Fifty Shades of Red


What did you think of the cringe-inducing exchange between Dakota Johnson and her mother Melanie Griffiths at the Oscars?

Conversation Between Friends

Star and Starlet, Mother & Daughter, Dakota Johnson & Melanie Griffith

It’s a very common scenario – conversations between mother and daughter can include bickering, but this is generally not witnessed in such a public forum. This is an award’s ceremony, der! Typical mother daughter arguments usually occur in the privacy of your home, with family members collectively rolling their eyes, running for cover  – or both!

It’s no different in my household; now I’m ‘big mama’ and even when I was the ‘irksome daughter’ it was just the same routine. Frustration, raised voices, slamming doors, wild gesticulation and spiteful words. It’s all about boundaries, being top ‘bitch’, respect and approval. A complex, emotional cocktail, not to be consumed by those with a weak disposition.

It was amusing and embarrassing to witness, Dakota’s frustration with her mom for refusing to see her arguably ‘finest’ hour on the big screen. I understood her mum’s point of view, and to be fair, you don’t need to see the film to imagine what the scenes might look like. We can assume that Mel flicked through the book when Dakota was offered the part. Her mother graciously remarked that she knows her daughter is a great actress. Dakota’s response, was pure teenage indignation and a demand for approval. “I’m a woman too!” she said without saying it!

This should be in the National Portrait Gallery – it’s a masterpiece

So, mothers and daughters of the world, do not despair – your bickering is normal and natural (assuming you have breaks in between where you are friends and can laugh at yourselves). It’s not easy being a mother whose daughter doesn’t or will not hear you. It’s equally distressing being apparently ‘brushed off’ by your mum. You both have an opinion and they are equally valid.

Keep smiling ladies, you’re in stellar company :)

 

Suzy Rigg

Conversation Between Friends loves Mask Girl

Need a little Lego magic? Tune into Lyrics 4 Lyrics!


Welcome to the Interview Paul Allimadi, Creative Director/Designer at Lyrics 4 Lyrics!
Your Twitter handle is @bwoywonder, that sounds a bit like a cartoon or comic book hero! Are you into graphic novels?

*Laughs* Not really no, I took it from Batman side kick Robin The Boywonder. He does everything, a lot like myself.

Your profile pic on Twitter features a futuristic piece of LEGO headgear; (pictured below) what is it and how did you go about making it?

Bwoy Wonder - The names says it all!

Bwoy Wonder poses with his eye-grabbing mask – The names says it all!

The lego mask in my profile pic is inspired by Transformers. It started off as just Lego visors, but I just kept building on top of it until it covered the whole head!

Have you ever broken a really crazy LEGO design that you’d spent hours on?

Yes! It was a baseball cap for a corporate client and the lego brim gave way which led to the bottom section breaking off. I was frustrated to say the least!

Conversation Between Friends loves Mask Girl

Conversation Between Friends loves Mask Girl

Who are your design heroes?

Philip Stark and Nigo.
Contrasting designers but I like almost all of their work.

Have you seen the LEGO exhibition? What do you think of it?

I was invited to the preview opening and loved every single room of lego art!
Everyone should go see the Art Of The Brick exhibition and I guarantee it’ll make you want to stop by the Lego shop and start creating!

You sell LEGO inspired clothing on your website Lyrics4Lyrics, how did you make the leap from creating things with LEGO to putting LEGO designs on clothing?

I always ran a clothing line and so it was inevitable that my lego creation was going to be integrated into our clothing.
It’s all very practical garment pieces. Apart from the Lego shoulder pad jacket we made for Will.I.Am of course!

Wil.I. Am sporting Lyrics 4 Lyrics Lego design

Wil.I.Am sporting Lyrics 4 Lyrics Lego design

LEGO is going to be around forever, what is your favourite Lego design or LEGO genre?

Lego recently got voted the world’s most popular toy so the legacy it has will carry on well into the future. My favourite Lego design is anything they do with Star Wars. It’s so intricate!

Who is your favourite LEGO SuperHero?

Batman! Has to be Batman.

I spotted your Twitter photo in the Metro, promoting ‘Creative Pioneers’ can you tell me a bit more about this project?

