International Women's Day Easyjet celebrates the day with an all female flight and ground operating crew.

easyJet takes to the air with all-female flight and ground crew operation in celebration of International Women’s Day.

EZY8275 left London Gatwick this morning bound for Madrid with a female Captain, First Officer and four female cabin crew.

The flight was captained by Kate McWilliams, 27, the world’s youngest female commercial Captain and co-piloted by first officer Sue Barrett. Cabin Manager Laura Marks was supported by three female cabin crew; Natasha Baker, Charlotte Carr and Nuria Belda Marco.

The flight was operated on easyJet’s special A320 aircraft named after renowned female aviator Amy Johnson.

Several female ground staff were also involved in getting the easyJet flight boarded and away from stand including;

Gate Agents Helena Curley and Ewa Alhutayfi – performing Boarding checks and procedures for each flight and pass final customer figures to the TCO and Captain.

TCO (Turn Coordination Officer) Lynne Pont – responsible for the turnaround of the aircraft itself.

Headset Operator Catherine Sims – responsible for the safety of the aircraft during the pushback from stand onto the taxiway and in direct communication with the flight crew and Pushback Tug driver.

Fueler Lucy Gorna – responsible for ensuring that the correct fuel is safely loaded onto the aircraft and in accordance with the figure requested by the Captain.

Cleaners Laura Heron, Emese Lenkey, Sheila Monteith, Marie Claire Lynx and Alison Seth– responsible for ensuring that each aircraft is cleaned internally.

De-Icers Maria Carr and Bethany Woods – When required, responsible for ensuring that the critical surfaces of the aircraft are clear of contamination such as snow & ice, prior to departure.

PRM Officer Kirsty Butler– When required, responsible for assisting all of our customers with reduced mobility from their arrival at the airport, until they are on board the aircraft. This includes use of motorised buggies, and scissor-lift vehicles to access the cabin.

Speaking prior to departure easyJet Captain Kate McWilliams, said:

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women so we thought this all female flight would be a very fitting way to celebrate the achievements of the many women working in the aviation industry. There are more than 15 women who are making this flight possible today in positions from pilots and crew to gate agents and fuelers.

This year’s IWD theme is #BeBoldForChange to help forge a better working world which is more inclusive and gender equal. This year easyJet has set an ambitious target of increasing the proportion of its female pilots aiming for 20% of new intake pilots by 2020. The aviation industry is exciting and challenging and I firmly believe that there should be absolutely nothing to stop women from entering into a career in aviation.

The first woman to fly an airplane solo took off in 1908, only 5 years after the Wright brothers first took to the skies and most people will have heard of Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson who are famous pioneers of the 1920s and 1930’s. Women have been involved in aviation’s history from very early on but since the war years whilst the total number of female pilots has steadily increased so has the number of male pilots, leaving the total percentage of female pilots largely unchanged at around 3 percent. It is hard to think of another high profile profession where women are  so under-represented so I would encourage anyone thinking about a career in aviation to do so – it’s the most rewarding career I could hope for.

International Women’s Day global campaign coordinator, Glenda Stone, said

easyJet is to be applauded for the way they have truly embraced the very ethos of International Women’s Day and are showing not only to their customers and industry, but to wider audiences, that women excel when there are no barriers to participation or involvement. International Women’s Day provides an important opportunity to accelerate gender parity, and here we clearly see the collective talent of women that inspires employees, customers, aspirational girls and many more.

Around 12 percent of Gatwick’s airfield team are women and Hayley Richardson, Airfield Operations Controller, was on hand to help guide the easyJet aircraft on the tarmac today.   Hayley said:

Working on Gatwick’s airfield is an exciting and rewarding job.  For obvious reasons our team has to maintain the highest professional standards and I really enjoy the responsibility.  I’d say the number of women I see working in other roles across the airfield is increasing and I would recommend a career on an airfield to any women who are thinking about it.

The activity is also being promoted on easyJet’s social media sites using a Female Pilot Emoji and  #FlyingHigh.

