Tag Archives: Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo

Diary of a hopeful author: Now is the future we haven’t recognised yet…

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…

Photo of a Diary

Ok, so, a LOT is happening, but still I cannot divulge events. Not specifically. Not yet. But hold on! Soon, I can tell you what’s a foot writing wise for me, and it is BIG.

So, until then a) thanks for hanging on (it’ll be worth it, promise), and b) here’s something for you to read that I wrote earlier. It’s a column I did last year for the Citizen and Echo, and it’s about the future. Not in a sci-fi/fantasy way, you understand, although that, to be fair, has a lot going for it. Step forward The Hunger Games. And Spock.

No, this piece is about how while sure, the future and our planning for it is good, seeing what we have in the here and now will get us equally far in life. If not a little further.

Stay tuned…

“Now is the future we haven’t recognised yet” – Citizen & Echo Column, Saturday 6th April, 2013

In 1988, the LA Times asked 30 futurologists what life would be like 25 years in the future. Some predictions they got right, like knowing we’d all end up with Satnavs in our cars, use emails to replace paper, or teleconference via Skype. Others they got utterly wrong. Robotic man-servants were one failure (or not, depending on your viewpoint), and body paint that protected against radioactivity was another doomed prophecy.

Thing is, what we tend to do, us people, us humans, is spend our time forecasting what the future will bring. We can’t help it. A bit like running away from something scary, we’re inbuilt to guess the future, to envisage technologies, to foretell catastrophic world events. It’s like a whole new way to be nosey, just with permission.

And so to pondering on our own lives. 1988, the year the report was compiled, found me at 14-years old, my mind on Madonna song lyrics and my heart won over by Morten Harket from A-ha. Days, weeks would be spent gabbling about our futures. It was our topic du jour, desperate as we were to know what was going to happen, to predict like some cosmic crystal ball what was in store for us.

Some of it I got right. I did go to University, although no one could have predicted the almost world-record breaking amount of times I missed the final two lectures each Friday afternoon to hit the student union bar early. And married, I got married, happily, gladly and without the need to be dragged down the aisle.

But there comes a point when this wondering about the future has to stop, and you come to realise, in the twilight of the day that it’s not about what’s ahead – it’s about what’s happening now.

See, spend too much time pondering the future and you’ll miss things, you’ll miss life. Family, friends, the daft little things that make you smile. Watching your kids in school plays. Belly-laughing on a rare night out. Because that’s the stuff we have, the here, the now, that’s the gold. Obsess instead with prophecies and we end up with a future we didn’t intend to have all because we ignored the present we did.

Yes, our futures are important. Yes, heck, we need ambition, but I’m going to try concentrating on today. That way tomorrow will come all by itself.

Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**

My Citizen & Echo column: Whatever you do, don’t use the word ‘fat’

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

My Weekend column on Saturday was all about kids, obesity and the use of the word ‘fat’. Oh, and those McDonalds Happy Meals. I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch my columns each week on the NEW Citizen and Echo Weekend website.

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday.

 

**I’m taking a break from my Citizen and Echo column writing, so this will be my last for a while**

 

My Citizen & Echo column: How to be a numpty

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

My Weekend column on Saturday was all about holidays and how, at the grand age of 39, I have learnt to be an utter numpty. In a way. I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch my columns each week on the NEW Citizen and Echo Weekend website.

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday.

**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings on, um, Wednesday, where I post my weekly entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author**

My Citizen & Echo column: It’s high time we all had one massive, national lie down

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

My Weekend column on Saturday was all about holidays and how, in this time of economic turmoil and excessive work, we all need to go and have one huge rest. I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch my columns each week on the NEW Citizen and Echo Weekend website.

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday.

Cream crackered? Or no time and money for a break? Let me know.

**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings on, um, Wednesday, where I post my weekly entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author**

My Citizen & Echo column: Why you’ve got to open your eyes – even when you’re not on a roller coaster

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

My Weekend column on Saturday was all about roller coasters and how, in life as on roller coasters, we really have to open our eyes and take a look around. I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch my columns each week on the NEW Citizen and Echo Weekend website.

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday.

Roller coaster lover or not? Do you think we need to open our eyes to things a bit more or is there simply too much going on? Let me know.

**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings on, um, Wednesday, where I post my weekly entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Feature Friday: Why tomorrow’s Nibley Music Festival is the best hobby in the world

Feature Friday is a new post where I pop on my blog feature articles I have recently written for magazine-organizing1newspapers or magazines.

This week is a feature that appeared in last week’s Citizen and Echo Weekend Magazine. It’s an interview with Chris Gordon, the organiser of the amazing Nibley Music Festival in Gloucestershire, which is on tomorrow, Saturday 6th July. In it, Chris talks about the behind-the-scenes secrets of running a successful festival and how it is, hands down, the best hobby in the world. Oh yeah.

