down the little path to the wooden gate that led out onto the quiet country lane. “An hour at the most.”
Martha smiled indulgently. She knew her husband. An hour would become two in a moment, would become three if the dog would allow it, although at fifteen the poor thing didn’t allow for much at all. “Take your time,” she said, raising her voice so that the man would hear her. He was already unlatching the little gate. It creak-squeaked as it always did, a comforting, familiar sound, two little pips. “Dinner won’t be ready for a while yet, and if you’re not back it’ll keep. Anyway, that dog needs some exercise.” She winked, saying no more. Not needing to. Not wanting to nag too much. Not now.
William shook his head, his cheeks firing red. “He’s not the only one, I know, I know,” he said, trying to sound good-natured, almost making it. He patted his belly where it folded over his belt and hung down over the top of his trousers. Nothing wrong with it. Nothing at all. And anyway, he was retired, enjoying life. Why not gain a little weight, a little warmth? He was fairly fond of his belly.
Martha tutted and shut the door, not keen to let any little creatures make their way inside. She had been bitten enough the night before with the window left open, and she was damned if that was going to happen again. Her ankle was swollen from whatever had had a go at her. She wished she’d never scratched it, sure she had made it worse. A nice soak in the bath would soothe it, and there would be time before William returned. A cool bath. Cold. The idea itself immediately relaxed her. She smiled and meant it, and then almost ran up the stairs, the call of the chill water becoming far too great to resist.
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HELLO, I'M LISAMARIE.
I studied English theory at university and have always been interested in the mechanics of writing, but it wasn’t until 2010 when my daughter was born that I started to write professionally. Although this was out of necessity (it was a job that I could do from home, and it brought in enough to pay the bills!), it soon became a passion. Since that time, I have been published in over 40 fiction anthologies and have written seven novels.
I am now a full-time freelance writer. The majority of my time is spent writing SEO-friendly blog posts for businesses in all kinds of niches from bakeries to florists to roofing specialists and plenty more in between.
Between 2014 and 2020 I was the features and online editor for insideKENT magazine.
Today I live with my husband, daughter, and a cat called Cheryl in a cottage in the Kent countryside, writing, painting, and – whenever possible – watching horror films.
Hiking is one of those activities that appeals to different people for different reasons. That’s what makes it so universal; there is a chance that everyone is going to love getting out in the fresh air and discovering new places or even walking across familiar ones and enjoying them for the second, third, fourth (or even more) time. You can explore the world through hiking and meet many like-minded people along the way. Here are some more reasons why hiking is so good for you.
Hiking Gives You Perspective
If you’re finding life is tough going and you need to get away from it all and recharge, hiking could be the answer you’re looking for. This kind of walking has a way of enabling people to get a fresh perspective on the problems they might be experiencing in life and cope with issues in a much healthier way. Hiking isn’t just about going for a long walk and breathing in the good air; it’s about being able to have the time to really think and make decisions that you just wouldn’t be able to do if you stayed at home.
Hiking Keeps You Fit
It’s amazing what this kind of walking can do for your overall fitness; when you are really striding along you can burn up to 440 calories an hour! This can be increased even further by trying Nordic walking, but even if you stick to the standard method of hiking you’ll find your fitness levels will increase. Not only that but your lung capacity will grow too and that can help the circulation of blood and oxygen around your body and make you much stronger too.
Hiking Bring Happiness
Even if hiking did nothing else to help you out, it makes people happy, and sometimes that’s enough. Hiking, like most exercise, releases hormones into the body. Specifically, these hormones are serotonin and endorphins which are nicknamed the happy hormones because they improve the mood. Serotonin also limits feelings of loneliness and between them, they can help to keep you happy in general.
Hiking Brings You Closer To Nature
No matter where you choose to go hiking you’ll find that you are closer to nature than you’ve ever been before. You can really see the breathtaking scenery that it has to offer and the animals, insects, and plant life that are all around you. If you combine this kind of exercise with camping you will get to experience all of this even more. You might even be touched by a level of spirituality and can find some inner peace on your literal journey.
