Starting up social!



Just so that #Prada for example, may feel like sending me a gift for mentioning them.

Prada handbag


Stranger things have happened, I have been upgraded several times on #Emirates (yes giving it another go…) on flights back to the UK for no apparent reason.  I am definitely NOT complaining.

This week, I learned there is quite a discussion about DM’s on Twitter that has been going on for a while.  DM’s are not  Doc Martens but Direct Messages.

Doc Martens

By the way, I own a pair of these but they were hi-jacked by a daughter fairly quickly.

Back to business.

DM’s are now as long as you like!  That is if the person you are posting to is a follower. They used to be 140 characters.

Many Twitterer’s dislike DM’s intensely.  Especially, if they are being used to flog products.

The ones I receive, generally just say ‘thanks for the follow’ and here is my Linkedin address, or similar.  I can’t see much harm in that.

I was a bit precious about the first few, thinking they could not be bothered to write a reply/thank you.  Twitter has a very specific etiquette!

But even with only 10-20 new followers a day, it gets to be a bit of a chore to thank everyone personally.  However, so far I have and mostly have followed people who follow me.

Over a certain number, which is surely our aim, then DM’s are essential. I guess it is just getting the approach right.

My Twitter followers are up to around 430. I have been lucky enough to get a few major ‘influencers’ on board who have all been very helpful.

I still find it amazing that someone like Tim Fargo bothers to reply to DM’s from ‘newbies’ but I suppose that is one of the reasons he is so successful. It helps a lot though.

I discovered an app called MentionMapp .  I highly recommend you have a look.  Check who you are connected to, choose some people you would like to be connected to and find out who they are talking to on Twitter. Then follow them!

I have also subscribed to Iconosquare this week.  My next step after getting my Twitter followers up to around a thousand, will be to start working on my Instagram account.

I have chosen iconosquare to create my website with.  I hope the hype lives up to the promises, or the other way around!

Basically, I just want something that allows me to use my skills and doesn’t make life too difficult with coding issues and the like.

Instagram now allows ads. and is picking up a lot of Facebook traffic.

Call me cynical, but as FB owns Instagram, and now has so much information about all of its users that it cannot help but make money via advertising – I don’t think FB cares a fig about the average domestic user experience anymore.


For my part, I am glad I was part of the first tranche of FB.  I made lots of friends through various online groups and created a few, and could easily contact people I wanted to.

These days, I barely see posts from those ‘friends’ who don’t engage much.

FB – it doesn’t mean I like their posts less…! I don’t think the algorithms work well from a friendship point at all.

FB betrayal

I’m sure they help with targeted advertising though, and that will help future clients.

So, that is a potential silver lining.

I hope this blog helps you. Clearly social media is going to be a constantly evolving medium.

So, the lesson I learned from this week is to find ‘influencers’ and find out who they are talking to and engage with them if possible.

I don’t think that will change. Oh and Twitter Lists are very important!




Extraordinary town planning.

Visionaries – we NEED them.

I was supposed to be starting my ‘proper’ blog today.  Which I will do very soon. Next week in fact.

Apologies to my very tiny band of followers, but as they include a Poet, a Chef and two really fabulous women,  I am certainly happy with the quality of my followers, but will totally understand if the blog is not of interest to you any longer, and please feel free to ‘unfollow’.

I am pretty certain that it is heresy in these circles to say that, it’s okay anyway.

We only want to read what is of interest to us, and our days are short enough already.

So absolutely no offence will be taken.

I plan to journal my experiences in creating what will one day hopefully be a successful social media business.  Helping small businesses drive customers to their websites and businesses,  but also longer term, turning this blog into a blue-print in how to use social media usefully for someone just like me.  And there is a tiny chance, if you are reading this, you might be in some way like me.

It will be on one of those books that say, if I knew back then what I know now, I could have saved myself a lot of time.

I am also discovering that not all the ‘experts’ necessarily have all the answers.  Although clearly, if they have hundreds of followers and successful businesses then they are clearly doing something right.

My children occasionally, say that some of the pearls of wisdom I inflicted on them growing up were quite worthwhile.  I am hoping the same applies if I put the effort in, to learn and share the business of Social Media.

I would be a cross between Bree, Gabrielle and Lynette if I was a Desperate Housewife.  Which perhaps I am.

As freelance journalism becomes a tricky beast indeed when competing in a stupidly competitive market, I am looking at other ways to survive.  So this is my escape route I hope.

cast desperate housewives


Anyway…I heard a wonderful story I would like to share with you today.  A man who had a challenging childhood in England, and worked in the local council, in the beginning of the last century had a wonderful vision.

