It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Part Three

christmas-music-ikztocsg

Hello there!

Welcome to the last instalment of ‘The most wonderful time of the year!’ with my twelve top tips for Christmas!

 Ninth Day of Christmas – festive fun and fundraising

 Now I know I wanted to plug all things local, but I could not resist mentioning the Southbank Centre which includes the Royal festival Hall, Jubilee Gardens, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery. Unfortunately Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery are closed until 2017, but it is still worth a visit, as there is always so much going on.

The Southbank Centre’s What’s On magazine details the upcoming events such as Bump Roller Disco, which runs through to January and is part of the ‘Join us this winter’ section. There are several fun events for all the family, and the best part is, many of the activities are raising money for charity. Rebecca Ferguson joins the Huawei winter concert in support of The Prince’s Trust. Some of the other fabulous events include a dance marathon, a zumbathon, a charity fashion show, a charity auction, a sing for a supper karaoke and much more.

From the 1st through to the 12th of December, the Southbank Centre are having 12 Days of Giving with Waterloo Food Bank, where each day non- perishable food can be donated to them for local families in need. The websites gives more information about which items can be donated, on particular days.

So if you cannot get hold of a copy of their events magazine or for more information on everything I have mentioned, see, www.southbankcentre.co.uk/ and click on the What’s On section.

 Tenth Day of Christmas – looking after yourself and looking out for others.

No one wants to be ill at Christmas, but if you are, what help is available? Well, my first port of call would be www.nhs.uk NHS Choices, where you can look up advice or search for the nearest pharmacy.

You could of course be super-efficient and ask your local chemist for their Christmas opening times and make a note just in case.

Lloyds Pharmacy have some stores open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but the nearest one I could find that is open on Boxing Day is in Romford. See, https://www.lloydspharmacy.com/en/info/christmas-opening-hours.

 If you are concerned about elderly neighbours and are not sure how you can help, Age UK is a brilliant charity which offers some good advice and assistance. They have a freephone helpline number and will direct you to a local branch. See www.ageuk.org.uk for all the information.

Eleventh Day of Christmas – Recipe for a delicious Christmas

I know I mentioned food with friends on the fourth day, but that was in relation to eating out and buying food, but what about actually making something yourself.

My first choice when looking for a recipe on the internet is the BBC’s Good Food Guide. It is a magazine and advertises for subscriptions, but it is still a great resource. With clear instructions, details about recommended daily allowances, easy to navigate information from ingredients through to where to buy, it is a must for all cooks; be they experienced or novice. See www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/category/christmas for inspiring Christmas food ideas to suit all budgets. There is also more from the BBC at: www.bbc.co.uk/food/occasions/christmas.

Want to try something different and impress your friends and family? Well, aroundtheworldin80bakes.com/…/27-jamaican-black-rum-cake-the-most, has the recipe for Jamaican fruit cake, and other cake recipes from around the globe.

I found a beautifully laid out website: https://www.bakingmad.com/theme/christmas-recipes which makes me want to grab my apron and jump in the kitchen.

Lastly, here are a couple of websites for well-known household names:

www.jamieoliver.com/christmas and www.nigella.com/recipes/Christmas

 Twelfth Day of Christmas – If music be the food of Love, play on. William Shakespeare- Twelfth Night.

So I started this special blog with Andy Williams and the Twelve Days of Christmas, so how fitting is it to end with a music quote from Twelfth Night on the twelfth day. See what I did there?

Okay so to start this whistle-stop tour of the best or worst (depending on your taste) Christmas Music.

As you can imagine there are several lists of top Christmas songs, so I have just chosen a few number ones, and a few websites.

Fairytale in New York with Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues seemed to top many of the polls, see http://www.independent.co.uk › Culture › Music › News, musicradar.com and mirror.co.uk.

Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song was top of the poll on top40.about.com › … › Holiday Music › Christmas Music

Of course Wizzard, Wham and Band Aid are played every year, everywhere you go, and also feature in the polls. If you want a head start for the annual Christmas Quiz, have a look at, https://en.wikipedia.org/…/List_of_Christmas_hit_singles_in_the_United…

As Frank Sinatra sang in My Way, ‘And now the end is near and so I face the final curtain…..’ Yes, reluctantly I am at the end of a mammoth jolt through ‘Christmas.’ I hope that you have enjoyed reading these blogs as much as I have enjoyed researching and writing them.

