• cherry blossom tree outside hotel
    STORIES

    Meet Me At The Cherry Blossom Tree

    Meet Me At The Cherry Blossom Tree: Part 1 of 3

    When you find yourself in a storm, don’t stop on the edge, push through to the eye where you’ll find peace and rest from the chaos.

    ‘Are you kidding me, Sir?’ Enraged at the airline representative calling to deliver the bad news. ‘Why won’t you let me on this plane, I need to get home for my sister’s wedding dress appointment,’ I’d never really been this late home before. I’m due to fly out tomorrow, but I’ve just been informed that’s not likely to happen. Normally when I fly to Europe for work it’s a few days there and home, minus a few delays but nothing like this. This time I’m stuck in the trendy Hammersmith bar in a mid-range budget hotel in central Berlin, in the middle of a global pandemic where nobody knows what’s happening. 

    ‘Miss Janey, I’m sorry but there’s nothing else we can do right now. Give this number a ring and this team will be able to assist you further’ said the politely spoken customer service agent from Panair.   

    Forty-five minutes on hold for a five-minute tale of rejection from the British Airways as word gets out that the United Kingdom has officially gone into lockdown. All flights have been canceled and anyone outside of the UK will now be ferried in on a filtered special booking and screening system that seems long and convoluted. 

    The kind barista from behind the plush cafe bar inside our hotel said,’Can I get you another coffee?’

    ‘Oh, yes please.’ I suddenly noticed my half-drunk coffee was now stone cold. Just before a text comes through from Lilly. 

    Don’t worry sis. We’re talking with Ben’s parents and thinking of moving the Wedding to next year. Ben’s stressed about it, but we’ll be ok. Let me know what’s going on with your flight home. Ring us when you can. Lilly. X 

    The irony of it all. Lilly by far was the most angst of our family group of four and here she is calm as a cucumber. 

    Things haven’t quite slowed down on this side of the continent yet. I’ve got an emergency meeting at 5 pm with our design team. Working for a digital marketing agency with offices in five countries across the world has its perks and a fair few pains. 

    ‘Excuse me,’ said a tall handsome man with pristine shabby chic hair, smartly dressed with piercing brown eyes making his way past my table and out of the cafe bar. Suddenly the world stopped in motion as I caught my breath in the moment distracted by his beauty and at the same time surprised that he looked so familiar and made me look twice. 

    The walk to the office was a beautiful stroll and calming despite the news I had this morning, surprisingly all I had on my mind was that mystery guy from the hotel. 

    ‘Janey, did you pick up the project file for Elf?’ Elf is the code name for a big high-end client the agency is working to win over for next years Christmas TV ad, but I managed to wangle my way in at the Christmas party. ‘Yes…’ I tried to reply before Tim Brady, who is heading up the project, jumped in and interrupted. ‘Who wants food today? Remember we’ve got our working lunch at 12. If you are in can you let Cassie know your order before 10 am please,’ shouts Tim with his Aussie accent. He is about the same age as my dad, with grey hair and thick-rimmed glasses, slim with the whole art director vibe going on. 

    After the meeting I did a quick self-tour of the open-aired office, things have changed around here since my last trip. The walls are covered in brightly covered post-it notes with a new couch and reading nook at the bottom of the office floor. As the lights started to go dim, I realised that this may be the last time I see this office for a while, considering what’s going on. So I slowly leave and make my way back to my new home in what is a strange environment for me. ‘Gosh, I hope the Airline pulls their finger out and they give me a flight tomorrow’ I thought.

    I hope you enjoyed part one of my short story. Can’t wait to read part two? Join my Patreon community for exclusive access and read the next instalment today.

  • Coffee & Trainers
    LIFESTYLE

    Why it’s ok to be different

    I wrote this blog in April, and I never published it. I don’t know why, but I wanted to share this with you now.

    I have never been more inspired than how I feel right now. It’s Saturday, it’s sunny, and I have a lot to be grateful for. I’ve spent most of the working on my latest project, The Perfect Fit. I’m hoping to work with one of the agents I’ve reached out to, but if they feel it’s not for them, then I’m gearing up to go direct and share my novel with you, the reader. I’ve never been more excited about the novel as I am now. I guess I’ve had time to mature and grow as a writer and as a person. I have never been more convinced that there is a time for everything than I am now. Why? Because I wrote this novel in 2009 around the time I was getting paid off as the world entered an economic crash. Now here we are, 11 years later, and I’m about to release this novel to the world.

    As I write this, I’m inspired by a documentary called This Is Football playing in the background. It’s been one of those days that required grit to keep writing through the distraction and temptation to clean, call friends and family, and head out for our one exercise a day. As it happens I am glad I made it outside for a short walk to allow a little sunshine on my face. I even got dressed up to feel a little more normal in these abnormal times.

    Since meeting my other half, Matt, I’ve grown interested in watching football. As I watch this documentary, I’m in awe of the gift and talent of Leo Messi, “a once in a lifetime player” who shows incredible skill, creativity, and passion not only for the game but for his team.

    I’m captivated, but not because it’s football and I enjoy watching it occasionally. I’m captivated because I’m watching someone who is using their gift and in my opinion having maximum impact. The truth is we all have gifts inside of us. Some of us use them to the full extent that they were meant for and some don’t. I’m sure it’s easier for me to form this opinión from where I’m sitting on my couch, but just imagine… imagine that you were laser-focused on enjoying where you are on the way to where you are going. Using your strengths and your skills, taking risks, helping others, and refusing to let fear or any other excuse stop you from living the life you were meant to live. Whether you are a writer, footballer, mother, artist, costume designer, bricklayer, chemist, doctor, lawyer, or any other profession, skill, and passion you can think of. The whole point is surely to be operating in your sweet spot. Not making decisions to fill your time with the wrong priorities or living without boundaries. After all, we are limited with energy and if you spend your time looking at what others have, or wondering why you are not where you think you should be, or worrying about the critics in life, then you are wasting your own precious opportunity to be effective where you are. I know I’ve gone off on a tangent, but what I’m intending to say, to inspire, and to write is that our definition of success should be to fix our focus on being effective where we are, with what we have.

    I learned something this week. I learned that when one door doesn’t open, knock on another and keep on knocking.

    “In a world where everyone is trying to look the same. Be different.”

    Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.

  • BLOG

    How to chase your dreams

    It’s been a minute since I last wrote a post for this site. Truth be told… this isn’t really a post. I’m currently writing because I want to fight against the ants in my pants (not literally, of course) and do what I know I’m gifted to do. Yes, sounds a bit arrogant, but it’s not. I have tossed and turned over ideas, thoughts, and what to share and not share across my social media platforms.  I work in social media, so part of the fun is for me to create, generate ideas, and help promote a product. However, I built this website as a place to mold and shape the things I care about.

    If anyone dares to read this, I want you to know that one of the things I’d like to work on is updating this website. However, in the meantime, I will work with what I have.

    “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.”

    “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” Is a quote from one of my products on FYW company. Anyway, the whole point of this post as you can see from the title is to drop a note, say leave a thought that hopefully will spark something in you. Whoever you are, where ever you are, with whatever you’ve got… let’s just start. Start somewhere, anywhere. I’m excited to be sharing some important quick thoughts with you over the coming days, weeks, and months ahead. Buckle up, because I’m about to get real naked….

    Not literally. Ha!