Hiking Is For Everyone
Another wonderful benefit of hiking is that it is for all ages which means you can take your whole family or a big group of friends with you and enjoy some company as you walk along. Who is in the group will determine where you go and how far you hike – some trails are easier than others – but no matter where you choose you’ll all get to enjoy some time together and bonding away from screens and work is a good idea.
Joining its beloved Surrey sibling, Beaverbrook Town House is the debut London outpost from the lauded Beaverbrook brand, in partnership with Cadogan.
Spanning 15,000 sq. ft., this heritage hotel occupies two masterfully revamped Georgian townhouses, originally commissioned by Charles Sloane Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan, at the end of the 18th century. Surveying the leafy-green, Grade-II-listed Cadogan Gardens opposite, Beaverbrook Town House boasts a prime perch on superlative Sloane Street, in the heart of Chelsea, nicknamed the ‘Town of Palaces’ by Daniel Defoe.
Inside the hotel, rich rewards for guests include 14 theatrical suites, art and antiques galore, a 60-cover contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar, a meeting room, a private events room, and a pretty, perfumed garden, reserved for corporate functions and private hire.
A creative spirit prevails throughout, with delightful interiors courtesy of Beaverbrook’s dazzling design duo: Sir Frank Lowe (advertising mogul and Beaverbrook’s Creative Director), and acclaimed designer, Nicola Harding, whose previous triumphs include The Garden House at Beaverbrook in Surrey.
Drawing upon Lord Beaverbrook’s legendary tastes and predilections (including a certain fondness for mischief), the hotel’s medley of muses includes London’s storied theatres and iconic cultural attractions, Art Deco and Japanese culture.
Inspired by his Lordship
Beaverbrook in Surrey rekindles the spirit of the roaring Twenties, honouring its infamous former owner, Lord Beaverbrook: press baron and wartime MP. Beaverbrook Town House adroitly transports this nostalgia to the Big Smoke. The hotel recalls Lord Beaverbrook’s colourful life in London and his Fleet Street residence, where he hosted his illustrious friends, including Ian Fleming, Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Taylor and Laurence Olivier.
Channelling the charm of Lord Beaverbrook’s London abode, and decorated with antique treasures, vintage toys and saucy curios that could have been plundered from his travels, Beaverbrook Town House affectionately recreates a bygone era of hospitality combined with modern panache. The hotel conjures an atmosphere of generosity, so guests will feel like they’re staying with a fabulous friend. Instead of a formal reception area, there’s a snug little library, brimming with London-centric tomes to borrow; instead of formal staff, obliging personal assistants dispense savvy local recommendations. Upstairs, thoughtful touches abound, including personalised minibars stocked with guests’ preferred treats, help-yourself whisky decanters, tea stations and thoughtful gifts. Once again, Beaverbrook cements its reputation as the host with the most…
Dapper design & inviting interiors
Joyfully referencing the Art Deco aesthetic of the 1920s and ’30s, sartorial highlights include: an abundance of tiles and tactile textures; a playful blend of the old and new; vibrant colour schemes and statement wallpaper, including bespoke marbled collages and pineapple motifs (a symbol of hospitality); and a collector’s stash of prints, posters, photographs, art and memorabilia. Art Deco was influenced by Japonisme, and this translates into cohesive design touches throughout; most notably in the Japanese restaurant and bar, but also upstairs and in the garden, via lacquered planters, brass accents, bonsai trees and flora picked for its lush blossom and autumnal foliage.
Looking closer to home, Nicola Harding has sourced fabrics, furnishings and fittings from an array of local London-based suppliers, including antique chairs from Howe, cushions by Penny Worrall, lampshades by Rosi de Ruig, decorative lighting from Vaughan Designs, ironmongery by Joseph Giles and trimmings from Samuel & Sons. These choices complement the hotel’s heartfelt celebration of historic London.
When in London, Lord Beaverbrook relished attending West End shows with his artistic coterie. Thus, each of the hotel’s 14 suites is named after a famous London theatre, and decorated with clues to its playhouse’s past. Additional eye-candy comes in the form of four-poster and half-tester beds, antique bureaus and bedside tables, colour palettes ranging from the bold to the demure, oak floors topped with seagrass carpets and bespoke rugs by Nicola Harding, and opulent, theatre-style curtains, decorated with velvet geometric trims. Ensuite bathrooms star glossy tiles, Art Deco-inspired lighting and lacquered mirror frames in jewel-box hues.
