My week in Salford (and lovely things to come)

As you know I have been working away in London for the last 5 weeks trying to get my head around a new computer system in order to train hundreds of Prince’s Trust staff how to use it. Well this week, that training started in earnest when I trained some of our staff alongside the lovely Laura from Dundee. I had the first day jitters initially, but by the second day they settled down and we ended up having a really good couple of days.

I have been doing IT Training for about 15 years on and off, but this is the first time I have ever trained people on a system I didn’t know inside out. But the fact that it seemed to go ok and the feedback was good, has given me so much confident that I feel good about the sessions I am doing solo next week.

Actually, next week sees me going to Leicester for the week and as I have never been I am interested to see what it’s like. I am going on my own, which means 4 x nights in the Ibis Leicester, but I am back on Thursday night so it’s not too bad.

Also, this weekend is our last “free” weekend before the Christmas hoopla kicks in.. namely:

So lots to look forward to and I think that this weekend I might pick up my vlogging camera. I have really neglected my YouTube Channel over the last couple of months due to work things but as Christmas approaches and VLOGMAS tickles my creativity – I think it’s time to start filming.

Happy days!

G x

St Helens – time for a change…

So if you read my blog, you will know I live in Newton-le-Willows, which is part of the borough of St Helens and I also lived in Haydock for 40 years, which is also in the borough of St Helens.

Welcome to St Helens

Growing up, I used to go into St Helens at least once a week as it was my local town and seemed to be full of all the regular high street shops that you might expect. I was a child of the 70s and 80s and was definitely that kid following their mum around the shops, stopping what seemed like every 5 minutes so my mum or gran could stop and have a chat with someone they knew. I loved the pick ‘n’ mix in Woolworths, although I was NEVER allowed any and I did indeed buy my first single from the Woolies record counter.

I loved wandering around St Mary’s and Tontine market and spent many an hour waiting for the 320 bus outside the Co-op on Claughton Street. But of late, St Helens has lost some of it’s sparkle…. well actually, I think it’s lost it all.  It started when Woolworth’s went bust and closed in 2008 and then seemingly, one by one, lots of other high street shops followed, What happened next was that some really big high street shop units sat empty and then were filled by pound shops and bakeries, which are fine when they are balanced with more diverse shops, but unfortunately no other retailers came knocking.

Also, in the meantime the surrounding towns of Wigan, Warrington & Widnes all had massive amounts of investment and redevelopment in their town centres and gained impressive shopping malls with the all important parking. So St Helens has sat for a few years now looking neglected and generally not very appealing as a shopping hub. 🙁

But, it seems that things maybe looking up, as according to the St Helens Star, Fat Face and H&M are both opening stores in the Town centre and this can only be a good thing. ( ) . Don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with a pound shop, but it’s when there is no other choice that things start to get a bit unappealing.  I am so pleased that things might be eventually starting to turn around… it’s my home town, I would like to be proud, not ashamed….

Welcome back St Helens… like a phoenix from the flames….

G x

A (few) blasts from the past

So we met my dad this morning at ChouxChouxbedo for breakfast and he has brought along some documents which my mum had kept of mine, which I honest thought were long gone! To look at them gave me a lovely burst of nostalgia, so I thought I would share a few of them with you. 

It’s always nice to look back at stuff, it reminds me of how far I have come. I failed my 1st driving test and now I have been driving 23 years – over half my life!! I also left Matthews in 2001 after 11 years and since then I have had 7 jobs…. we live, learn and grow don’t we. 

 G x