Ice skating at Hampton Court Palace


The tradition of Christmas skating fills me with nostalgia. Especially outdoor skating. Picture Victorian fur stoles, courting couples and roasting chestnuts. Christmas skating outdoors in London, twirling on frosted ice with Christmas songs on the sound system and the taste of mulled wine on the lips is, in my book, one of life’s not-so-simple pleasures.

I was invited to an event to celebrate the opening of the ice rink at Hampton Court Palace, run by Cousin’s Entertainment and was treated to high quality professional ice-dancing, good food from The Pie Man and enthusiastic amateur skaters.

Robin Cousins at Conversation Between Friends

Robin Cousins at Conversation Between Friends

After being wowed by Vicky Ogden skating with fire – yes really! – and watching Matt Ivers (below) swirling his partner with skill and precision as her hair and face brushed dangerously close to the ice, enthusiastic non-stakers were invited onto the ice.
 
Vicky Ogden

Vicky Ogden’s routine was breath-taking, literally!

Matt Ivers at Conversation Between Friends

We learned about the tradition of skating around oranges, (because they show up on the ice, in case you wondered)creating the classic ‘figure of eight’. I hadn’t realised that skating is all about circles, and that you are always coming into the middle of or gracefully exiting a circle.

 

Hampton Court skaters at Conversation Between Friends

Suzy Rigg Conversation Between Friends

Suzy Rigg not falling over at Conversation Between Friends

You don’t need to be a brilliant skater to enjoy outdoor skating; a fur coat and a smile go a long way… take it from me!

Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

Conversation about Kim Kardashian’s bottom


Well, what can I say?

One the face of it, it’s a celebration of the well-rounded, healthy and youthful female form.

beyhive-booty1

(Picture: Courtesy of Real Colored Girls Blog)

And there is the exploitation of the female form. Yes! you’re good to look at and clever too, but we’d rather just look at your arse. You don’t need to look far to find a silent army of producers, directors, publicists, designers, publishers who are quietly pocketing a tidy sum, as a result of publishing, merchandising or promoting these images. Sex sells. Always has, always will.

As someone who has been blessed with a large posterior, which I was always trying to slim down, because my body shape made me ‘stand out’ when the norm at the time was slim, barely there buttocks. Now it’s cool to have plenty of junk in the trunk.  Celebrities have been using their assets to elevate their talent to stratospheric levels. Nikki Minaj, Beyonce, J-Lo - have all shaken what their mama gave them to tremendously good effect. And I do believe it may help them sell more stuff.

Historical fastination

Conversation Between Friends  – Historical fascination with female bottom size

Geneticists and biologists will no doubt point to an enviable rear as a sign of extreme fertility and sexuality in women. And it’s true, however much I’ve complained, men really don’t seem to mind.

But what’s really happening here?

La_Belle_Hottentot

Saartjie Baartman, otherwise known as the Venus Hottentot, was regarded as a freak of nature by polite Georgian society, primarily because of her enlarged posterior. She came to London as a young woman and provided entertainment for those who wished to examine and gossip, attaining almost celebrity status because of her unusual shape. Her shape was unusual by English standards of the day, but this exaggerated feminine shape is actually rather common on parts of the African sub-continent. As a descendant of the Caribbean myself, it’s a well-known phenomenon that many women of colour, with a particular heritage, will share that small waist, large behind profile.

My conclusion is that how you regard Kim Kardashian’s bottom, or any other celebrities bottom for that matter depends firmly where you sit. Your view of a lush, feminine posterior will alter depending on whether you are: heterosexual male, homosexual male, single female, married female, white female, female of colour, slim female with no weight issues, large female with weight issues, a woman who has been harassed by men in the street for the size of her butt (yes, it does happen) a woman who has undergone cosmetic surgery to make her bottom larger, rounder or to achieve a personal, desired goal.

What is not in dispute is that overtly sexualised female anatomy continue to stimulate the strongest of human emotions:

Desire, lust, envy, jealousy and greed. As long as we are human and driven by basic impulses, there will always be well-endowed women  who show off their bodies, evoking energised comment and debate. Kim Kardashian as a free woman with her own fortune can choose to show off her body, it’s her right and part of her lucrative repertoire of selling herself.  It’s a reaction of biblical proportions.

 

Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

Remembrance Sunday


And the band played

And the band played, A Remembrance Day Service at Teddington Memorial

” There is a moment,

when you realise that each moment

is just a moment – which disappears forever

fleeting yet timeless if captured on film, in song

or in remembrance, that jumble of emotions we

call memory, the aches and tears relived

a pang of clarity that each moment is just

a moment in time, eternally present for an instant

for us to remember if we choose “

 

3rd Teddington Cubs, at ease

 

I hope you enjoyed my poem and you will enjoy these photos of the Remembrance Day Service held in my local town – after a deluge of rain the weather was bright, brisk and sunny – as the many children and elderly  held their thoughts and memories close.