Flavours of Japan
Continuing Beaverbrook’s love of contemporary Japanese cuisine, and aligned with the hotel’s sartorial leanings, Beaverbrook Town House is home to the Fuji Grill and Omakase Sushi Bar. Like the Dining Room at Beaverbrook, the restaurant will serve flawless sushi, sashimi and nigiri, alongside signature Beaverbrook dishes such as ‘Charcoal’ Wagyu with Juniper Miso. Restaurant General Manager, Trudi Fairweather, brings a two-decade stint at Nobu to the table; Alex Del (ex-Roka) is Head Chef, and Beaverbrook’s Head Sommelier, Giovanni Tallu (plucked from a 22-year stint at Annabel’s to open Beaverbrook in 2017) has curated the stellar wine list.
Dressed in soft shades of green, the Fuji Grill showcases an impressive collection of 19th-century woodblock prints depicting the eponymous Mount Fuji by the Japanese Masters, Hokusai and Hiroshige. This artistic treasure-trove represents the ukiyo-e genre, immortalised in Hokusai’s Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa.
The elegant bar has lacquered walls, burnt-umber and berry-bright stained glass (now a Beaverbrook trademark) and raspberry-pink fitted seating. Tables are decorated with new and vintage matchbox covers, sourced from Japan; some enjoyably risqué… Cocktails come courtesy of Alan Cook, Beaverbrook’s much-loved Bars Manager, featuring Beaverbrook favourites alongside London-edition libations. As a fan of Chinatown afterparties following dinners and dances at the nearby Savoy, His Lordship would no doubt approve.
Like Lord Beaverbrook’s lucky guests of old, visitors to Beaverbrook Town House will benefit from exclusive access to the city’s cultural scene. Cherry-picked partnerships with the best contacts from Beaverbrook’s black book will put London’s crème de la crème at guests’ fingertips. Other prestigious perks will include private-shopping experiences and in-room massage and beauty treatments, devised by Beaverbroook’s Coach House Spa Director, René van Eyssen. Guests can also book fitness classes at nearby KXU, or personal training sessions in the peace and privacy of Cadogan Place Gardens.
Beaverbrook Town House is Beaverbrook’s first partnership with Cadogan, whose stewardship of 93 acres of Chelsea and Kensington spans over three centuries. The project forms part of Cadogan’s strategy to strengthen Sloane Street’s position as the leading luxury shopping destination in the world and complements the existing focus on improved leisure and hospitality. A further £40m investment programme is underway, which includes ‘greening’ the street and upgrading everything the eye touches with the finest materials.
An instore scheme to help Wilko customers recycle their masks has proved so successful that the home and garden retailer will extend it by another three months.
The scheme, which allows shoppers to drop off used, disposable face masks so that they can be recycled will now be in place until the end of September 2021. This extension follows an initial three-month pilot and will see the service remain in place at the original 150 participating stores.
Wilko estimates that a huge 400,000 masks could be recycled via the scheme. This equates to a giant 966kg of single-use plastic. Those wishing to take part need to simply visit their nearest, participating Wilko store as part of their usual shopping trip and safely drop their used single-use face masks into the special collection bin. Once full, these bins are then taken away by recycling specialists ReWorked, who together with Metrisk Ltd, Scan2Recycle are partnering with Wilko in the scheme – which was the first of its kind on the UK high street.
Masks collected via the scheme are broken down into raw fibres which can be sustainably refashioned into products ranging from other safety materials for businesses, to building materials and even quality, durable public space furniture.
While masks are no longer a legal requirement, Wilko is still recommending face coverings for team members and customers in busy indoor spaces. The family retailer seeks to respect individual choices while providing a sustainable solution to single-use mask disposal.
