Thursday, 20 December 2007

Brand name copy anyone?

If you’re looking for an alternative to Google News over a lunchtime sandwich try Word of the Day on my website courtesy of This week I’ve enjoyed ‘pari passu’ meaning at ‘equal step’ and am desperate to use it somewhere.

The idea is to step out side your comfort zone and be inspired by new language. Hey I’m not advocating words that can’t be understood. As a commercial writer, I’m well schooled in keeping it simple, but the odd foray into the unknown and unclich├ęd is good for the soul. Another of my favourite words was in the news recently ‘chromophobia’ – a book and a film, but 5 years ago just a word I loved because it had brand name written all over it. My plan? To develop a fabulous website selling only black and white gifts and accessories. I’ve just checked and the dot com domain is for sale. Brand name anyone?

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Fairytale of fine language

How crazy that Radio 1 has banned some of the lyrics of the fabulous ballad Fairytale of New York. As a copywriter I love (and always have loved) the power and energy of song lyrics. This ballad has such beauty and pathos and its earthy language plays a huge part. There's nothing like belting out a bit of Kirsty and Shane on Christmas Day after a few glasses of fizz, don't you think? I'm not advocating bad language, it's just that powerful words sung with passion lift the spirits. It all began for me by writing out The Jam lyrics in my rough book in Mrs Smith’s Maths class. This was so that me and my best friend Jackie could seamlessly impress the mods and scooter boys at youth club on a Friday night. Almost 25 years later (how scary) it's the Arctic Monkeys who move me most with their cute and clever wordsmithery. I love their witty urban poetry and gritty story telling. Or is it that their portrait of growing up in Sheffield in the ‘00’s transports me to the Middlesbrough of my youth? OK, the rough book's been replaced by the iPod but seeing them live made me feel 15 again!

Monday, 17 December 2007

Sad News

I heard this week that Adam died. His Dad popped round to see me today. He was keeping busy thanking people who'd helped fundraise for Adam's treatment which sadly didn't work. How brave and kind. Because I'd used this Blog to raise awareness and to help fundraise I have no idea what is the right thing to do. I didn't know whether I should remove the previous entries. For now I'd just like to say how incredibly sad we feel for Adam's family, his girlfriend and many friends especially at this time of year. They did everything they possibly could.

Monday, 3 December 2007

A story of inspiration...

Spending a very rare Sunday morning in bed with a cup of tea and a good book has to be one of life’s greatest luxuries. My old friend and copywriting colleague Philip Caveney is about to follow his much celebrated first children’s novel, ‘Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools’ with the second in the series, ‘Sebastian Darke: Prince of Pirates’ to be gracing bookshops in February 2008. Having been lucky enough to receive one of the first editions of ‘Prince of Fools’, I’d say if the children don’t love them you certainly will. Look out too for a new series; Alec Devlin whose first adventure, ‘Eye of the Serpent’, is out in paperback in July 2008. You can read a tantalising snippet on Phil’s website. Whilst there you can also find out how a talented copywriter became a successful novelist. There’s hope for me yet!

Pushing the right buttons…

One of my fellow freelancers, Ashley Taylor, has just started his own dedicated screen media studio in Rasen specialising in 3D graphics, multimedia and websites. Following 10 years with a full service agency in Grimsby, Ash has decided to go it alone and also offers top quality film and video editing and photography. Ash can do some truly amazing things with CGI to really take your website to the next level. So if you think of any really challenging applications that you can’t photograph or think how to illustrate then please contact me for more info on what Ash can do. I’d be delighted to give you a personal introduction.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Make a difference today

When I read about Adam's illness in the Rasen Mail (see below) I contacted another ex-Tealby resident (now a very wealthy man) through a close business colleague. Last Thursday I picked up a lovely phone message committing their support and received an email yesterday appealing to their influential business colleagues and clients to do the same. Doesn't that just restore your view in human nature? Although these guys are hugely busy and have incredibly stressful positions, they've taken time out to help. There are plenty of truly good people around, you just have to raise awareness. So with that in mind please take a look at Adam's site and donate if you can.

