magazine June/July 2011 Edition
Jun/Jul Edition 2011
INSIDE & OUT
What’s New & Novel p4
Past Lives p14 Tarotscopes p16
FASHION French Chic p5
WHAT’S ON The Guide p17
HOME Pretty Provencial p7 Coq Au Vin Blanc p9
Four years of classes, and all I’ve got down is oui, non, and je voudrais un sac de Chanel, merci. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate all things French. I mean, can you imagine a world without couture, patisseries or perfume? Of course not. That’s why, here, at the House of Good Fortune, we’ve decided to celebrate all things French. We’ve even pounced on some cross Channel friends to find out the secrets of their success, and visited a regression therapist in the hope we were Coco in a past life. So, go on, participer à la révolution for this edition anyway. Other goodies to read about include afternoon tea, networking, summer events and visions of a brighter future. Enjoy!
TRAVEL Viva la France p10
WORK Power Networking p19
BACK FEATURE Future Visions p22
France Special p5-13
Penny x On The Cover Model wears outfit from River Island
time for tea crockery from the house of fraser p3
Tea & Treats June Telethons Forget lunch. The cool, new way to meet up with the girls for gossip is afternoon tea. Think macaroons, frosted cupcakes and delicately constructed cucumber sandwiches, washed down with a selection of bespoke brews. No wonder there are new venues and yummy products appearing everywhere. Lyn Harris of Miller Harris, for instance, has just produced her own range of teas, while Fortnum & Mason has recently refreshed its St James’ afternoon tea menu. Locally, both Liverpool and Chester have opened their own branches of Patisserie Valerie, where the fruit tarts are to die for. But our favourite? The Spotty Blue Teapot in Hoylake, Wirral. Not only is the decor here chic but it’s the ideal hang out for yummy mummies and their little ones. There’s storytelling, a nursing room, wi-fi and hand crafted Charlie bears. What more could mother and child want?
When the sun comes out, the ‘box’ usually becomes boring or at least it used to. It’s spring and we’ve already started to develop sofa sores thanks to a whole host of incredible TV programmes, including Boardwalk Empire and The Crimson Petal & The White. But the hits keep on coming. In particular, we can’t wait to watch Mildred Pierce - a sumptuous adaptation of James M Cain's 1941 novel. This five-part miniseries, starring Kate Winslet, will be coming to Sky Atlantic HD on June 25.
WHAT’S HOT Lyric
The first completely invisible, extended wear hearing aid has hit the North West. The innovative, new device is being described as a contact lens for the ear. Why? Well, it’s available on subscription and lets the hard of hearing forget that they’re wearing an aid. There’s no daily insertion or batteries to change - just complete freedom. And with 1 in 7 of us developing some kind of hearing problem at some point in our lives, the arrival of Lyric has become music to our ears. Phonak’s Lyric is available at Stockport’s David Ormerod Hearing Centres. For more information, log on to www.davidormerod.co.uk or call 0845 270 0980
CURATOR OF COOL
The month of May brought with it not only the long awaited promise of summer, but plenty of great cultural happenings in Liverpool. I took advantage of the longer evenings at Light Night, where there were more than 50 special, city-wide events. I also saw the Everyman’s latest production of Macbeth. Starring David Morrissey and Julia Ford, it’s the last show the theatre will be hosting in their current building. It runs until June 11 - so go see it. Finally, I’ve been busy organising an exciting new venture – The dot-art Pop Up Art Shop. Join me at the MetQuarter from June 2-4 for a huge range of quality, affordable art work for your home, all by local artists.
french dressing trench from la redoute p5
FRENCH POLISH If you’ve been harbouring an ambition to buy into that French insouciance but don’t know how - read on.
There’s something about that quintessential French woman that just makes everyone want to be her. She’s classic, understated and a little bit noir. Think Coco Chanel, Vanessa Paradis and Carine Roitfeld. Of course, the secret behind such Gallic chic is simple - French women expect their clothes to fit, flatter and stand the test of time. Investment buying used to mean a trip to couture houses like Chanel, Dior or Yves Saint Laurent. But these days, the list of names offering a slice of affordable yet fabulous, French fashion is more prevalent than ever. It includes Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno and Zadig & Voltaire to name but a few. And for those of us with a highstreet budget, there’s always Kookai or La Redoute. The look is about mixing and layering simple, quality pieces with statement accessories. But whatever the combination, the underpinnings must be seamless and the fit - perfect. Here, we list our four fantasy French buys.
