Autumn Fair 2019

accessories, Decorating, Exhibitions, home decor, Lifestyle, Musings, Ramblings, Shopping, sustainability

This week I visited the NEC for The Autumn Fair, which is an exhibition for buyers covering homeware, gifts, fashion, retails solutions, home decor and more.


It is a vast space and was packed with exhibitors from across the globe.  There was colour trend forecasting also on offer, with 4 distinct trends and co-ordinating colour palettes – Dome, Scarcity, Gorge and Ritual were the themes:

Moving through the exhibition, in which there were literally hundreds of stalls, the next stop was home decor and lighting.  There were some lovely companies showing.  Coach House were particularly elegant and had a wide range of styles with a strong emphasis in oversized lighting:

I discovered a new brand called One World, and love their oversized furniture and accessories:

Plus I found a fantastic lighting company called Light & Living from the Netherlands, featured below.  Every light was beautiful, and I love the mesh pendants (which incidentally a lot of brands featured so they will be a big thing in 2020).  Their lights were beautiful, although very heavy so the practical designer in me popped out as I pondered the way to hang them safely on a standard British light fitting..

So looking at trends for 2020 home decor, colour is definitely creeping back in, even if the sophisticated greys/blush combos and Hygge remain popular.  I am really happy to see some colour after years of pale greys though….


On another positive note, there was a large emphasis from exhibitors on sustainability.  I spent ages talking to a Chinese manufacturer from the Shaoneng Group about their products made from sugar cane and bamboo waste pulp.  They apply it to disposable food retail products, but it could also apply to many other home items.  It is biodegradable, water and oil proof and much more.  A wonderful product, especially for take aways and similar food outlets.


So definitely an interesting place to visit and see what is on offer, how it is made and what some companies are doing to help sustainability and recycling.  This month I also will be visiting 100% Design & The London Design Fair, so watch this space for more ramblings…


How a pot of paint can cause chaos…

before and after, Colour, Decorating, Interior Design, interiors, Makeover

In the last couple of weeks I decided to repaint my sitting room.  It has been the same colour for ages, and I felt an update was in order.  I am getting very drawn to orange at the moment, and as the room has a lot of light and high ceilings, I felt that it could take a dark tone and create a different feel to the existing colour.  This is the room as it was…

It was originally painted in Drab, a now discontinued Farrow & Ball paint.  I chose a strong orange by Valspar called Storybook Sundown to replace it.  I have orange elsewhere in the room in the rug, upholstery and cushions and this colour complimented them the best…


So with 5 litres I started to paint.  You  know that moment when you think ‘Hmm, not sure if I am liking this…?”, well it came pretty soon after the first coat.  I have been so used to the previous colour and this is so out of my comfort zone that I started to to think I had made a mistake.  But I decided to continue to see what would happen.


BUT… once it was done I loved it.  Really vibrant, rich and cocooning.

Now this is where the chaos started… when I say chaos I mean a nuclear chain of events starting from the initial one pot of paint.   My sofa now looked really insipid against all of the other bright colours.  The room needed something stronger/darker in colour/tone to work with these walls.  The current sofa is a Wesley Barrell Knole, and cost a huge amount when purchased.  It is quite tired now and has been an old faithful for over a decade, so I thought this would be the time to revamp it.  Investigations into re-upholstering it revealed it costs as much if not more to do as getting a new sofa.  The seat cushions alone cost £500 for new inserts, not to mention 15m of fabric and upholstery costs.

Egged on by my daughter we set out to find a new sofa.  On my wish list the main priority was NEVER HAVING TO EVER PLUMP ANOTHER CUSHION AGAIN.  This has been the bane of my life with sofas, and actually if I add the hours spent doing it I could have learnt a new language or trekked across a country instead.  So number one priority was a sprung seat and back sofa.

Research then ensued; size, shape, fabric, finish, durability… The internet is great for hunting, but I want to see them in the flesh too and sit on them to see if they are comfortable.  A bit like Goldilocks and her chairs – too firm, too soft or just right?  A sofa is a big expense as well, so once a shortlist had been made we set off in the car on a sofa bouncing mission.