It’s an apprenticeship scheme that aims to recruit young under graduates into the creative industry. Be it digital media, marketing or other. I won their Creative Heads competition which was to design a range of creative ‘heads’ using any medium for their advertising campaign.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I want to integrate Lego into the education sector. It’s a brilliant learning tool for wannabe engineers mathematicians and even autistic children.

Do you see yourself building a clothing empire or is there something else that you would like to turn your attention to?

I want to do everything and anything creatively possible. Why do you think they call me Bwoywonder? :)

If you want to find out more about Lyrics 4 Lyrics clothing, check out bwoy-wonder.com for more show-stopping Lego designs!
You  can follow @bwoywonder on Twitter or ‘like’ his Facebook page: ‘Follow The LEGO Brick Road’

If you’re a budding talent or small business owner and wish to be featured on this blog, please email everywordcopy@yahoo.com or follow @radiantlady on Twitter for your chance to be featured in ‘The Interview’

© Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

Time for change?


My in-box is flooded with recruiting emails for new jobs, new improved body, new hair, new lifestyle – “ALL ABOARD THE CHANGE TRAIN!”. Many of you will be helping your children to make the change from primary school to secondary school, or supporting your grown up child as they start a new job, after years of study.  Some of you may be adjusting to a new year without beloved mothers, fathers or friends.

Change, is a fact of life and according to the Buddhist teachings, one of the few things in life that is constant.

Transformational change

Transformational change

Here are some tips that might help you to cope with change:

1. Think of change in terms of a process –  a series of consecutive events rather one big scary thing – it’s much easier for the brain to cope with.

2. If the change is major (death, divorce, moving house, new job) write down all of the anxieties you are worried about..

3. On the same piece of paper, write down some solutions to each anxiety, they can be simple things like, do online research, go to the doctor, talk to a friend you trust. Write down in detail what is worrying you and come back to this after a few days to see if the same things are on the list. A few days away from a problem can change your perspective on it

4. Break the big change into smaller ‘changlets’  on a large sheet of paper. If the change is a new job, each ‘changlet’ could be something like ‘managing new technology’ ‘understanding a new boss’ ‘becoming a line manager’. Deal with each changlet separately and over time the magnitude of the major change will have diminished into smaller, hopefully more manageable issues you can pick off.

5. If the change is creating a high level of instability or turbulence in your life, you may need to make ‘one small step’ towards dealing with the BIG problem. If the change is a family bereavement or loss of income due to divorce or redundancy, that ‘one small step’ might be deciding to seek professional help. It’s a simple phone call, but sometimes dealing with a big change of circumstance, can create in you a kind of inertia – you feel like a rabbit in the headlights. But taking that one small step can be the equivalent of taking a huge gulp of air after holding your nose under water for a very long time. A huge relief.

Conversation about change

Conversation about change

Taking the step towards the next phase in your life can be scary, a step into the unknown. But remember this: every other human being shares this same anxiety, the same powerlessness against change, the same fears as you, take comfort in our shared situation. We are social beings and we can help each other on our unique journey of life.

S0 – Step out, breath deeply and EMBRACE the changes that await you with courage, love and immense positivity!

Suzy Rigg

Zumba is not just dance – it’s meditation!


I went to Zumba this morning. Nothing extraordinary there, but life has been throwing up some extraordinary events, so I hadn’t been since Christmas and was feeling somewhat out of shape and under the weather. There were loads of new faces and with relief, I noticed lots of familiar ones too. I positioned myself nearer the middle than the front, I wasn’t sure whether I would remember the moves or be able to keep up. I needn’t have worried. Like breathing, the moves came back and I kept going without collapsing in a quivering heap at the side (that happened when I first started and my body was unused to that level of cardiovascular exercise!) ZumbaIt was great to hear some new tunes too; it’s always good to dance to something unfamiliar in terms of choreography but familiar as you’ve heard it on the radio or in a club. I’ve been a total Zumba convert for quite a few years now, as it’s been the best fun I’ve had whilst toning up. But something else occurred to me today, I was so involved in the dance, the steps and the music that whatever troubles had been worrying me when I stepped into the hall, quickly vanished. Lost in the rhythm of dance, the synchronised steps of all of the Zumbettes had taken me right out of myself. Like an out of body experience. Radiantlady loves ZumbaI read somewhere that dancing or singing can be a form of meditation. Your mind is totally focused on what you are doing, to the exclusion of everything else. It’s not quite the silent, ‘OM’ type of mediation that is also practiced, but it’s a step in the right direction. Geddit?! Like all healing practice, a level of dedication is required to reap the full benefit and the same is with Zumba. Going out in a crop top and leggings on a cold February morning takes commitment. Getting back into your exercise habit take guts. When you’re a little out of shape or feeling low, taking that first step back into the driving seat – in my case literally whacking up the heating in my freezing vehicle – takes commitment. But the sense of well being, balance and the reconnection of mind body and soul is one hundred percent worth it. Like the advert says: #thisgirlcan Here’s a little plug for the wonderful Adrienne! https://www.zumba.com/en-US/instructor/Adrienne_Green/69737  Zumba Love!