I hope you will join me again.

Take Care,

 

Tricia

 

 

 

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Part Two

images

Hi there!

Welcome to the next instalment of ‘The most wonderful time of the year!’ and my twelve top tips for Christmas. Just a month to go, so here goes….

Fifth and Sixth Day of Christmas – The Reason for the Season.

Celebrating Christmas with friends and family – If you are after a traditional feel for Christmas, and want to be reminded of what Christmas really means, there are plenty of carol concerts and nativity plays in London.

To support a local traditional carol concert, see www.fortyhallestate.co.uk/whats-on/events/carols_for_christmas. More information about this and other local events can be found in Enfield Winter Festival magazine. Pick up a copy from any Enfield Library.

Want to travel into Central London?

Time Out London have an good list of Carol services ranging from the unusual, Carols for Animals- in aid of International Animal Rescue through to traditional/Candlelight Services all fundraising for good causes. For the full list of these and other events, see http://www.timeout.com/london/…/the-ten-best-classical-christmas-concerts-in.

Want to worship in spectacular settings in London? See http://www.londontown.com › London Features › Christmas in London 2015, with listings for St Pauls, The Royal Albert Hall and Southwark Cathedral.

You don’t have to be a visitor to London to use the official guide to all things London. Visit London lists all musical genres as well as traditional/classical. See ww.visitlondon.com/tag/Christmas-carols-and-concerts.

Premier Christian Radio hosts their own traditional Carol concert at Methodist Central Hall see, http://www.premier.org.uk/Events.

Can’t get enough of the carol singing then see, http://www.londontown.com › London Features › Christmas in London 2015

You simply cannot have Christmas without a nativity play. If you are the parent of school-age children, you will already be looking forward to seeing your little darlings in their costumes. Well, if  you miss out on the school plays, there are always church nativities. Check individual churches in Enfield for special services and times.  To get you started here are a few:

St Andrews, Silver Street, Enfield, have a communion service followed by their nativity on the 20th of December 2015. See,  www.standrewsenfield.com, for a full list of their Christmas services.

Christ Church United Reformed Church, Chase Side, Enfield have their Christmas Nativity as part of the morning family service on the 13th of December 2015.

Seventh and Eighth Day of Christmas – Rest

You’ve taken part in concerts, you’ve shopped and you’ve eaten out, now take time out of all that busy-ness and chill out. So how can you relax? Watch some Christmas movies, of course.

Now I personally think that the old ones are the best, so, It’s a wonderful life, made in 1946 with James Stewart and Donna Reed, would be at the top spot.

I do however appreciate that my choices are not going to be everyone else’s cup of tea, so I need some help.

As well as It’s a Wonderful Life, the following movies seem to be popular on at least three lists on the internet. So the nominations for the best Christmas movies are:

The Bishops Wife, made in 1947, and stars Cary Grant and Loretta Young.

A Christmas Carol, both the 1951 and the 2009 version.

A miracle on 34th Street, the 1947 and 1994 versions.

Trading Places made in 1983 with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy.

Holiday Inn made in 1942 and the follow up movie White Christmas (1951) with Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby.

A Muppets Christmas Carol made in 1992 with of course Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang.

For more nostalgia, see editorial.rottentomatoes.com/guide/best-Christmas-movies/ or www.nerve.com/…/ranked-the-100-best-christmas-movies-of-all-time or www.amc.com/movie-guide/christmas-movies.

I hope you have enjoyed these ‘days’ and I look forward to you joining me again for the last of the special blogs on Christmas.

 

Take care,

 

Tricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Part One

12Days-1

Hi there!

It’s that time of the year, as Andy Williams croons, – ‘The most wonderful time of the year!’

In this, the first of three special blogs I will be writing about all things ‘Christmas.’