How will you be #BeBoldForChange this International Women’s Day?

 

Joan Collins Timeless Beauty

I still remember receiving my very first make up palates from my Aunty Chris. I think I was 14 and I got three perfectly beautiful pallets from Marks & Spencer. They were mine all mine and I coveted them as though they were the crown jewels. If I look hard enough in my old bedroom which is back to being the storage room I’m sure I would find these empty golden gifts.

Receiving that makeup made me feel so grown up, no more stealing mams (that didn’t last long of course). Fast forward almost three decades and I still feel special when I get new makeup. So whilst mooching around in Marks & Spencer’s beauty hall, which is an absolute must I must say as there are so many testers but there aren’t any of those assistants to turn your huge effort that you went to this morning seemingly pale to insignificance with their perfectly applied makeup.

There are 36 brands in place at M&S and I selected one of them to try; Joan Collins an icon if ever there was one. Strangely the year I got my first makeup was the last year Dynasty was produced but Joan seems not to have aged and Alexis Colby, will forever be etched in my memory.

The range by Dame Joan Collins who is 83 is named Joan Collins Timeless Beauty. Oh lordy if I look like her at 63 I’d be very happy. I tried out the foundation, concealer and a lip and powder compact. The packaging screams Hollywood glamour but will the contents live up to the look?

Fade to perfect concealer; Currently I suffer from puffy dark eyes so it was good to read that this concealer is to aid the reduction of dark circles, soothe irritation and calm puffiness around the eyes. This indeed worked to a point but I by no means expect miracles. This concealer comes in three shades; fair, medium and dark and I tried out fair which worked for me. I use concealer before and after foundation so I do go through quite a lot so will need to consider a repeat purchase as it is £18.

First base foundation; I go between powder and cream foundation for day and night. Cream is most definitely my go to evening foundation. First Base is said to be youth promoting skincare and a foundation in one. The finish is lovely, quite natural and breathable but the tingle I get from what I presume is the hyaluronic acid is a little disconcerting. Despite the tingle first base has never left my skin reddened and the tingles do die down. This comes in eight shades and is £25 it would be difficult to choose between this and Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation.

I liked the coverage and the dewiness on my skin on my dry skin days though it did stick to the pores so more exfoliation needed for me.

Lipstick and powder compact duo; This is one of those products I like to flash as it looks so good. The opulent packaging is distinctive. Top tip: project it in your makeup bag as it does scratch easily.

I chose Katrina which is quite a deep brown shade. The lippy glides onto the lips and leave them instantly moisturised. I do wish I’d picked a lighter shade as this is one for an evening but the formula is so lovely I want to use it all of the time.

Katrina is combined with pressed powder and a mirror both of which have become a god send as recently the tip of my nose seems always to be red and the powder helps to combat it. I love the fact that you can marry any of the 16 shades of lipsticks with the compact. I think Marilyn will be my next choice and the lip stick retails at £18.

I’ve already chosen to try out Rosie for Autograph on my next Marks & Spencer visit. .

 

 

 

Joan Collins Timeless Beauty items were gifted for review purposes but all opinions are our own.

Victoria Sponge

We love baking in our house and when I saw ‘Children’s Book of Baking (Usborne Cookbooks)‘ sitting on the shelves of our local charity shop I simply had to buy it and got a little excited to try out some recipes. Since it’s Valentine’s we thought we make a Victoria sponge, well who doesn’t love cake?

Apron donned and hands washed let the cooking commence….

Here’s what you will need if you’d like to join in;

Cake

2 x 20cm cake tins

4 medium eggs

225 g softened butter

225g caster sugar

225g self raising flour

Filling

100g softened unsalted butter

225g icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

4 tablespoons of strawberry jam

Victoria Sponge making

Method

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4.

Wipe the insides of the tins with cooking oil. Place parchment paper in the bottom of each tin.

Break the eggs into a bowl and beat together with a fork.

Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat them until they are pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time and if the mixture curdles pop in a little bit of flour.

Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold in with a metal spoon.

Divide the mixture equally between the tins.