Suzy Rigg

Thinking of quitting your day job?


This interview appeared in Stylist Magazine, Online Edition, November 2014

Recently I responded to a journalist request and this was the result…

Downgrading your job –  Career women who traded high salary careers jobs to set up their own business or become self-employed

Conversation Between Friends - Photo: Courtesy of Stylist Magazine

Conversation Between Friends – Photo: Courtesy of Stylist Magazine

What was the job title of your original job?

Media Relations Manager

What’s the job title and annual salary of the job you downgraded for?

Freelance Copywriter & Owner, Everyword Copywriting, salary (depends how hard I work!)

Why did you decide to make the change?

The change in my work status was a result of personal reasons. As a busy and engaged mum of two, I find working freelance enables me to manage my work and family time for effectively, I don’t mind working at odd hours either!

What made you take the plunge when you did – what motivated you, specifically?

My mum passed away in November 2012, a month after I started my last job, I was in shock for months afterwards. Managing a fast-paced working environment, grief and two dependents as a single parent was starting to take its toll. When I saw my doctor, she was adamant that something needed to change to prevent my health from deteriorating.

What fears did you have about making the downgrade?

In my situation, it wasn’t something I was consciously thinking about, so in a way I didn’t have time to worry about anything. I saw my changing circumstances as a huge opportunity.

What lifestyle changes did you have to make as a result of your salary change?

Well, I’ve always been an avid charity shop shopper, and now I can legitimately give up the corporate suits and dress in a way that better suits my creativity and personality. Cutting down on food is no problem as I’m sure it’ll help me stay the same size to fit into the designer clothes I bought in the ‘flush years!’ I’ve switched to packed lunches for my son, and we’ve had some financial help with school trips etc. Thankfully he’s not into expensive gaming toys so he hasn’t really noticed any changes. Generally we are all just really, really careful with money and the priority is that the mortgage gets paid. I stay within my overdraft limit and gave up my credit card ages ago!

Did your friends and family support your decision, or oppose it, and why? Did anyone try to advise you against it?

Because the situation wasn’t really planned, no-one really had a say in it. All of the people close to me were hugely supportive and agreed that now was a good a time as any to set myself up.

What did your boss say when you gave your notice in (and the reason for that)?

I didn’t actually hand my notice in as I was signed off sick and didn’t return.

Do you enjoy your new role – what are the benefits?

I totally love writing and I have a very enquiring mind, always have, so for me it’s a dream role. You have to be realistic about what money you can make however, and how to promote yourself effectively. The clear benefit is the opportunities to learn new things, meet new people and push my creative boundaries. The key benefit is being able to meet my son’s teacher in the middle of the day, supervise his homework and finish of my work in the evening, free of the guilt of not having spent enough time on parenting. I love being out of the office environment, sometimes I work in a café or in a library in London there’s inspiration in creative settings. I am also making great progress with a book that I started in 2011 and didn’t finish.

Any regrets – do you miss your old job, or the salary that came with it?

I have no regrets at all, I’m so much happier: It’s now two years since mum passed and although you never get over the death of your mother, I’m starting to feel happy again and confident in my abilities. Now I’ve started out, I have lots of other business ideas I want to pursue. I believe if you set your sights on a goal and work hard, miracles can happen.

I’ve realised that life isn’t always a smooth path of steady employment work until retirement: for lots of people the ‘portfolio’ career is now a reality. My mum was a teacher, an intellectual, an author and she belonged to an armful of volunteer organisations. Not having the cushion of a steady salary can be a huge motivator to achievement.

