Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Twitter, Serendipity and School Food Matters

Twitter is a funny thing.   I went to an interesting networking event last Wednesday where three very erudite women were asked to talk about their passions.  One of the women presenting, Stephanie Wood - gave an excellent, concise and impassioned talk on her charity -  School Food Matters.

School Food Matters is a small charity that has picked up the baton that Jamie Oliver so obviously held and waved when doing his series of TV programmes about school meals.  The aim of the charity is to engage schools and school children in food - the food that is cooked at school, how it is cooked, where it is grown and to give the school the tools and impetus to improve the quality of the food presented from the kitchen.  The other aim of the charity is to encourage the children/schools to grow some of their own food - to reconnect children with the cycle of life. Plant, water, grow, harvest, cook and eat (and if there is a surplus, sell at the local Waitrose).

Now serendipity -  I get to spend and hour with Stephanie in a little coffee shop in Sheen talking about Twitter - nothing to do with food - because somehow, somewhere along the line people have found that I know stuff about Twitter and that I can teach them things that they don't know, and that is what I have just done - an hour and a half lesson in Twitter and hopefully Stephanie will be a more effective Twitterer!

Who would have thought 10 months ago when I started this twitter adventure I would be doing this!  Life is an interesting adventure and twitter can make it so much more so!

To follow Stephanie on Twitter @sfmtweets

Monday, 5 November 2012

Being an Interior Designer is child's play, right?

      Ok, I'm feeling slightly peeved.  Nice English expression that - peeved, upset, disappointed after a throw away comment by a client, 'It's not that difficult interior design, is it?'.   Grrrr,  There is a reason that we Designers often make a better job of organising interiors - we are trained and know what we are doing.   There is a an  unappreciated skill in making spaces work,  in making them look good and work for the family, organisation, individual who is going to use it and within the budget.

With the proliferation of TV programmes that seem to show that you can redo your house in 24hrs with the minimum of disruption, everyone thinks that they can do it.  What they don't see is the planning that went into the programme prior to starting (I hope they plan, budget and schedule the work) to make sure that it all works on the day, week, month that has been alotted for this particular programme.

I will admit that being an Interior Designer is not rocket science, but it does help if you have a very definite skill set: 
  1. Being able to see the end product - seeing through the mess that is in front of you.
  2. Being able to see things from another perspective.
  3. Understanding the people that you are working for, and what they want even if they don't quite know.
  4. Be very good at planning and organising.
  5. Working with a lot of very different people, contractors and artisans.
  6.  Keeping up to date with what is on the market & changes in regulations and planning. 
  7. Patience of a saint!
There are other more intellectual aspects to the job, but for the purpose of this blog I won't discuss them.   What I want to discuss is why do people think that they can do it themselves?  I am not an accountant - I therefore use an accountant to do my books, I am not a carpenter and would use a professional to do that job, if you are not any good at space planning interiors why wouldn't you get some advice from an interior designer?  You don't have to use us for everything, but we can give you relevant and useful advice?

Interior Design is not child's play and not everyone can do it!