As well as the Churches Together in Teddington, wreaths were laid by the Scout Association, The Sea Cadets, St. Johns Ambulance and the Jamaican Wreath. As a person of Jamaican origin it was good to see this in recognition of the contribution that many Jamaican soldiers made in WW1 and WW2.

The Kohima Prayer

When you go home, tell them of us and say,

For your tomorrow we gave our today

Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

Conversation about setting up your own business


Sponsored post

This film has a twist; watch it and see if you see it coming. I won’t spoil it for you but if you are that sticky stage of deciding whether you set up your own business, you’ll recognise it when it happens..

Watching Charlie at work is to see a dream in action. I’ve travelled into London on SWT and seen the big sign past Vauxhall for Pimlico Plumbers, I thought it was a catchy name and I had only heard good things about them, so it was great for me to find out more about the man behind the business.

Another entrepreneur who’s caught my eye recently is Sharmadean Reid, Founder of  WAHNAILS (http://instagram.com/wahnails)@WAHNAILS.

She was featured recently in a London newspaper and told a story not dissimilar to Charlie’s. Hailing from the West Midlands as part of a large Jamaican family, she  was surrounded by love and positivity all of which gave her to confidence to believe in herself. She was unfazed at the idea of setting up her o

Radiantlady loves WAH NAILS

Radiantlady loves WAH NAILS

wn business and even describes it in four easy steps which makes it sound easier than baking a cupcake!

What struck me most reading about Sharamdean was her passion in achieving the impossible, and then simply getting on with it.

“People bog themselves down in the process of growing, it rather than just doing it,”

If you think about that sentence there is a lot of wisdom in that. As an entrepreneur or business owner to need to be fleet of foot, as flexible as a ballet dancer to response to the changing pace of the business drum. Social media facilitates this type of speed beautifully as is probably why there are so many solopreneurs who use social media to great effect. It’s generally light and unencumbered.

Q: What did I learn from the stories of both of these talented, hardworking business people?

A: Flex your muscles, take that call, act on your intuition, believe in you!

Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

 

What is crabbing?


Radiantlady's Water boy

Radiantlady’s Water boy – the bucket has live crabs in

Do you know what crabbing is? The boy in the photo is a Cancerian; a ‘water’ sign, if you follow astrology, the sign of the crab. And this boy crab, was buy the sea catching real crabs in a net!

We spent the day near water, with a water boy.

If you haven’t been crabbing before and you have children, I would strongly recommend it as a relatively low cost summer or weather permitting, late autumn half term activity. You can buy all of the accessories at the shops on the sea front: the crabbing bucket, the bait, and the net. We were novices and the lady in the shop advised where to put the bait for the best crab bites! It was very exciting to cast the net into the swirling seas off the coast of East Sussex and wait for a particular type of ‘tug’ that meant a crab had taken the bait! The challenge was getting them to stay on the net and not drop off before you could plonk them in your crabbing bucket to admire.

There was a lovely community spirit and families either ate their packed lunches at the sea front or went to the café further down the beach for traditional fish, chips and peas.

The crabs are all thrown back into the sea of course and the whole thing starts again the next day.

Below is a picture of the same crabbing bucket on a blustering autumn evening, taken outside in the garden, getting filled with rainwater!

Bucket full of water

No more crabs, but a bucket full of water

 

Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

 

 

About Conversation Between Friends


Originally posted on Conversation Between Friends:

I’m Suzy: welcome to “Conversation Between Friends”  – I’ve set up this blog for two reasons:

1. Creative a safe space to discuss issues that are important to me and hopefully stimulate debate whilst doing so

2. Showcase to employers, potential colleagues, companies and fellow creatives my unique personal brand

I’m a communications copywriter,  PR and marketing professional and mother of two.  I’ve always loved to read, write and talk.

My career

I chose career where I could  learn, exchange ideas, debate, influence and create. With my early career spent in the publishing and advertising industries, I later migrated towards the broader communications mix. I have enjoyed advising blue-chip  companies, charities, government agencies and not-for-profits on internal and external communications issues, helping them find the stories to build their brands and gain customers’ understanding. With extensive campaign, strategy, planning and media relations experience, I genuinely love what I do.

