This year has gone so quickly. I’ve had my holiday this week. We planned it last year. Although, it’s not like previous escapades. I’ve felt I should have stayed in Blackpool to sort out my work. It’s been a really different year to anything I’ve ever done. I’ve felt more scrutinised than ever before. Some people thrive this way, others retreat (me). The internet is like an open flower, unable to close in the rain. Especially when we can’t hide.
My blog’s been (so far) apart from a long spell of internet persecution by vile and cowardly indirect means (using money and social) with regard to animal welfare and my charitable work (read the book) a place for my closest to stay with me as I meander through life. But now I have more long term neighbours, clients and the curious to be aware of. But we should never stop communicating. Some use other media platforms to record their journey, I love to blog.
My neighbour from The Beverley Hotel on St Chad’s Road, Lisa came to see me with Pepper (her collie). It was so lovely to spend time with them. Lisa is married to Andy who really makes me laugh who is also from The Midlands. They’re an adorable family with lovely kids and they always make me welcome in their lives. They gave me a bed and a sofa too. It was nice to get to know Lisa more, this week. And soon I am away with Josie from The Kenley for a little trip to the city. Her and Mark are also lovely. Mark is a cook as well as a hotelier and he is just brilliant with pastry, in particular. They have a girly dog named Benson who is also a Collie. Like Lisa and Andy, Josie and Mark work very hard with the running of their hotels. I want to make a video about Mark. He has a very big personality!
I love my neighbours. They’re strong and individual in their style. I’ve mentioned Elaine from The Arthington here and there. She reminds me of Vivienne Westwood. I feel almost shy going into to see her as her space is so unique and glorious. She’s made me some gorgeous stuff for my family, my flat and The Nester. I love her and Steve. Steve reminds me of Parker from Penelope Pitstop. He’s just fab. We all need a Steve! I am going to write more about my neighbours.
I love Diane and Ron from the Jesmond Dene too, they’re natural parents to many. Just a smile from them puts everything into perspective. Everyone is lovely. I don’t know how it will be at The Nester though. I’ve had nothing but trouble from a handful of women. It’s such a waste of progress and time, time is so precious. It’s cost me a fortune as they made the council take my fence to the side down. I didn’t even want to put it up til next year but my arm was forced due to territorial border issues. How childish. If I hear the word covenant one more time I will shave my head. Women can be awful, much worst than men. But in saying that, all through the summer my guys have made such a noise taking down walls etc it must have been tough and I am sorry. I have tried to be thankful, given flowers etc. It’s just one of those things and I won’t be the last person to renovate a hotel. I am grateful for their patience. In particular The Strathdon who have remained neutral and also held keys for me. They’ve been very kind to my family who have helped out too. It must have been noisy as most of the work carried out was on their adjoining wall. I hope I can make it up to you. Thank you Veronica and Ian and I love my Unicorn key-ring. I will not be a noisy neighbour. We live like hermits.
Then, there’s Hilary from By the Seaside. She is another icon. I want to blog about her too. She’s a wild and wise woman who keeps herself private. But then, when she talks, it always makes sense. She’s fun and so kind.
It’s been a good year for learning but also many obstacles have tested me. A lot of my personal stuff was stolen from my flat (not by guests) to include all the silver jewellery my family bought for me, to include charms of Foley my doggy who passed. Charms from my Aunty Sue who also passed away. To think someone who I must have trusted, just walked in, grabbed my life’s treasures and went off to probably pawn them off without any sentiment or care is just something I’ve never experienced personally before now? How could any person be so cold and inconsiderate about someone’s heart. Also stolen, my old mobile phone full of my data. This was taken while I was asleep in an empty building, so someone must have come in to get it from me. It’s affected me deeply. Also stolen money from my handbags and pockets, electrical equipment. Keys have vanished … the list goes on. Even my travel neck pillow and stationery appeared somewhere else. I can’t get my head around it? They even took food and refreshments.
But I have to remind myself, most people are truly lovely. Following the voucher hell that ran from September 2018 to March 2019 at Golden Sands in Blackpool, Not one guest crossing my door, has taken anything from the rooms, not even chocolate and treats left in the hall for them in trust – they will put their money in the saucer. I am really humble. I’ve had some gorgeous visitors this year since March to include the doggies.
It is of comfort that now the stealing has now stopped (I pray for good, I’ve been punished enough). I used to drink beer in bed just to sleep through the distrust and fear of being so alone. I’ve never been a thief, even when I had nothing. So I guess, it’s all part of learning that I have to be a bit more careful with my living space. No excuse is good enough for lies and stealing. It’s the lowest you can get and only for the sly and lazy.
I think when I was left to run a hotel on my own (through no fault of anyone) I for a while lost the will to carry on and any help was better than nothing. I became needy and was just grateful for the company. I didn’t care anymore. I couldn’t see my family. I had a bad spell with a voucher site who gave the hotel away, so just about anyone and everyone turned up and it was disappointing most just wanted to know how much they could get for nothing. Many even complaining they had to pay for car-parking and trams. Never known scroungers like it. They ran up my bills and complained about Blackpool in general. The free loaders of society. They cut me no slack and I had to not only give them a hot breakfast with all the extras but also an evening meal.
Yeah … I made it clear how I felt about being their slave but not one of the 300 vouchers (that’s almost 600 people) who crossed my path gave me my time back, instead squeezing every last free deal they could. Many even refusing to buy a drink from the bar, instead asking for tap water. It wasn’t the customers to blame, it was Groupon and their price structure. They exploited my lack of knowledge about such voucher sites and made 30% profit on all sales. It nearly destroyed me and the business. I soon realising the hard way that people are ‘not so nice’ as I had assumed. How quickly dignity can be replaced with a will to grab anything going for free, regardless of how it can destroy small, independent businesses. I often feel we live in a society where others assume a business is in a good position. Not the case, we’re carrying everyone around us. We get nothing for free!
