The Curious Incident…

The curious incidentLast weekend we went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time… a little Christmas treat from my pal.

The plot was about a young boy with autism who was trying to find the killer of his neighbour’s dog- Wellington, and we were all drawn in to his life story and gripped by his tenacity and  methodical approach to the world. This was a real thought provoking play with sad bits, random shit, and a cute labrador puppy at the end to help take your mind away from the incessant crying.

While I was there though, I was drawn to a number of other curious incidents..

The curious incident of the 70 year old Usherette with Tuberculosis

As I said this was a play that required attention..there were moments of powerful silence where you could hear a pin drop….well…you could if ‘old Sylvia’ from the grand circle could control her whooping cough. Ironically the pensioner who was paid to make sure people were not talking or disrupting anyone’s experience sat dying in the corner….disrupting everyone’s experience.   Oh we did laugh…

The Curious Incident of the Tongue and Grooved Theatre

I have never been to Aylesbury Theatre, and unlike Drury Lane, it offered a much more modern motif  with   a sea of wooden cladding that gave the feeling of being in a scandinavian sauna. Luckily the heat was turned right down…although if we had thrown a bucket of menthol on the coals, then Sylvia may have been able to clear her chest.

The Curious Incident of the overweight gay and the pretty lesbian 

I’ve never met a real one… but a couple of rows in front of us, there was a gay boy with a stomach to his knees and the arse the size of Belgium. Sat next to him was a beautiful petit lesbian (an oxymoron in ordinary circumstances). It’s usually the other way round…but no the bloke was a dog and the dyke was a babe.

We had a great night with good friends and a lovely McDonalds to wash it down on the way home.

 

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Wetpaint- Beautiful And Unique Illustrations Your Home Cannot Be Without.

Shortly after I returned from my honeymoon in 2015, a parcel arrived on my doorstep.  I opened it to find a beautifully crafted illustration from my good friend Helen. It now takes pride of place in the drawing room (the lounge). I have known Helen for quite a number of years and have spent many a holiday lapping up the mediterranean sun and sipping cocktails in her company, so this was a truly amazing gift that holds massive sentimental value to me ..and my husband.

So I thought I would spend a moment or two telling you more about Helen and her company ‘Wetpaint‘ so that you can join  the likes of Adele, Lauren Laverne …..and me, and have a personalised masterpiece in your home.

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Wetpaint is the work of illustrator and designer Helen Lang, who lives and works from a rather lovely London studio and spends her time developing her range of personalised prints which she sells through online retailer Not on the High Street. She also works on commercial and advertising projects through her agency Illustration Ltd.

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After working in the publishing industry for over 15 years, Helen’s own business “Wetpaint” was finally founded in 2011 and since going freelance her delicately crisp style has been utilised by a number of high profile clients in the UK, Europe and beyond including Boden, Tesco Finest*, Harper Collins, Chipotle, John Lewis, Virgin Trains and the Tate. She has also worked exclusively with John Lewis on a range of product accessories and her illustrations have adorned an array of products over her career including t-shirts, mugs, greeting cards and stationery.

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Helens work has been featured on numerous interior, lifestyle, wedding and children’s product blogs as well as publications including the Stylist Magazine, Creative Review & The Independent, Good Homes, Devon Life, Unique Bride & Wedding Ideas Magazine.

In the studio she is fuelled by builders tea, bourbon biscuits, BBC6 music and is very lucky to be able to design and illustrate for a living in between walks with Desmond, her Border Terrier. When she’s not in the studio, you’ll probably find Helen digging in the garden, coveting a real ale, rummaging around a flea market, or trying to find a warmish bit of sea to swim in.

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Helen now accepts commissions for beautifully detailed, personalised gift prints, which are all hand finished with delicate typographic details. These make perfect gifts for Weddings, Engagements, Civil Partnerships, Anniversaries, Christenings, Housewarming Gifts as they are all affordably priced (under £20) and very easily framed. She also creates prints for pets and original personalised paintings should you have a slightly bigger budget.

Want to know more? You’re in luck. She’d love to hear from you via her shop or catch up with her on Facebook to discuss an order.

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Real Life – By Karen Dunn

10 Things they don’t tell you when you start a Forever Living Business

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You may have heard the success stories about people earning a 6  figure salary by setting up a Forever Living Business and working part time hours either alongside their full time jobs or as a main source of income. I was certainly inspired by the countless plethora of Youtube videos that indicated quite aggressively, the promise of financial freedom, 5 Star holidays, a car…blah blah blah.