Conversationalist & occasional TV presenter

If I’m…

View original 133 more words

Conversation between parents (Warning: contains Pokemon)


This post is for the mamas and  papas out there – yes you sleep deprived folk who get delirious at the thought of a ‘night-in’: not for a passionate session of all night love-making, no! you’re excited by the prospect of five or maybe six hours of uninterrupted zeds. Poor you, I remember those days; wearing blacked out sunglasses to work, not because I wanted to look cool, but because I didn’t want people to think I’d been beaten up. It added to my sense of mystery and my desire not to ‘fess up to being a single mum. Anyway, if you’re in that sleep deprived fog, listen up: It doesn’t last. It’s an illusion, er you’ll get a long sleep when you’re dead. Ok, sorry I’m not helping, but this quirky, funny video might.

It’s hypnotic, brightly coloured and unintelligible – perfect for infants who still confuse night with day. And if they don’t like it, at least you’ve amused them for a few minutes. I just hope it doesn’t make you, or them cry!

 

 

I wonder who will be the first to tell me the name of the song that the verse reminds you of…?

You are feeling very, very sleepy… Good Luck!

 

© Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

 

Conversation about activism


Behind the shy smile and the calm demeanour is a razor sharp mind trained with the determination to help others. I’ve recently come across the name of Fahma Mohamed through reading a newspaper article about her incredible campaigning achievements, garnering support to raise awareness of the practice of FGM (female genital mutilation). The article in the ” i ” was a news piece about her award for “Outstanding Young Campaigner of the Year

 

Radiantlady admires young activists

Radiantlady admires young activists

You may have an alternative view about FGM and other indigenous practices and customs, but this article is not about the cause, it is about the passion and fire that drives the human spirit. Both her and Malala are young, female and could fall into the ‘oppressed’ category in society but they have chosen, in spite of or perhaps because of, their relatively young years to use their gifts of freedom of speech, eloquence and compassion to improve the lives and prospects for their sisterhood.

They are working, without particular privilege or access, to affect change for others and create a different vision of the future.  There is so much written about womens’ rights and freedoms, and what inspires me most reading about Fahma is her vision and direct application, striding out for what she believes in and not necessarily waiting for others to catch up. It reminds me of the sort of personality you see in visionaries or entrepreneurs – an unwavering sense of self-belief in doing what is right according to their personal principles. I don’t wish to write a political piece but as many of the great political philosophers have written, to live in a civilized society, the personal is always political.

I do believe it’s important to follow your passion, especially if it can in time, work for the greater good. On a micro level, you can start with your own family and friends, sharing your positive hopes and ideals, in a quiet calm way.

You can follow Fahma on Twitter @FahmaEndFGM  and you can find out more about Integrate Bristol here integratebristol.org.uk

Or in the words of another famous activist: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

© Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

 

Conversation about Flowers


“Can women buy each other flowers?” “Cut flowers, aren’t they expensive?” “If a guy buys a woman flowers, he’s usually guilty of something!” “They’re a waste of money, you’re better off buying a plant.” People are usually a cut flowers type of person, or they aren’t.  Personally I love to see fresh flowers in a church or at an event as they add considerable atmosphere, they’re a while industry around this, so there must be some merit in the power of flowers. In my opinion, they bring an energy or vibrancy to a room and they can make you smile, on the greyest day.

Radiantlady

Radiantlady

I received this beautiful bunch of sunflowers on a rainy grey day after a couple of metaphorical grey days. They were given to me by a friend and a work colleague in recognition that I’ve been doing quite a lot of important mum stuff, supporting my son with his exams (in spite of my fear and loathing maths!) and was basically saying ‘well done’! It was a lovely gesture and meant so much on a rainy old grey day, the sort of day that cries out for an injection of sunshine.

I will remember that gesture and what it taught me: a small amount of thought about others, alongside a small gesture of support or gratitude, for whatever reason, can make a BIG difference to someone else. Especially when they’re not expecting it. Now I’m passing that sunshine onto you – it’s yours to pass on to the next…

© Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

Conversation about Happiness


 

There are great some quotes in here, which I why I’ve shared this presentation! And to add my own few words of insight on the matter…a poem:

SMYLER

I do believe that life is an ‘opt in’ sort of game

The law of karma like a quadratic equation means you get back what put in

Your bank manager likes happiness too as we all know a smile costs nothing!

And frowning not only begets a bad mood

but causes wrinkles,

which cost LOTS of money to fix

And thinking of others before yourself

is not putting yourself last or putting others on a pedestal,

it’s using life’s best free gift – intuition - to help you navigate the mysteries of other people…

thinking about others takes the spotlight off your own troubles,

and trouble likes company and she’s off, in a HUFF

if you don’t pay her any attention…

thinking of others, using freebie intuition,

helps you become a wiser judge of character

saving you potential heartache,

steering you towards the sunshine state of serenity.

Happiness is a choice

ask anyone who dies with a smile on their face:

there is nothing you can do

so why not relax and enjoy the show?

 

© Suzy Rigg

Writing every word