Smooth the top (Emily and I find this really tricky).

Bake the cake in the oven for 25 minutes. Pop on some oven gloves and carefully remove the tins from the oven.

Press the cakes to check they are cooked.

Leave the cakes in the tins for five minutes to cool. Then run a knife around the edges and turn them out onto a wire rack.

For the filling

Put the jam in a bowl and beat it. Spread it over the top of the bottom cake.

Make the butter cream by mixing the icing sugar and butter together until they reach a delightful texture then spread that over the bottom of then top cake (we ignored this and tried to pop it on top of the jam but this didn’t leave a nice clean typical Victoria sponge white and red line but more of a gorgeous pink marriage).

Sandwich both cakes together and gently press together.

Scatter some caster sugar on top. We decorated our cake with strawberries but this is optional.


TYummy cakeotal Time
: 70 mins Taste: Fabulous (if we do say so ourselves).

Check out Emily on Instagram.

Be our Valentine

Love from Sofa Stories x x

Topher McGrillis

I’ve always loved stories by Roald Dahl, I wish I could have jumped into his brain and listened to the whirring of the inventive musings. We are all so lucky that he put down on paper his thoughts and generously shared them with the world.  I simply can’t wait to share one of my favorites stories with Emily my six year old daughter.

My lovely little lady can watch Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp) and Matilda on loop but this is her first experience of the grasshopper, centipede, earthworm, spider, ladybug, silkworm and glow-worm of James and the Giant Peach. What’s even better is that it’s on stage rather then screen at one of Emily and my favorite places, Northern Stage.

Dahl’s first novel for children tells the story of a lonely little boy named James. He escapes in a giant peach after a magical encounter and finds he’s capable of much more than he ever imagined.

Director Mark Calvert says,

James and the Giant Peach is a massive show which deserves to be on a massive stage, so for the first time in Northern Stage’s history we’re using both of our stages combined into one huge space to tell one story. It’s so exciting to be working on this scale, taking the audience on an epic adventure that deals with being lonely and discovering how important friends and family are, which is not a bad tale to tell at Christmas time.

Adapted for the stage by David Wood OBE and directed by Mark Calvert (who first introduced me to Northern Stage with 40 Babies back in 2009/2010), this new Northern Stage production has been designed by the ever-inventive Rhys Jarman (Institute, Gecko£), with original music inspired by big bands and swinging Broadway musicals of the 1940s and 50s.

 

Recommended ages 5-11 years with a running time of two hours (including interval). The production runs until Sat 31 Dec so why not book your ticket here . We’ll be posting our review soon but keep an eye on twitter and instagram for photos of our evening.

james

Gill from Central Healthcare
Our recent posts have featured how Nic and I are becoming the best we can be in 2016.
Both of us have decided to get well in our own way whether it be going through C.B.T (cognitive behavior therapy) or sorting out toe nails. So here’s the next installment and this time it’s all about cleansing.

You may have seen the tweets about going for colonic irrigation. This was the ‘in thing’ back in the day, everyone seemed to be talking about it and even though you might not hear it as a buzz word anymore it’s still well and truly alive in Newcastle at Central Healthcare. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for years and since I’m wanting a full cleanse of my life it seemed sensible to include my colon too.

I’ve heard lots of stories, the good the bad and the indifferent. Prior to my appointment I was called by the Gill a nurse of 27 years to go through ‘what to expect’ which put me at ease and I was able to ask questions. The questions that had prevented me from going in the past. Things like, ‘will it hurt?’, ‘what are the short, medium and long term benefits?’, ‘will it hurt?’, ‘will the water be warm?’, ‘will it hurt?’…..

Gill talked me through her experience and why she is so passionate about the treatment. She went through the ‘ins and outs’ so to speak. Appointments last one hour so this pre visit call is very beneficial so it doesn’t actually eat into therapy time. One thing that Gill highlighted on more then one occasion was that the treatment MAY not lead to weight loss. I accepted the statement but also thought that if poop was being irrigated then surely weight loss is a side effect albeit only until you replace it with more food.