Buying into this season’s 1970s vibe is the versatile Essaouira clog by Yves Saint Laurent - available for £340 from Matches.
WAG bags are a little passe during these austere times. That’s why we love this Robert Clergerie bag, £219 from La Redoute. It’s practical, versatile but most of all - effortlessly chic.
3. Looking for a statement dress that’s simple yet stylish? Consider Chloe’s whipstitch leather dress, £2,065, from Net-APorter.
4. She’s the designer on everyone’s lips - Isabel Marant. Her stone-embellished leaf cuff, £275 from Net-A-Porter, is a real investment purchase.
pretty provencal p7u
FANCY FURNISHINGS Bring the romance and timeless elegance of French style into your home this spring, says Penny Fray.
Baroque chandalier, £395 from Alexander & Pearl
Sure, your home is your sanctuary if ‘sanctuaries’ are filled with characterless walls and your child’s scribbles posing as art. If comfortable yet chic is your goal, then it’s time to inject some continental flair into your homeware. “My trip to France was life changing,” reveals designer and decorator Carolyn Westbrook. “I tell anyone who has not been that they need to see it at least once in their lifetime. The French have an appreciation for detail that is unsurpassed, along with their appreciation for aged beauty.” This is not a look easily achieved with lots of mass produced or minimalist pieces. Longevity and layering are the keys to cross channel chic. Think crystal chandeliers, faded furniture, fresh flowers and elegantly printed walls. “The French have mastered the art of patterned walls and lush curtains, layered with beautiful
paintings stacked against and hanging on the wall, and interesting tabletop collections of all sorts of treasure,” explains Westbrook, who is also the author of The French Inspired Home. Of course, not everyone has the time, funds or eye for collecting objet d'art from Parisian flea markets or antique fairs. That’s why you should rummage through charity shops for pretty cups, distressed frames and unusual printed dresses that can be turned into cushions. High street stores like Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston are also brilliant for vintage chic homeware. And if your budget is fairly generous, try the aptly named The French Bedroom Company for antique style furniture . Finish the look with upmarket candles and a cake stand filled with delicious looking patisseries. And voila - you can finally start calling your house a home.
Above: Roses from a selection at Marks & Spencer
Below: Vintage china teacup & saucer, £5, charity shop
Barbarella Chaise Longue, £1460, French Bedroom Company
Laura Ashley Toile Wallpaper From £26
INGREDIENTS • 600ml/1pt dry white wine • 1.6kg/3 ½lb chicken in 8 pieces • 1 onion peeled and roughly chopped • 2 sticks celery chopped • Flat leaf parsley stalks (reserve leaves for crush) • 2 tbsp seasoned flour • 3 tbsp sunflower oil • 1 thick sliced ham, diced • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed • 2 sticks celery, sliced across • 100ml/4fl oz chicken stock • 175g button mushrooms, wiped and sliced • 10 drops Tabasco® Pepper Sauce • Salt and freshly ground black pepper • 450g/1lb new potatoes • 25g unsalted butter • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Coq au vin blanc with parsley crush Pour the dry white wine into a bowl and add chicken pieces, roughly chopped onion, chopped celery and parsley stalks. Leave to marinate for an hour. Remove chicken pieces and blot on kitchen paper. Place the wine and chicken stock marinade aside. Dip chicken pieces in seasoned flour and shake off excess. Heat oil in a pan and fry chicken pieces until brown all over. Transfer to a flameproof casserole dish. Add ham to the pan and fry until brown, then add finely chopped onion, crushed garlic and sliced celery and toss around to soften. Transfer all to casserole dish.
Pour over the wine and chicken stock marinade and bring to bubbling. Turn down to simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Add button mushrooms to the casserole dish and Tabasco Pepper Sauce. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes with the lid half on until chicken is tender and sauce is reduced. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. For the Crush, cook new potatoes in lightly salted boiling water. Drain, then roughly mash with butter. Stir in parsley and season. Serve with chicken.
2011Trend Cake Pops
This season’s fashion parties were awash with a new kind of treat - the lollipop cake hybrid. Make your own or order them from www.popbakery.co.uk
channel adventures p10u
VIVA LA FRANCE Who better to show us around France’s most stylish cities and towns than women who live there. By Penny Fray.