Now what do you think The Twelve Days of Christmas is all about? We may all be familiar with partridges and milk maids, but did you know that this is actually a carol?  According to the Catholic News Agency:

‘The song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an English Christmas carol. From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the Church.’ For more see, www.catholicnewsagency.com › … › Advent › Customs and Traditions.

Well, if that is the case I hope that my twelve top tips aren’t too frivolous and that we will all remember that there is actually more to Christmas than parties and presents, as nice as they are.

First Day of Christmas – Socialising with work colleagues or friends.

Organising a get together for work colleagues or friends- at the time of  going to press, there were still places available for a party which looks set to be a great night. Odessey Greek Band’s Greek Christmas is on Saturday the 5th of December 2015. Odessey seem to be  a busy band, who play all year round, so check the website for more information on their Greek Christmas and other upcoming events at:  www.OdesseyGreekBand.com.

Another great night out awaits you, in the form of the Pan Nation Winter Concert, on Saturday the 12th of December 2015. This is another event in Tottenham, and is a showcase for the talented Steel Band –Pan Nation. See pan-nation.co.uk, for more information and to check availability as tickets are selling fast.

If these two don’t get you in a party mood, then you need to check your pulse! If parties are really  aren’t your thing, read this article from the Telegraph:

Hate work Christmas parties? Here’s why it might still be worth –http://www.telegraph.co.uk › Finance › Jobs

The Second Day of Christmas – spending time with family or friends.

Okay, so you are not convinced about parties. Well there are some great shows and concerts on in Enfield. Remember we are now in Panto “Oh no it isn’t!” Season  at Millfield Theatre and shows such as the Christmas Tales children production, featuring the fantastic Chicken Shed theatre is at the Dugdale Centre. Next week will feature carol concerts in Enfield and Central London. For everything local worth seeing now, check  out : http://www.enfield.gov.uk/millfield.

 The Third Day of Christmas –thinking of those close to you.

Buying something to show your love for your work colleagues, friends or family –If you want to buy gifts but don’t want the hassle of travelling to the West End, why not shop local? The ever popular site www.loveyourdoorstep.com has such a wide range of businesses and products that you are bound to find something for everyone.

Fancy something personalised?  Why not try K Creative Ltd, a local family run business that specialises in personalised embroidery. See http://www.kcreative.co.uk/ for more information.

The Fourth Day of Christmas – Festive Food with friends.

Food is for sharing – If you are not going to a Christmas party but want a meal with colleagues or friends, why not try one of the many local pubs, bars or restaurants in the area. Love Your Doorstep has listings of places to suit all tastes.

Want  to stock up on food for the Festive period? Check out www.weloveenfield.com or www.connectdirect.org to find shops that conveniently offer delivery to your home or office.

If you are looking for fresh produce, email info@thesidingsn21.co.uk, to find out details  about their Farmers Market in Winchmore Hill, which is usually at the Ridings on Sundays.

Please note that I cannot vouch for all the information held on websites, nor have I used all the services I have listed. As I always say, do your research, this is a only a guide.

Thanks for joining me for the first ‘four’ days of Christmas, see you next week for tmore ‘days.’

 

Take Care.

Tricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net-works Part Two

networking

Hi there!

In Part One, I mentioned a mini networking meeting last Wednesday, held at the Lets Go! Business Hub, in which the subject matter was networking. Well, the Let’s Go! Business Hub at Enterprise Enfield will be launching a new network called Link 4 Growth on the 27th of November 2015. Speak to them for more information regarding this.

So although we can network or socialise and make casual connections with people through everyday encounters, organised networks can range in style and price. Some are informal in their set up and others almost military. Prices for their upfront fee and weekly/monthly subscriptions also vary from network to network.

It really is a case of doing your research and finding the one that is right for you and your business.

The two local networks that Comas of Sylvaoak Apps mentioned as having experience of were More Business Network and WeNetwork.

For WeNetwork run by MelTadhunter, their meetings cost £10 to attend, if you are a member, and £15 for non-members. The price includes refreshments. They meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 6.15pm to 8.30pm at Enfield Business Centre.

More Business Network (MBN), again organised by the founder Mel Tadhunter, see

www.morebusinessnetwork.co.uk. They meet every other Thursday from 9.30am to 11.30am at Millfield House, in Edmonton, London.