Stop one was a high street store that had not been on my wish list, but was on the way to another shop.  As we mooched about I spotted the perfect sofa; sprung, buttoned and available in the fabric I wanted. It was in DFS, is called the Trafalgar and is a modern version of the chesterfield with buttoned seat and back, plus proper springing.  The shape is more angular than the traditional rounded chesterfield but that is why it looks so nice.


The detailing is lovely, with upholstery studs along the front:


But this colour is too pale and I wanted a richer more textural fabric.  And voila, in their books I found:


The perfect velvet; not shiny like a lot of modern versions but lustrous and deepest black.  And so reader, I ordered one.. and it comes in about 6 weeks to reface the old faithful Knole sofa (which incidentally is going to a very good home where it will be loved  for many more years).

So that was Chaos Element No 1.  This pot of paint has now cost me a new sofa.. but it doesn’t end there.  I like the idea of adding in more black to define the room, so black lampshades have now been ordered for the lamps around the room in black, and passementerie trimmings have been ordered to jazz them up.  That’s Chaos Element No 2.

On top of that I have now started hunting for new curtains to add more drama and tie up the room visually as the current ones are lovely, but look quite pale now compared to the other colours going on in the room, and that’s a 10ft tall bay window to negotiate as a starter.  Not something you can use readymades on easily… so let’s call that Chaos Element No 3.  I’m thinking watered black silk puddling on the floor would be a bit special…

With that I will sign off, as I need to plan how to create these curtains on a budget, but so they don’t look it.  All this from just one pot of paint…



Exhibition – Unconcious Landscapes

Art, Exhibitions, Experiences, Flowers, Gallery Visit, garden landscaping, Inspiration, landscaping, sculpture

This week I visited Hauser & Wirth in Bruton to see an exhibition of female artists, with works shown from the private collection of Ursula Hauser.  She has collected these over the past thirty years and they range from artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Maria Lassnig, Meret Oppenheim and Roni Horn.   The exhibition celebrates female artists, often overlooked in contemporary art in the past.  For a detailed review of the exhibition, Rachel Campbell‑Johnston has written a great review in The Times.

I was so excited to see Meret Oppenheim’s work in the flesh.  These gloves are wonderful, and a prime example of her surrealist art.  The painting was a surprise as I had always associated her with 3D and sculptural pieces,

From paintings to sculptures, the works create different moods and reactions.  There was a lot of work by Louise Bourgeois, and I am not personally a fan of the spiders due to my own arachnophobia, but I suppose a visceral reaction is a key element to the pieces.  She also made these long legs below which I loved, they conjured up ideas of giants, myths and fairy tales.

A lot of the work was very textural, and these pieces by Sheila Hicks we’re probably my favourite in the exhibition.  The textures and colours are beautiful:

The other element at Hauser & Wirth which is wonderful to see is the garden, designed by Piet Oudolf, with the serpentine pavilion by Radic as a permanent installation.  I had not seen the gardens before at this time of year, and they were in full bloom.  The planting is in drifts of tall perennials which float in the wind, very worth visiting.

In the Roth Bar & Grill, (a welcome part of the site, delicious food…), they have the original design of the garden.  It is interesting to see the initial sketch to the final result.


So for anyone in that part of the world, it is definitely worth a visit.  The exhibition runs until September the 8th.

Clerkenwell Design Week

Decorating, Exhibitions, Experiences, Interior Design, interiors, lighting, Soft furnishings

This past week has been the industry hotbed that is Clerkenwell Design Week.  I spent a day perusing the offerings, and some of these products caught my eye:


The lighting show was held in Fabric nightclub, which meant that they could be displayed brilliantly.  There were a lot of ‘repeat’ concrete shades around, but a few designs stood out:


This beautiful light by Lomas Furniture has a shade of pierced ceramic and looks like the moon…

More lighting which caught my eye came from Pad Home.  This was totally organic in shape, made from cardboard and reminded me of large wasps nests (in a beautiful way)…



I found some gorgeous surface textures at Solus, some were slate with what looked like lasered patterns on them:


They also had gorgeous 3D hexagonal tiles, and can supply simple ones in a huge range of colours.



The highlight of my visit was finding this sink, however the price tag is eye watering .. it is the Brockway by KOHLER.


It comes as 1/2 or 3 tap sizes, and reminds me of a cattle trough.  Prices in the UK where I can find it are £2K plus, so maybe not for now… I am devastated!  Maybe I can convert a real cattle trough instead?