Ile de Ré Aude Guillemine, 31, introduces us to the pretty clapboard houses, cobbled streets and amazing harbour of Ile de Ré – a chic island linked to the French city of La Rochelle. What’s so special about Ile de Ré? I fell for the charm of Ile de Ré after many happy holidays on the island. Here, you live almost without using a car. But thanks to a 100km cycle path and flat terraine, it’s not an issue. You can cycle everywhere, travelling through forests, potato fields, vineyards and even salt marshes. The scenery is amazing and you never get bored. There is always something to do. Favourite Places The light house of Les Baleines offers an exceptional view of the Ile de Ré in its entirety, while the steeple of SaintMartin, offers an amazing vista of the fortifications built by Vauban. I also love the long beach of La Conche des Baleines. This year, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Longest Day, since some of it was shot here. It’s amazing to think that movie legends like John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum and Curd Jugens, have all trodden along this stretch of sand. Food & Drink One of my favourite restaurants is La Bouvette, au BoisPlage-en-Ré. There, we enjoy dishes made from fresh and seasonal produce. I’m crazy for the Eclade de Moules. The chef, however, keeps his technique a secret. For a gourmet snack, La Cabanajam is the ideal stop whilst cycling between SaintMartin and La Couarde. I go there often with my family to eat oysters and shellfish, washed down with a glass of Ile de Ré’s white wine. Another place not to miss is The cellar of the cooperative of wine makers in Le Bois-Plage. Le V, situated right on the Arsen-Ré harbour, also has a friendly atmosphere. You can eat “on the go” with their deli platter of toasted bread and cheese or enjoy a glass of Pineau with friends on the way back from the beach. But on the weekend, there’s nothing I love more than to read a newspaper over coffee at La Flotte’s harbour. Go to the terrace
of the restaurant Le Saint-Georges, and you’ll see the whole town getting ready for market day. Shopping There are plenty of unique shops here. Osez Sophie in SaintMartin-de-Ré is great for gifts. It’s a sparkling, colourful store, full of good humour and irresistible homeware. Other places I love include Un Dimanche à la Mer, located in La Couarde, and its two sister shops - ‘the shop’ in Saint-Martin-de-Ré as well as ‘Indian Summer’ in Ars-en-Ré. That’s where I buy my “Ile de Ré French Atlantic Island” sweatshirts. If you’re on a budget, I suggest you go to the market of Le BoisPlage-en-Ré which takes place every day of the week in high season. It is the largest market on the island of Ré and there are always an array of fashionable clothes, accessories and bags. Top Tip Use products with providence. I go to the Savonnerie de Ré in Loix to buy beauty products made from donkey's milk. The milk comes from Monsieur Léau’s farm of Poitou donkeys.
Food & Drink Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world, including Château What’s so special about Bordeaux? Margaux and Château It’s a compact, elegant and versatile city Lafite Rothschild. There are that’s near both the countryside and the so many vineyards, it’s hard ocean. It’s also recently benefited from a to recommend just one place facelift. The quays have been renovated to go. That’s why it’s worth and the city’s beautiful buildings have sampling a few different been cleaned. wines at Bar a Vin. Here, tastings are great value at What about shopping? one euro a glass and they The city offers everything you could even have an English possibly desire - from high street stores to sommelier to assist you. designer boutiques. The Rue Sainte While Bordeaux and its Catherine is well worth a visit in that it suburbs boast of 13 Michelin has one of the longest pedestrian streets starred chefs, there are plenty of in Europe. It has a wealth of shops, inexpensive brasseries serving local restaurants and cafes and was refurbished delicacies such as entrecote and molluses. about eight years ago in a project by the I personally like La Brasserie Bordelaise well known architect Jean Michel for its great food and atmosphere. It’s Wilmotte. As you walk towards the Place popular, so you’ll have to book in advance. de la Comédie and the nearby Cours de For celebrity spotting, however, try La l'Intendance, the shops become Tupina. progressively more exclusive
Bordeaux Karin Labardin, 40, reveals why the bon vivant capital of France’s South West is so popular.
Its chef Mr Xiradakis is well known for championing local produce. My favourite spot. Bordeaux is a city of art and history, boasting of several ‘must see’ sights such as the Saint Andre Cathedral. My personal favourite, however, is the Place de la Comédie. It’s the heart of the city and pulsates with life. It’s also the site of the Grand Théatre, one of the finest theaters in France. Lifestyle Tip Don’t be afraid to put a modern twist on the traditional, whether it be food or fashion.
