http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

Thank you for all the birthday greetings popping up in my inbox as I type this today . . .

Tuesday March 4th 2014 – today I am another year older – (40 something, but half the time I can’t remember the something), and this week a little wiser. . . .

I learned how to make animated Gifs in photoshop. – I have just never needed to do this before.

(Don’t mis-read this, I did mean gifs – as in ‘Graphic File Interchange’ format files – not Gifts as in lots of nice things you receive on your birthday – although I got a couple of those too.)

Which was extremely useful because. . . .

1. I had paid for an animated button advert, on the Derby county cricket club website (that gets 10,000 hits a month) and I needed artwork, and was reluctant, but initially resigned to, letting their art-worker animate my images.

2. It was a real boost to discover something new, I had never used, or needed to use in the past, was completely achievable within software I already owned.

3. Good old internet technology meant that with a 1 minute google search, and watching less than half of a 6 minute you tube video I was on my way.

The down side, for me however is that being such an absolute perfectionist means that I spent the next 4-5 hours experimenting and tweaking options and timings until I was completely 110% happy with the finished result.

The good thing for my clients is that I enjoy designing so much, and am so dedicated to getting the best result achievable, it can be hard to stop. (even within the limitations of their budgets).

I love designing, it is a part of me, in my blood, and I do not like to submit sub standard work, because I am not a sub standard person. I like perfection in everything.

Which means that because I apply the same kind of dedication to all my design work, my clients pretty much always get more than they pay for.

So it is always nice to get something for Free every once in a while.

My client base is building, and the wild ideas schedule is continuing well, so I always have something to be getting on with.

The on-going offer with DBN web design is bringing in work
Reminder – FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50.
But the one thing that I would like, and works well for all of us for everything is word of mouth recommendations.

I always ask my clients if they wouldn’t mind giving me a testimonial, if they have been happy with the service I have given them.

And the easiest way for them to do this, as well as giving themselves some free advertising is to add a review to my free index page which you can do here.

Free index allows any business to create an advertising listing – but as the name suggests it is completely free, and you also get a widget to add on your own website, that displays your reviews.

I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone starting a business, it is easy to register, by just clicking the Advertise free button, top left.

By adding details and images and information about your business you build up a profile, much like other websites, but I do particularly like this one.

You can register search terms too, and get notifications when potential clients have searched for services / products you offer, and then get the opportunity to contact these people.

I have done some work this way.

They have in the past been pretty high in the google rankings too, although searching today they are not doing so well. – There is a lot of competition out there, so maybe it is just a dip.

But if you are interested in looking at my gif, here it is . . . . .

Do you want more business for your business?

Do you want more business for your business?

You know where I am if you want something creating for your own marketing, or website!

And if you want more business for your business then make sure you really push those word of mouth testimonials and ask happy clients to put their mouse where their mouth is, and type you a proper free-index review.

Or even just email you something that we can add to your new free website.

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

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http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

My seven year old son is obsessed by Lego, and all things lego related, and we had it scheduled to go and see the lego movie last week in half term, which indeed we did – at Tamworth Odeon.

Both boys enjoyed the film. I must admit I had a little nod part way through, before it seemed to get a little more interesting. (maybe I was genuinely over tired – it is unlike me).

I got a bargain on the price too, boosting my tesco vouchers and exchanging them for odeon cinema codes, then buying online, and using the automated ticket machine in the cinema foyer to print them out.

All very organised and easy to do, and the 3 of us for £11, instead of £19, and definitely not the £27 for the 3D version – really? £27 for 90 minutes in a cinema – maybe its just me – getting old.

The thing now, Lewis wants to get “Lord Business”, the lego figure. The character, obsessed by doing everything by the rules, following the instructions, making everything exactly as it was meant to be!

Anyway, we had a good time, and generally we had a pretty good week during half term. Meeting cousins at Sudbury, going over to Nottingham to my mums, who usually comes to us, so a treat for the boys, who always ask to go to Grandma’s house.

All in all, a successful week, with quality mum and children time – AND I even managed to do some design work, while the boys enjoyed valuable free-play time, or watched DVD’s.

I sent 3 invoices, managed a few phone calls and tied up some loose ends. – All in a week where I may not have expected to do much of anything work wise.

SO feeling pretty good about what I had achieved, we went to our usual monthly messy church on Sunday, and I was chatting to one of my neighbours who is in the process of setting up his own business and doing a lot of networking.