We never know what's around the corner, do we? I for one, would like to give before I have to ask. What about you?

Appealing for Adam

Many years ago when I lived in Tealby, we had a wonderful postman called Ken Griffin. Being a rural community, his role was far more than just delivering the post. He genuinely cared about everyone and looked out for the vulnerable and elderly. Being an ex-business man, he always made sure we got our post early and once caught me as I collapsed on the doorstep signing for Special Ds! He and his wife Sue called my neighbours to check I was OK as they were worried about me! I'd been drinking champagne but that's another story!

Every day when Ken called into the studio he used to update us on his son Adam's latest adventures as he treked around the globe. All this time he was working hard to convert his home into a B&B where my parents spent many an enjoyable stay when we didn't have a spare bedroom.

The Griffins are wonderful people who make a difference to a lot of people's lives. That's why I was so sad to hear that Adam was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in October 2006 at the age of just 29. As the efficacy of his chemotherapy diminishes, the drug ‘Erbitux’ is his only hope. It's not available on the NHS, only privately at £55,000 for a 3 month course of treatment. His family and friends have started a fundraising campaign and website. If funds are not used or part used then the remaining funds will go to Bowel Cancer UK.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Botanical Beauty

If you're ever in Horncastle as well as doing the rounds of antiques and junks shops, you must visit this wonderful place, the Sir Joseph Banks Centre in Horncastle. If you love old properties, it's a stunning renovation in its own right, but it also sells lovely eclectic pottery, much of which is planted up with cacti and indoor plants, plus botanical arwork created by local learning disabled adults as part of Linkage Community Trust. This photo shows me in the tranquil walled garden at the back, where larger plants are available for sale, grown and potted to bring in an income for the trust. It is all so tastefully and beautifully done you've got to support it. I found a fabulous, reglazed green teapot brimming with 'Mind Your Own Business' for just £6. It looks perfect on a polished elm wooden windowsill in my new loo. I can't wait to go again.

Monday, 20 August 2007

The Best Things in Life...

Are definitely FREE. After a particularly stressful day, I came home to a surprise from my wonderful daughter and partner. They had found this very old stoneware bottle in the river (no doubt washed free of its hiding place by the heavy rains) and filled it with some handpicked flowers and foliage from the garden, disguising a broken top. One of the nicest presents I've ever had.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Tealby's finest Lincolnshire sausages

The lovely thing about living in Lincolnshire is that so many great traditions remain unchanged. One of my favourite places to shop is Leaning's of Tealby just up the road from my office. You are assured of a warm welcome from Ian who makes the most wonderful Lincolnshire sausages to the same authentic recipe since 1860. The shop is pretty much unchanged too, so well worth a visit. Or if you want a real Taste of Lincolnshire delivered to your door you can buy them online or call Ian for a chat on 01673 838205 to find out a bit more about their considerable reputation.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

River Rase in full spate

River Rase in full spate
Originally uploaded by sarahlamballe

Monday was a pretty worrying day. In addition to all the usual deadlines pre-school was shut, the childminder's flooded and the river at the back of our house was rising ominously. Luckily our part of the riverbank is landscaped with green oak boards which protected the soil from eroding. Having had such a near miss (fingers crossed - it's dropped a lot now), I feel so sorry for those who haven't been so lucky

Thursday, 7 June 2007

All new to me

Back from a fabulous holiday in Croyde Bay, North Devon with my daughter. Highlights for us included lunch at The Quay in Ilfracombe which has great eclectic cushions, vivid butterfly wallpaper and Damien Hirst artwork. The olives were great, but Maisie found it more of a visual feast.

Whilst there read an enjoyable publication called The Source devoted to eco issues. Amazed how many more eco choices there appear to be in the SW. But wondering how does that all sit with putting all your unsorted rubbish up in a big black sack to be collected from the huge number of holiday homes? I hope someone is sorting it back at the depot!


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