Dad and daughterFor his 70th birthday, my dad announced that he wanted to cycle from London to Paris. And so he did with my brother and fella to keep him company. When I mentioned that I wanted to support Willow Burn Hospice near Lanchester, County Durham, by doing the Great North Run, he decided he’d do it with me. He’s 72 now. “It’s on the bucket list” says he. “Ok” says I.

And that was that. His Christmas present was sorted; entry to the Great North Run.

For many years, when I was small, my family positioned ourselves at the bottom of my gran and granddad’s street in South Shields to watch the Great North runners, specifically my Uncle Alan, run past.

If you’ve never watched 10s of 1000s of people run past the end of your street it’s a real spectacle. People of all shapes and sizes and fitness levels doing a mammoth half marathon for whatever reason they have.

And this year, the Little Dad and Daughter team will be running (well not exactly running) on behalf of the magnificent Willow Burn Hospice which provides care for people with palliative and end of life needs.

Just to be clear, Dad and I are NOT runners. This will hurt. And neither of us have ever, ever run half a marathon. To start at the age of 42 and 72 respectively is daunting to say the least. But Willow Burn is an amazing place which really cares for their patients and families and well worth some considerable effort from us to help them.

We’ll be tracking our preparations, my attempt to stay fit for longer than a few months and how much money we raise too.

Nic x

And if you’d like to sponsor us, please do!

 

 

Dans le Noir - Dining in the Dark

We’ve recently head about a fabulous event that’s been arranged for 50 of Centrepoint‘s vulnerable 16 to 25 year olds.

Dan’s le Noir? whose concept is to dine in total darkness, while guided and served by blind people is a truly unique experience which, fingers crossed will change your view of the world by reversing your perspective.

The concept have teamed up with Centrepoint and have arranged a Gastronomic Dinner with Michelin Star Chef Julien Machet. The dinner will be held for 50 of Centrepoint’s vulnerable 16-25 year-olds to celebrate Dans le Noirs 10th Anniversary and decade of successful charitable ventures.

50 homeless young people will experience heightened flavours by enjoying a gastro dinner in the dark. The menu at Dans le Noir? has evolved over the past 10 years and in November 2015, Michelin star chef, Julien Machet, was hired to consult and help John Houel, the London Head Chef, create the four eclectic menus. Chef Julien will be present to assist with the creation of this spectacular dinner.

Dans le Noir? and Centrepoint support those furthest from the jobline to help them get into work. The two companies are joining forces to maximise awareness of the difficulties that blind, and homeless young people, face when trying to get into employment.

A statistic by gov.uk estimate that 16 percent of working age adults are disabled. Recent statistics show that only 46.3 percent of disabled people are in employment compared to 76.4 percent of non-disabled people, making it a significant social issue.

Edouard de Broglie, who founded Dans le Noir? in Paris in 2004, says

50 percent of our staff have a high disability, yet we still operate an efficient and profitable company. We have an incredibly low staff turnover which shows the dedication of our long-standing team. We want to show big companies that those with disabilities shouldn’t be limited to performing only menial jobs. Our guides are incredibly skilled and challenge the perception that blind or visually impaired can serve in a restaurant. Who could have said that 10 years ago?.

Sadie Odeogberin, Head of Skills and Employment, at Centrepoint, says:

The number of young people rough sleeping in London has more than doubled in the last four years, but providing a safe place to stay isn’t enough to solve the youth homelessness crisis. That’s why Centrepoint supports each young person staying with us to find a job or a route into education or training. Like Dans Le Noir?, we’re committed to helping those furthest from the world of work achieve their ambitions. It’s not an easy journey for a homeless young person to make and thanks to the generosity of Dans Le Noir?, we can reward them an experience they will never have had before. Homeless young people are every bit as talented as their peers and with the right support and hard work they can fulfil their potential.

We hope everyone has a fabulous evening!

Suzanne x

 

John Masters Shampoo, Detangler and travel setThis is not a blog about hair products but I’ve just spent £60 on the John Masters range, without so much as the flicker of an eye. I love them, so I bought them. My ever-so-calm purchasing power, got me thinking about how things (me) change. 10 years ago spending a small fortune on hair products just wouldn’t have happened. Request them for birthdays, yes, but me spend that much on a ‘treat’ for myself; absolutely not.

Throughout my 20’s I was a cheap-shop shopper. Addicted. In my 30’s, I realised the amount of money I was wasting on £5 tops and just how awful “fast fashion” really can be. So I launched a business, Daisy Green (with Suzanne), and over-compensated for my “throw-away” lifestyle buying nothing new for 12 months. Instead, I became the queen of the charity shops and clothes swaps. It was fun. I still love a good rummage in a nice charity shop; people throw away the most amazing stuff.

Recently, I was chatting with the very lovely Sharon McArthur, The Leadership Confidence Coach, who is in the business of making us more confident (check out Red Handbag). Our conversations are lively, but we always come back to the same conclusion; know yourself, love yourself, and everything else follows.

Through my bad years (about 12 of them), I didn’t like myself let alone love myself. But that time is long gone. So even though I know that happiness does not come from buying stuff, happiness does come from treating myself. I am worth it.

At the top of my “things I love to treat myself with” list are:

  1. Taking friends out. When I have money, I’d spend every penny I have on them. And what a nice feeling that is.
  2. Holidays. Weekends away. Every 6 weeks if we can. It has to be done!
  3. Looking after myself:
    1. Make up. I have nearly given up cheap brands. And swapped to more quality brands. (Still feels weird.)
    2. Hair products. Let’s face it, if your hair isn’t right, you just don’t feel good.
    3. My first great quality white shirt. A bargain in the sales from Fenwick. I’ve never paid £60 for a shirt. But it started life at £160. So, it’s a bargain. Especially when I absolutely love it.
    4. Clothes in general. I am sick of buying clothes that last 2 minutes. I always recycle the items I no longer love, but I’d much rather buy things that will last.
    5. Shoes. Shoes. And more shoes.
    6. Magazines.

Melissa Jelly ShoesAnd those feelings of guilt about spending on myself? Or taking breaks? Or enjoying my friends’ company? I used to carry enough guilt to lifetime. I’m off to the shops.

Nicola x