“You should come the the rugby club on a Friday for their 6am breakfast meeting” he said, “you would get loads of work – or come later it doesn’t start till 7am” . . . . . .

Can anybody see my immediate (mother) problems with this statement? . . . . .

1. 6am (so I would have to leave at 5.30am) and the boys are asleep in bed.
2. 7am, my husband departs for work – and the boys are asleep in bed.
3. 8am, The boys are getting dressed, etc, breakfast etc
4. 8.40am we are walking Lewis to school
5. 9.10am I am driving Lucas to preschool.
6. 9.30 am I am free now – is the breakfast meeting still on???????

I must admit I did rather snap back at him, he is a parent, but maybe men really are from Mars, as he genuinely did not seem to appreciate my predicament.

“Well if you want your business to be successful . . . . . . don’t you have anyone who could have your kids?”

I did apologise as I realised that I had been a little blunt – but I still struggled to see how he could not relate to my predicament.
Of course I want my business to be successful – but it depends on how you measure that success.

My business is about working around my children, being able to spend the quality time with then and provide the stability they need and deserve. Putting them first.

Its about achieving a successful life, as well as a business.

I would love to be able to attend a regular networking group, I have investigated a few – but for logical reasons most are breakfast time. . . . I have not given up looking.

Volunteers to come to my house for 6am, get my – very stroppy, no concept of time – children up, dressed, fed and to school all welcome. (and not charge an arm and a leg to do so).

As you may gather, I do not have anyone who could have my boys – in the above scenario.
(maybe as an emergency one off ) but not on a regular weekly basis.

It does demonstrate how different men and women are though, the instinct to be protector and provider at all costs – The Lord of the business- success measured in material wealth and countable assets. That’s nature I guess – he is just doing what men are designed to do.

Where women (maybe just me) have to be Lord of the dance, juggling the household, the children, the cooking, the play dates, the after school activities, the finances, plus if they work . . . their own jobs. Where success at the end of the day can be a pretty hard target sometimes.

Women just doing what women are designed to do. Being “Wild Style”, (another lego movie character) the master builder, making it up as she goes along, adapting to each situation . . . using the pieces she can find to build her own world – without needing the instructions.

As Linda Wild, owner of Wild Ideas and graphic designer, I think I may have a little Wild Style in me!

It has made me think though, and I should thank him for that . Made me question my own convictions, although I am annoyed at how much it has bothered me. . . .

Am I not taking my business serious enough?
Should I be finding a solution for someone – (a childminder?) to have the kids?
OR If you know of any flexible networking groups in and around Lichfield . . . . . .
comments and opinions most welcome . . . . . .

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

With website design being fairly prominent in my mind recently due to the offer. . . . .

Reminder – FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50

Then font licensing has been one consideration that I have had to bear in mind.

Now its all well and good using fonts from your computers operating system on a print job, as long as you turn them into outline paths before you send them elsewhere, for print, however . . .

When you type something on your website, then you want the text to be editable, to benefit from easy amendment, and live, to benefit from google recognition and SEO (search engine optimisation) . . .

Basically you need all your words to be readable by the search engines to help your website get found more easily!

So that means that you can’t just use any old typeface, (unless you own the licence for it). You need to use a font that is licensed for the internet, or free, with an open source licence . . .

. . . which means there are minimal restrictions, and it is open for all to use.

The first port of call for this would be Google fonts. http://www.google.com/fonts

All these fonts can be used on your website, or your print, and downloaded to your computer, or with a little effort used “on the cloud”. . . . .  (http://www.fonts.com/web-fonts/google)

. . . . which basically means you can access and use them over your internet connection without having to copy them onto your computer.

Your web developer can also access the “code” to insert into your website so that anyone who views your website will see all your type displayed exactly as it was intended, in the correct font it was intended, as their device will be reading “on the cloud” too.

Which means that if they didn’t know Alice Cagliostro before, they will be able to do now!

Alice Cagliostro is in fact  – Alice M Cagliostro (Age 106) living in Citrus Heights, CA, a white American Female, born in Massachusets 1908.  (http://www.archives.com/1940-census/alice-cagliostro-ny-61843930)

OK OK now I have really confused you, is she your granny I hear you ask?

She is in fact, back to the point of the blog, 2 different things, she is Alice, and she is Cagliostro, and both are names given for google fonts that I have recently used on 2 different design and also web projects.