One week after the call – appointment time

I ensured the appointment could be on a child free day and I arrived into Newcastle city centre (train station area). There is on street parking nearby and two multi-storey car parks in the area. Ensure you buy a ticket and display it (I didn’t display so got a lovely parking ticket which I successfully appealed).

Central Health care is situated in one of the newly developed railway arches and looks unassuming from the outside which I saw as a positive as I’m not sure I’d want everyone to know where I was headed (instead I’ll write it down in detail and tell 1,000’s about my experience).

Gill welcomed me in and immediately put me at ease. I completed a short medical questionnaire and we went through the process again. He’s an A to K – of the process;

a. Entered white room with two white beds adorned in red towels. I recognised one of the beds locations from a     review by Lisa of Tried and Tested for a vitamin infusion.

b. Gill then went through the entire process with me and showed me where I could undress from the waist down.

c.I lay on the bed and Gill got to work. The sterile parts of the equipment was opened in front of me and then the speculum was popped into where it needed to go. Although completely being put at ease I did feel quite             embarrassed.

d. It was now time for the actual irrigation to commence. Here a slow stream of water went up the tube and goes     inside to fill the colon.

e. This gentle process carried on for a few rounds but then the intensity increased. Gill massaged my tummy and   then turned the water pressure up and she asked me to hold it for as long as possible and then release. I’m not     ashamed to say it, I was crap rather rubbish at the hold and it was definitely my least favourite part of the process. It simply felt weird and uncomfortable (not painful).

f. After the initial site of the number two there was nothing for a while. The clear water went in and tinged water
came out but there was NO substance to it. I really thought there would be a never ending exodus of backed up     poop from my rather poor diet. A few minutes went by and nothing.

g. Gill asked me if I thought I could take the deeper pressure again, and because I wanted the best results
possible I said yes….Then the pressure was upped and voila more extract happened but this was nearing the end of the prescribed treatment time, however she continued until more came and then that was over. A very quick hour.

h. Now time to extract the speculum.

g. Gill cleared up and disposed of all of the now non sterile equipment used whilst and I went and got dressed.

h. I went to the toilet as recommended to ensure any movement came out then and there.

i. I entered the main room again. Had a drink of water and a probiotic (you can read about their benefits in a Central Healthcare blog post here) which I was recommended to take for 30 days. I could have bought a supply but I knew I had some unopened probiotics in the house.

Then it was time to say goodbye…. 

How did I feel straight after the treatment? I felt clear in my brain as I’d been suffering from a niggling headache for days. My bloating reduced and I felt more vibrant. Gill recommended some more sessions to get the full benefits of irrigation.

Within the hour after treatment

Stupidly I decided to enjoy more mummy time off and headed to the Metro Centre and embarrassingly I did a big pump and more….I was mortified. I needed to find a toilet really quickly and whatever got moved during the colonic came out quick smart.

Rest of the day

I spent quite a lot of time at the loo and I drank lots of fluids to ensure I stayed hydrated.

The next day

Again I was quite poo tastic and the contents of the loo were rather bright yellow in colour. Normal? It didn’t look normal but I reassured myself that it was. (NOTE: yellow poo can be down to lack of good bacteria in the body).

Later that week – Fat class weigh in

As for weight loss on my weigh in I got a ‘maintain’ rather than a loss, so Gill was right after all but surely there should have been pounds lost from my body, I guess not.

Would I recommend colon therapy? I am of the persuasion that you shouldn’t knock anything until you try it. Gill and I talked all of the way through the treatment so it was akin to visiting a hairdressers in that respect. Therapy for the mind not the body; What I would do before, during and after a second treatment;

  • Clear your day if possible
  • Relax during the treatment (easier said than done)
  • Eat some probiotic yoghurt
  • Do not go shopping
  • Go home
  • Rest and enjoy the clarity
  • Don’t go with the expectation of miracles or weight loss.

Treatments start from £75.00. You can follow Central Healthcare on Facebook and Twitter  To find or give them a call on 0191 222 0100.