Having at least three months’ salary set aside makes sense: Or save before you make the leap. If you don’t plan properly and go back into steady employment without having given your idea a proper go, you’ll feel disheartened.

There are often key times in your life when a natural ‘break’ presents itself: even if you haven’t planned it, sometimes you need to jump in and say a little prayer… you never know where you might end up!

If you’re currently working for free, how do you support yourself?

I’m working part-time for a charity in a paid marketing role, it’s really enjoyable. Clearly I’m not earning as much as I was previously, but it feels good to be working part-time whilst I build up my freelance business.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of making a similar move?

Well, it’s not original advice but having at least three months’ salary or mortgage holiday set aside makes sense. Or save, before you make the leap as if you don’t plan properly and go back into steady employment without having given your idea a proper go, you’ll feel disheartened. Discuss a sabbatical with your employer, leaving your job open at the end of it, so you have a safety net. There are often key times in your life when a natural ‘break’ presents itself – even if you haven’t planned it sometimes you need to jump in and say a little prayer… you never know where you might end up!

My business called ‘Everyword Copywriting’ which is about focusing on my strengths and my first passion: words. I’m able to support clients with my mix of marketing expertise in blogging, social media and they can tap into my inexhaustible well of ideas and enthusiasm!

Here’s the original article:http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/downgrade-your-job-careers-meet-women-who-traded-high-salary-careers-jobs-to-set-up-own-businesses-self-employed

I will be sharing my logo with you and very soon, I will be pleased to share my new website :)

Here’s to fulfilling goals and pursuing dreams!

 

Suzy Rigg

 

 

Winter sunshine greetings


Behind each window or door

Behind each window or door

Photograph “Behind each window or door” used with kind permission of Jake Rigg

It’s that Christmas end of season, late winter time of year when we get together, eat a lot and if we are lucky, we enjoy the good and bad times of being in the company of those we love!

I would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has followed or commented on this blog.Thank you for taking the time to read the posts; I know some of them are more interesting to you than others!

As I post this, I’m at home with many home comforts and I feel incredibly grateful for that. There have been a few sad losses this year and these people will be eternally remembered. There have also been some huge gains, and life is like that, we always need to be willing to open our doors to new people, new experiences, new loves, new lives. Consider the families in each of the houses in this picture, they may all lead different lives with different experiences but what do they have in common? Well they are blessed to have a home of course, some may acknowledge this, others may not see the gifts that are in front of them. But for all of them, the magical sleigh flies over their houses, if they believe. Behind the windows and doors these families are more alike than they are different.

Jake Rigg plays Silent Night, a carol with a melody that is known universally although sung in different tongues.

As you read this, I wish you and yours peace, tranquillity at this year’s end. For this, I think, is the best gift we can experience in our lives.

PEACE.

Suzy Rigg

 

 

 

 

Cas Walker, educationalist & schools’ pioneer


Dorcas, or ‘Cas’ Walker, as she became known, was born in Kingston Jamaica in 1943. Her formative years were spent in Jamaica. She arrived in England in 1952 and settled in Manchester with other relatives before moving to Birmingham in 1958. She first career, was as a civil servant at the ‘Board of Trade’ now Department for Trade & Industry. Due to  a change of personal circumstances, Cas changed her professional direction. She joined Dunlop Research Limited in the late 1960s doing laboratory work on rubber polymers.  But the field of education was always an enduring area of interest for Cas. She gained experience working in supplementary schools and as a result decided to train to be a teacher in 1971 and eventually gained a B.Ed from Birmingham University. An avid student, Cas went on to gain further specialist qualifications in teaching reading and linguistics and a B.A (Govt).

Cas Walker

Cas Walker receiving her masters at Warwick University, with her father, Wilfred Walker

She taught in both Primary and Secondary schools in Handsworth, Nechells and Ladywood areas of Birmingham. Career progression led to the post of Senior Teacher, Head of Specialist Team, (African Caribbean Teaching Unit) advising on primary school management and ancestral diversity in education.

Cas progressed to Education Adviser for Birmingham Education Authority and was the first Africa Caribbean female to take up the post in 1987. Her wide-ranging role included development with key players in Education, e.g. Professor Aubery Osler at Leicester University.

