It's a Wonderful Life…

…isn't it…?

2012 in review January 1, 2013

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 8:37 pm

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


My night as a fashionista with Love Is Boutique December 2, 2012

My apologies, once again, for a prolonged absence, dear readers, it’s been rather a hectic month or two and I simply haven’t been able to squeeze in blogging at the same time.

I was delighted at being contacted on Twitter by the lovely owner of Love Is Boutique to ask if I would be interested in attending their Press and Bloggers night on the 29th November?! Of course I said yes immediately and eagerly anticipated the delights in store – I do rather like something shiny and sparkly – whilst hiding my credit card (just in case, of course).

Having never been to the boutique before I was completely unsure what to expect so decided to take a friend along with me for moral support (and restraint). Having battled the usual Tunbridge Wells “rush hour”

Press and Bloggers Night at Love Is Boutique

Press and Bloggers Night at Love Is Boutique

(a.k.a every hour) traffic we parked at the Trinity Theatre which is just 500 yards down the road from the boutique. We walked past the shop at first and then doubled back, having caught a glimpse of their fairytale front window display. Pushing open the entrance door our entrance was not marked by the sound of a bell but by a cheery hello and welcome. We were handed a glass of bubbly each (win), our coats were politely stored by the hostesses and we were invited to explore the four different rooms and try on whatever we fancied. I was interested to understand the reasons for the press night and the ladies explained that they were relaunching the store to head more in the direction of pre loved designer rather than simply vintage finds.

We took the invite to explore and play as literally as it was intended and delved right into the Aladdin’s Cave of treasures. Whilst I may not be able to differentiate between the stylings of Blahnik and Vuitton I could definitely find some gorgeous pieces: and not all

of them would require me to disgrace myself financially, in fact, I would say that there was something to fit most fashionista budgets. Honestly I can say that once I realised one of our hostesses had worked for a big name in the fashion industry and I was the least fashion savvy person in attendance I expected a little bit of disdain towards my lack of label awareness: I couldn’t have been more wrong. We were made to feel very welcome and our hostesses emphasised their policy of not allowing a lady to leave their shop wearing something that didn’t look a million dollars on them (irrespective of the price tag).

I also found my stance on real fur vs. faux fur somewhat challenged by the concept of a vintage fur as opposed to a current fur trade. That’s not to say I intend to go out and get myself one but I am intrigued by the fact that the demand for real fur has raised considerably recently and I have been left wondering why. I won’t be getting stuck into this controversial issue today but I will be doing some research into this that I can share with you all at a later date.

We left the press night with a lovely goody bag each (ANOTHER win), a feeling of having had a serious (ly fun) girls night out with friends and an invite to return at any time to inspire my foray into fashion blogging. The BF was proud to discover that I hadn’t bankrupted myself that evening. Well, not yet, anyway…

I’ll be sharing some of the photos I took on the night on Twitter for those of you that also like to  go “ooooh PRETTY” 🙂 Ive also been even further inspired by Paula’s successful independent boutique to commence a feature on women who have started up their own business so watch this space (or please do get in touch if you are such a lady).


Where on EARTH have I been?! September 13, 2012

Have I been swanning off round the globe? Have I contracted a horrific flesh eating illness that has prevented me from accessing my computer? Were my hands chopped off by rogue pirates?

Alas, no, dear readers, the reason I haven’t been able to keep you updated on my Wonderful Life of late is that I have simply been too busy spinning too many plates. We’re organising a charity fundraiser, you see: a Ball, in fact, (well, a less starchy affair than most people might envisage when we say ball) to raise funds and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Care Support. So, many a sleepless night has been had fretting about how this event is going to pan out with lots of jolting awake at 5am worrying about floor plans and welcome drinks and I’ve been so busy persuading some lovely local businesses to support us that I simply haven’t had time to blog. But we’re just 16 days til D-Day now so I figured I had better let you lovely lot in on it in case you wanted to come along: I’ll be doing a speech and everything (anyone who knows me well knows this is likely to be comedy highlight of the year considering my track record with public speaking)! What will this ball of ours look like I hear you ask, well:

Sessions House (our amazing, donated, venue) is a beautiful grand building with a red carpet entrance up a grand staircase. With a professional photographer (the very talented Ben Anker) taking photos in the sumptuous “members lounge” and vintage teas, coffees and cupcakes in the public gallery (very kindly being provided by the gorgeous Benny&Boo) we’d understand if you thought you wanted to stay there all night.

