2021 · comedy · comical suicide

Been awhile…

Well hello HQ-ers,

Good to be back with you all after an extended break from Blogging.

Thought I’d fill you all in with what’s been going on.

So, at the end of May I joined two comedians down in Brighton for the Fringe Festival where I performed as part of a triple-bill over 3 nights.

Unfortunately, I had to bail the last show because of personal matters at home however the first 2 shows were really fun and I’m glad I did it.

It was never an intention to ever do a festival however after well over a year of no gigging, I needed to see if I was going to quit comedy or continue and being back on stage behind the mic made me realise just how much I love it and that I had missed it.

I had a week out as it was a school holiday when I returned home to rest and sort myself out and then I had so much uni work to do as well so I’ve not actually had much of a chance to really talk about the experience, now it seems so long ago it’s almost pointless talking about, you know?

So moving on from that and heavily into June, I’m now running a regular night every other Thursday after a success trial night Thursday just gone. Here’s the poster for it:

© CSHQ Presents 2021

I’m so pleased at how it went and genuinely eternally grateful to the venue owners for this opportunity.

The next one will be on Thursday 8th July 2021. Details TBC

Still on the Comedy subject, I also have a Trial Night on Wednesday 21st July 2021.

© CSHQ Presents 2021

Again I’m so excited to have such a great opportunity for local live comedy.

Thanks for reading!

2021 · bloggers · blogging101 · community · friday feels · weekly

Friday Feels #6

Hi HQ-ers,

Hope you had a wonderful Easter break!

Finally, every WP BloggingU course is complete, I’m just working through the Photography ones now in between preparing to launch another aspect of CSHQ.

Hope you’re enjoying the content so far, please do let me know in the comments below.

I’m really excited to share with you all that I’m going to be launching a digital course! Do stay tuned over the next few days to find out more about this. In the meantime, give CSHQ a follow on here and on social media channels and you can even subscribe via email to be in the know!

Join me Sunday morning for a virtual coffee date.

Until then, have a great weekend!

2021 · blogging101 · community · consulting · daily · education · everyday inspiration · writing

Everyday Inspiration: Day 12

Critique a piece of work…

Hello HQ-ers,

At first, I was a little anxious about this prompt for a number of reasons that made a over-thinker come up with questions I now share with you:

  • Who the Hell am I to critique anything?
  • What difference would my critique make?
  • Where do I pick the right piece of work to start to critique?
  • When to critique anything as if it’s not timely, is that then not just another no-body’s opinion?
  • Why do I put myself through this?
  • How will I get readers to actually read a critique objectively especially if I pick a provocative piece?

Do I dare Disturb the universe?

T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland

Then, it happened!

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The ‘lightbulb’ moment!

If you have to say or do something controversial, aim so that people will hate that they love it and not love that they hate it.

Criss Jami, Killosophy

So I decided to tackle this task as an ‘open letter’ of sorts to a young couple that we have all heard of. To a husband and wife that we have all had an opinion on. To two people in the limelight. To a mother and father that are no different to any other parent that wants to protect their families. To a man born into a way of life and the woman who worked to find her way of life.

My aim is to tackle this task with objectivity. I’m neither conformist or anarchist, I’m neither right or wrong. I merely write from what I have seen and heard from them via many sources. I merely write as I felt a resonance when they described how they felt.

There’s a sort of ‘mob mentality’ surrounding this couple. Anything in the mainstream and social media about them seems to create a knee-jerk reaction of anger and disdain. Anyone who tries to voice a fairer opinion on some channels, gets laughed at or shut down.

Now, that doesn’t phase me at all. I’m quite resilient to online trolls having dealt with real life ones for a long time. What does phase me is the hypocritical nature of this behaviour. I mean how can you post “be kind” today and then slate this couple tomorrow? It makes no sense, whatsoever.

You don’t just cherry pick who deserves kindness and compassion and who doesn’t just because you have a personal issue with their very existence which by the way, impacts your life in no way.

At this point, if you think you can guess which couple I’m talking about, share your answer in the comments below.

Continue reading “Everyday Inspiration: Day 12”
2021 · community · consulting

An interview with…

So today I welcome the first guest to appear on Beyond the CSHQ, as part of the Independent’s Project.

An honour to introduce to you, Winner of the 2019 Beauty Therapist of the Year award and all-round babe; Charlotte Gerrard, Owner and Beauty Therapist at Charlotte Gerrard Beauty.

Logo Reproduced with permission from Charlotte Gerrard

As the Pandemic is over a year old, I asked Charlotte to describe where she was at, career-wise when the Prime Minister announced the first National Lockdown.

She says, “I had been Assistant Manager at The Beauty Room in Ellesmere Port for nearly 6 years. I had decided to leave my position there as my boss (and friend) had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Brain Cancer. I was running the salon and working by myself whilst she was in hospital and I just couldn’t do it anymore. The business was running at a loss as I was the only member of staff working because we also had a therapist out on maternity leave. I didn’t want to leave the salon. I adored my job but I knew it wasn’t going to last the way it was going so I handed my resignation to my boss’s husband a month before lockdown was announced and arranged to start renting a room in another local salon to begin on April 1st but Lockdown started March 23rd.”

Charlotte really does adore her job so it must have been difficult to detach emotionally with everything going on. She is extremely passionate about the beauty industry and keeps up to date with career development at every opportunity. Yet evidently, she saw where she needed to take action as The Beauty Room couldn’t continue to operate.