Cas recalls the early years in school when pupils and teachers were surprised by her knowledge of English, history & geography. School plays were not without difficulties and racism, but the few years spent in Jamaica as a child, had given her a sense of self-worth and confidence and the ability to deal with the rigors of the inner city classroom!

There is so much more to tell you about Cas Walker’s contribution to education, how she came to write a book, her visits to the Gambia, her breath-taking community involvement, her opera singing. I will sign off now but will continue to share her story, her legacy. There are lots of things I want to document about Cas Walker’s life, not only because of her extraordinary achievements, her intellect and talent but also because she was my mother.

 

Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

 

The Interview: Hypnotherapy for Women


Hypnotherapy for Women is an intriguing name for a company, I’ve never tried hypnotherapy, so I decided to meet with Alexandra Rickard, founder of the company to find out more about this therapy and see if I was brave enough to try it myself! As soon as I met Alexandra on a rainy afternoon at her London-based treatment room, she put me immediately at ease.

Sitting in a comfortable cream leather reclining chair, with the rain drumming outside and a cosy warmth in the treatment room, I felt instantly relaxed. But before my treatment started, I needed to find out more about this often misunderstood complementary therapy:

Can you describe what hypnotherapy is? 

“Hypnotherapy is a powerful form of therapy which involves putting a person into a deep state of relaxation (the trance state) in order to affect positive changes in their life. When we are in this state we can gain access to our subconscious mind which is where all our behaviours, belief systems and habits are stored. Whether it’s helping you to sleep better, to feel less stressed or to overcome a phobia, all of these changes and more can occur during hypnosis at the subconscious level, resulting in quick, lasting and positive changes in your life. Using a computer analogy, imagine that your mind is a hard drive, during hypnosis we simply help update it with new and beneficial software, replacing the old and redundant programs that aren’t working so well that might be keeping you trapped in negative or harmful thought patterns.”

Hypnotherapy For Women Founder Alexandra

Hypnotherapy For Women Founder Alexandra Rickard

 

Are some people easier to ‘go under’ than others?

“The higher your intelligence and the stronger your self-control, the more easily you are hypnotised. That’s because entering a hypnotic trance is all about concentrating. However finding it hard to enter a hypnotic state doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. People naturally vary in how susceptible they are to hypnosis. Studies have shown that around 30% of people are relatively resistant to being hypnotised. Although, with effort, the state can usually be achieved eventually.”

What sort of conditions do you treat?

“I’ve been successful in helping with a multitude of issues, such as insomnia, anxiety/stress, overcoming phobias and bad habits, low confidence, procrastination and many more. I also have a passionate interest in helping women deal with the stresses of motherhood. Since becoming a mother myself, I recognised how effective hypnotherapy was in helping me to deal with the challenges I faced. As a result I created a range of targeted hypnotherapy sessions designed to address mother-related issues e.g. lack of sleep, stress, colicky baby and depression.”

How many sessions do clients usually need?

“On average 6 sessions, but anywhere between 3-12 as it all depends on the client’s goals. Some clients come to me with one issue, but then find other things they want addressed too.”

What sparked your interest in hypnotherapy?

“Whilst working in a demanding and stressful marketing role I learnt the valuable skills of hypnotherapy to help me deal with insomnia and other stress related issues. On discovering firsthand the benefits of hypnotherapy I changed career and now happily practise full time as a clinical hypnotherapist.”

What is the most unusual complaint you have resolved?

“Finger sucking.”

Sleeping mum and baby

Conversation with friends loves hypnotherapy

I was ready. All of my questions had been answered, I’d used the bathroom (well, I didn’t want to intrude on my trance with a loo break did I?!), I’d signed the consent form and a small monitor was now attached to my index finger to monitor moisture levels in my finger tips. If I was deeply relaxed, the normal sweat level from my finger would drop to a below the normal level. This would indicate that I was fully in a trance state.

“Wake up!, wake up!” I could hear Alex’s voice but didn’t want to leave that beautifully relaxed state. When I came to, feeling deeply rested and relaxed, Alex told me I was under for half an hour and had apparently entered a deep state of trance. I remember wanting to scratch my head at one point but somehow being able to ignore the feeling. In fact, for someone who can be quite a fidget, I can’t believe I stayed motionless for more than thirty minutes! It felt like my eyes had been closed for about five minutes.