The Covid-19 crisis overall has seen a huge increase in the use of disposable face masks. While the government has encouraged Brits to dispose of face masks via general waste bins, there has been an ever-increasing volume of PPE being discarded in public spaces – meaning there are often greater levels of litter nationwide in areas such as parks, beaches, and high streets; impacting the life and leisure time of local communities, endangering wildlife and ultimately harming the health of the planet.
Disposable face makes are made from polypropylene fabric – a type of plastic. An estimated 8M tonnes of general plastic waste already ends up in the world’s oceans every year, and the impact of the pandemic will only increase those figures if PPE litter continues to increase. Wilko and its partners for this scheme hope by continuing to provide an easy way to safely dispose of used PPE, they can help make it easier for families to reduce litter in the community with a little win that makes a world of difference.
Jerome Saint Marc, CEO at Wilko, said: “We know that our customers care about the environment and this scheme has proved again to us just how much. We’re so delighted that it’s been this much of a success and that our customers and team members are helping to reduce litter in their communities, our partners are helping to recycle the waste, and that we’re able to bring it all together in our stores. It’s a little win that truly makes a world of difference.”
One of the most common health concerns is how to manage lactose intolerance. There is no question that this disease can interfere with your daily life; people who suffer from lactose intolerance are unable to digest milk and other dairy products. After eating these items, a sufferer can develop unpleasant side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, or bloating.
There are debates over whether there is an effective method to treat or manage lactose intolerance without limiting one’s diet. This blog, however, will advise anybody experiencing similar symptoms on what they should do to live a normal life free of intolerance problems. The good news is that there are many effective ways to deal with lactose intolerance and avoiding all of these unpleasant symptoms.
Eat Small Portion Sizes
To live a tranquil life free of intolerance problems, you must first learn how to eat small quantities of food more often throughout the day rather than big meals once or twice each day.
Eating smaller portions more often can enable you to digest your meal properly and, as a result, prevent unpleasant side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, or bloating after eating dairy products.
Take Lactase Enzyme Tablets
If you’re lactose intolerant, this is the best choice for you. As previously stated, lactose intolerance develops when your body lacks an enzyme called ‘lactase.’ When you eat any dairy product that lacks this enzyme, it takes longer than usual to break down milk sugar. This causes unpleasant symptoms such as gas, diarrhoea, and bloating.
If you wish to prevent these harmful effects and manage lactose intolerance, use lactase enzyme pills with every meal that contains dairy products. These tablets aid in the production of the lactase enzyme, which breaks down lactose.
Taking probiotics is another excellent way to control lactose intolerance and have trust in your eating habits. Probiotics are ‘good’ microorganisms that can be found in a variety of meals and supplements. Probiotics, in addition to aiding individuals to manage lactose intolerance, can also assist people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive system disease.
Several research investigations have shown that probiotics can help with lactose intolerance management. Probiotics are living bacteria that increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in your intestines, thus preventing side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, and bloating. As a result, they will aid in the digestion of milk sugar, ensuring that it does not have a harmful impact on your body.
Driving should be a fairly easy – at least in theory – thing to do. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the traffic, other motorists, or those strange half-truths that seem to float around. Those stories that may or may not be true, the ones that no driver is quite sure about. Here are some of those driving myths debunked, so you can go ahead and enjoy your driving and your car without having to worry.
You Can’t Eat And Drive
Eating when you’re behind the wheel of the car is not illegal – yet. There are potential plans afoot to ensure that no one can munch their lunch when driving along, but at the moment, you are free to do so, as long as it’s safe. That’s the important point; it does have to be safe. Leeds University carried out a study that shows those eating whilst driving were up to 44 percent slower to react to things going on around them. If eating behind the wheel leads to careless driving and the police stop you, you could be prosecuted.
Passengers In A Car Can’t Drink Alcohol
We all know that it’s illegal to drink and drive (and quite rightly), and this is not one of the driving myths we’re talking about, but many people are a little less sure about whether it’s okay for a passenger to nip a sip. The truth is that it’s perfectly fine for passengers to drink alcohol as long as they are over 18, unless, that is, they are supervising a learner driver. As for soft drinks, drivers are legally allowed to drink them. In fact, it’s advised that drivers keep hydrated on the road, especially on a long journey.