And when she was younger, Alice was seen as a. . .
“quick brown fox that jumps over a lazy dog”, (which is still an option)

but nowadays things have got rather more sinister, as she appears to have become a . . .
“grumpy wizard who makes toxic brew for the evil queen and Jack” (the default)

Well I guess if the queen is evil she deserves to be poisoned, (She was pretty nasty to Snow White) but poor old Jack (although he did swap a cow, steal a hen and kill a giant! – it all sounds like something out of a fairy tale . . . .

Do you remember this from blog 9?. . . .
“The secret history of Tom Truehart boy adventurer”  by Ian Beck – which incidentally is a great kids read too!
Find out more in the land of stories here……..  http://www.tomtrueheart.com/

I digress, (as per usual) sorry just trying to be cryptic – just google’s sentence that covers the whole alphabet, to display every letter format.

But if you don’t like those words or you need to see what a particulate word or sentence looks like then you can just type it in the preview text box at the top of the page and it will appear in every font.

Then you can add to collection any that you like and review at the end before you make your final choices.

Anyway, if you are struggling for a new font to use on a project, then take a look, http://www.google.com/fonts

Theres Gabriela Galdeano, and Allan Jura as 4 other alternatives, and they are always adding more. . .

and have a go with the cloud (http://www.fonts.com/web-fonts/google).

There are other font sites too, as ever, with the internet there seems to be no shortage of just about anything, at the end of our fingertips, see what you can find and have a play . . .

So no excuses for not getting creative and making your documents and letters fun and fancy, enjoy!

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

Well the take up of the DBN / Wild ideas Free website offer is going well so far. I am going to be busy busy busy.

Reminder – FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50

The main thing that has cropped up during discussions with clients is the choice of website domain.

Now as a competent user of the internet, I am familiar with the word domain, and I think we can all get a bit complacent with our own knowledge, and need to be patient when explaining to others.

I have in fact blogged in the past, at my own realisation of in fact how much I do know, when I speak to others and become aware that they are looking rather blankly at me.

We are all experts in our own field, and should rejoice in the snippets of information that we pick up along the way, treasure them for the jewels that they are, and value ourselves for the knowledge we have gained.

(and always be ready to listen to others who are happy to pass on more treasure to us).

Anyway , I digress. The point is, domain names – I know what it means, but I have discovered that whilst helping some of my new business clients in getting that first step onto the internet with their FREE website, they do not fully understand what a domain name really is.

So, for those who don’t know, I will explain, here. (we all know, just some of us may not be familiar with the terminology).

With a website you need an address, and all web addresses are on the world wide web, so I imagine we all understand (these days) where W (world) W (wide) W (web) comes from, which is the first part of your address.

So that is the first part that is universal to us all, and just lets everyone know that is is a website address basically. SO all websites start with www.

The parts that are unique are the middle bit (and if I use my own website as an example) after the www. comes my domain: linda wild ideas (which without any spaces becomes lindawildideas)

The other main part that will be the same as lots of other websites is the extension at the end. The .co.uk (which I is the united kingdom company standard for british based websites).

So to end my own website I too have .co.uk
making my domain name lindawildideas.co.uk

And I can then use that domain name for both my website and my emails. Making my business look professional.

For my website I will add the www. at the beginning:  http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk
. . .and for my email I will add linda@ at the beginning: linda@lindawildideas.co.uk

there are lots of other extension choices instead of .co.uk:

The following excerpt is so well written I have borrowed it from a well known domain registration service site and explains the basics.

“There are so many different domain extensions such as .biz, .info, .net, .so, .sx and .xxx. But which is best for you? That depends on what you are doing with your website.

Now, if you’re looking to set up a personal site or a professional portfolio to showcase your skills and experience, then extensions like .me .pro or .pm or .pw would work best.
There are many different extensions. Some are country specific, so you might need to satisfy certain conditions to register them, for some like .eu you need to live in the European Union to be able to register the domain.But generally it is down to your own taste and any domain will be suitable.

If you are selling products in the UK a .co.uk will be perfect as it is recognised as the UK extension. If you are selling internationally a .com would be more suitable as it is the internationally recognised domain for commerce.”

But as we are in the UK the one you will probably prefer to have is the.co.uk, which is the one that is included for free with our offer).

And so to the next bit that you have to really think about – and which will be unique – so if someone else has already registered it you will need to get creative and clever.

Your actual personal domain, the name of your website, the title, the part that you tell everybody, and the bit that hints to others what your website is about.

