Friday, March 30, 2007

Just a Little Pin Prick

Another day another photo for the Newbury Business News – this time at The Lilley Clinic, which is a therapy centre just a couple of miles South of Hungerford and another company going into the Healthy Living feature that will appear in the April 12th edition of West Berkshire’s premier source of business news.

This photo is of Acupuncturist Petrina Spencer-Walker, who recently joined the clinic and she is using the hand of practice manager Geoff Mitchell after he gamely volunteered to pose for this photo.

If that name sounds familiar but you cannot quite place it within the world of therapy, think cars - Geoff is also the man behind GMV Leasing and will certainly find you are car if your business needs one. Or of course he can point you in the right direction if you need anything from a massage through to acupuncture!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hot Stones at Belle Chic

The Healthy Living feature in the forthcoming April edition of the Newbury Business News is taking me around many of the therapy centres in West Berkshire, and it was nice to be able to walk to one this afternoon when I visited Belle Chic in Hungerford.

Tucked just off the High Street this is a little peace of heaven (pun intended) run by Mel Tozer and her team of professional therapists.

I was especially fascinated to learn about Hot Stone therapy; over the years I have learned about many different therapies and indeed enjoyed a good few too - but I had never seen or experienced this one first hand.

So with Mel Tozer selflessly volunteering to undergo the treatment so I could photograph it, I ask Holistic Therapist Karen Barrass to explain how the treatment works.

She said: “The stones are basalt, volcanic rock, using both hot, and depending on the treatment, cold stones, I massage the client using the edges of the hot stones and can also place them on key points of the body. The heat and weight of the stone penetrates deeply and is incredibly relaxing.

“I can also do reflexology using hot stones; you can still feel the areas of the feet that correspond with parts of the body and feel any problems, but the real difference is how the heat from the stone amplifies the effects and can make it so much more relaxing than straightforward reflexology.”

However, the relaxed murmers of appreciation from Mel actually told me all I needed to know and rest assured I shall be heading back to Belle Chic very soon!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Red Nose Day

In a nod to the Gods of charitable gestures I had a subtle lapel pin on my suit today which proclaimed my support of the event that is the all absorbing Red Nose Day. Not least as my first job of the day entailed a visit to Verbatim - The Call Handling Service that handles many of my calls was committed to fundraising and I planned to capture the event for the Newbury Weekly News...

I did manage to do that as the photo at the bottom of today's post will prove, but not before I had succumbed to the cajoling of staff and agreed to having my hair sprayed red. And I spent the rest of the day explaining it!

Below are the real charity folk!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Square Mile Smile

Among a myriad of jobs todayI was back at Square Mile today to take photographs of the company’s new non-executive director, a human resources guru Suzanne Goodland.

Everyone was mid board meeting which presented a challenge of finding a good spot for a photograph within a few yards of their offices in Newbury. I had already taken a shot of Mia outside the office with the obligatory name plate outside, so wanted something else – not that it would have been possible as vandals had nicked the sign!

A handy piece of street furniture and some urban sprawl in the background and a few minutes later we had taken this shot, of (left to right) Nicola Ogston, Mia Drennan and Suzanne Goodland.

  • Quick Photoshop tip for you all: to throw the background a little more out of focus when you have had to use a reasonable depth of field, create a duplicate layer, add a subtle blur with filters and then erase that blur from the parts you want in focus, allowing the background layer to shine through.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Contemplating the Dragons' Den

More women in business today and a meeting with one of the most successful businesswomen I know – Mia Drennan from Square Mile Connections. She has previously featured on this blog here for those who missed it the first time!

Besides the obligatory interview for the forthcoming feature in the Newbury Business News we were discussing public relations ideas and exploring further her idea to run a Dragons' Den-esque event at the high achieving Kendrick School for girls in Reading.

I will be joining Mia at the school next week during their Business Enterprise Week when the Dragons idea will be pitched to the girls. Then in May we shall return once more – a panel of most likely all female dragons – to listen to their business ideas and just like the show on BBC2, the dragons who invest will be advisors to those enterprises and follow them through.

It will no doubt prove inspirational, but it also should net some considerable interest from the media, which it will be down to Morgan PR to capitalise on. Personally I should be the host for the event, an imitation of presenter Evan Davis and no doubt constantly reminding everyone: "remember, if they don't get all the money they ask for, then they leave the den empty handed" - just in case anyone forgets!

Mia, Nicola Ogsten – Square Mile’s employment guru - and I then decamped to the nearby King Charles Tavern; affectionately know as the KC, for lunch. Very nice it was too – to think there was a time when the smell of spilt lager and stale sweat would emanate from this pub, and now it is the fragrance of world cuisine and oaked Chardonnay.