“Biggest isn’t the best” (Citizen/Echo Weekend, June 29th 2013)

Tens of thousands have descended on Worthy Farm for Glastonbury this weekend, but there is another boutique music festival making waves closer to home, as Nikki Owen found out…

It’s the day before my interview with Chris Gordon, one of the organisers extraordinaire of Nibley Music Festival. My husband is very, very excited. “Go on then,” I sigh, “what do you want me to ask him?” He nearly squeals. “The bands!’” he says immediately. “Ask him what it’s like to meet the bands. Ooo, and how they pick them. How do Nibley pick the bands.” He pauses. “I’d love to be a festival organiser. It must be so cool.”  He stares into space. I start to wonder if he should get out more.

Seven years ago, Nibley Music Festival was born after a group of friends with a love of live music got chatting in a pub. Come 2013 and Nibley has become not only a local phenomenon, but a national one, too – and is on the radar of major music agents. Held on the first Saturday of every July, Nibley showcases blistering bands (The Wonder Stuff,

Nibley Festival by day
Nibley Festival by day

them of 90s fame, are playing this year) with a family friendly atmosphere that is legendary (last year there was free laser quest, local culinary food and craft tents.).

You’d think organising a festival like Nibley is quite literally a full-time job, and surely a breeze, right? I ask straight-off. “What’s it like organising a festival?” Chris cracks the biggest smile. ‘’It’s the best hobby I’ve ever had.” Great. But then he starts to talk about how much he and the other Nibley committee members do, and that’s when the penny drops: the entire thing is run by volunteers. All of them with day jobs, families and lives, all mucking in, wiping mud from boards. Easy it ain’t. “Last year,” Chris says, “to protect the field, we carried every piece of equipment on by hand.” “What?” I say. “Even the stage?” Chris nods. “Even the stage.”

So it’s even more extraordinary to consider that, in 2011, event website Britevents voted Nibley one of the top ten music festivals in the UK along side the likes of Glastonbury and V Festival. In fact, so popular is Nibley that this year, tickets (all 4,000 of them) sold out within 42 minutes. ‘To sell out so quickly is unprecedented,” says Chris. “We have other festivals contacting us asking us how we do it.”

And what about bands contacting Nibley? “It’s great that we’re inundated with so many bands wanting to play Nibley,” says Chris. ‘We have an online form for them to fill in. It drops automatically into a spreadsheet so we can cope with the deluge. We’ve got very systemised in our back-room operations.” Ah, so that’s how it’s done. “But,” he adds, “when you actively seek out a band that you think are brilliant and they say yes – wow. I mean, I can’t tell you how excited we were getting King Charles.”

Singer, King Charles
Singer, King Charles

He’s referring to glam-folk singer, King Charles, who is so big he’s a support act to The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park this July.  We watch him on You Tube – he looks like a cross between Adam Ant and Freddie Mercury. With catchy music. “He’s massive!” Chris smiles.  I sheepishly say I have never heard of him before.  Chris then proceeds to reel off the You Tube hits Charles has received – i.e. millions. It’s a reminder just how well-regarded Nibley has become to attract such a major act.

We proceed to talk all things live music – Chris’s favourite thing – and before I know it, it’s come the end of the interview. I have to ask it. “What’s the most glamorous thing about running a festival?” Chris thinks. “It’s a great excuse to see loads of fantastic gigs.” And the least? “Carrying portaloos across a field.” Ah.

And so ends the interview. It’s amazing, really, to think that Nibley is run entirely by a committee of volunteers. Added to that, all the money raised goes to local good causes.  “We would really welcome some new committee members,” says Chris, as I leave. “All they need are commitment and a passion for live music.” I nod and make a note to tell my husband. It’s like Chris said – running a music festival – it’s the best hobby in the world.

Nibley Music Festival takes place on 6th July 2013. For more details, and to contact if you’re interested in being a festival organiser, visit www.nibleyfestival.co.uk

My Citizen & Echo column: If you’re buying jeans, you need to read this…

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

My Weekend column on Saturday was all about jeans and how, the design and purchasing of them not only squeezes your unmentionables, but your sanity, too. I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch my columns each week on the NEW Citizen and Echo Weekend website.

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday.

Your thoughts on the utter hell that is jeans? Let me know.

**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings on, um, Wednesday, where I post my weekly entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author**

My Citizen & Echo column: The Women’s Football Show & the dismaying of my heart

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

My Weekend column on Saturday was all about Women’s Football and, specifically, the new BBC TV show of it that was aired last month and how, despite my tomboy genes, I have a dismayed heart. I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch me each week on the Citizen and Echo Weekend magazine website. There’s lots of other weekend stuff on there, too.

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday.

Your thoughts on the airing of Women’s Footie? Let me know.

**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings on, um, Wednesday, where I post my weekly entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author**