Thursday, 29 October 2009

Thursday: Discovered I can have a breakfast rant in peace on this site and no one can interrupt me! Read in Daily Mail this morning typical over the top reaction to Stern's suggestion we eat less meat. A couple of meatless meals a week isn't going to kill us for heaven's sake, it's not an attack on our traditional egg and bacon breakfast or Sunday roast thus our whole traditional way of life. And less red meat will undoubtedly save a few lives as well. Oh get a life and keep it in proportion! I love my roast lamb and bacon butties but I will think about the mid-week shepherd's pie.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Hello all, welcome to my blog. Now I feel really famous! I did start one several weeks ago and spent hours trying to get exactly the right tone between professional and personal. Frankly, I thought it was Goddammed good! Unfortunately, I sent it off into the ether and I have never been able to find it again. So I'm starting again, knowing there is a clone blog out there somewhere.

So, why should you read my blog? Probably because you're bored, the dog doesn't need walking, the work is tedious and your partner hates you. I will, in that case, take my responsibilities very seriously, and try to chat to you in an interesting, cheerful way.

I'd better introduce myself. I'm a very uncomplicated mix of a mum, wife and journalist. They don't conflict at all. I'm able to juggle them all, keep unbearably chirpy and be totally professional, a perfect cook, a social whirl and am totally unlike the stressed, snappy woman who falls asleep on the sofa during any sensible TV programmes.

Well maybe sometimes I am like that, and I can get pretty snappy when it's past my bedtime but generally, on the whole, I probably am a bit of a Polyanna, which drives my family mad and amidst Chicken Licken warnings of the sky falling in, I do tend to be relentlessly optimistic. That's fortunate, because actually, I'm an environmental specialist and things ain't looking that good on the environmental front with dire warnings of "The Day After Tomorrow" about to strike. But here's where the optimism comes in. I think we can limit the impact of whatever's happening to the planet if we all act together, make small changes and stop being so bloomin' precious about our consumer absorbed lifestyle. My whole day is involved with getting the environmental message out there...I have a media company that deals with ethical, often environmental organisations and companies, we do ethical PR, training courses to help people improve their communication skills and we make DVDs. My background is as a journalist across newspapers, radio and television and I spent most of my career trying to look very important with an A4 red producer's book tucked under my arm, wandering in a purposeful manner round the endless corridors in the BBC, attempting to find my own particular door.

I left the BBC 9 years ago on a bit of a wing and a prayer to set up what is now Harvest Creative So, here I am, nine years later with a perfect lifestyle! I cycle to a little office in the gorgeous hills of Derbyshire, I work the hours I need to with time for the fab diary entry of "meetings" which may, or may not, I'm not prepared to say..include lunch with friends, a natter with my mum or a walk in the hills with my dog.

Of course, the recession's hit and while my husband panics about the decreasing bank balance, I'm having great fun going out to networking events in snazzy scarves casually draped around my shoulders, trying to look trendy and creative. My mind is racing and I don't know whether to start the book, set up collaborations with fantastically creative people or find funding for the brilliant little DVD series idea I've got. I could also just go and play in the veg patch or rant about how we can save the planet, which is my other hobby of course.

I had great fun last week when I went to the House of Commons as one of four finalists in the Energy Saving Trust's Green Voice competition. I never expected to get to the final but there you go, I did! Piper Terret got the job and I know she'll be fab. (see her blog: )Michael Groves, Tom Callow and I were the runners up but I'd had such a fun week doing radio interviews, having my very own soap box to stand on and talk about one of my favourite subjects, which is how we can all make small changes to make a huge difference. I will rant about this at length, be warned! If you want to check out the videos we all made, see

So, to finish for now. I have more emails to send, more work to find and some soup to make for lunch!

Stand by and the fantastically fascinating world of Shirley Mann will be revealed tantilising bit by tantilising bit. It would be lovely to know who's out there and is reading this, so do talk to me, otherwise I will become Shirley Valentine and talk to walls!