This is his story. I was watching ‘Who do you think you are’ with the British actress Una Stubbs and this is her ancestor (info via Wikipedia). una stubbs forever worzels sidekick for me


Welwyn Garden City was founded by Sir Ebenezer Howard in the 1920s following his previous experiment in Letchworth Garden City. Howard had called for the creation of planned towns that were to combine the benefits of the city and the countryside and to avoid the disadvantages of both. The Garden Cities and Town Planning Association had defined a garden city as

“a town designed for healthy living and industry of a size that makes possible a full measure of social life but not larger, surrounded by a rural belt; the whole of the land being in public ownership, or held in trust for the community”

In 1919, Howard arranged for the purchase of land in Hertfordshire that had already been identified as a suitable site. On 29 April 1920 a company, Welwyn Garden City Limited, was formed to plan and build the garden city, chaired by Sir Theodore Chambers. Louis de Soissons was appointed as architect and town planner, C.B Purdom as finance director and Frederic Osborn as secretary.The first house was occupied just before Christmas 1920.

Let's move to Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

This really was a #It’s a Wonderful Life story.

It might have even inspired the film?

Perhaps, perhaps not.  But it did evolve from some similarly thinking people.

Thank goodness, there are many good people in the world. It feels especially important this year for obvious reasons.


muslims around the world condemn


I began this particular journey three weeks ago on the 2nd November 2015 with approximately 10 Twitter followers.

Today, on the 22nd of November I have 390 and have some big influencers in that number who have been lovely and supportive.

It is all still feeling quite fuzzy and nice, but am not expecting it all to be rainbows.

I would LOVE it if you stayed with me for the journey beginner followers.

It might not last very long, but it might be fantastic and I’d like you with me if you can bare the ride and share the success if it happens.

One last thing tonight, having spruked the John Lewis ad. and Burberry, and having become an Australian Citizen this year I have to include this beautiful Qantas advertisement.

Also it is really quite lovely as ads go. With Thanksgiving coming up and Christmas in the not too distant future, feels like home is a great sentiment.
















Cat on a hot tin roof!


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#Love yourself – health, wealth and kindness

I wish I was as brave and cool as one of my cats…

I drove my car today to the end of my road (luckily a little alleyway down the side of our house) and stopped at the end – and bump! an unexpected visitor appeared.

Mittens then strolled down from the bonnet and hopped off!

My 11 year old cat had been sitting on the roof of my equally elderly car and had come along for the genteel ride of 5 seconds to the end of the road.

I immediately went into overdrive about WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. She could have jumped off in front of the car as I drove off, and I could have driven over her.  Unimaginable! or at least unbearable to imagine.

But she didn’t.

She waited for the ride to stop and took her leave. No panicking, just taking it in her stride.

Cat on a hot tin roof.

Cat on a hot tin roof.

Not only did Mittens survive to give me close to a heart attack another day, but she taught me something.

Is it worth taking a chance and not to sweat what might happen till it does?

Even if you find yourself on the edge of something quite scary, there is a good chance that it might turn out alright. Better than alright, even exciting.

I am hoping this is the beginning of an exciting new I start my new business.  Thank you already to some wonderful people who have been so supportive.

Lulu B logo

Persistence pays off – Chef Yoji Tokuyoshi


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I absolutely love this video and this Chef’s story.  He almost gave up and then he became one of the best.  In the world…

He followed his dream and found his personal success with persistence and skill and a passion for his chosen path.

Tokuyoshi Restaurant, Milan.  Chef Yoji Tokuyoshi.  

I have worked with a lot of Chefs over the years.  They are an interesting bunch, but one thing that is consistent is that they work extremely hard and the best are completely passionate about their craft.

This is a wonderfully executed video, and tells the story beautifully.  I hope some of you share it.  I think it is a work of art in itself.

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Serenity Saturday

I must be psychic 🙂 as I was writing my ‘man on the moon‘ blog post yesterday John Lewis was announcing it’s annual Christmas advert, aptly named #manonthemoon.

Should I say “great minds think alike?” – please get in touch next year JL if you need some inspiration 🙂

Unashamedly pulling on the heart strings and following in the steps of all the songs that celebrate the heady mix of old and young, and hearth and home that make up the best of family times at Christmas.

Playing on our longing to be ‘home for christmas’.  ‘Tis the Season when it is completely okay to be a total schmaltz.

Even Chris Rea gets away with it while he is ‘Driving home for Christmas’.

With half my family in the UK and my immediate family here with me in Sydney, Australia I always have mixed feelings at this time of year.

It is difficult getting into the Christmas spirit – as I sit here listening to the waves in the distance and looking out on blue summer skies.

Plenty of time for inspiration though, and thank goodness for Skype.  I don’t miss the cold, dark nights but I do miss the Christmas lights and cosy fires and pubs.  Carols in beautiful churches and silly christmas jumpers.  Most of all I miss my family.

I’m off to the beach now.

It’s a tough life but...

It’s a tough life but…

I think my US friends have it right.  Christmas talk after Thanksgiving. 

But on the other hand, if John Lewis deems 6th November the start of the celebrations, who am I to argue?  I do DRAW A LINE at anything before November though.

The stuff of madness, especially if you have young kids who are going to be besides themselves with pre-‘must-have’ presents/Santa’s letters/Disney movie hysteria even if you don’t start celebrations until December.

