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Being self-employed can be a tricky game. I never underestimate the fact that I have the freedom to be around for the kids – one of the reasons I always wanted to work this way – but it can be such a lonely business.
You see, despite the loveliness of working from home, I miss the company of work colleagues. I miss getting breakfast in the office kitchen while talking nonsense about last night’s TV, or being able to bounce ideas off a team in a roundtable brainstorm. I miss having other people to have my back in tricky situations, miss their input when I don’t know what to do with a difficult client.
There are only so many ideas and input my kids have when faced with a client brief.
If I wanted to I could quite easily go weeks without seeing another person (one taller than 3 foot, at least) during my work days in my home office. But that would send me quietly mad, so I try to meet up with other bloggers and self-employed friends where possible.
Which was why last week I had the treat of all treats: a whole day out with some colleagues from The Blogger Programme, a company I’ve been working with for years. People I speak to over email on the daily but whom I’d never met in real life before. And not only that, but I was joined by a couple of other lovely bloggers, too! There was Harriet from Toby and Roo, a gorgeous person who I’ve been lucky enough to work with previously, and new friends Emma from Through Ems Eyes and Gabri from Gabrielle Wears Denim. Along with Hayley and Olivia from TBP it was a really wonderful group of interesting and inspiring ladies.
TBP is a global social platform that matches up influencers with brands to work on creative campaigns together. They’ve been a pleasure for me to deal with for about two years now; we’ve collaborated on projects with companies such as Tesco and Plenty, and they work with Instagrammers and Bloggers from all fields (check out the gorgeous blogger hangout they did for this year’s Fashion week). Their innovative and easy-to-use platform is an absolute joy to work with, and you can take a look (or sign up!) here.
Our day of fun dawned on the only truly rainy day of summer last week when I was due to meet Hayley, Olivia and the crew – perfect for a morning spent at the House of Elemis. Greeted by my therapist Ellie I was quickly whisked away for a facial assessment, a machine that photographed my face and analysed my spots, wrinkles, texture, pores, brown spots and red areas. Ellie took the results from this to prescribe my facial: a Biotec Skin Resurfacing treatment lasting an hour.
Harriet and I popped up to Elemis’s Penthouse (swit swoo) for our facials. Now, I usually choose a massage over a facial when I visit a spa, figuring I can do almost as good a job at home with my drawer full of beauty goodies. But this facial was truly amazing – I felt (and looked) glowing and relaxed immediately, and the products and innovative Biotec machine used were tricks that can’t be used in my bathroom.
Ellie was so knowledgeable and accomodating, too: as a beauty fanatic I always feel like my therapists are having to describe everything they’re doing to me as they would an eight year old. “What are you putting on now?” I asked for every single cream or lotion. “Which step is next? And now? What about now?”. Sorry, Ellie!
Next up was my favourite thing: TIME TO EAT! We headed over to Avenue restaurant in St James, a place I’ve never been before (but apparently one that does brilliant boozy brunches – which is next on the list) for a three course feast featuring our new glowing faces.
The menu was glorious, and after pouring over it I decided to go for the confit salmon (gorgeous), glazed pork belly (mouthwatering) and poached pineapple carpaccio (I’m not really into desserts but I could have eaten this twice).
The food and the company both were glorious, and it really was such a pleasure to spend time with such long-term work colleagues in actual real-life rather than just via our inboxes.
Huge thank-yous go to TBP for treating us to such a lovely time, it really was the work day that dreams are made of. Can we do it again tomorrow, please?
The Blogger Programme are a company I work long-term with on a number of collaborations. Click here to find out more about their fab platform.