Lille Delphine Bartier, 36, uncovers the cultural life of a city that lies on the border with the Flemish part of Belgium. What’s special about Lille? The Flemish influence of the city can be seen in its architecture. It’s a clean, lively and metropolitan place that is easy to reach via Eurostar. Lille was also elected European Capital of Culture in 2004.
around Lille - but La Piscine holds a special attraction for me. The former municipal swimming baths is an Art Deco masterpiece which now showcases arts and sculpture.
Lyon Isabelle Faur introduces us to luscious Lyon - capital of the Rhone-Alpes region.
Food & Drink For tea and sweet treats, I always visit Meert, one of the city’s oldest and most elegant tea rooms. I remember my grandfather taking me there as a child for waffles.
What about shopping? For classic designer names like Best spot? Hermès and Louis Vuitton, My favourite place is the old make straight for rue de la town. It’s such a cute and Grande Chausseé or Rue colourful place filled with market Masurel for antiques. stalls and interesting small shops. The revival of trade has Lifestyle tip certainly brought out the charm Prepare your own lunch the of the old buildings. night before and walk everywhere. What to see: There are many beautiful and interesting places to visit in and
Highlights Lyon is best known for its silk, gastronomy and being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To enjoy great food and “art de vivre” as a real Lyonnais, go to the food market in the morning and then eat oysters with white wine on St Antoine Quay before going to a terraced restaurant along the Rhône river. Places to see and things to do: For a great overview of the city, go to the gallo-roman theatre on the Fourvière hill. The Fine Arts Museum offers the second largest collection after the Louvre. Located in a former convent, it offers a nice courtyard surrounded by trees and singing birds - the perfect place for a picnic. Foodies will love the covered food market - the Halles Paul Bocuse de Lyon - where you can meet in the morning the chefs buying their high quality, local products Restaurants and bars: The choices are endless. But Café des Fédérations is one of the best bouchons, thanks to its funny chef, warm welcome and great cuisine. The Restaurant Le Passage is another gastronomic delight located in a “traboule”, offering a cosy ambiance and wonderful food. Another option is the Brasserie L’Ouest, located on the Saone river bank. It’s one of the four brasseries from Paul Bocuse. But for drinks and a friendly atmosphere, try L’Harmonie des Vins.
INSIDE & OUT time travel with a twist p14
A BLAST FROM THE PAST
TRIED & TESTED
Can reliving past lives heal diseases, cure phobias and enhance well being? Penny Fray investigates. The idea that our present problems may lie in other lives may sound less credible than a Hollywood film script. But, according to exponents of past life regression therapy, this kind of time travel can change your life. Of course, the idea of reincarnation is highly controversial - not just among scientists, but between different religions too. To many, it’s little more than the product of a farfetched imagination. But given the growing interest in the subject, Wirral therapist Jane Ashton decided to investigate whether there could be more to it. She began her journey whilst researching her son’s aspergers syndrome and was amazed how guiding people into the past could heal present problems. Whether the regression is real or not isn’t the issue for Jane. What the client gains from it is more important. “I love using regression as a therapeutic technique because it gives the client a detached insight into their behaviour,” she says. “One of the most interesting cases I’ve ever come across involved a client considering undergoing a sex-change. He was unsure about what to do, so he had three regression sessions. In each one, he experienced being a woman in Victorian times and possibly even earlier. He described in vivid detail horse drawn carts, cobbled streets and various styles of female attire. But during one session there was an incident where a wellheeled gentleman pushed her to
the ground, shouted abuse and threw money at her before disappearing into a horse-drawn carriage. After the session, he understood his discomfort of men in general. It seems he had internalised that dislike.” So, how does she help a client delve into the recesses of the mind? “With my skilled guidance, the client is led into a deep relaxation. Once the conscious mind is at rest, the unconscious mind comes to the fore,” she explains. “Using nondirective language, I then introduce the process of guided visualisation that allows the client to be taken back to a past life. I encourage them to articulate what they are experiencing so the event can be understood. It’s about knowing why their unconscious mind has taken them there. Our mind does not distinguish between what we actually see and what we close our eyes and visualise, it responds to both equally. So if we close our eyes and focus on going back in time, then we are in fact living those moments. This can allow limiting beliefs to be reframed and emotions released.” According to Jane, anyone can undergo regression. “The technique requires only trust and is especially effective for clients who have fears for which they have no explanation.” Sessions cost between £50 to £150 and can last up to three hours. For more information, visit
Burts Bees Radiance Cream, £19.99, available from www.burtsbees.co.uk Give your face the royal treatment with this nutrient packed day cream. Containing bee pollen to maintain essential moisture, wild cherry bark extract to create calm, and burdock and birch extracts to help minimise the appearance of fine lines, you'll get naturally radiant, younger-looking skin. Verdict: I loved it - a natural moisturiser and anti-ager in one pot. My dry, sensitive skin felt much smoother and less irritated after daily use. Even better is the fact that nearly all the ingredients are natural, the packaging is recyclable and that 10% of web sales go to a good cause. What more could a girl want? Good skin and a gleaming halo.