Before I was hypnotized, we had discussed some of the issues I wanted to open my subconscious mind to. After the build up, the session was over all too soon. Alex gave me a CD copy of the session to provide a top up treatment when needed. I felt reassured by having the CD to listen, it was also a physical record of what was said to me in that highly suggestible state. A good thing to have.

Hypnotherapy is a hugely fascinating area to explore and as with all therapies that involve the brain and people who are feeling vulnerable, a degree of caution is required. Alex was keen to stress that she doesn’t make any medical diagnoses or advice clients to change any existing medication without first consulting their doctor. She takes a full and thorough health and well-being assessment before starting the treatment to ensure she’s 100% clear about what your needs are. Like any therapy, there is always a degree of cooperation and trust required to get the best out of it.

Based on my experience, I would certainly recommend it to hypnotherapy ‘novices’. I can also see why Alex has chosen to specialise her area of practice for women. Women experience a variety of chemical and hormonal changes throughout their lives which can leave them feeling off-balance and emotionally unstable.  Not to mention our sometimes misplaced thinking that we need to try to be all things to all people. The obvious example is pregnancy and childbirth and the potential for depression and anxiety that this life-changing event can have on the whole family.

I give it a thumbs up and I will definitely have hypnotherapy again  – and if you are stuck for an interesting or unique gift, I would say try it.

Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

info@hynpotherapyforwomen.co.uk

http://www.hypnotherapyforwomen.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/hypnotherapyforwomen

Mobile: 07815 318455

Office: 020 3612 8321

If you are a small business owner and would like to be featured in ‘The Interview’ please email suzyrigg@gmail.com with the subject ‘The Interview’ leave a contact number and watch your business grow!

London’s Lego exhibition


We finally made it to London’s Lego exhibition; at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, E1. We were greeted warmly by staff and waited a short couple of minutes before the welcome video began, in which we met Lego artiste extraordinaire, Nathan Sawaya. In his opening address, he takes us on a journey through his Lego infused childhood, his study at New York University and subsequent stifling career as a corporate lawyer. He released his creative side through Lego and eventually allowed the Lego beast to escape  – the classic inner artist turmoil.

Conversation Between Friends likes Nathan Sawaya

Conversation Between Friends likes Nathan Sawaya

Like many others, we’re so happy he followed his passion and it’s clear from this personal, first exhibition, that it was not an easy transition from corporate being to a creative one.

Lego Exhibition

Conversation Between Friends visits the Lego Exhibition

The first part of the exhibition demonstrates his skill at transferring classic artworks from the Mona Lisa, to The Scream and Van Gogh to studies in shade, light and texture of brick. My favourite in this section was the brilliant rendition of Lego Vermeer’s ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ which from a distance looked so unlike Lego, it softened and warmed you, just like a painting.

Conversation Between Friends

Is it a painting, or is it Lego artwork?

 

Scream 2

This one was so good, it made us scream

This was a particularly clever piece of art as this background of the painting was ‘flat Lego’ like paint on canvas, but the ghostly figure was built in relief to stand apart from the rest of the piece in 3D, making full use of the medium of brick. We loved it!

Computer says no

Computer says no! The interplay between technology and humans

We took a ten year old – pictured – who’s a LEGO fanatic. There weren’t many young children there that day and I would probably say it’s not for all children. It’s still an ‘art’ exhibition in the traditional sense that the visuals are there to be looked at, but not touched. No museum interactivity here – there’s a small zone at the end of the exhibition where there are child-high trays of Lego to rummage around in, but as far as interactivity goes, that’s your lot. So think carefully about the age and attention span of your child as this is not at about £50.00 this is not cheap day out if you are family of two adults and two children (there are slight concessions depending on what day of the week you go).

Lego Boy

Guitar Boy inspires to make a guitar out of LEGO!

 

Street Art

Street Art, Brick Lane

 

Conversation Between Friends loves Street Art

Conversation Between Friends loves Street Art

As you can see from these two pieces of street art that I photographed, the art outside of the Lego exhibition was every bit as thrilling as that inside it.

Then there was indoor market, brimming with vintage clothes and sounds. Whatever your medium, you come away from ‘the Lane’ inspired to create.

 

 

© Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

 

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