Very kind of Peter Spence to flag up my blog on a brand new website called Factual Writers. I’ve recently been invited to join this group which comprises writers and publishers based in the south of England. I’m looking forward to the inaugural meeting. The group is on the lookout for more members so, if you are keen, feel free to contact Peter at email@example.com for further information.
This shot was taken at Itchenor where I met sailing instructor Ashley Hatton who runs the successful Chichester Harbour Turtles.
Accompanied by the lovely Merryn Young – a budding writer keen for some work experience – we headed to Itchenor Sailing Club for, what I thought would be a fairly straightforward interview. Not a bit of it!
Before we could say ‘dinghy ahoy’, we found ourselves precariously stepping into a little rowing boat with coffee cups, handbags and briefcase in hand where Ashley rowed us (in rather impressive style!) towards a beautiful wooden X-Boat for a wonderful morning sail towards Bosham. Ashley took the whole thing in his stride and, before I knew it, I actually found myself at the helm for a few minutes.
It was an exhilarating morning and, back on my comfort zone of dry land, I managed to interview Ashley for the forthcoming Chichester Harbour News & Guide.
If like me, you’re a bit of a nervous sailor, I’d definitely recommend a trip out with Ashley. He’s on 07863 567584.
As for Merryn, seemingly, our fun-filled morning has reinforced her ambition to become a writer and…I can only hope she enjoys her chosen career path as much as I have and still do!
One of the highlights was a trip to the stunningly beautiful St Brelade’s Bay where artist and businesswoman Tina Ellis-Brecknell runs a gem of a beach shack shop called Fish n’ Beads.
This little treasure trove sells all sorts including colourful beads where you can sit outside, get creative and drink in the wonderful view of the sweeping bay. Fish n’ Beads is also a great showcase for Tina’s striking artwork as well as pieces from other local artists.
Following a tip-off from another Jersey homeowner, I discovered that Tina lives right next door to her shop in a much-loved home that’s jam-packed with her art, upcycled furniture and accessories, plus plenty of special beach-combing finds.
Your Home magazine jumped at the chance of featuring Tina’s beachside property and, with loads of input and enthusiasm from both homeowner and talented Jersey-based photographer Gisela Olsson, the pair pulled together to produce some stunning results.
To read the full feature, click here.
You can contact Tina at Fish n’ Beads on 01534 742348.
Click here for more information about Gisela Olsson where you can also read her blog about the Your Home shoot.
I have to confess that I’ve never really watched much sport on the TV before but now… well, I’m just as hooked as everyone else I have talked to.
Seeing the cyclists doing their thing in such style made me think about innovative businesswoman Christina Simons, who recently introduced ‘pedal power’ to her award-winning B&B Cottage Lodge, located in Brockenhurst in the beautiful New Forest.
The eco innovation takes the form of a specially-adapted former hire bicycle that’s been placed in one of the bedrooms. When guests are feeling energetic, they can simply hop on and start pedalling to generate enough electricity to power the television and get fit at the same time. Don’t worry, though, if you’re not feeling up to the challenge, photovoltaic cells on the roof can step in to take the strain!
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and writing about Christina, whose passion for her business and its wealth of green features is contagious.
The feature has been kindly flagged up in Anna-Lisa De’Ath’s Welcome column in the September/October issue of an exciting new magazine entitled LandLove that is on the shelves now.
For more information about Cottage Lodge, or to make a booking, contact 01590 622296 or view www.cottagelodge.co.uk
Watching the children singing their hearts out at the astonishing Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland was particularly poignant for me during Friday night’s spectacular opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.
Seeing this magical natural phenomenon in all its glory reminded me, not just of many happy hours spent playing on the basalt columns as a child, but also of a feature I wrote a while ago for Coast about Caroline Robb’s stunning home on Northern Ireland’s wonderful Antrim Coast.
During our interview, Caroline happened to mention that she’d struggled to find beautiful accessories for her own house which is located between Portrush and Portstewart.
One thing led to another and, soon after our cosy chat, Caroline launched Causeway Coast Lifestyle – an online business selling contemporary home accessories and stylish gifts inspired both by the Antrim Coast and other parts of this beautiful country.
