October 2013



What a busy month it was. Time was at a premium. I was all set to go to the e-commerce expo down in that London, with Tim Elliott, but some important meetings being scheduled at the same time meant that it was a luxury that we could just not afford.


I was very privileged to be invited to speak at the AGM of the Harley Davidson Riders Club of Great Britain, down in Alcester on the 6th.

HDRCGB 8bit logo-blue

It was to present to them the chance of working with us at next year’s Americana International Festival as they have their 65th Anniversary coming up next year. Incredible! HDRCGB is one of the oldest bike clubs in the world and the oldest Harley Riders club in Europe. They have some amazing items within the club (including a prototype Harley Davidson with the chassis and engine number 001 – something even Harley themselves don’t have anymore!) and they made me feel very welcome – even encouraging me to get stuck into the buffet as I arrived at lunch time. Not very much encouragement was actually needed!

The presentation was very successful, they guys seemed pleased with the answers I gave them bout the changes the Americana has made over the last few years and hopefully we’ll see a lot of their members at Prestwold Hall in July next year.

The next three days were crazy as myself, D3TJ Elliott Ltd and Larchwood Construction Marketing launched our new online construction industry magazine – Construction Voice!


Construction Voice is a FREE publication that is emailed out to a subscribers list of thousands of construction business and supporting services every quarter. There are lots of industry mags out there that say the same things, but the aim of CV is to be different. Launched in conjunction with the Business Growth Club, we are more focused on business growth within the construction industry and our content reflects that.

The launch day at Risley Hall, just off Junction 25 of the M1, was a fantastic day, attended by many industry professionals who wanted to see what we could offer.

Me with my wonky name badge!
Me with my wonky name badge!

In the same week, Tim and I both managed to attend The Big Expo in Wolverhampton at the racecourse run by Circle Events.


There were some very exciting people there (and one or two who definitely weren’t). Sean Bird of Daredevil Creative and Beuie Web Design caught our eye, as did guest speaker Michelle Mills-Porter – of Ethos Development Ltd – who was a fantastic motivational speaker and someone I would recommend to anyone looking to freshen up their sales team.

The next week was a flurry of meetings about Construction Voice, JMW Snapshots, Americana and my work with the very talented people at The Nottingham Institute, broken only by Tim narrowly beating me at squash at Chilwell Olympia. Mid-day is definitely the time to go if you can – we got there early and the courts were all free so we got a full hour instead of 30 mins. Mind you – my legs didn’t thank me for it! I had my revenge on Tim by beating him at pool over a post-squash pint in the Beekeeper.


The next week, Lynne and I went to CenterParcs in Elveden, Suffolk. We’ve been to Sherwood CenterParcs on many occasions as it is on our doorstep and we even went to Whinfell CenterParcs up in the Lake District earlier this year (where the highlight for me was bumping into Clarke Carlisle – ex-footballer, Chairman of the PFA and champion of mental health in sport and other charities to boot!).


It was really nice to wind down for a week although I did miss having decent WiFi (Lynne was glad I wasn’t on the laptop all the time though) and I read three books whilst I was there which was great. We stayed in the hotel which had a lovely view of the lake from our balcony (which we didn’t use as much as we should have because it was wet in the evenings).

The highlight of the month though, was Lynne’s mum’s surprise party. She is (something) years old in December and in order to deliver maximum surprise, we decided to arrange her surprise birthday party for 41 days before her actual birthday.

My beautiful Lynnie who did all the hard work with her sister Jayne
My beautiful Lynnie who did all the hard work with her sister Jayne

In a not so rare touch of genius from Lynne, she and her sister Jayne even convinced their mother to prepare food for her own surprise party – thinking that she was actually coming to my parents’ wedding anniversary party!

Mum, Lara, Dad, Ed and Ian enjoying the party!
Mum, Lara, Dad, Ed and Ian enjoying the party!

I took a great video of when we surprised her and just how shocked she was. My favourite part is when she realises she is holding a card and present for my parents anniversary and it’s not even their party! “What the hell have I got this for???”

Halloween this year was another disappointing night as we bought sweets and carved pumpkins – only for none of the little blighters to show up at our door. Never mind, we had fun watching scary movies and Lynne took the pumpkin that I carved into school where the kids told her it was “sick”.

In progress
In progress



A good Americana meeting was followed by lots of Americana working for me and Tim and whilst I enjoy it – the highlight of the day was going to Goose Fair with Lynnie – she loves it! Seeing her smiling face makes me feel like there is nothing I would not do for that girl – which is probably how she got me on the big wheel despite my fear of heights. The worst bit was going up, and up, and up, and up, but once we’d been around a couple of times, I relaxed enough to take a photo.

I can see the pub from here!
I can see the pub from here!

The awesome JT Beedham’s are there at the Goose Fair at the moment (cemetary end near the pavillion) selling their multi-award-winning sausages, burgers, hog roast etc. It was nice to see Jason again after he and Beedham’s had given us so much support for the Barefoot Walk so there was only one food vendor  was giving my hard-earned to!



So Lynne had a day off because of the teacher’s strike. Although she spent most of the day arguing with some very ill-informed people on Facebook about why teachers were striking. In between the FB aggro, we managed to have a lovely day out in Derbyshire, enjoying a lunch at the Chatsworth Estate Farm shop and restaurant. We also picked up some lovely food from there (including a PURPLE cauliflower which Dr.Lynne Sansom – geek extraordinaire – was keen to show me how to use as a litmus indicator) so I could make a nice sausage and mash for Lynne’s mum and granddad (officially THE sweetest man on the planet) as they were travelling back from Wales after visiting relatives.

This IS purple!
This IS purple!

We also went to see my dad too, who now lives in Landermeads nursing home due to suffering from Neuroferritinopathy (easy for you to say!). Dad was good and I pinched his photo album off him to nick some of the pictures from his mountaineering days. Enjoy!


Published by Toby Hewson

Writer .. Innovator .. Creator .. Promoter

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