If Joanne owns a flower shop she may well call her business Joannes flowers, and then her domain name would be:  joannesflowers  or she may want joannesflowershop.

It is also possible to add hyphens to make the name easier to read, joannes-flowers or joannes-flower-shop. But then when you tell people you have to specify the hyphens which makes it rather a mouthful to describe.

But generally, with your domain name choice the shorter the better, which makes it easier to remember, if you can make it work for your business.

However this is where you are the master, but you need to be clever, by being logical and sensible.

Try to avoid the use of incorrect grammar and non-standard spelling of words, all these things make it harder to explain when verbally telling people your web address. (be aware of the pitfalls if you choose this option).

One thing you could perhaps do is have your nice attractive domain name, and then also register the boring but logical sensible one(s) and have them point to your fun one!

Two lots of people are going to be using your website:

1. Those who have seen your marketing and have the web address in front of them either to type it into their browser or click an online link.
and
2. Those who are typing into google and looking for what you are selling.

The fun name will be fine for user 1.

But when you need to try and catch user 2 that you need to be smart with your domain choice.

If you want to find a flower shop and you are in google – what would you type?

Do you type “flower shop”? or specifically do you search by location? and type “flower shop lichfield” –  as I might do living in Lichfield.

So something to consider, and especially if you market to a local area, adding that area to your domain name.

Joanne, may decide then to have her domain as joannes flowers lichfield (joannesflowerslichfield). It will certainly help if her actual domain name contains the actual word that people are searching for.

If you want to checkout website availability then you can do this here

Hopefully I have given you plenty to think about and research so you can be ready, but if you need a little help then just get in touch with me here.
or my affiliates at DBN here

Reminder – FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

This week, we have had the wrong trousers debate, on wash day . . . .

My four year old son is very strong willed (like his mum), and very small for his age. As a parent you often hear other parents say that children grow so fast that none of the clothes ever wear out.

Well we are the exception to that rule, thats the royal “we” and more specifically his highness Lucas, who is still wearing age 12 – 18 months in some of his clothes.

He knows what he likes, and he likes what he knows, and he does not like trying new things, and he definitely does not like wearing the wrong trousers.

I have lots of hand me downs that would fit, but he has his favourite pair, patched on both knees, slightly thicker denim, slightly narrower leg, and elasticated adjustable waist.

They are just more comfy I guess, and he wears them most of the time, despite having a drawer full of perfectly acceptable, un-patched alternatives.

And he makes himself extremely well heard that he is not going to wear any of the other pairs, and he wants the specific favourite pair, and has a temper tantrum when they have to go in the wash.

Now as a four year old he can (almost) get away with a temper tantrum. As a four year old who is smaller than most two year olds, I can get away with him having a temper tantrum (if it is in public).

Wouldn’t we all love to have our own temper tantrums. . .  I bet you all secretly do – in your own personal way . . . .

. . . . As a graphic designer, (one of those creative types), and working at home alone at my computer, I have on occasion got so impatient and frustrated with, the software, the hardware, myself maybe, that I have come close to an adult version of a temper tantrum.

So lets get back to a point . .. He knows what he likes, and he likes what he knows, which from my point of view as a designer is the perfect client. . . almost.

You see design is such a broad spectrum, and my dreams are not necessarily your dreams, but for me to be able to create that perfect fit with your ideal and the end design, it helps if you know what you like.

I have often said that design has very few right or wrong answers, it is about what fits for each person, and what they like.

There is in definition nothing wrong with any of the trousers in my sons drawer, but to him they don’t quite fit his ideal.

When you want to design a product to represent your business, you need to think about coming from within you, so it is a little bit of what you like. . . .

. . . and then the important compromise, who are you trying to sell your services, and products to. “Your target audience is?” Because they need to like it too.

And to put a different spin on the wrong trousers story. . .

My son’s drawer is full of trousers that I like, hey I chose them, but he is my target audience, and he’s not buying them is he, so I am not getting any sales!

So when you are thinking about creating your business, cards, website, flyers, promotional literature, letterheads, catalogues . . . . . .

Take time out to work out who is your target audience. How old are they, where do they work, what do they read?, what leisure activities do they enjoy?, how much spare money do they have to spend on what you are selling?

How are you going to “speak” to them? . . . what kind of language will they respond to? . . . . What do they want to hear? . . . .what will make them listen?

your 80 year old granny is (probably) unlikely to enjoy a punk rock gig – and should (probably) be appalled at the way a poster advertising that gig is presented – coz then it will more likely to appeal to your 18 year old son!