I asked for her first thoughts when non-essential business had to cease operations, she replied,

“I was heartbroken! I was meant to start my own business on April 1st and obviously that didn’t happen. I had left my job and then the salon was sold so I wasn’t entitled to redundancy. I wasn’t entitled to furlough either because obviously the business no longer existed as it was. I wasn’t entitled to Universal Credit or JSA. My boss’s husband had figured out my final wage for March and I had used more holidays than I had accrued thanks to going on a 3 week holiday in January 2020; So I had holidays deducted from my final pay. I had no income for 5 months. ZERO. And I only got £800 as my final pay.”

Like many people, the financial implications of the Lockdowns affected Charlotte yet from those challenges she adds, “I learned that I’ll always be ok thanks to that time of no income.” 

Charlotte is one of many people who had to adjust income with expenditure so to come away with such a positive statement there is refreshing to hear. “My family and friends were gutted for me! Everyone’s lives were thrown up in the air though and all you can do is try to get through it.”

Charlotte goes on to say, “My marriage fared much better than I ever thought it would! When lockdown was announced, I honestly thought it would break us. It’s not normal to spend so much time together. Lee was off work too for the whole of the first lockdown. We got on unbelievably well. I realised he is actually my best mate and I love being around him. I think the weather helped too though! We weren’t locked in the house 24/7.”

Charlotte reflects on how she feels she has changed in a year, “I’m so much more chilled. I used to be very stressed all the time. It’s taught me that everything will always be ok and that my husband and I really are a good team. I’ve learned that I’ve wasted a lot of my life doing stupid things and not making the most of every day. My ex-boss absolutely LOVED life. If there was a party, she was at it. And if there was a karaoke machine there, then she was on it! She’ll never get the chance to do all the things she loved again so I’m going to do things for her. Life is so precious. It just took everything I’ve been through to realise it.”

When I asked her how has this experience impacted on the decisions she makes today, she answers, “I’m calmer. I’m a lot more rational. I try to be less judgmental. I think things through a bit more before I make a final decision.”

Charlotte’s advice to anyone in a similar situation: 

  • Everything will always be ok.
  • Friendships mean everything. 
  • Stay calm! And work your arse off every chance you get. 

You can connect with Charlotte on her Facebook Page and via Instagram.

Huge thank you to Charlotte Gerrard for her time with CSHQ today.

consulting

Missed opportunity or Blessing in disguise?

Warning: It’s a long one!

I look at my 12 year old and I love watching him learn, helping him understand, encouraging him to try his best when suddenly, I’m hurled back in my minds eye to being his age.

I remember the influences I had growing up, those who cared, those who didn’t.

I remember mostly draconian teachers, all the school bullies, the countless times I was promised “dad will help you with your maths homework after dinner” just to eat dinner and wait for dad who’d ask “what do you need to do?”

I’d look at him wide-eyed, jubilant!

Finally, some time with dad… just for him to say “work it out yourself.”

Well if I knew how to work it out, I wouldn’t be asking for help now, would I?

And typical teenager me, would say “forget it” and stomp off to my room frustrated with GCSE maths which may as well have been Heiroglyphic writing.

To be honest, I’d probably have understood hieroglyphs better!

In just a few years, my 12 year old will be studying for his GCSE’s. He will be using whatever careers advice services are in place in his school just like I did.

The difference is, he’s going into it sort of knowing what he’d like to do one day and he has a realistic back-up in case he doesn’t make it.

I haven’t pushed him, I just knew if he was going to stand any chance of leaving education with any career goal he needed a lot more positive input than I was ever afforded.

I’ll give you an example of a conversation with him when he was 5:

Son: mummy, I’m going to be a racing driver

Me: (I know how much this costs, God help me) oh right, well you’ll be a really good racing driver if you learn to like the loud engine noises

Son: can I have a quiet engine?

Me: I’m not sure, but if you be really good in school and learn maths and science and design especially, one day you could build one!

Son: I like maths

Me: You certainly didn’t get that from me

A couple of years later…

Son: mum, do you think I could win the Monaco GP?

Me: with the right training and car I probably could! Listen mate, I’m not going to say yes or no because no one knows what the future holds.

Realistically, your fear of loud noises has stopped you practicing in Go-Karts but it’s ok. It doesn’t mean it’s too late. The best advice I can give you is if you want to do something that badly but for whatever reason you can’t? Do the next best thing to it…

Without the financial backing to enrol him into competitions where he could indeed find a way into F1, let’s face it: it’s not going to happen.

But there’s nothing stopping him now, getting good enough grades to progress onto mechanical engineering.

There’s nothing stopping him now to get his head down, and become qualified and experienced enough to apply to F1 teams to become part of their team.

Even if you’re given an apprenticeship or internship that’s a way in where you can be part of something you adore. You may not be the next Sebastian Vettel (his hero) but you could be part of the next generation of F1 in some capacity.

Will you win the Monaco GP?

Maybe not directly, maybe not at all or maybe the next time you’re in Monte Carlo you’ll not be the 7 year old in a taxi with your mum who negotiated with a fabulous taxi driver that was willing to drive the circuit in a possibly-maybe-very-slightlyover-thespeedlimitty way whilst pretending to race and declaring you the winner.

And when you get there, don’t forget your ol’ mum!