Driving With The Interior Light On Is Illegal
Much like the myth of the white van man, the idea that driving with the interior light on is illegal is one that prevails, despite evidence to the contrary. We can accurately state that there is no law that prohibits driving with the interior light on (although, as with any rule of the road, if the police feel that the interior light might be impacting your driving in a negative way, they can ask you to switch it off).
You Can’t Wear Headphones When Driving
Strangely enough, you can actually wear headphones when driving. This is one of the driving myths that would definitely make sense if it were true, though. Headphones will mean you can’t hear anything that is going on around you, and they could block out important sounds such as sirens, screeching brakes, children shouting… sounds that would put a driver who could hear them on high alert and ensure their reaction times were fast.
It’s Illegal To Drive Barefoot
Another untrue myth – if you want to drive barefoot, you certainly can. It might be fairly uncomfortable, though, and remember that you won’t have the same strength when it comes to pushing those peddles as you would with shoes on. Similarly, you can also drive while wearing flip-flops if you choose to. We wouldn’t recommend it though, as they can easily slip off and get caught in the peddles. Wearing flat shoes is the best idea when driving – you can always change when you get to your destination.
Ingrown toenails are not only uncomfortable, but they can also cause infection. The infection caused by an ingrown toenail is more painful than the initial issue and should be avoided. It is essential to take measures against this problem in order to avoid the pain and mobility issues that arise from it. The following precautions will assist to reduce your chances of getting an ingrown toenail.
Toenails Should Be Trimmed Properly
Ingrown toenails are most often caused by poorly trimmed toenails. Toenails should be cut straight across with no rough edges. The nail’s edges should not curve upward into the sides of the toe. If this happens, the nail becomes jammed into the side which is the first step toward being ingrown. You should also always use sterilised toenail clippers to avoid spreading bacteria to the region. This is due to the fact that you do not want an ingrown toenail to get infected.
Wear Shoes That Fit
You may not connect correctly fitting footwear with ingrown toenails, but they are related. Your toes will be squeezed together in the toe of the shoe if your shoes are too small. This results in trauma, which can lead to an ingrown toenail. If you wear them often, you may develop an ingrown nail by continuously pressing the nail into the skin. Shoes that are too large, like shoes that are too small, can also create problems. When your foot moves around too much in the shoe, it can cause damage to the toes, particularly the big toe, which is prone to ingrown toenails.
Visit Skilled Pedicure Technicians
If you like getting pedicures on a regular basis, even if it’s just for fun rather than for a medical issue, you should always seek out a board-certified professional. Someone who is licenced and skilled will ensure that all equipment, including the chair’s tub, is clean. They will also know how to correctly clip toenails to prevent ingrown toenails. Some pedicure experts may be able to relieve your pain if the ingrown nail is small and not infected.
Get Recurring Ingrown Toenail Treatment
Some individuals appear to get ingrown toenails more often than others, particularly on the same toe. If this is the case, the issue may be related to the form of the toe or even how your toenail develops. If this is the case, you should seek ingrown toenail therapy to ensure that the recurring issue is resolved. These treatments are often minor and performed in the doctor’s office rather than in the hospital. They must, however, be performed by an ankle and foot expert who is well-versed in ingrown toenail therapy.
It is important to take care of your feet so that you can walk comfortably as well as participate in more strenuous sports such as jogging. You don’t want an ingrown toenail to slow you down if you play sports. Make sure to seek the proper treatment for your ingrown toenail if it occurs, even if you took precautions to avoid it.
If you don’t enjoy your current job there is no reason why you should stick with it. It doesn’t matter how long you spent training for it, how much money you spent to get there, what success you’ve had, or even what friends you have made along the way; if you dislike getting up each morning and making your way in, you have a problem. The good news is that that problem can be fixed by getting a different, better job. Here are some of the ways to go about doing exactly that.