But there’s more: the mobile bar (provided by the lovely team at Mobile Bar Hire) will be on hand to mix you up a delicious special Macmillan cocktail, there is are delectable goodies to consume at the buffet (kindly donated by Maggies Cafe), our confirmed live music act (The beautiful songstress Andrea Magee) will blow you away with her voice and the prizes you could win in the raffle are not to be missed. We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of so people who have made this raffle and silent auction a must-take-part. Some of the amazing donations we have received include:

A Pandora bracelet from the new collection worth £130

A week’s stay at a luxury apartment in Cyprus

A stay at a luxury Bed and Breakfast


Two tickets to a Chelsea Champions League Match courtesy of Heineken UK!!!!

We do still have tickets available for just £15 per person so if you would like to attend this event or wish to hear more about our fundraising efforts please do get in touch with Lea or Karen at the Boots store in Fremlin Walk, Maidstone. Alternatively you can book your tickets online via:


Interviewing Jay from The Find *again* lucky old me! August 15, 2012

Chequers_Fest_PosterHiya Jay, great to have you back on “It’s a Wonderful Life”, your last feature went down a treat so I can’t wait to hear all about what you’re up to this time. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions (again), nosy parker that I am: I just love keeping up with what’s happening with The Find.

Q. So, how did New to This Solar System (the event I last interviewed Jay for in aid of Breast Cancer Care) turn out?

It was a very well organised and successful event. They had a great turn out and the theatre was a great venue to play at.  I am still waiting to hear how much we all raised in the end but a lot of friends and family came down to support us and Breast Cancer Care. It’s a great cause.

Q. I hear you are doing another gig for charity this weekend, can you tell me a bit more about this?

I was asked to help organise and play at a music and beer festival at the Chequers Inn which is in Heaverham on the 18th August. It’s a lovely little country pub with a huge piece of land on the side of it. I asked Dave, the landlord, whether I could turn this into a fundraiser if I could get sponsorship for the stage and sound. It’s now turned into a big event in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. We have a hog roast, BBQ, bouncy castle, face painters, main stage and acoustic room kicking off at 3pm. The whole of my community has been very supportive and I have booked some great acts including the Skinny Machines who played with us at Cornbury Festival this year.

Q. So why is GOSH so important to you?

My little girl has a condition and Great Ormond Street have been amazing: myself and a few of my friend’s children have been to GOSH and they are a great cause for Children.

Q. It sounds like a really great time will be had by all (all those that are smart enough to go along of course), what other events have you got coming up soon?

I guess the next big event will be our EP launch which is currently on hold due to me having another little baby due to arrive in the next four to five weeks.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes if you are in the area Saturday please come down and support us for a very special day. I know the staff and the children of GOSH would be most grateful. I have booked some great acts and if you love music and want to see some great unsigned talent perform see you at 3pm.

Oh and the event is free all I am asking for is a small donation on the day. It will be a great day out.


Thanks again for spending time with my readers and I, break a leg for Saturday night and I look forward to being able to update everyone with more of your exciting events!


INTERVIEW: Craig Hallam August 5, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 12:04 pm

INTERVIEW: Craig Hallam.


Interviewing Sarah Lillie July 5, 2012

A Musical Benefit in aid of Breast Cancer Care

Hi Sarah! I’m so excited to see you perform live at New to This Solar System tomorrow night; thanks so much for finding the time to answer my questions

Q. Tell me, how did you get started?

A. Guitarist Ben Hood and I met at Southampton University and have been performing together with drummer Rob Austen since we graduated last July. For the Sevenoaks Festival, Ben and I will be performing as a duo.

Q. So, what you do for your day job?

A.  I live in East London and work as a professional singer. Aside from Ben’s solo work, he also works as a professional songwriter, singer and teacher.

Q. And, how did you get into music?

A.My Dad, Grandparents and Mum were all music lovers, so my sisters and I played music and sang from an early age. Ben has been a songwriter for many years; since watching blues-guitar band Divided by Three with his Mum in concert.

Q. Aside from the love of music, do you have any other creative outlets?

A. We both love cooking, Ben makes incredible paella and I bake most days. I love my knitting, painting and writing too.

Q. Do you have any particular musical inspiration?

A. We’re both big fans of Elbow; their music, lyrics and production are all incredible. I listen to a lot of the female jazz singers including Ella Fitzgerald and Julie London and am greatly influenced by music and instruments from China, India and Africa.

Q.   So, what’s your mission for your music?

A. I’d love to travel with my music, and learn to play more instruments and techniques from different cultures.

Q. Is there anyone in particular that has inspired you or given you great advice to get where you wanted to be?

A. I met an incredible musician called Rob Greenfield at my secondary school who encouraged my singing and song-writing, he will always be a musical inspiration to me.