For more information about these and other local networks, see, www.enterpriseenfield.org.

So what are the advantages of networking?

According to amazingbusiness.com in the article, The top-9-benefits-of-business-networking are:

  • Generation of referrals/increased business
  • Opportunities
  • Connections
  • Advice
  • Raising your profile
  • Positive Influence
  • Increased confidence
  • Satisfaction from helping others
  • Friendship

Also according to http://www.michaelpage.com, in an article called benefits-networking, the advantages are:

  • Fresh Ideas
  • Strengthening Relationships
  • Raised Profile
  • Access To Opportunities
  • New Information
  • Advice and Support

For more details, see the respective websites.

So what are the disadvantages of networking?

Now, a search on the internet shows that there many articles concerning advantages of networking and even a video professing to highlight advantages and disadvantages can only come up with ‘stigma’ as a disadvantage.

Abandoning my search on the internet for any negatives, I can suggest one important factor which I believe may hold back a small or start-up business, and that is the cost.

As UK Business Forum states, it is difficult to get a clear idea about the true cost of networking, so as I said earlier, you have to do some more research for yourself. For a general idea I have included the following links:

http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk › … › General Business Forum – answering questions mainly about BNI (Business Network International).

www.cobaltaccountancy.co.uk/a-second-headline – a personal example from 2011.

The word net means something used to catch, so I guess in this respect (networking works) hence, net-works! If you want to be in a community where you feel that you are held/supported then maybe it is a worthwhile investment.

If you are unable to be part of an organised network, due to financial constraints, then continue to  try to meet people the organic way through face to face encounters, talking to those around you, attending one- off networking events at places like the British Library/Business Shows and through online networks.

How you network is really up to you and you should not be forced to make a decision that you are not comfortable with. Whatever you do, make sure that you ask lots of questions before you sign up to an organised network and, of course, continue to do that all important -research!

Take care and best wishes in your endeavours,

Tricia

Net- Works? Part One

networking

Hello there!

Welcome to November.

We are fast approaching Christmas and for some, it is party season. This of course means more socialising. Mixing with people who you may not know very well won’t  be everyone’s cup of tea, but what if you are a business person? They say never mix business with pleasure, so is networking a pleasure or a pain and can this really be classed as socialising?

I attend the InterAction meetings at the Let’s Go! Business hub at Enterprise Enfield and in the week, Comas Sylvans, a mobile app developer spoke about networking. On his company’s Facebook page he previously wrote:

‘Networking is the best form of socialising while discussing business at the same time. It’s FREE to attend as a visitor.’ See https://www.facebook.com/SylvaoakApps.

So is this a good way of viewing networking? With a quick search of the internet about 558,000,000 results came up. This is obviously a major topic, but what is the definition of networking?

According to Wikipedia:

‘Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities.’

This activity that Wikipedia refers to can happen on and off -line and there are thousands of networking events and groups up and down the country. These include some of the following:

  • Small business networking
  • Speed networking
  • Breakfast networking
  • Black networking
  • Local business networking

These are all organised groups, yet in the meeting with Cosmas, we all agreed that networking does not only apply to structured organisations, but in many instances to the people that we meet every day.

At a networking event I attended at The British Library, life/business coach and author of Soul Trader – Putting the Heart Back into Your Business, Rasheed Ogunlaru, spoke about the networking circles that we have amongst our friends, family and former work colleagues, to mention a few. This free event was refreshingly different to the usual run of the mill networking events. Rasheed Ogunlaru holds other events/seminars, for which there is a charge. For business related events and to check when the next networking event is, see www.bl.uk/business-and-ip-centre.

There are other networking events which are free, like the one at The British Library and those held at business shows (which I have attended) as well as on- line networks like the Guardian Small Business Network (see, What’s the Hub -abaloo? blog dated 8th August 2015.)

I have not even begun to scratch the service of this huge topic, and neither can this be addressed within both parts of blog. However, in Part Two, I will mention a few networks in Enfield, just so that you get a taster of what is available and see whether they do actually work.

Until next time, take care.

Tricia