Write A Compelling Resume
Writing a resume is not something that many people particularly enjoy doing, but it is essential if you want to find a new job that you’re going to love. It’s not enough just to list out the things you have done, the places you have worked, and all your qualifications. Instead, you need to make it stand out. Your resume is your way in to get an interview, and if yours isn’t interesting then your chances of that happening are slim, especially if there are dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of applicants for the job. You can use online tools to help you make something a bit more special. Remember not to go crazy using different fonts and colors – you still need to look professional.
Look In Different Places
Finding the right job to apply for is something that might take you a little while, but it’s worth putting in the hard work to find the right new career for you. Although the more popular job boards are great (those such as Indeed and Craigslist, for example), it might be better for you to look at the less obvious ones if you want to find a job posting that won’t have many applicants. It’s also a quicker way to go about things, as they will have fewer postings and that means you won’t have to search through dozens of jobs that are no good for you before finding one to apply for. Don’t forget to check out job listings provided to alumni of your college too, even if it’s been years since you graduated.
Try The Company Not The Job
If you’re not picky about what job role you fulfil but you do know which company you want to work for, search through their open postings. You might spot something that you’re qualified for that will get you in with that company to begin with. If you get the job you can then work towards a different position over time if that’s what you want. Or why not simply reach out and ask the company or companies you’re interested in working for whether or not they might consider hiring you – send in a speculative cover letter and resume just to see what might happen.
Learn New Skills
If you feel your resume is lacking in something or you have seen a job posting that you are keen to apply for but you are missing one of the key skills, make it your mission to learn something new before applying for anything else. Having additional skills is another way to make your resume stand out, plus it can be truly useful in your new job. Knowing how to program or getting a business qualification can boost your chances of success, find you the ideal job, and keep your brain active even when you’re bored in your current place of work.
Make The Interview Count
Once you have got as far as being asked to come in for an interview you need to make sure you make it count. Dress appropriately to begin with. This does not mean that you have to wear your most formal attire and shoes you would never wear anywhere else – you need to be comfortable in order to make a good impression. However, it does mean that you need to dress smartly, make sure your clothes are clean and pressed, and make sure your shoes are not muddy or scuffed. These little things can make a big difference, even if it’s subconsciously. If you’re not sure what to wear, ask. It shows that you’re thinking ahead and that you want to do well.
Understand Body Language
Having at least a basic understanding of how to read body language can help you out in an interview and will certainly give you an idea of how well you are doing. It’s essential that you show that you are a pleasant, charming person from the outset as first impressions do count for a lot. If you understand body language you can avoid doing anything negative that might affect your chances of being liked. Try not to keep touching your face, for example, or playing with your hair or nails. Don’t bounce your legs up and down. Don’t slouch, but don’t sit up too straight either. You need to come across as professional and comfortable with the people you’re with and in the place you’re in.
There will be some questions you are asked in your interview that you can practice beforehand. If you already know your answers you will come across as calm and confident, as someone who is able to think on their feet. Even if it does sound rehearsed, don’t worry; this can show that you have done your research and that you are serious about doing well. You might be asked questions such as what your greatest weakness is, where you see yourself in five years, or what attributes you can bring to the company. These questions (and others) don’t have a right or wrong answer as such, they just need to be answered as cleverly, confidently, and truthfully as possible.
Don’t Leave Angry
When you do get your new job it can be tempting to walk away from your old one and burn your bridges behind you, especially if you really disliked the place, the job, or the people there. However, this is not a good idea, no matter how satisfying it might be. You never know when you might come across that company again in a different setting; you never know when you might need to work with them, or need their help. Leave on good terms and life will be much easier further on. Even if you never see anyone from that company again, and even if you never need to call on their services, leaving on good terms will keep you focused and happy.
Summer will be here before you know it, and if you’re thinking of going to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, then you’ll already know there is a lot of planning to get through. Not only do you need to work out exactly which parks you want to go to, where you’re going to stay, and how you’re going to get there, but you need to save for it too.
Once that’s all sorted out though, and you’ve paid your final instalment, it’s time to really get serious. You’re going, and you need to be prepared. Unlike with a beach holiday, there are more things needed and more things to think about when you plan a trip to Disney so it’s best to get planning as soon as you can. Here is a checklist for you to go through to ensure that this holiday of a lifetime is memorable for all the right reasons!