I also saw this beautiful building in Clerkenwell, it looks like Fred Flintstone built it with rough hewn stone frontage in areas.  Absolutely smitten!

Design Trip – Denmark

Art, furniture, Ideas, Inspiration, Interior Design, travel

I recently returned from a design trip to Copenhagen, where the Interior Design department visited many museums, galleries and buildings to develop our practice.  What I noticed on the trip was how I have started to question design in relation to my visual cultural studies since starting the academic year.

In relation to areas in which my practice is specifically connected, I found that there is a real hierarchy of design ‘owners’, in that a small number of people have classed items as being of importance, and to that end the rest must follow suit in agreeing and accepting those definitions.  In terms of design history that makes absolute sense, eg: The Bauhaus changed ornamentation into form follows function and delineated all items, and given the age in which it happened it connects to social and economic change.   I do love modern architecture, especially Brutalism and post modernist hard lines, as it visually inspires me, but every item has a subjective reaction.

A Year of Learning…

Interior Design, interiors, Musings, Ramblings, university

So being a busy-bee student has definitely been a real adventure this academic year… but what a blast and I love every minute of it.

Next week I get my final crit from Tutors for my latest project.  I have been charged to design a Pavilion (full on Architecture style, from fixings to weights to construction), a bar to go in it, and do it all within a Grade I* listed site so absolutely no touching of the fabric of the building etc.  I am finding that I have a bit of Brutalist slant to my work, which is very surprising given the chaotic clutter which I live in (and love)…

I realised I have not posted any work on here since I started back at Uni, so here’s a few bits and bobs I have done this year to prove why I have had no social life, sleep or spare time to post much… 🙂

Semester 1:  Theatre Design & Product Design

Here I started out learning about Orthographics and site surveys.  Basically if you do this type of drawing by hand, JUST as you reach the end of a drawing your hand slips and you have to either scalpel off the ink, or more usually START AGAIN…Gah!  My tutor also is an architect, and knows if I am on a 0.01 or 0.1 pen so you can’t make any mistakes as he’ll know.


I started to learn how to make scale models.  This is something I love doing, and think I am like Gulliver but maybe with more fumbly fingers and a tendency to superglue myself to small things…PORTFOLIO MASTER COPY 4 UPLOAD copy8

My next challenge was to design a theatre installation inside a beautiful Medieval Hall showing an excerpt of a scene from Macbeth.  This is where the brutalist streak started coming through I think… why try and complete with 600 year old carvings, go the opposite way….!  I also made films as part of the design as that is something I used to do in the past for a living, and this design had no budget attached so I went all out for it…


The next project was to design a piece of modular furniture to be used in a travelling exhibition planned for the first ‘Martian House’.  This will be a pod designed a bit like the Antarctic science stations for prolonged living on the red plant in 2030.  I was asked to focus on wellbeing and health, so came up with a multipurpose item that becomes  amongst other things gym parts with added games to spice up what will be probably be a very dull life on Mars…


Semester 2/3:  Staircase / Pavilion & Bar Design

I had to present a project on the design of a staircase by a notable architect, (right down to delivering a correctly scaled model).  I was given one by the architect Santiago Calatrava, one with NO KNOWN MEASUREMENTS ANYWHERE, which resulted in me travelling to Basel in Switzerland tape measure in hand.  But I measured the thing and managed to build the model to scale.

Capture One Session0076Capture One Session0047

Below is my last project this year, and I will know if I have been slayed by the end of June (gulp)….  I have worked myself to the bone in this one, and cannot even begin to count the hours/days/weeks/months it has taken…



What have I learnt?

Less is More and document everything!  I have to justify and be accountable for every minute detail, right down to fixings and screws.  I have also had to learn a huge amount of new digital skills as presentation boards are so vital; Photoshop, Rhino, Sketchup, Illustrator, Lightworks, CAD and so on.  My iCloud storage is huge already as a result and I have over 11,000 photos on my phone….

I have also learnt brilliant practical skills; steam bending, digital fabric printing, woodwork, welding, plasma metal cutting, textiles, ceramics, 3D printing, laser cutting, fabric manipulation, resin and jesmonite techniques, and more.  I have learnt the (new) ways of digital studio shooting in photography, (I am so vintage that I did my first degree in photography on film, and digital did not even exist!).  The fabrication facilities are amazing at my University and the technical staff are brilliant, I am making them a huge cake next week to thank them for teaching me so much already.