Treatments we love.. A chocolate body wrap from Heart & Sole Holistics in Birkenhead. An hour of bliss for just £20.
Your forecast for June to July from The House of Good Fortune ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20)
under control or risk alienation.
Beware of chasing overnight
Colleagues need to see your more
success, says the reversed star card.
Career longevity should be your goal and that takes a lot more work. You’re
VIRGO (Aug 24-Sep 23)
willing to put in the hours but not
Your strong sense of duty is
necessarily the patience. Big mistake!
overwhelming your diary at the moment, says the reversed hanged
TAURUS (Apr 21-May 21)
man. No-one will criticise you for
You are happiest when you are
dropping the odd project or two,
appreciated and feel truly ‘seen’, says
especially if they don’t earn you
the queen of wands. At least a loved
much money. CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 20)
one recognises your talents, even if a competitive fire sign colleague doesn’t.
LIBRA (Sep 24-Oct 23)
You throw yourself wholeheartedly
Move on. Their unfortunate attitude is
You’ll feel like connecting to
into your work, says the king of
people in a more meaningful way this
pentacles. So, when you don’t receive any rewards for your effort, anger soon
GEMINI (May 22-Jun 21)
month, says the two of cups. As a result, you’ll find out something useful
Getting overly absorbed in a new
from a Scorpio friend. This is an ideal
rooted in insecurity rather than spite.
follows. Be prepared to do battle with
hobby or subject will result in
time to network, network, network.
a boss in late July. Keep calm, amass your evidence and victory will soon be
accusations of insensitivity in mid
Success follows sociability.
June, says the reversed ace of swords. A loved one needs you more than you
SCORPIO (Oct 24-Nov 22)
think. You have been warned!
The page of cups indicates that
AQUARIUS (Jan 21-Feb 19) You’re ambitious and do not fear strife
you need to be needed. So, you’ll feel
at work, says the five of swords. But
somewhat slighted when a family
sometimes, even you can bite off more
You are totally devoted to your nearest and dearest and get extremely
member tells you to keep out of their affairs this summer. Just shrug your
than you can chew. Be realistic about
upset when affection is not returned,
shoulders and pretend not to mind.
says the reversed queen of cups. By
Your pride depends on it.
will be well. This is not the time for arrogance or experimentation.
CANCER (Jun 22-Jul 23)
your achievements this month and all
accepting that everyone’s different, forgiveness soon ensues. You feel a little lonely late June.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23-Dec 21) Getting involved in some sort of
PISCES (Feb 20-Mar 20) Things are really going your way
LEO (Jul 24-Aug 23)
intellectual cause will lead to long term at the moment, says the wheel of fortune. Make the most of this lucky satisfaction, says the king of swords.
You’re not a snob, but next month
It’s time to put that brilliant brain into
streak by chasing new dreams,
action with a new course or reading group. Follow a Gemini’s lead.