OK so now we are getting somewhere . . . it’s a bit of a stereotypical analogy to demonstrate the point . . . but as you can see it’s not rocket science.

So this is why as a designer, when a potential client comes to me, and what a quote for a design, I always schedule a FREE, detailed briefing meeting with them, and include all those specifics in their unique personal quotation.

You could almost refer to it as a “fitting”. They get to know me, I get to know them, and we talk about their design ideals, and their target audience, and where they want the end result to fit.

I don’t do “off the peg”.  But I do have a value range, and a FREE flexible payment system.
As a designer, there are an endless amount of trousers in my dressing room. You just need to try on a few pairs and find the perfect fit.

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk
Reminder – FREE website offer, for all design orders of £50

Enjoy this snippet:

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

If you read last week you will remember at the end, those Bon Jovi lyrics that helped me to get my head in the right place to be motivated and positive, but most of all not to stress too much if I did not quite achieve everything I set out to do.

And I am still in a good place, part way there, living on a prayer.

A couple of jobs on the go, two in the pipeline, a potential one coming up (fingers crossed). One that did not materialise – but you can’t win them all!

Business goals in tact so far. – and written up on a chart in front of my face to remind me every time I am sat at my computer. – “We’ll make it I swear”

I had a personal goal too, and I never actually wrote it down yet, so here goes:

To not lose sight of quality family time, and to make sure I spend some time every evening with my husband. (The fingers crossed AIM is to turn off the computer by 9pm).

While everyone’s reason to work – of course, is to earn more money – to spend on the material family luxuries, which are seriously lacking in our household, for rather a long time now . . .

You can categorise your luxuries in a different way:

Are they just material things like a bottle of wine, a meal out, an expensive dress, hand bag, power drill, sky TV subscription, foreign holiday, X-box, Wii.

or are they, making material sacrifices, allowing you to be a stay at home mum to be with your pre-school children.

or are they also, a relaxing evening snuggled on the sofa, just mum and dad time, the lights low, the heating on, a warm mug of coffee . . . .

a bar of chocolate, (tesco value is impressively very tasty and only 30p per large bar) . . . and a good BBC drama, or ITV movie on the telly . . .

. . . an old classic like Top Gun, on ITV 2. (hubbies favourite film) the soundtrack is good and a young Tom Cruise is easy on the eye, so who’s complaining. . . . (all on Free-Sat TV – we cancelled sky 18 months ago – thats £612 in my pocket not theirs)

. . . .and then getting to bed at a sensible time – (sleep is under-rated by too many people).

And even though working late every evening on my business, sitting up alone on the computer, may get me more clients and more work, and ultimately earn me more money . . . .

Working 24/7, pulling all nighters socialising more with FB than HUBBY, and feeling really tired all the time . . . .

All work and no play – makes jack a dull boy, (‘The Shining’ – who remembers that?)
and makes Jill a grumpy mum, and puts jack and Jill’s marriage (they are married in ‘Puss in Boots’) on the slippery slope towards the well of divorce – (OK maybe a bit harsh but you get the idea)

would you class that as one of life’s luxuries?
No me neither, so I am focusing on getting the balance right!

The one exception, My business USP:
I will go that extra mile, and reply to a Saturday night email, from a client, after all that is what sets me apart from the corporate’s with their 9-5 hours. I try to give outstanding service.

However, I am a big believer that money IS NOT EVERYTHING – And so far so good, the scales are level and the balance is working and I feel happier, and healthier.

The little things are important, and the most important little thing in my life – is my 4 year old son. ( the 7 year old is not little anymore). And he is getting his balance right too

This weekend we got him his own balance bike, an ebay bargain, (his big brother’s was just not quite small enough and he had been struggling to get on with.)

And now his head is in a good place too, and he is riding it on the school run, and balancing brilliantly.

I am doing a design for a lady at the moment who specialises in Ayurvedic therapy – and although I have not used her services, I seriously feel like my Dosha is in the right place . . .

. . . and If I stay true to my family – work balance plan then maybe some more Dosha will be in my bank account too. .

So her’s to a little bit of dosha and a lot of happiness to come.

Are you balancing your dosha too?

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk

I was singing this by the end of it

it was actually last Friday (better than a Monday), which at least meant I had the weekend to recover.
I had always known it was going to be a busy one as it was all in the diary. But best laid plans I guess.