Bizarrely, while visiting family in my native Northern Ireland a few weeks ago, I bumped into Caroline at Portrush’s popular Ramore Restaurant. A quick catch-up revealed that Causeway Coast Lifestyle is thriving and the entrepreneur is thoroughly enjoying her change of career. You can check out her range by visiting www.causewaycoastlifestyle.com
Just back from an amazing couple of days in Dorset soaking up the heady atmosphere as Weymouth & Portland prepare to host the 2012 Olympics. The excitement in the air is tangible and there’s a real feel-good factor, with the added bonus of glistening blue seas, bright sunshine and spectacular coastline. I had a fab time with some friends and even managed to squeeze in a little work amongst the revelling. If you’re heading in that direction for the Dorset Olympic experience, I reckon you are in for a treat.
Ahhh! Just had a totally unexpected second or two of fame having been mistaken for part of the Olympic Torch cavalcade! After cycling to see the torch passing through Chichester, my husband and I (wearing full-on fluorescent jackets) started pedalling behind the procession heading towards nearby Oaklands Park, only to find the crowd starting to cheer and wave – at us!
Twigging what was happening, I swiftly leapt off my bike and, having had my slightly awkward moment to shine, quickly mingled into the melee of equally soaked but happy onlookers.
The incident reminded me of Jesse Loynes – an inspirational boat-builder – who is experiencing not just a moment to shine but a whole year!
I met Jesse last week during an interview for the forthcoming Chichester Harbour News & Guide – a publication that I thoroughly enjoy writing for.
Jesse, who runs Arbor Yachts Ltd, at Thornham Marina, has been deeply involved with the fascinating Boat Project in conjunction with the Cultural Olympiad. Billed as ‘a living archive of people’s stories and lives’, this 30ft vessel, named Collective Spirit has been lovingly constructed from donated wooden items – each with its own very special story.
Collective Spirit has been built by Jesse, and his dedicated colleagues plus dozens of enthusiastic volunteers, all led by Olympic sailor Mark Covell.
Collective Spirit is currently sailing along the south coast of England in the run-up to the Olympics. It will arrive at the sailing venue in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset, in time for the Games.
Meanwhile, Jesse and his team are working flat out to build the first Arbor 26 – a four-berth high-performance cruising yacht designed by internationally-renowned Rogers Yacht Design and inspired by Collective Spirit.
You’ll be able to see both this sleek new yacht and Collective Spirit at this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show which runs from September 14-23.
The Clodes are a super fun-loving couple and have worked hard to create this idyllic cottage situated in Emsworth, Hampshire, right on the edge of Chichester Harbour.
It was a pleasure to write about this unique cottage that’s been transformed with the help of West Sussex-based architectural designer Jane Mottershead.
Lavant-based interior designer Becca Mousley of J & B Interiors worked closely with Lorraine to create this delightful home where photographer Brent Darby and I were made to feel more than welcome.
For more information about Jane Mottershead click here
To find out more about J & B Interiors click here
Whether you are two or 102, if you love nature or just fancy switching off and unwinding for a while, I’d thoroughly recommend visiting Lordington Lavender on the outskirts of Chichester. Lordington Lavender is running a series of open days from now until Sunday, July 8 between 10am and 4pm. It’s the ideal opportunity to explore this colourful haven for wildlife and our own little corner of Provence, here in West Sussex.
The £2.50 entrance fee is going to charity and children under the age of 16 are free. Refreshments are available and, if the lady who made the lavender cake happens to read this, thank you very much – it was delicious!
For more information about Lordington Lavender click here
I reckon ferryman Andy Larsen has to be one of the hardest-working blokes in Chichester Harbour. The genial Andy runs a busy ferry service stretching along the Itchenor reach to the Bosham channel from April to the end of October and he’s there come rain, hail or shine. Andy’s passengers range from commuters to walkers and cyclists who are all out exploring the delights of this truly magical area. I’m a huge fan of the ‘Itchy Bosom’ ferry and thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Andy for the Coast Character slot in the August issue of Coast magazine that’s out now. Big thanks to Andy for his time and to the lovely talented photographer Claire Lloyd Davies for her super shot on page 15 of the magazine.
To find out more about the ferry service ring Andy on 0797 037 8350 or click here for further information.
For more details about Claire Lloyd Davies click here.