You may not want to look like a tourist when you get to Florida but the thing is… you are one. Embrace it, and get a guidebook so you know exactly where to go and what to do. You wouldn’t want to miss out on anything, especially if this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of Disney World holiday. It’s true that you can look things up online, but it can often be easier to have a handy guidebook in your bag – and you can make notes in it, use markers for your must-do spots, and generally make use of it. It’s a great investment. A second-hand one is even better if someone else has done all the note-taking in the margins already!
Orlando is a hot place. Hotter than you might realise. Shorts and t-shirts are required on a Disney World holiday, but remember to pack thin clothing, not just summer clothing. This kind of heat is entirely different to anything you’ve experienced in the UK, and you don’t want to be uncomfortable as you walk around the parks all day. Take a hat and sunglasses too – you’ll be glad you did when you get out there in the heat of the day.
Whilst on the subject of packing, making sure everyone has good shoes to wear is essential. You may not realise it, but those parks are enormous, and there will be a huge amount of walking to do, plus you’ll find yourself standing around in queues for many minutes (hours) at a time. Fashionable sandals and heels are lovely, but not during the day. You want trainers or breathable shoes. It’s not just about comfort, either. Some of the rules in Disney mean you can’t go on some of the rides if you don’t have the appropriate footwear.
The main reason for anyone to go to Orlando is to go to Disney World, but Disney is not just one theme park; it’s a number of different theme parks that make up the whole group. So do a little research in advance to work out where you might like to spend some time. The Magic Kingdom, for example, is where the famous Cinderella’s castle is, and it’s great for younger children. Older kids might like the Epcot Centre. Film buffs will love Hollywood Studios. Plus there are animal parks and water parks to enjoy as well. Knowing where you want to go will give you a good idea of how many days’ worth of tickets you will need. Buying them in advance is the cheapest way to get them, and you might even be able to make use of special deals. A little tip: take a photo of the tickets when you get them, making sure the ticket numbers are shown. If you lose them or they get damaged, you can then get them replaced.
For some people, a holiday is about going with the flow and working out what to do – if anything – once you get there. In Florida, it’s slightly different. There is so much to see and do that if you don’t have at least a bit of a plan and itinerary by the time you get there, you’ll miss out on something wonderful. If you’re staying at a hotel you can get some great advice from the reps and the staff, but if you’re in a villa you’re a little more on your own. The Internet will help you immensely in that case, although you can also ask the park employees for advice on what to do. Orlando is more than just Disney, though, and you might want to find something different to do, even on a Disney World holiday. Days chilling out by the pool are needed just to re-energise (perhaps have a pool day once every two or three days), and hiring a car so you can go a little further afield will show you some interesting places. If you pick a car from a reputable car rental company, then you don’t even have to worry that you’ll break down; they’ll have help on hand should that happen, working with companies that will be able to help you if you need it.
It’s usually best to change your pounds into dollars here in the UK before you leave as you tend to get a better exchange rate. Don’t assume that’s the case, though, and check out the exchange rate in the US before you travel. You might get a better deal by waiting. For a bit of fun in the parks, you can exchange your American dollars for ‘Disney dollars’. They have the same face value and can only be used in Disney itself, but they’re cute and put a smile on everyone’s face.
There are a number of little extras that are always worth packing when it comes to going to Orlando’s Disney World. They’ll make your trip more magical. Remember, for example, your autograph book and a chunky kind of pen. There will be characters walking around the parks and they will happily pose for pictures and sign your children’s books, so it’s a nice (free) souvenir! A poncho is another useful item. Yes, it’s hot in Florida, but it rains too, and when the heavens open they really open! Showers don’t last for long, but they happen most afternoons in the summer and you don’t want to get caught out. Take a little plastic bag that can fit in your pocket or bag too because there are water rides, and you can protect your phone/wallet/tablet that way.
The final thing to remember when travelling to Orlando for a Disney World holiday is to enjoy yourself. Have fun. Smile. It’s worth every second of packing when you realise you’re in a truly magical place.
