Saturday, 29 October 2011

Women in Politics

It was a full house on Wednesday October 26th to hear Christina Dykes talk to us about women in politics and what an interesting and inspiring evening it turned out to be. Women are still under represented in Parliament and on the Boards of Directors and an interesting discussion developed amongst the women about trying to succeed in a chosen career and be a Mother, wife and often a carer for elderly parents. I don't know what the answer is but I do know that at no other time in history has so much been expected of women and maybe we only have ourselves to blame? I have been looking after my 6 year old granddaughter this week [it's half term!] as well as trying to run a busy hotel and I have found it exhausting. Christina was a charming person and passionate about helping women and men to reach their full potential, I asked her to take some of our comments back to Parliament as well as a copy of my book 'Delighting Your Customers" after all we are all customers to members of Parliament as it's our tax money that pays their wages.

I had a wonderful evening at The Mayflower Theatre last Saturday when I attended the English National Ballet's performance to Gershwin's music. If any of you have the opportunity to go and see it do go, not only was it entertaining but the standard of ballet was wonderful with such young talent. I could hardly sit in my seat I enjoyed it so much.

The clocks go back at the end of October signalling that the dark evenings and winter is on the way although at the time of writing this it is very mild for the time of year. The wonderful Autumn colours of the trees can be seen in certain parts of the New Forest but there is still more to come, I always think that the best time to see the autumn colours is the first week of November.

I was a Judge for the Nat West everywoman awards recently. This is my 6th year of judging these awards and I never fail to be amazed at the courage and talent that the finalists have. It is always a difficult job choosing winners but even the finalists will get publicity so it is always worth going in for awards to promote your business. The rewards can be very profitable. The finalists will be announced on November 4th and the winners announced at the Award Ceremony on Wednesday December 7th 2011 at The Dorchester Hotel London. For further information of the Award ceremony and to buy tickets for this prestigious event visit

The next Wessex Women's Network meeting is on Tuesday November 15th. Jus Hobbs is a personal trainer and will be advising us on how to keep fit using kettle bells. It's always very important to look after yourself and sometimes we are so busy looking after everyone else we are inclined to neglect ourselves.

Remember to always be yourself as everyone else is taken.


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Inspectors Choice 2 AA Red Stars!

It was with great pride that I received the AA Inspectors Choice 2 Red Stars on behalf of myself and my staff at the AA Hospitality Awards at the London Hilton Hotel Park Lane on Monday 30th September. To quote "This is the AA's supreme accolade used to recognise hotels that stand out as the very best, regardless of size or style." After 35 years at the Cloud Hotel I consider this to be my reward for perseverance and hard work. Of course I couldn't have achieved this accolade without the support, hard work and loyalty of my staff, many of whom have been at the Cloud for several years. I think perseverance is a key to success and I hope some of you will succeed by doing the same. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to become an overnight success!

The Biggest Coffee Morning held at The Cloud Hotel on Friday 30th September in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support raised £520-00. The weather was glorious and most people sat and enjoyed their coffee and  the chef's scrumptious chocolate brownies in the garden soaking up the warm sunshine. Many thanks to all who came and supported us.

This Indian summer has been a bonus and I hope some of you have been able to take advantage of the sunshine before winter sets in. My customers have loved being able to get out into The New Forest and enjoy this wonderful weather.

The next Wessex Women's Network meeting is on Wednesday October 26th 6-30pm when Christine Dyke will be speaking about women in politics. I hope I have the pleasure of welcoming you to what promises to be an interesting and enjoyable evening. Karl Jones of KN Design has designed a new web site for the Wessex Women, please let me have your feedback and any thoughts you may have not only about the website but also the meetings.

The National Everywoman Conference to be held in London on Tuesday November 1st is an event, in my opinion not to be missed. It provides the ideal opportunity for female entrepreneurs to meet other successful women and to hear how they have started their businesses from scratch and turned them into successful businesses. I have learnt so much from attending these conferences as well as having a great time and meeting some inspirational women. I always come away buzzing with enthusiasm. This years theme is The Art of Business you can find more information at

Autumn is on the way and soon the New Forest will be full of colour and we will be lighting the log fires!

Warm wishes