Flying in Formation

Driving on the outskirts of Sedgefield the other day, I was momentarily shocked when a huge plane appeared very low above the trees that lined the road.  When I say low, I mean the kind of heights that would indicate it was very close to landing although I don’t think I was near an airstrip.  To my uneducated eye, it looked like a World War II plane and I was so fascinated that for a few moments I was probably driving a bit erratically as I rubbernecked to get a better look.   [Read more…]

Going to the Prom

The Prom seems to have taken over the thoughts of British teenagers during the school summer term.  An American cultural influence I’d say – they didn’t have it in my day!  Although when I was growing up, they did have the “Qually” in my final year of primary school which probably elicited quite a bit of our attention for some time before.  It originated from the days of the 11 plus and was really called the Qualifying Dance.  Presumably if you failed you didn’t get to go?  We didn’t have to do the 11 plus so everybody went – after several weeks of learning Scottish Cross Country Dances.  Going without a partner was perfectly acceptable (we were 11 and boys were pretty undesirable to us at that stage) and I don’t think we had a disco – it was 1979 and disco was in its infancy after all 😀 [Read more…]

Embracing Confidence

Recently, I was working with the team at Cleveland Orthodontics.  Going to the surgery, seeing the before and after photos and testimonials of people happy with their treatment, and talking to the staff about the number of adults who are being seen, demonstrates how important our teeth are to making us feel comfortable about looking in the mirror or smiling in public or in photos. [Read more…]

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me?

I remember my Mum reciting this to me when I was young.  It was designed, no doubt, to encourage me to shrug off harsh words from other kids.  To an extent, I’m sure it worked for me, although the way I learned to respond was to lift the drawbridge on those people who were unkind and not engage with them again.  Sometimes it’s been a bit of an extreme response but it was shaped by an early experience with some jealous female friends. [Read more…]

Putting on a face….

Could you face being seen without make-up?  Hmmmmm!  Gillian Lewis: Spectrum Blog post "Putting on a Face"

I’m thinking about this because of an article I’ve read about a poll of 2000 women which found that the average woman wore make-up for 13 hours a day and that 20% wouldn’t open the front door without a full face of make-up.  I get the 13 hours a day: you put it on in the morning and you take it off before bedtime so that’s easily 13 hours a day, but I’m OK about being seen round the house without make-up if I’ve no need to put it on.  Going out is a different story and it is very unusual for me to knowingly face the world without at least a trace of lipstick. [Read more…]

Guest Post: 7 Tips to Combating SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder)

Yesterday I posted about Blooming Monday – the antidote to Blue Monday: an initiative set up by Mental Health Research UK.  I focused on wearing colour to combat a low mood at this (or indeed any) time of year.

My friend, and coaching colleague, Beverly Sherratt, also posted about Blue Monday and the ways in which you can overcome Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD) on her blog:  [Read more…]

The Spectre at the Feast?

Yesterday I attended a women’s networking event held by the Inspire Network and I was having a conversation with a couple of people I know and see regularly.  One of the pair, a blonde, said she was glad she hadn’t chosen to wear a completely black dress because we’ve had previous conversations about how it drains her natural colouring.  The other said she always thought about what to wear when she knew I might be around.  That got me to thinking….. [Read more…]

Video Tips

I’ve recorded a number of videos with hints and tips to help you with style and confidence.  They’re uploaded on [Read more…]

Image in Business Advice

John Atkinson from Radio Teesdale’s Business programme interviewed me about the importance of your Image in making a first impression in business – and what the consequences of getting it wrong are. [Read more…]

Men in Pink

Often, when I’m at networking events talking to men about what I do, I will be told “I’ve got a pink shirt” as though this is the very definition of of a well dressed man.  Sometimes they may even be wearing said pink shirt, and sometimes it may be the right shade of pink.  However there are as many times when I have to adopt a completely neutral face because it’s not the right shade of pink. [Read more…]