especially if they involve some sort of
you’ll be accused of lording it over people, says the emperor card. Try to
keep your aristocratic nonchalance
dress from long tall sally p17
CALENDAR COOL The social season is officially underway, says Penny Fray. No tickets for Glastonbury? No problem. The North West has plenty of hip happenings - minus the mud and the mayhem. First on the social calendar is the Manchester International Festival. This biennial event is a cultural extravaganza of unusual music, drama, and art. There are some amazing artists performing this year. Running from June 30 to July 17, highlights include a multi-media performance from Björk (right), and Damon Albarn working with the English National Opera on a show about the Elizabethan astrologer Dr John Dee . Visitors can also expect ‘encounters’ by 11 contemporary artists in the form of rooms that are constantly changing. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing the Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe starring in Marina Abramovitch's Life and Death. For more information, log on to www.mif.co.uk If you’re on a budget, you’ll be glad to hear that Liverpool will be hosting the UKs biggest, live African music festival, for free. Africa Oye (africaoye.com) will be taking place in the stunning surroundings of Sefton Park on June 18-19. Finally, stop and smell the roses at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park from July 20-24. It’s Cheshire’s greatest garden party, so expect displays of fabulous flowers and fashion, especially since the show will now be hosting its first ever Ladies’ Day.
Guest speakers on the day will include glamorous gardener and presenter Rachel de Thame and former milliner to the Royals - Adrian Phillip Howard. For more information, log on to www.rhs.org.uk
on What’s uly June/J
HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALOWS II Out on July 15.
NOTES FROM THE KITCHEN BY GWYNETH PALTROW, £20
MATTHEW MORRISON, JUNE 9, MANCHESTER APOLLO
LLANGOLLEN EISTEDDFOD, JULY 4-10
All good things come to an end and here - the wizard’s tale is wound up as Harry and Voldemort go head-to-head in the final showdown. Hogwart’s hero is plunged into a future full of shadows and must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. Gripping stuff!
Following in the footsteps of Lawson and Pascal, Paltrow has put her passion for food into her first cookbook. It is full of 150 fresh, original and practical recipes that all the family will want to try.
LEGALLY BLONDE, JULY 8-16, LIVERPOOL EMPIRE THEATRE Based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, this critically acclaimed new musical sets to be sassy, sexy and spectacular. Fans of the film will love it.
As he embarks on his solo music career, Glee fans won’t want to miss the man who plays Will Schuester, live on stage. This Broadway star really sparkles.
For a global celebration of music and dance, you can’t beat this international festival. Watch celebrity artists like Lulu and performers from all over the world in one scenic Welsh town.
Whether you’re chasing new clients, developing your professional reputation or just eager to meet new people, you need to network. Penny Fray gets the inside track from some of the best networkers around. We all know successful people who seem to spend more time schmoozing, boozing and updating their Twitter status than working. But, like it or not, networking can be a key tool in helping you achieve your professional or personal goals. “Networking is more than just the exchange of business cards,” explains trainer and author Steven D’Souza. “Networking is developing relationships which can support you, and in which you can provide support to others, in every area of life. The wider and stronger our networks, the more capacity and opportunity we have to live our life richly and to make life easier for others and ourselves.” So, cutting to the chase, how do you become a brilliant networker? Well, learning the art of reciprocity is a good starting point. “Networking is not a ruthless science,” says Martyn Best, senior partner of Paver Smith and MD of Document Direct. “All you're trying to establish is if there is any mutual ground where you may be able to help each other, so don't be afraid about exploring the random fact - you never know where that may lead to.” Another key quality of great networkers is that they’re genuinely attentive to the needs of others. “Successful networkers are interested in people and what they do,” explains Jack Stopforth, chief executive of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. “It is more important to listen than to speak and to avoid being boorish by imposing a story or script on people. The basic rules apply - be
polite at all times but never obsequious; make and hold eye contact; let people speak and be interested in what they have to say. It is equally important to recognise when you are flogging a dead horse - when somebody's attention wanders or they are otherwise unresponsive, let them go and move on.” Of course, sometimes you have to go in for the hard sell - maybe because of a shortage of time or because you have only one shot at a particularly important person. “In that case, you need to have mastered your brief so that you can get the key points over very quickly,” adds Stopforth. “Deliver your ‘elevator pitch’ and offer a business card. Then, follow up the next day with a ‘great to meet you, hope you didn't mind..’ message.” If you are afraid of being ignored or your request rejected, take a note from author Carole Stone’s book: “If you know the person, simply ask ‘did you really mean to be that rude?’ Otherwise forget the snub. You’ll be over it in a couple of hours.” Sometimes, the most self-respecting thing to do is walk away from an awkward situation knowing it might say more about the other person than you. Finally, don’t forget to network in the virtual community. Love them or loathe them, sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, have completely changed the way we communicate and do business. Not only do they allow you to speak to thousands of people with a few clicks of your mouse, they also let you strengthen your brand and engage with global customers in real time.