It’s true that there are some people out there that have succeeded with Forever Living, but believe me, this is a very small minority.

I joined  Forever Living in August last year when my husband was looking for a job, I knew from the very start that it wasn’t going to be a ‘get rich quickly scheme’, but I thought long term, this could have amazing benefits for us. I  have a fairly good head for business and oodles of experience in retail, so I really got to work with setting up my business, getting my name out there and talking to people about the products and the opportunity.

Against the advice of the people around me, who warned that it was a Pyramid scheme and that I was a fool for spending £200 on my starter kit, I boasted that I would be able to prove everyone wrong. However as the months progressed and I failed to even so much as make my money back for the £200 on the box (not to mention all the other hidden costs that they don’t tell you about…which I will explain later). It was apparent that Forever Living is now a saturated marketplace and around 90% of people that have joined, barely break even let alone make any profit from this.

My biggest regret is that I didn’t do some more research before I spent my money….and more regrettably a large amount of my time,  spamming my friends on social media.

Here are the 10 things they don’t tell you;

1 . It pretty much is a Pyramid scheme, the only thing that makes it legal is that you are in possession of a starter kit, so you aren’t just giving your own money away with nothing in return. The first thing that your sponsor will tell you is that not a pyramid scheme, (as this is on the training script that is rammed down your throat when you start.)

2. Your starter kit is not enough to form a product display or run a stall, if you really want to showcase your products to make a sale, then you will have to buy more……a lot more.

3. As well as your £200 box, you are also faced with another number of other expenses that are critical to running your business- examples are as follows

  •  Business Cards- Around £50
  •  Monthly subscription to have a website and online training portal (£10 a month), which is virtually impossible to cancel without signing in blood.
  •  Additional products including the Clean9 detox kit   (heaven forbid you call                             it a detox kit  on social media as the company can get into a lot of trouble, because evidently it’s not proven to be a detox) You will probably spend another £300 on this to get enough stock to hold a product launch or stall
  • Public Liability insurance £20
  • Hiring Stalls at local fairs and events ..£25 a time
  • Facebook Boost to increase your traffic..£30 a month
  • Attending the mandatory Success conference £50

4. It’s definitely not a job you can succeed in part time. I spent about 4 hours every evening, and after 3 months….we had sold one ‘detox plan’ (£109)and a bottle of cream (£14)….no that’s really it.

5. In order to reach your target and get any commission whatsoever, you need to sell about £800 of stock in a 2 month period.

6. The products due to their extortionate margins (the big earners have to earn somehow), are virtually impossible to sell.  Who wants to spend £14 on a bottle of deep heat …oh sorry …deep heat with Aloe Vera in it. If you have rich friends, then you maybe, just maybe in with a chance.

7. There are a number of websites and social media groups that you can use to find stalls and events. (You need to run stalls to build up your customer base and recruit your ‘downline’.) However with so many people doing Forever Living, I was never able to bag a stall because people had booked all the stalls for the whole year. ( I literally had notifications on my mobile everytime an event was uploaded and one of my greedy fellow business owners had bagged it within around 7 seconds).

8. You are trained to lie on social media and make your life so much better than it actually is. You’re encouraged to post inspirational quotes  and photos of you enjoying yourself on holiday all the time, even if that means recycling old holiday pics throughout the year. Also you have to remove everything from social media that has any sort of opinion or negativity.  So basically you have to be a social media robot. Additionally you are encouraged to conjure up stories at your product launches, like how your drinking gels have cured a 95 year old arthritis sufferer that was in a wheelchair ,but is now running the marathon……that sort of thing.

9. Your friends get fed up with you and unfriend you….I was warned of this, but literally I lost about 150 contacts with the constant spamming and invites to launches and events.

10. Forever boasts that it is a generous company and award people on their merits, which is certainly true for any Multi- Level Marketing company. However the high -earners are so obsessed with making money and boasting about how much they have earned ,that they forget those at the bottom of the food chain that need a different level of motivation in terms of training and support….. because there’s certainly no cash flow at this end.

My advice would be to avoid Forever Living ,unless you can commit to it full time, without any need to earn any money in the first few months, and make sure you have a lot of gullible and rich friends that will buy the products…. and keep buying them. The company doesn’t hold an awful lot of integrity or transparency which is why you have to exaggerate the truth to other people, and unless you are extremely lucky (or you poison the other 6000 business owners within your 10 mile radius)…you just won’t make any money.