On top of all of the practical I also had to deliver a critical blog and essays.   Now I know why Uni students have/need such long summer holidays, I am frazzled but still raring to go for September this year although I think the pressure will be on even more….

Adios for now


10 Practitioners I love…


This is a piece I had to write for mu Uni blog… I think it’s interesting to really look at how you are inspired by previous designers…

Imagine you are going to curate an exhibition on the history of your discipline. Compile a list of 10 practitioners (or specific pieces of work) that you would include and write brief notes on why:

Interior Design has some key practitioners over time, and here’s my top 10 of who I would include:

Furniture designer  (1718 – 1779)

​Not just a cabinet maker, but also an interior designer, and the creator of one of the first ‘catalogues’ of furniture for buyers from all markets and walks of life.  This catalogue defined ‘good taste’, meaning the buyer feel that they were able to participate in upwardly mobile and socially acceptable ‘tasteful’ behaviour if they had the money to buy the furniture.  A wealthy working class businessman could buy the same piece of furniture that an aristocrat owned, creating feelings of upward mobility.  This meritocratic business acumen by Chippendale made him incredibly successful, and is an early example of inspired mass marketing.

Michael Thonet (1796-1871)

This chair can be seen as the first ever flat pack piece of furniture design, and is still in production today.  Thonet pioneered new techniques of laminating wood to create mass produced furniture for the first time ever, and created designs that could be shipped in pieces and assembled onsite.  Like Chippendale he created catalogues for customers, so that pieces could be ordered from anywhere in the world.  These could then be shipped cheaply in large quantities as they took up less space when in flat packs, and he even owned his own transportation services.  Chair No 14 is one of those pieces of design which everyone recognises, creates historical connotations and reflects the importance of industrial mass production.


Fashion & Home Designer (1925-1985)

A Welsh fashion designer and businesswoman. She originally made furnishing materials in the 1950s, expanding the business into clothing design and manufacture in the 1960s. The Laura Ashley style is characterised by Romantic English designs — often with a 19th-century rural feel — and the use of natural fabrics.  Although not to everyone’s taste, her designs, like Chippendale’s, transversed social class boundaries due to their relatively low prices and popular styles, and anyone of any class could become the owner of the rural English idyll.


Interior Designer & Curator (1929-1998)

David Nightingale Hicks was an English interior decorator and designer, noted for using bold colours, mixing antique and modern furnishings, and contemporary art for his famous and wealthy clientele.  His extremely strong use of colour palettes and patterns is still seen as inspirational to the designers of today, to the point that some of the colours he ‘evolved’ and used are still named after him.  I am including Hicks in this list specifically for his use of bold swathes of colour, which become almost abstract in their intensity.

david-hicks_orig methode-times-prodmigration-web-bin-ac234c8f-7349-3761-9a2b-54b7e3cc16dc_orig

Architect, Designer, Interior Designer (1892-1970)

Rolf Engströmer, was a Swedish architect, interior designer and furniture designer, and a representative of Swedish grace, the Swedish interpretation of the Art Deco style.  His entrance hall at Eltham Palace is a masterclass in Art Deco linear design, with every detail and piece of furniture made for the room in 1933.  His work embraced the new modernist approach to design.  His work is important to me in that it signifies a historical change in direction in Interior Design both with an aesthetic and architectural focus, and you can relate it to development of artists in other fields at the time.

Architect & Interior Designer (1869-1944)

Lutyens was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country houses, war memorials and public buildings.  He would also design furniture to fill his house designs to complete his vision, and promoted the arts and crafts movement with the most natural and raw state of materials exposed and celebrated.  He could be seen as the ‘mash-up’ architect in that he would mix architectural styles as he felt fit, and so created a postmodernist, non-judgmental approach to architecture at the time.  For this reason, he is in my list.