I can recall last Christmas, being so shattered, I had one morning off from their free breakfasts as I was full of a bug and had a late night out with the girls. So … I put a sign on the restaurant explaining I was unwell and they would have to go out and buy their own breakfast. Most of them in turn took to TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is a site where anyone can leave a review regardless of whether the information is slanderous or accurate. You can even review a place by a phone call experience. You don’t even have to visit the target’s business, to leave a scathing lash out. So it’s of no surprise so many smaller businesses are nothing more than victims in waiting. It works for some people though, if you are prepared to suck eggs but I can’t. Although I do realise, I should try … I am just happier not to look at what people think as they are perfectly welcome to talk with me in person during their stay as a paying guest. To me, it’s not about good or bad feedback, it’s about using the system with integrity and telling the truth. We can learn from constructive criticism. There’s a thin line between revenge and contribution.
For 2020 I am going to make an effort to review more small businesses in particular. God only knows, we all need your help. We’re in a difficult economical wrangle. It’s such a shame. Please think before you set out to damage people just because you didn’t get your own way. Stand back and look at the good things you experienced during your visit. Perhaps you had great coffee, or a good shampoo at the salon. Say something positive. It’s contagious. Send out good vibes and not your own low opinion of a person. We can’t get on with everyone 24/7. We all have bad days, so hold back on your keyboards – it’s a coward’s way out for some of you.
Internet bullying is at a shameful high where direct debate is so often avoided. A cowards paradise. Fakers, pranksters and nutcases with too much spare time on their hands. But this could change – as surely these people are lacking in their own world of self discovery? Listen up! Each negative can become a positive. Anyone can get a hobby. There are groups and activities for just about everything. Lisa’s little girl is 13 and she’s become a Cadette in the RAF. She loves it. Not everyone’s idea of a hobby, but it’s hers and her parents are encouraging her freedom. She has gone in a simulator. She is having a go at all the activities and now she wants to be a fighter pilot. It’s her choice and she’s out there having a go. 13 years old! WOW! Let the children have a go and support them. Whether it’s saving the planet or splashing walls with paint, it’s their destiny, don’t hold them back just because you’ve made a mess of your own life. Be there to push your kids and help them shine in ways you may not be able to. Don’t push your failure onto the children. That’s just wicked and cruel. I believe everyone is good at something. And that something should not be to take what will never be yours.
Our future is about opportunity and each person has many good things awaiting them, when they realise they can let go of their obsessions and addictions to be free to explore the real world and all the wonderful things that come with it.
One of the best breaks I took this year was to Cheadle (Stoke on Trent). A wooden open spaced converted barn in the middle of a field, full of very happy freely roaming cattle. There was no internet there. I got so much done. I crafted videos. Finished my book and I edited photographs. I had lots to do and I returned home happy. For that time I felt safe.
You can all nest anywhere if you have an eye for cosiness. I’ve nested when I’ve been homeless. I’ll nest when I am doing okay. I will nest when I’m in the clouds, away from all the nasty stuff and floating with my bae, the glitter and flowers … chaos … (lol).
Life is a great trip. Be your own authentic self and get going with your own hobbies. It’s your crafts that will make you happy. Not solely in your head and on the internet. Do things that make a difference. Be kind and don’t take what isn’t yours. Earn your money. It is not my job or anyone else’s to make your life better. It is your work to do that. Nobody (including myself) owes you anything.
This week also, I want to send Danielle love because she is right in the middle of a gruelling degree in business. I had a read through her assignment and I would not know where to start. I may even take a degree myself next year, in business. My mum is 80 years old and she still goes to college. She is a designer and she upholsters. She loves to learn. My dad gets up and gets dressed each morning then does his garden. He is still active despite ill health. He has never stolen or gambled and I have never heard him swear. I had a few years apart from my family and I realised when we all got back on track, it’s about compromise and time.
I now have good advice around me from the people I love and if I want anymore, I will ask for it – I don’t go on Facebook much and I rarely read messages there. The Nester may seem fragmented the way I am doing things but that’s only because I have kept a lot of the design and interior work close to my chest for now, as I am trying to be professional. I am pleased with how things are going. I had the plans made back in March and they’ve been followed. It’s how it should be. As for the final touches … I am quirky. It’s my business and my own funding. I shall continue to do exactly as I please.
With regard to Golden Sands we do not take in walk-ins. A lesson learned. Women in business can be vulnerable targets. Nobody should feel afraid in the work place. Those who exploit good people are scum in my opinion. Golden Sands is a bed and breakfast in Blackpool and you can book your stay online using a credit or debit card. We do not do cash.
I am very proud of my sons. Both are making progress with their own plans that are founded in The Midlands with various projects. I don’t want them to worry about anything. I suppose it’s time for me to be the grown up now. I have love.
There are people on benefits who also make money elsewhere, I don’t feel any sympathy or obligation to add to their capital. I am about making it work for myself with all my own time and effort. I am not a cash cow. I am a conscientious, mature woman who just gets on with it. Be on your way. Just imagine how beautiful your life could be if you put all the energy you do into everyone else’s business, instead, towards your ‘own’. To be inspired and make progress for your own destiny. You will be surprised how much support you will get for being true to yourself. To relinquish yourself of your jealousy towards others and be your own superstar! Jealousy will screw you up from inside out. Look up to those who are trying and have a go too …
Finally thanks to Jim, Gee, Ryan, Brandon and Kevin for all the great work this week. Will address this separately as this site is just about me. hahaha. I do believe though, blogging is a great way to get it out there and to learn while you go.