Q.   Tell me a bit about your history as an artist?

A. I’ve led several acts and bands since school. Then, at University I began performing with Ben, we’ve been gigging, writing and recording together since. We play with friend and drummer Rob Austen and have begun rehearsals with bass player James Williams. We’ll be performing with cellists, a keyboard player and percussionist for some of the upcoming Summer gigs.

Ben joined a band at University and, since graduating, began performing his own material with them. He’s now recording his debut solo album with the same group of musicians.

Q. Are there any especially memorable gigs you have played?

A.Selling out Ronnie Scott’s Bar and the Jazz Club Soho earlier this year with Ben and Rob are two incredible gigs we’ll never forget. One of my most memorable performances however, was a spontaneous, wine-fuelled jazz gig in the crammed cellar of a piano bar in the Latin Quarter of Paris. The owner of Aux Trois Mailletz  invited me to sing with the world-famous house band, it was brilliant.

Q. Do you have any future developments my readers might like to know about?

A.We’re performing at a new festival in Benenden on 10th August called Jack’s Festival, and again at Local and Live Music Festival at The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells over the August Bank Holiday. We’re in the process of recording for release later this year. Ben’s also been recording his solo album ready for Autumn 2012.

Q.How did you end up involved in New to This Solar System and fundraising for Breast Cancer Care?

A.We met Steph when lead singer of The Find, Jay, invited us to perform for Breast Cancer Care earlier this year. It was a wonderful gig for a brilliant campaign.

This is the first time we’ve been involved in the Sevenoaks Festival so we’re really excited to be performing this year.

And I’m sure everyone is really looking forward to seeing, what is sure to be, a stellar performance tomorrow night at Sevenoaks School for the Breast Cancer Care Benefit Concert. It’s been lovely getting to know Sarah Lillie and I wish you all the best for tomorrow evening.

To all those that are thinking of attending, tickets are available on the door and you are guaranteed to have an amazing night of music whilst raising funds for a very worthwhile cause. I look forward to seeing some of you there!


Interviewing Amy Coulshaw July 3, 2012

As those of you who read my blog regularly will know, I have been interviewing the performers listed for the New to This Solar System concert at Sevenoaks School this Friday. Today, you can read my interview with Amy Coulshaw.

Hiya, Amy, thanks very much for giving up your time to answer my questions: I know you are extremely busy at the moment but it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to get to know you before the Breast Cancer Care Benefit concert.

Q. So, I would love to hear a bit about your background and how you got into music?

A. I live in Kent after moving up from Devon three years ago following a mixed bag of destinations growing up: spending the majority of my childhood in Brunei. It was here that I first started training classically as a singer at the age of six.  Having spent several years working professionally as a performer and singing teacher I have since begun a career in childcare which I love but I still take any opportunity I can to help out at charity events with my music!! I have always had an incredible passion for music, especially singing and have done since I was a toddler. I could barely speak but always managed to sing nursery songs!  This passion is even stronger today and I spend a lot of my spare time playing the piano, singing and writing songs.

Q. Is there any one in particular that has inspired you to keep singing?

A. My family have been the inspiration behind my music as, if it wasn’t for their love and support and belief in me, then I wouldn’t have been given some of the amazing opportunities that I have been lucky enough to have.

Q. So, having spent most of your life as a songstress, are there any particular stand out events that you have been asked to perform at; or anyone you have worked with that has been memorable?

A. I have been lucky enough to perform at some incredible events; the most recent being a spring ball at the Honorary Artillery Company house in London in aid of Help for Heroes. In terms of working with someone; as a classical singer, a real highlight for me was when I was given the opportunity to have a master class with Benjamin Luxon and perform with him!

Q. How did you end up involved in New to This Solar System and fundraising for Breast Cancer Care?

A. After moving up from Devon, I initially got a job working in Fatface in Sevenoaks which is where I first met Steph [for those of you that haven’t yet read my previous posts, Steph is the organiser of the Breast Cancer Care event that Amy will be performing at this Friday]. Steph is an inspiration for all women who suffer with breast cancer and is the reason I support and care about such an important and incredible charity. Steph soon found out that I was a singer and straight away put her faith in me asking me to perform at the annual BCC event, even though she hadn’t heard me sing (I did point out that I might be awful but she still went ahead anyway even asking me to do it the following year!) It’s because of these events that Steph asked me to perform at New to this Solar System, which I am honoured to do.

Amy, it’s been a real pleasure getting to know you and I’m very much looking forward to seeing you in action this Friday. Thanks again for your time. I hope some of my readers will come along and lend their support to your cause.