My youngest goes to pre-school all day and I had my regular meeting with Christine Thomas my business coach and friend.
http://www.yell.com/biz/christine-thomas-ltd-cannock-901375676/

This month she had also invited me to the Griffin and King networking group she attends a Hotel in Walsall for their Fish Fryday.

After rather too much winding down over the holidays, I had been struggling to get motivated again, despite the fact that I have plenty of work at the moment, and so was really looking forward to the opportunity of meeting some new contacts.

So 9.15am I dropped little Lukey dukey (Lucas) off, and drove down to Lichfield Holiday Inn for my meeting with Christine.

Last Wednesday I had also attended an FSB meeting at Drayton Manor and done a Goal setting session with speaker Clare Whalley  –   http://meta4ltd.co.uk/

So I was part way there with getting back into things and Christine helped me further with her Life Summary and Business summary wheels, and life achievement wall. (of which I am part way through).

At 12noon we set off towards Walsall, in a convoy of two, for the Fish fryday lunch, which was a thoroughly enjoyable event, very civilised and lots of nice business people to chat to,

and I met up with Annie Dunn, from Tall Order promotions (thanks for the calendar Annie) whom I had been emailing and speaking to about a client job.

And this is when it all started to go a bit pear shaped, you see as a busy mum and business woman I generally do not get much “me time” to enjoy myself, and you know what, I was actually having too much of a good time.

And what happens to time when you are enjoying yourself?

Well 12.30 becomes 2.40, and you are still merrily chatting away even when others have already left.
One casual glance at my watch and the dread of reality sets in.

I have to collect my Lucas from pre-school in Alrewas at 3pm – 20 minutes time – and here I am in Walsall about 14 miles away. ( I phoned the pre-school of course) but . . .

Its, not going to happen is it – and you know what – it didn’t.

Why is it when you are in a rush every single traffic light turns to red in front of you?

I was in unfamiliar territory too and had to drive down the single carriage road, following the road signs (A446) when there might have been a quicker way. (I do not – by choice – have a sat nav either, regular readers will remember).

I ended up phoning my hubby, who works in Tamworth, but can be home in 15, as he finishes at 3.30pm anyway, and his very lovely boss (who is a mum too), is always good enough to be flexible with staff hours.

The pre-school were very good about it, but even hubby was 40 mins late, and I arrived in time to do a drive by and Lucas came home in my car.
(I discovered this morning there will probably be a £20+ bill to cover staff wages and extra rent on the village hall).

But if its 3.40 – what about my other son – who is getting him from school ?- I hear you ask!

well he is at the NEC rehearsing for Young Voices concert that very evening, so I don’t need to pick him up from school – no but instead . . .

. . . . I have to drive by myself to the NEC, in the dark, in Friday night traffic (might be raining) and without a sat Nav to go and watch him, then bring him home afterwards.

BUT before that….. we still had more to fit in, Manic mumday is not over yet!

So back home, its 3.55 and we need to get Lucas to his new swimming lesson, now the refurbishments to the Friary swimming pool are completed. He needs to be in the pool for 4.30 till 5pm.

I was a little anxious, as he has not been swimming for quite some time, although he was desperate to go again. And you know what – he absolutely loved it, and they were so impressed that they are moving him up to the next level.

Then dad is meeting us at the pool to get Lucas dressed so I could dash off to the NEC to be there in time to pay the exorbitant £8 parking fee, and have time to eat my pre-packed picnic box tea in the car, before going into the LG Arena for the event.

I did not really know what to expect, and although I knew some of the mums, I am not best pals with anyone, and was sat next to those I do not know. But I did enjoy it and the kids singing sets were very emotionally moving!

It was a great event, well sorted and varied, and the kids seemed to be having the time of their lives, as well as them singing we were all entertained by assorted celebrity singers, including X factor’s – Stacey Solomon.

It would have been nice to have had some company, there I was all alone in a big crowd of people, pondering on the business goals I had been trying to set.

And then as I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself, this guy Keith (somebody) performed one of my all time favourite Bon-Jovi hits, and I felt so much better.

Listening to (and singing along with) the lyrics they seemed to be telling me a message in relation to my business goals I was struggling to believe in . . .

and hold on to what we’ve got
it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not – we’ve got each other and that’s a lot

we’ll give it a shot – oh we’re half way there, but take my hand we’ll make I swear

That’s when I felt so much happier, and motivated – nothing like a bit of feel good music to lift the spirits.

Roll on 2014.
http://www.lindawildideas.co.uk