Author Archives: Careering

About Careering

Shucks...they don't want to know about little old me. No, seriously stop with the questions.

Staircase to hell #loft

It’s been a while since updating this blog. I’ve been busy you see.

I’ve moved out of the amazing home…

tippifulllowres_640

And after a prolonged pause which saw us staying at Grandma’s place, we’re now settled into the new pad. Somewhere further South of the river.

The main downside with the new pad is a lack of a third bedroom. And a garden. But the bedroom thing really isn’t all that great. Happily there is a loft above us, ripe for converting and so, I thought, I will do something magnificent – because, well, when life gives me lemons – I squeeze them on my tagliatelle.

SainsburysBasicsLemonCurd

However, despite dreams of something like this

SpiralStairs,ArielRiosBldg

Planners (and budget) are shoving me down the road to this:

loftstairgeneric

Or if you prefer naked, this:

loftstairgeneric2

Suddenly stairs don’t conjure up a magical journey to another kingdom or floor. They spell out a sad building-regulated, planning-approved, boxy face-punch of conformity.

Boo Hoo. Any good ideas on how to make a pretty stair out of a load of old twallop?

Let me know.

 

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Does Green Smoke make you Wicked?

green smoke bedroom

I came across this bedroom on the brilliant blog myscandinavianhome.com 

The site is a super-time-sapper extraordinaire so don’t go there. Or do “Goodbye…” *wipes tear.*

Simply the best, smoky, deep, chalky soft green I’ve seen. It’s called Green Smoke. I know – great name too! And of course, it’s not that you would ever wake up and think ‘Oh, my life would be infinitely better if I could only wake up enveloped in a foresty dark green room’.

Melody Farrow and Be-jyma Ball – I salute you as ever and your continued stirring of wit and intelligence into those excellently posh tins of paint.

How to kill a floral feature wall

So we’ve moved out of our old house and thanks to the rather painful process of being in a property chain (OF HELL)…we had to pack everything up into storage and move in with Grandma. But, it’s fine, now, we’re nearly at the finish line. Our new home beckons but it does come with it’s own special challenges.

  1. We’ve moved out of a three bed house and we’re going into a two bed flat.
  2. Pretty much every wall in the flat is beige.
  3. Except the bathroom which is covered floor to ceiling in tiny dark blue tiles. From floor to ceiling.
  4. There are two feature walls covered in shiny floral wallpaper. Not pretty floral wallpaper like this glorious Little Greene Paint Co. example above.

    This…floral wallpaper elm road

  5. THIS will not do.
  6. Our entrance hall is tiny and shared with our neighbour downstairs.
  7. The door to our flat opens straight onto the stairs.
  8. The stairs in question are narrow.
  9. There is nowhere for coats
  10. There is nowhere for shoes
  11. Nowhere for school bags/shopping/footballs/bicycles/skateboards/scooters/big fluffy elephants and other random STUFF that children bring home every day.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a lovely time full of promise. A new place to call home, and a totally blank (and slightly floral) canvas for me to bring to life.

So far I’ve not come across the perfect solution for our non-existent hallway conundrum so if anyone has any brilliant suggestions for where to stash an unexpected elephant (or muddy football boots) please do share!

SOLD

It’s been a while since I updated my blog. Real life has gotten in the way. That, and I wasn’t quite sure how to spin my latest post. But really there’s no spinning this – I’ve sold my lovely house.

SOLD.jpgThe house with the ice cream colours which played out so prettily in Apartment Therapy’s  House Tours. The place that I built, one tin (of fancy paint and vintage treasures) at a time.

Now I find myself sitting midway between that house and something else; something next. And pondering how life can twist and turn in gentle but newly defining curves, and lifting a glass which is literally half full.  I think it’s my lemons and lemonade moment.

I’ve got my eye on the next project though. I’m planning, and pinning and tearing pages out of magazines.  Plotting it all. And you know I really do feel sure that in ways I’ve not even imagined yet –  it’s going to be wonderful.

Moving on, baby.

The one where I am on the cover of a magazine

Well who knew…

At the age of 40 –  (recalculates…seriously?!?)

…I have made my first (and probably last) magazine cover!

Obviously it’s not Vogue, or Rolling Stone, or The Oldie. And clearly it’s far more about my almost famous kitchen, but, there’s no denying the fact that it is actually me on the cover.

It’s actually on sale in Smiths. Fame at last. I’m holding a flower and a jug. In case it’s not obvious.

Homestyle cover

Money for old coke

A shrine for Rik Mayall

I live near Hammersmith and in the past couple of months, since the sudden, and terribly sad death of Rik Mayall, a shrine has appeared.

rik mayal1

It began small with a (fake) blue plague fixed incongruously to the railing of a small but busy traffic island. And it spread. And spread.

Maybe it was the vicinity to the Hammersmith Apollo, perhaps a month of Kate Bush fans was always going to have this poetic side effect. Maybe it’s just because we all suddenly knew when he died, that they don’t make them like that anymore.

Rik was an old school anarchist. Largely harmless but passionate, and Rik’s case, ludicrously funny.

Vaudeville slapstick mixed with a series of brilliant caricatures of the sort of people you only ever meet at parties… the angry indignant student, the reptilian Tory and the quite brilliant investigative journalist Kevin Turvey. Rik was more than just The Young Ones. And the shrine is strangely touching. It’s also quite filthy. Which of course Rik would have loved.

rik 2

I can’t help but wonder though whether the best tribute to him would be for us to stop and think and protest a little about the things that are just not fair. I’m no anarchist, but I do think that tweeting our disapproval in this technology obsessed world is not enough. Perhaps we should each adopt a traffic island to display our oppositions. And swear a little. And be rude, and laugh. Because isn’t that the great thing about being human?  A mass of walking, talking junk drawers of contradictions.

How to score a regular blog gig

huffpost grab

There are some things that are just kismet. Soon-to-be-published writer meets commissioning editor at exactly the right time. Pitches the perfect blog storm and suddenly you’re queen of the blogosphere with a regular gig on a major website. ‘Hello’ to merrily extending your brand and ‘Come on in’ to keeping your all-important book in the cyber-sphere.

Witness new author Hattie Holden Edmonds and her great HuffPost blog charting her very own self-publishing journey. As it happens!

This week Hattie’s kindly reporting on our first session together a kind of ‘twitter-anti-aversion therapy’ for her (you can read some more on that here). But exactly how she scored that perfect blog gig is really the stuff of legend because she really was in the right place at the right time. If there is a moral to this happy tale – or at the very least something to learn from this, it’s network, network, network.

Whether you start out on twitter and work your way up or maybe you’ve got a friend with a friend who knows someone who walks the dog of Jonny Geller etc… Use your contacts, ask your friends and put aside your ordinarily rather British reserve. Americans don’t suffer false modesty and neither should you. To build your brand will require work, knocking on doors and sometimes being a little cheeky by calling in favours.

Hattie is taking the world by storm, one perfectly formed blog shower at a time. But she’s also putting in the miles by going round local bookshops and charming the socks of them. Tear yourself away from your computer…even from the demands of the next book because if you’ve self-published that’s only the beginning. Your next big challenge is getting out and about and meeting the right people who actually want to, and can help you and your book.