People are getting increasingly stressed at work, which is producing a crisis in management and poor health. Businesses are suffering as a result of workers being forced to take time off due to stress-related illness, despite the fact that the job is creating it. As a result, while they are away from work, they begin to feel better, but when they return, the old difficulties resurface, and the condition continues to worsen. If this is the case, it is apparent that the work you are performing is not the appropriate one for you, and it is time to choose one that will not be causing you stress.
If you’re not sure if stress is the source of your condition, here are several ways work may be causing it; you might recognise your own scenario here.
A badly structured workplace is one of the things that could be causing you stress, and it may even force you to take a lot of time off. Workers will be unable to find what they need to accomplish their jobs if a workplace is disorganised. This may include crucial documents, handy stationery, or even the proper equipment to brew a cup of coffee or a drink of water. If you can’t locate what you’re looking for and can’t do the job you’ve been assigned in a timely or satisfactory manner, you may be reprimanded. Even if you aren’t, the situation is tense.
We’ve all been in situations when we have more work than we can handle, only to be pushed to do more. This isn’t such a horrible thing if it just happens once in a while (though it’s preferable if it doesn’t happen at all); a little overtime now and again isn’t too bad. However, if this is a recurring problem and you are constantly pushed to do more than you have time or aptitude to accomplish, you will, of course, get highly agitated and may need to take time off because you are burning out. If you’re doing too much, then work is sure to be causing you stress.
It’s difficult for everyone to get along with everyone else, but in the workplace, it’s vital to tolerate your coworkers so that you can all be adults and get your tasks done. This is not always the case, and negative sentiments amongst coworkers might seep into the job itself, causing you stress. It’s difficult to have to go to the same office every day when you’re having a fight with someone or have a falling out with a former buddy.
At work, having a competent manager is critical. Even though we have the authority to work in our own way and on our own schedule, having a manager to ask questions of, as well as get orders and praise from, is vital for maintaining high morale and a sense of stability. A change in management might be another source of stress since the unknown of who will be your boss and what they will be like is unsettling, especially if you were satisfied with the person who was there previously.
When you write a blog, you want people to read it; this is the main reason behind writing it in the first place. Therefore, you want your blog to be noticed, shared, liked, and talked about wherever possible. This can be a difficult task, but it is essential if you want your blog (and your website or business) to be boosted high up in the search engine rankings. Take a look at these tips for getting your blog noticed and implement as many as you can.
Stay On Topic
Having a blog that sticks to one main topic is a good idea. It means that people will know what to expect when they read your work, and it can prove that you are an expert in your chosen sector. Although some blogs do have varied contents, to really get noticed, you should ideally find the topic you are happy writing about and make that your main focus. Otherwise you can easily confuse people, and they won’t know that they should come back to your blog or that it could, in fact, be useful to them.
What you write about is entirely your choice as long as you know something (or rather a lot) about the topic and can find a lot to say about it.
Keep It Simple
Most people don’t want to read something too technical and complicated – in many cases, they are looking for ways to make a potentially tricky yet important topic more accessible. As a blogger, your job is to take that topic and put it in layman’s terms. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing about a tax return, days out with the kids, cooking, book reviews, starting a business, or anything else; the key is to keep it all simple.
Use Social Media
If you really want to boost your readership levels, you must use social media to promote your blog. Posting your link on a Facebook page (perhaps in a group, or on your own page or your business page) can potentially give you a huge reach, and many more people will read the blog, clicking through to your website, than otherwise would have done. They will also easily be able to share the content with their followers and friends, ensuring that even more people will read it. If you want to have your post in front of many thousands of people, you can even pay to have it boosted, but it may be possible to do this organically, so try that first before spending any money.
Use SEO To Get Your Blog Noticed
SEO (search engine optimization) will make your blog noticed a lot more. SEO is about identifying important keywords or phrases and incorporating them into your blog post, and it needs to be done carefully and strategically. The search engine ‘bots’ will pick up on these keywords and phrases, and your webpage will be boosted higher up the rankings when people search. There are many different techniques involved in getting SEO just right, so it’s best to read up on them before you begin so that you can make the most of the opportunity to promote your post and make sure it is noticed.