Decorative Artist & Designer (b1949)

Annie Sloan is a British artist, colour expert and author. After studying Fine Art at university in the 1970s, Annie Sloan went on to write several books on traditional paints and decorative painting techniques, starting with The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques in 1988. She developed her own line of decorative paint “Chalk Paint” in 1990.  From this she developed the ‘shabby chic’ look which has been prevalent for the last 20 years in home decor.  Some may curse her for it, but the mass appeal of the style shows how people buy into a look and follow it slavishly.  As a result it has been copied worldwide by manufacturers which shows the cultural significance of her work.  The actual recipe of her paints is an age old tradition harking back to distemper and lime paint which has become very limited in use, yet she has resurrected it hence inclusion on this list.

Photographer, set designer, interior designer (1904-1980)

Beaton was a multi talented designer across several disciplines, who created theatrical interior spaces.  His use of clashing colours and patterns show a return to colour after the austerity of the second world war, and he used to introduce ‘the vulgar’ into the traditional, sort of like the punk rocker of interiors at the time.  His clientele tended to be the aristocratic and the famous, who let him run riot in their homes.  His theatre, ballet and opera sets are inspirational, and still used today by The Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House in productions.


THE DANISH -HYGGE  (Collectively)
Late 20th century onwards.

Hygge (/ˈhjuːɡə/ HEW-gə or /ˈhuːɡə/ HOO-gə) is a Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. This covers an entire  interior movement of white interiors, sheepskins, natural materials and pared back interiors.   There is no one designer associated with this style, but given it’s enduring popularity I think it is worth including.  Like Shabby Chic, it appeals to the masses in that it is easy to achieve and promotes an appearance of ‘good taste’ and ‘style knowledge’ but is relatively easy to replicate and purchase off the shelf. 

Phillipe Stark, Designer (b1949)

This chair takes a subversive action, from mimicking a royal chair made for Louis XVI, and subverting it into modern day use.  It has sleek lines, can be stacked 6 high and is mass produced,  and takes the essence of the original into a postmodernist form.  As Starck himself said, the chair “has a mix of materials and styles based on our shared memories. We all own this piece in a way.”  This chair to me is rock’n’roll, and so included in the list.


Long time no write…


Since my last very long time ago post, I bit the bullet and enrolled back at university to study Interior Design with a slant on architectural spatial design.

Since September it has been a whirlwind of learning, late nights (working, not partying) and me banging my head on the desk as I start to learn 3D design programs such as CAD and SketchUp.  However, I am LOVING it, even if I am frazzled and sleep deprived…  So far I have designed spatial installation art pieces, a theatre set, a piece of modular furniture, designs for the BRI hospital in Bristol for staff rooms, and am currently working on a Pavilion design with a bar for an English Heritage site.  I have learnt to weld and cut metal, 3D and laser print items, woodwork in various forms, digital fabric printing, architectural orthographic drawings, a plethora of design packages for the computer (yes, adobe creative suite I love you), model making and loads more.  Oh and I forgot to add concrete, clay and resin modelling as well….  I still have a lot more to learn, but am enjoying the journey as well as still holding down a part time job, running a house and being a mum.  Women out there, we are the mothers of all multitasking….!

I have to run a blog as part of the course, more analytical than design based, so I’ll post over onto this site if anything is relevant to it.  Plus of course anymore DIY tutorials, I’ll posy a prepping for laser cutting one as it’s a genius machine and can cut and engrave anything from fabric to leather to acrylic.  I have my summer break soon so I can add things more frequently.

Until then….

Student Status


At certain points in life a crossroad is reached.  Mine came at the end of last month, very unexpectedly.


I have spent the last 18 years working around my children, their schools and schedules.  So I was always working part-time and with lots of different roles meaning that I was around after school and in holidays.  My husband works away all week, so I have been the main responsible parent for what seems forever.  As a parent, you don’t stop using skills and learning more – bringing up my children I have been a driver, tutor, cook, cleaner, taxi service, accountant, decorator, gardener, driving instructor and many more thin,   It might be the empty nest syndrome starting, but about 2/3 years ago I though I should really try and find one direction to head in, focus on one role only and get ready for the day that my chicks will have both flown.  I had a very high powered job pre-children, and it was my choice to give it up to be with them as they grew up.  I never thought it would be hard to return to work as a result.

As you may be aware from the blog, I have had about 3 different roles over the past few years; teaching art, doing up houses and creating social media for clients amongst other things.  But not one of these roles was something that could be consistent, full time, financially sound, and most importantly something that I would really enjoy doing every day.


