I for one am not too good at prioritising time to stay fit and healthy but keep quite busy & active, meaning I am rarely sedentary – think this helps me to stay fairly fit and well – living in the sun seems to be a great help to health as well – certainly easier to spend more time in the great outdoors – in nature – which if nothing else contributes to a greater feeling of connectedness and a oneness with our surroundings!
We all need to find a way to achieve the lifestyle we yearn for – whether it’s on a small or grand scale – whether its financial or rich through our interactions and relationships with other people! I personally have worked out that I really can’t do it the “corporate” way as a day to day means of creating a lifestyle either for the money nor interacting with people in suits who are happy to put others down to stay secure in their own jobs – the jobs worth mentality – no – not for me – there is a better way and I believe it is manifesting already …
My life has been very varied and dynamic and always functioned best when exploring new territories and taking on new projects….
I never really fitted in to the “corporate” structure – always a square peg in a round hole – way too restrictive for me!
So having started out as a “boutique” manager in my teens – back when we had small independent stores – due to my love of clothes, designing and making them – I soon left to set up my own company making unique suits for men and 40’s style garms for the ladies – style of the day in the wonderful 70’s – we dressed to impress!
By 19 I had outgrown my hometown and packed up my little Ford Escort MkII and took off to the bright lights of London! Wow – everything I ever dreamed of, fashion, music, creativity and awe inspiring architecture everywhere – I very quickly was surrounded by loads of like minded people creating my London family – I felt very at home!
Of course it was not all plain sailing but opportunities were in abundance!
Fashion and music became my main focus – working in Oxford Circus selling trendy clothes to cool clients by day and clubbing by night – every night! Plus of course the Friday lunchtime session at Crackers and Saturdays at 100 Club – halcyon days!
I would rush home from work – which was more fun than work – to my trusty sewing machine to “run-up” my outfit for the night – had to be unique every time!
Off we’d go in the little Escort to meet more and more friends to add to the ever growing soul family to listen to the amazing music of that time played by the likes of George Power, Chris Hill, Greg Edwards, Froggy and many more at venues all over London and in the Home Counties… anywhere to hear the latest sounds!
During this period I had an urge to travel and set off for 6 weeks to explore Europe – ending in Greece – this became 18 months eventually with most of my time spent in Crete! I fell in love with Athens and the Greek Islands I was fortunate enough to visit.
On my return to my adopted home City I started styling some music artists of the time including David Grant, Jaki Graham and more, I also set up my own label – Threads London Ltd which had some success selling to Macys in New York and other chains!
With the music styling I found myself getting more involved in the music industry – and it was to be theme for many more years – firstly I was in PR for Streetsounds Records – a now cult label and then moved into Artist Management – great fun – styling, booking gigs, working with design companies, marketing, negotiating contracts – the whole thing!
I moved on to Serious Records to do PR & Marketing with a great team of people – many a great tale from that period that will not be uttered here!
In 1986 I was asked to join the now infamous Gordon Mac at Kiss FM (the Pirate radio station) – what a fab adventure I was on – initially just me & Mr Mac in the office but soon joined by Lindsay Wesker and Rosie – we became the office team supporting everything for the station to function. Over the next 3 years we kept everything running and I even became the stations first and only female presenter – leading to all sorts of fun! From playing in clubs, arranging club nights and record fairs – Heddi in heaven!
We created a magazine too which started out as an 8 pager entitled the Written Word through Free! and eventually evolved into Touch Magazine – this helped especially while we were off air securing the legal licence, to stay connected to our huge audience – no internet in those days!
To help in financing all of this we sold adverts on the radio and in the magazine and also launched a record label – formerly Kiss Records then Graphic Records! Responsible for Salsoul Vol I, Boogie Tunes Vol 1 & 2, and other singles.
A truly magical time – a huge family pulling together – focused on one goal – spreading good music to London lawfully!
Then we got our licence – what a great sense of achievement but to do it compromises were made – investors were brought in and the suits arrived – oh dear… “corporate” – the square peg no longer fitted – it didn’t take long – within 6 months I was out of there – it was a must for my sanity but a very sad time for me!
Fortunately in the background of all of this I was also busy doing some property developing so had something to focus on that I loved doing – just no funds to do it with!
Back to job hunting – not so easy at that time but I did find one selling ads for a well known music rag – hated it is a complete understatement but do it – I did – and very grateful I was – it allowed me to finish my project and I got to sell one of the apartments! This put me back in the driving seat – time for new horizons – bye bye corporate – again!
I decided to set up a record label with a friend Everton Webb – Sidestep Records – it was fun and we signed some seriously talented artists including Beverlei Brown and US Together and a whole lot more! No great successes but a great thing to be doing everyday – blessed.
Through this I met some amazing people mainly our design team Blues Ltd – India, Nicky & Vanessa – great girls – true entrepreneurs – I ended up working with them after the label closed – still friends till today.
India can be contacted here for the coolest cleanest design and slickest marketing campaigns.
I was mainly there to do the accounts and client liaison but soon ended up learning design and the internet for the emerging web design market – a huge transitionary and testing period for any graphic design company. I was looking into all aspects of Internet Marketing to help with this transition and now wish I had stayed with it as it was so not user friendly then – but I got the bug and it never really left me.
By 2000 I felt the need to do some property developing so I teamed up with India on a massive project and we purchased All Hallows Church Hall in Bow in London – we set about converting it into 11 units – fantastic, huge, luxury London pads – close to the City – early runners in this market – they are everywhere now! We maybe bit off more than we could chew – but we did and came out of it smiling – having provided some stunning accommodation for a lot of people!
Further projects and investments were undertaken but like so many others we got smacked by the 2007 crisis – so back to the corporate world – again! Not long after this – and for a corporate it wasn’t so bad – I actually quite enjoyed my time working with Audley – selling retirement homes in the middle of Mote Park in Maidstone!
But my mum was ill – in Spain – and my dad was struggling so I took the decision to go and help and spent one and half years with my lovely mum before we lost her in 2010. However dad still needed support so I stayed on going backwards and forwards for work for a few years, ‘striving’ as we were taught – no longer sure why or what for! and yet now after my dad is no longer here with me – I see the less I chase a thing the quicker it turns up!
Then a few years ago I was fortunate enough to start my new radio show Jazz Not Jazz on a local station Lick FM on 103.5 FM – initially just compiling music but also presenting it live from the studio every Tuesday evening at 8pm CET – Lick has since gone off the airwaves and my mix show of mainly current releases now goes out on Reminisce Radio on Sundays at 8PM in the UK and Magic Moments in Italy. The best bit is I still get to do the odd DJ set on the beach and in some wonderful venues!
Music returns to my life! AND I moved to the campo!
Happy Happy Happy!