NW’s lonely arts club band!


So we had the NW freelancers, sole traders and independent retailers Xmas dinner last night.

It’s a very intimate affair but one we want to grow. Fab people meeting up and yes, last night, business cards were exchanged – how switched on is that? I actually remembered after the event that I’d had cards in my bag, just forgot to hand out at the time – so in fact not entirely switched on, switched off in my case! Must have been the gin and San Miguel!

Scrummy scoff chez The Sparlings. It’s a lovely boutique-style bistro whose only let down is the fact that if you try to download the Xmas menu off their website, regardless of platform, it WILL crash your entire system! You have been warned. Oh and the menu, once there, is nightmarishly full of spelling mistakes. But you don’t go for the pedantic observations of an anal editor you go for the food – Steak & Ale Peppered Pie – it’s a Desperate Dan Cow Pie – it ‘s the hugest pie in the history of the world.

DC tucks into a cow pie!

Jacqui Jones made light work of that one!

The ‘event’ was an idea borne out of a random chat prior to last Xmas when mutual friends of mine and Kath’s were waxing lyrical about their office parties and of course when you work alone, as we do, yuletide get-togethers are few and far between.

Kath and I frequently discuss the downside of working alone – nobody to bounce ideas off, no groups in the kitchen bickering about another member of staff, no office affairs, your sense of contemporary attire becomes rather disturbing as the option for velour slacks and and a snuggly hoodie appeals! It can be quite a solitary life….something which featured heavily on Radio 4 earlier this week.

You miss the banter around the office, the arguing over the World Cup, Eastenders, I’m a Celebrity, the budget – whatever gets your goat up, and for me, the endless good humoured debates about music, the demise of good music and the rise of talentless yet marketable commodities in its place – yes, Jedward, I mean you!

Musical talents Jedward!

Over the years, however, you get to work with some fantastic talents but it’s always work and you move on to the next contract and lose touch with those guys socially.

Sharon Hockenhull regaled us with the momentous rise of her landscaping business since winning at Tatton RHS this last summer, while Paul Shipp took us on a graphic design tour of every eaterie he’s rebranded of late.

Lionel Bunting of Citrus Citrus is taking entrepreneurship to the Far East whilst boosting the NW jewellers and furnishing retailers’ PR to the max back here at home.

Robin Gregson is providing marketing consultancy to specifically targetted sectors – but I can’t tell you which as I’d have to kill you – while Alex, Greg, Jacks and Rob were unable to make it….more PR, marketing, IT and retail gurus! Next time guys.

What was a couple of us last year became a group this year and I have a mind to have a summer BBQ too….by then we’ll have more followers who enjoy a good bash. And by that time we’ll have a treasurer and a club secretary and be organising golf tournaments…actually the last isn’t as cliched a suggestion as it sounds – there was a trend around the table of being particularly bad golfers one and all!

Bridge and I are in touch regularly but it was so relaxing to catch up with like minded people for whom I have the highest respect and shared sense of humour – work with any of these people, and you won’t be disappointed!

Roll on the summer.


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