When I am old…

… I shall drink purple. This is called a Black Jack, a rum-based cocktail at Alchemist in Leeds. Pour over the ice, then squirt something out of a syringe onto it. Meh.

Sheffield Snow

View from the office.

(You can tell it’s Sheffield because of the tram.)

Sign in my hotel

For want of a letter, the meaning was lost…

Scrubbing up for PRide

With sincere apologies to Simon Baylis, who was cropped out of this image by the photographer before uploading. I look good though.

Me at the PRide Awards Dinner in 2017.


Watching the Brexit press conference yesterday reminded me that I was in that very room for a couple of Midday Briefings, complete with headphones and simultaneous translations, in September 2005 when I was on the PG Dip in Public Communications at Leeds Trinity University. Here’s the proof (yes, the seat colours and my taste in ties haven’t changed).

Me at a Midday Briefing in the Berlaymont, Brussels, 2005.
Me at a Midday Briefing in the Berlaymont, Brussels, 2005.

Election night special

Separated at birth…

Garden gate

Had to take this shot when I went round my mum’s earlier today – a frost-covered spider’s web on her front gate.

Frosty spider’s web on my mum’s front garden gate.

Then and now

I was fortunate to have a ‘golden ticket’ to tonight’s Leeds Trinity University 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner, and took the opportunity to have this photo taken, recreating one I did a little over 27 years ago at the Going Down Ball in Harrogate, 1989. Still got it.

Me in 2016
Me in 2016
Me in 1989
Me in 1989

Chart. PR presentation

Rob Brown presenting me with my Chartership certificate.
Rob Brown presenting me with my Chartership certificate.

At the end of last night’s Yorkshire & Lincolnshire AGM, Rob Brown, President of the Chartered Institute for 2016, presented me with my Chartered PR Practitioner certificate. And I *still* couldn’t raise a smile.

Photo by Jermaine Sanwoolu MCIPR

A photographic morning

We’re very short on new / owned images of south Leeds for the A3 leaflet to go with the opening of the new Leeds Station Southern Entrance in January. So I’ve been out and about this morning. I don’t really do ‘arty’ but this would be a good Desktop photo…

Leeds Station Southern Entrance
View of the upper floor and roofline of Leeds Station Southern Entrance


Let the panic begin!
Let the panic begin!

New client launch party

Yes, I do get to go out once in a while.

Sophie (l), Sammie (r) and me in the middle, letting it all hang out.
Sophie (l), Sammie (r) and me in the middle, letting it all hang out.

Saturday 9 March saw the press launch party of SW1 Management, a fab ‘n’ groovy new model & events management company, co-Directored by Sophie Walton (ex-Leeds United Ladies, now with Lincoln Ladies).

It’s a shame that the person taking the photo for me couldn’t manage to maintain focus for a few seconds… I like to think I have that effect on women, but truth be told it was a bit dark in Paipa VIP by that time!

Anyway, it was a fun – and brief – time creating the site for them. Still one or two issues to sort out, but they are/were great people to work with, who knew exactly what they wanted and weren’t afraid to change their minds the night before the launch… oh dear.

Surviving PRide

Me, Lucy and lots of unclaimed awards.

Well, I just about survived PRide this year!

It’s the big event in the PR diary regionally, and always a lot of fun – if you remember to moderate your alcohol intake…

This year – as last year – I got to present the Award to the Communicator of the Year. Unlike last year though, there were four winners; Nicola Adams, Jess Ennis, Sophie Wells and Seb Coe. Also unlike last year, none of the winners were there… which is why Lucy and I can be seen with all the uncollected Awards.

All being well, I’ll be Chair of the Group for the next two Awards and I am thoroughly looking forward to it.

Perks of the job

Me, Megan and Shirley.
Me, Megan and Shirley.

One of the more pleasant duties as 2IC CIPR Y&L is that I get to stand in for the Chair when they’re not available. Last year it was at the PRide Awards Dinner; this year I got to present the medal to the best student on the BA Public Relations course at Leeds Metropolitan University. By amazing good fortune she happened to be the person who was Trophy Assistant at the Awards Dinner – handy, when it came to making a short speech I wasn’t warned I had to give.

The presentation was on 27 July and a copy of the photo came through today. I’m the one on the left.

Stepping up for PRide

Me and this year's PRide MC, ITV Calendar's Christine Talbot.
Me and this year’s PRide MC, ITV Calendar’s Christine Talbot.

On the way to Northern Conference earlier this month, Deborah (Y&L Group Chair) casually mentioned that she had a work engagement on the same evening as PRide, which meant I’d have to step up and make the opening remarks.

Two week’s notice!

Actually, not that difficult. I mean, standing on stage in front of 300-ish already slightly merry PR people wasn’t an issue, I just wanted to make sure I said everything that needed to be said. Which I think I did. And it was good practice for when I’m Chair (all being well) in 2013 & 2014.

I still seem to be having trouble smiling for photos though…

Best advice? Or worst?

Steve says... WTF?
Gary says… WTF?

Peaks 3, Sheep… several thousand, probably

Well, the ‘kids’ were tackling the Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales this weekend. Camping over last night, then starting at 8am this morning.

Not me, of course; I got the train out of Leeds just before 11am, with the intention of meeting them for lunch near Inglebrough an hour or so later. Naturally, the train was late, and I caught up with them just as they were heading out onto the second peak, but still managed to hand over the camera and new camcorder, then find the minibus which was looking after the first set of retirees. Which then headed off to The Old Hill Inn, for lunch, a few beers and a wait to meet them off the second hill, before going back into Horton-in-Ribblesdale and waiting for the intrepid explorers to do the final hill.

Now, that’s *my* idea of hill-walking!

Cadets at the top of peak 3.
Cadets at the top of peak 3.


Back now from my nephew’s christening (well, one of the nephews, anyway).

Brother David and Nephew Ollie.
Brother David and Nephew Ollie.