So I started sending out my tentacles, and applying for a wide range of roles that suit my skill set, (God, I hate that bloody awful word).  I do live in the middle of nowhere in terms of local work opportunities, so I had to expand the radius to 50 miles.  But I am willing to travel for the right role, so applied away.

What I have found, and it is a definite, is that after a certain ‘age’ work is much harder to find.  I know that companies are not supposed to age discriminate, and it would be really hard to try and prove that they have, but I do suspect that it happens a lot.  I spent a lot of time crafting my CV for each specific role, making sure that whatever attributes were needed were clearly identifiable.  What I really wanted to write in bold letters at the top was ‘Won’t leave for breeding purposes – I have 20 years before I will even think about retiring, and I have a wealth of experience’.  Your age can be deduced from the roles you have done as they want years and dates, and even you don’t legally have to give your D.O.B., they all ask for it and it would be churlish not to put it in.

So… I have applied for jobs that I could do in my sleep, with masses of experience, (if not over-experience!), and 90% of the time did not even get a response.  What is this culture of not responding to a job application, regardless of the amount received by a recruiting company?  The amount of time and effort people put into a job application could at least be rewarded with a response email.  Sometimes I would worry that my application had not been received if it was a job I knew I was well qualified for, so I would send a polite email asking for acknowledgement , and I was lucky if I got a response to that at times.

Becoming really worried about a lack of interest, I asked recruiters to check my CV – was I doing something wrong?  Did it need changes?  Is my interviewing style bad?  No, they’d be mad not to interview you I was told.  But again, and again, and again I got no responses most of the time.

For those that did decide to interview me there were some hilarious moments – the time when I was sat down in front of a 20 something year old possible boss who looked at me with undisguised ‘OMG, you’re as old as my MUM!’ eyes.  On another occasion I met with  company owner and his underling, the latter who would have been my line manager and who had the final say over the hiring for the role.  The owner and I got on like a house on fire, and over the course of the interview I could see in the underling’s eyes the dawning realisation that if I was taken on I would be so much more experienced than her and it would show.  So that was a no then.




So back to my crossroads – Last week I was interviewed for a job that was not particularly lucrative, but I could do it easily and well and it was only 10 miles from home, plus I offered up my marketing skills for free as temptation for some added value for the organisation. I heard back a couple of days later that I had not been successful… “high standard of candidates.”, “hard decision”.. blah blah….

Something switched in my brain at that point.  Not impatience or rage, but instead I just thought I simply cannot tell my friends and family yet again that I have failed to get a decent job, and then watch them looking surprised and upset.  It set me thinking.  What do I really want to do, what do I love, I am only on this earth once and should make the most of it?  For me, it is all about being creative; whether it’s in film or interiors.  The former means a move back to London, crazy hours and the pay if half of what it used to be for double the work.  The latter, which is my main passion, is impossible for me to really get into properly without formal training.


So in the papers that day, news came of the A level results around the country.  Clearing was open to those who needed it and who had not made their grades.  So I emailed the head of a department at a Uni who I knew had a great Interior Design course, and got a call back within an hour.  The call sort of went along these lines…

Got any spaces?


Can I come?

Tell me about yourself & your interior work so far..

Which I did, then I got a yes.

A quick phone call to the Admissions team, where it turns out I have UCAS points pouring out of my ears, and I had a place to study for 3 years in a very architecturally based Interior Design BA Hons course.  One more phone call to Student Finance to arrange a mega loan, and I started yesterday.  More on that later…

I will probably never pay back the loan in full, but you know what, I really don’t care.  I would rather be a financially challenged student and learn for 3 years to do something well, than apply for one more underpaid, undervalued position where actually my chances are 1% of getting it anyhow as I am ‘too old’.  Who know what will happen when I leave Uni, no doubt I’ll be in the same position and even older.  I am hoping that a good portfolio might open some doors, but maybe not if I am interviewed by a youngster who cannot see how valuable experience is.  The HR departments

So this article is dedicated to all the ladies out there who took a career break to have kids, and then find that now they are undervalued, under appreciated and ‘unemployable’.  It’s really tough out there in the job market which can be very hard on your confidence.  But if I was an employer I would hire you like a shot.  You ladies can multi-task like nobody’s business, have years of really valuable experience under your belt in all areas, and you are not an aged hindrance but an asset.  You are just GREAT.