My chosen ‘lift off’ point is December 1st – to go back to the ‘man in the moon’ theme…and my particular indulgence is It’s a Wonderful Life which a girlfriend and I watch every year, on opposite sides of the world, over the same weekend.

And like the proverbial pearl in the oyster, grows larger and more glossy with age – like our friendship.

Which reminds me while I like this


So if you can’t be ‘home for Christmas’ – what do you miss most of all?

Lulu B logo

Love yourself – health, wealth and kindness

Can you remember seeing this?  Were you even alive when it happened?  I was a little girl in 1969 and can’t remember any of it ‘live’ but have seen countless re-runs since.

It must have been really exciting to be part of the build up and then to see Neil Armstrong take those first steps.  Apparently NASA is recruiting new astronauts with plans to get someone to Mars by the 2030’s. Incredible

Quite a few of the predictions foreseen in fairly recent times have come true.  George Orwell’s 1984 foretold the prevalence of CCTV all over the planet,and the collection of (meta) data about us all through government institutions. Internet providers gathering every last bit of information about us and regular wiretapping echo ideas about keeping tabs on the ‘proles’ (population).  But goodbye News of the World (UK) and hello Edward Snowden showing that it isn’t all a one-way street…

The planet isn’t overrun by airborne cars flying Jetson style all over the place…more’s the pity.

Hanna Barbera cartoon c.1962

Hanna Barbera cartoon c.1962

But we do have high speed trains that run via magnetic levitation.  The Shanghai Maglev reaches an eye watering 500kms/hour.  I often (well sometimes) wonder if people feel sick when moving so fast?

Personally, I’d like the invention of a transformer that can ‘beam me up Scotty’ and get me safely to where I want to go (anywhere on this planet is fine, I’ll leave interstellar travel to someone else at this point…).

No more jet lag, no more stressing about getting on a plane.  Just instant travel.

Clearly, a great deal of potential to end up in a shrunken state like Mike Teavee

after being processed through the airwaves in Mr Wonka’s factory or even worse… but hopefully there will be a pill to numb any pre-transformer anxiety and another one to get rid of the potential nightmare ‘hangover’ that total body disintegration then reformation might bring about. I wonder if Magnesium tablets would help? They are pretty useful after a work-out.

One more to beam up Mr Scot

So, what invention would you like to see come about in YOUR lifetime to make your world a better place?

Lulu B logo

Serenity Saturday or perhaps not.


If you say it often enough it sounds quite atrocious...

If you say it loud enough it may even sound  precocious…just saying.

I can remember well, when I thought the height of my parents ‘uncoolness’ (Clue number one) was that they had no idea what was No.1 on TOTP (Top Of The Pops to the uninitiated – Clue No. 2) a BBC UK music popular music show.

Top of the Pops!

There was NEVER going to be a day, where I didn’t know at least the top ten on the music charts.  Well, these days, I’m relying on apps to keep me updated, although I was a bit dismayed to see my Apple music had recently chosen ‘Pop gems from 1976’ to keep me entertained!

At this stage, I was a mere child listening to pirate radio stations in the darkness of night and under the bedclothes to avoid detection…(and we will say no more about that).

I remember sighing when my parents moaned that the re-make of the song had nothing on the original and feeling deep pity for them.  Now I quite admire that they had any knowledge at all.  As with everything else in this fast moving world of information overload, the options now seem endless.

Apart from the highly processed, highly commercialised likes of the X-factor and similar which band the mainstream tv watching population into following potential future moneymakers – there are an overwhelming amount of other lesser known musicians via other media to consider.

Still, if you are Gen Y  or Z you are probably surfing it all with ease.

“At what point in my life should I stop listening to Triple M and start reading The Australian?” is probably not on the tip of your tongue.

I like to surprise my offspring occasionally with unusual current music choices that they kindly patronise me with the faint praise that I have ‘slayed it’ (that’s good) at which point I am ‘lost in the sauce’ (totally confused). But I take the compliment with grace.

But as I say we have parted friends and slang is dead to me, because I generally TOTES dislike it.


Have decided on the whole, it’s best to embrace the generation difference and let them get on with it…

Another thing about getting older….

Trying to decide whether it is worth attempting sleep or to attempt to stay awake till 3am to watch the rugby World Cup final. EST Australia.

It’s pretty active in Manly tonight. Lots of ghouls and zombies and for the life of me, I know not why – but what look like borderline prostitutes roaming the streets.

Not sure when Halloween transformed itself into this as our repertoire as kids was a little bit more tame…but then again, I wouldn’t have been sharing grumpy old woman posts about slang then either!

I felt a little bit envious seeing all of them roaming around, clearly having fun and a good amount of rugby fans in their ‘green and gold’ or ‘all black’ strips set for a spectacular night out.


All Black

A few years ago, I would have been with them.  The thought of going to a pub at 3am doesn’t thrill me these days – although there is still a tiny part of me that if pushed would give it a go!

So tell me, what sporting event would make you stay awake to the middle of the night just to watch it live?