“We have only recently started to get more involved with online networking as we have up until now concentrated on face-to-face networking,” says Alan Woods, director of Wirral business growth accountants - Woods Squared Limited. “We see online networking such as LinkedIn, Twitter and commenting on websites as a vital part of our strategy to help raise our profile as a business. We have only being doing this seriously for little under three months but we have already seen an increase in the traffic to our website and the awareness of our business within the local business community.” Engaging an online audience is not so different from the traditional form of networking, according to Jayne Lloyd from Culture PR. It calls for goals, authenticity, reciprocity and good manners. On the flip side, accessing a global community that’s available 24/7 requires effort. So, be realistic about how much time and effort you can devote to it.
CONNECT WITH A CLICK It’s useful, efficient and costsaving. So, isn’t it time you started making the most of the web for your business? No longer simply an information tool, the net is a great resource for trading, networking, marketing and more. The new Invest Wirral Business Forum is a free, online business initiative, available to all Wirral based companies. Through a simple online registration the forum provides great opportunities for collaboration, business resources, events and exhibitions. It even has procurement alerts. When it comes to online networking, Gemma Henry, a Business Development Manager for Invest Wirral, offers the following tips:
1. Be specific - search for relevant online groups or networks where individuals you want to connect with are likely to be members, for example professional affiliation, business expertise or industry sectors. 2. Integrate – make virtual networking and social media a part of your on going marketing plan, setting objectives and monitoring outputs delivered as a result of the networking. 3. Invest time in online networking - allocate your own time or a resource into ensuring your information is kept up to date and be pro-active in contacting people of mutual interest. Establish a routine to ensure this is continued. For more information, log on to www.businesswirral.com
Networking online has never been simpler
This edition’s office must haves are: Update your working wardrobe for summer with this sheer, bird print blouse, £49, from Mint Velvet. Gorgeous and bang on trend! Thinner, lighter, faster and now featuring FaceTime - it’s time to update your iPad. Available from an Apple Store from £399. Flaunt your feet in these Yves Saint Laurent Tribute sandals, £565, from Net-a-Porter.com
back to the future
FACING A FABULOUS FUTURE
Multi linguists, remote controlled motorways and under-the-skin communication Penny Fray discovers what life will be like 20 years into the future. Want to know what might be happening 20 years into the future? Europe’s leading futurist Ray Hammond, has teamed up with Vision correction specialist Ultralase, to predict exactly what the world will look like in 2031: Language barriers to become obsolete US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were amongst the first to trial real-time language translators and there are a number of smartphone applications also entering the market that will translate spoken words and phrases into 57 languages. But in 20 years’, real-time translation will be provided by wearable computers so that two people who do not understand each other’s language can have an easy conversation. This will mean that there’s no longer any point in learning a foreign language unless it is for pleasure, or for cultural reasons. Robotic carers and cleaners Over five million robotic vacuum cleaners are already working in homes across the world. However, within the next 10 years, more general purpose domestic robots will start to arrive in homes and within 20 years, robots will be routinely providing care for the very young, the ill and the elderly. They will become our personal fitness trainers, companions and even eomantic partners.
such an implant in 2005. By 2030, however, many more people will be wearing tiny computers/ communications devices (descended from today’s smart-phones) in their jewellery/clothing and some will even choose to have them implanted under their skin. Glasses and contact lenses will become things of the past for more and more people Laser eye treatment is already a widely accepted procedure to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or lenses and within 20 years. But developments in the field will allow people with previously untreatable prescriptions (either very high, complex or reading prescriptions) to have a surgical alternative to their glasses or contact lenses. These treatments are currently being developed, and include laser, intra-ocular lens, and corneal implant procedures.
Remote controlled motorways Within 20 years, many cars will be driven and steered by robot control systems that receive instructions from roadside, cellular and satellite wireless systems. This technology has already been tested on a freeway in Los Angeles and, each year, the American Defense Agency organises a longdistance race for robot-controlled cars but by 2031 this technology will be widespread. In fact, many highways will only allow robot-controlled cars to travel. Communication to get under everyone’s skin Early experiments with implanted subcutaneous communications devices have already taken place with Professor Kevin Warwick, at Reading University, becoming the first British citizen with
images from the film i-robot p23u