Compared to its much softer English equivalent: it was delicious, the hard consonants make it so aggressive, or as I like to think of it, passionate. The louder you say it, the truer it is.

It’s my favourite German phrase (out of the 6 I know).

I learned it to make sure that when I’m eating and drinking out I can use it to compensate for my lack of language knowledge of everything else.

Restaurants and bars are where it started, but it’s also wonderfully applicable to cold showers on hot days, fresh morning walks and my time so far with Dan in Germany.

I haven’t worn make-up in a week. No one does here. My beautiful boots are gathering dust and I’m living in trainers. My hair has been treated to bountiful and cheap conditioning treatments and is softer and shinier than ever, rolling down my shoulders like silk. I’m fitting in. Not because I want to change myself, but because my mindset has been purely ‘explore and embrace’. It’s not a question of why, as much as why not?


For a few hours each day, I visit Sophie’s Brauhaus. The waitresses bring me coffee and help me with my German (just this minute she’s told me we’re only speaking in German from now on). I write and write.

My new book is brewing, bubbling and steaming at the back of my head. It’s gradually making its way forward. I’m doing the research and prep I can to coax it closer to the front of my head, so I’ll be able to shut my eyes and watch it play out.

Quitting my job and giving up our lovely flat was really difficult. For the few weeks after when the whole ‘I’m voluntarily unemployed what am I doing??!’ doubts were loud and harsh, I was so worried I’d not made the right decision.

Now I’m here and so totally happy and relaxed, eating, drinking, reading and writing all day, I’m still just a tiny bit worried because it’s so perfect and what on earth have I done to deserve this life? Will I wake up to discover it was just a few too many glasses of wine that lulled me into a long delirious dream? Even now, writing this, I’m beaming.

Stress has always been a driver of mine. Heat and pressure have made me thrive. Before I arrived I was terrified of boredom and slowness to the point of stopping, but Germany has even given me an answer to that: there are wasps everywhere. I just moved my bum further backwards onto the bench I’m sitting on and felt a sting. Happily it was just a prickly hedge.

Granted, the goosebumps I get when I can feel a wasp land on my hair aren’t quite of the same calibre to when I get a tricky brief and a tight time limit from a client, but goosebumps are goosebumps (right?).

But the very best part of being here? Every day for the last seven years Dan’s asked me the same question ‘how was your day?’

And every day for the last week and a bit, my answer has been truthful, instinctive and unfaltering.

‘Lecker. Absolutely bloody lecker.’




On Saturday I ran away.

I packed a bag, called a taxi to the railway station, and didn’t stop moving until I was at the sea.

With a notebook on my knee, a pen in my right hand, and a loaded chip fork in my left, I listened to the waves and I wrote.

After a couple of hours, my handwriting became unrecognisable and I needed a new notebook.

A short walk, £2.99, and 200 fresh pages later, I checked into a hotel. It was dated, with stained ceilings and soft, gold fabric. They had Margaret Atwood books on the bookshelf and The Phantom of the Opera played in the lobby.

It wasn’t until my muscles melted into the clean white sheets of the bed, I realised that I couldn’t remember the last time I wasn’t tense. The sun came in a triangle through the window and warmed my feet. I wrote until I fell asleep and when I woke up, I wrote some more.

With an alive mind and an exhausted body, I opted to eat dinner at the hotel. At my corner table for one, I was brought farmhouse pate and melba toast, mushroom soup, roast lamb and strawberry cheesecake. It took me several hours and a carafe of chenin blanc to get through it all. I never eat that much, but I didn’t struggle.

On Sunday morning, I walked for miles across the empty beach. I walked until the first beach cafe opened, bought a cup of tea and sat down for more hours still, to write some more.


And then, just as quickly as this flow of writing had started, it stopped. I had emptied myself of words.

When I stood up, I felt it. Lightheadedness wasn’t just the sensation, it was the reality. The morning sky came through even my closed eyelids as an orange light, shining into my uninhabited mind.

What needed to happen had happened. I checked-out of the hotel and travelled home.

When you start to feel consumed (and I mean that in the very sense of the word: eaten up, bit by bit) by everything that your everyday is, sometimes you have to run away and not stop until you’re at the sea. Sometimes you have to host a controlled word explosion until there’s nothing left to come out.

Self-care, self-love, self-compassion. Always, always, always.

Rejection Perfection: A Guide to Getting Back Up

No matter how many times people tell you that you’re special, that you’re too good for them at that job, that ‘I’d hire you!’, having your job application rejected is crushing. When you’re applying for a job, you mentally put yourself in that role to decide whether or not it’s for you. From there it’s cover-letters and a CV polish and face-to-face interviews, trying all the way to decide what the company wants and how you can become it. It’s a contortion act – and when you’ve strained your back and twisted your ankle and pulled a muscle in your neck from all that vigorous nodding; to get rejected leaves you on the floor.

1. Take a Day

Cry. I’m giving you permission. Punch a pillow. Turn up Beck’s ‘Loser’ (I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me, that one) and sing along as loud as you can without annoying the neighbours (or annoy them if you like, but make a note to apologise later – they’ll understand because they’ve been rejected before, too). Binge watch TV and put three frozen pizzas in the oven (you can’t afford Domino’s).

But for goodness sake, only do it for one day.

2. Pick Yourself Up

Set an alarm, make some strong coffee and sit back down in front of your computer. Email the company and ask for some feedback (you can do this even if you haven’t had a face-to-face interview). This is a win-win.

Win 1: If they give you a list of reasons, a few pointers, some advice for improved interview skills – fantastic. You won’t make those mistakes again – moreover – you’re now going to be aware of these weak spots and be able to give them the time and attention they need to be turned into skills.

Win 2: If the response you get is that you just weren’t the best suited for the job then that’s great, too. Nobody wants a job they’re not suited to – and nobody wants a boss who also thinks that.

3. Dust Yourself Off

The Japanese have an art form called Kintsugi. It involves putting back together broken pottery and painting the cracks with gold lacquer. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as something beautiful, something admirable and individually unique. Being broken isn’t something to be ashamed of – quite the contrary – it’s an opportunity for a whole new creation.

Look at your weaknesses and see if you can find a way to make them work for you. For example if you’re shy, anxious, lacking in confidence; sell yourself as an introvert. If you feel like you’re an outsider then sell yourself as one. You have an outsider’s point of view, your constant seat on the fence has given you the observational skills of a hawk. You know what needs to happen – and they need to know that.

4. Start All Over Again

So, you’re back on your feet (however wobbly). Wonderful. What’s next?

Revision Time.

Write a to-do list and (this is the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given) make the first thing on the list ‘write to-do list’. That way by the end of the list, you’re already one task down with one big fat tick.

There are thousands of advice articles out there from people who know what they’re talking about on how to improve your professional profile. Look them up, look lots up, get some ideas, and work on your next approach. View this as a fresh slate, a new and exciting opportunity to once again start the journey to where you want to be.

At the end of the day, the more times you write a cover letter, the better writer you’ll be. The more times you’re interviewed, the better you’ll be at professional interaction.

And the more times you pick yourself up off of the floor – the stronger and more future-proof you’re bound to become.

Digital Marketing is a Lobster

They’re both tough to crack, but with the right set of skills and tools, you’re in.

Once you’ve reached the core, the rewards are yours to reap; all that’s left to do is slather in in butter (that last step mainly just applies to the lobster).

It is a truth universally acknowledged that sea-life analogies are fundamental for digital marketing success.

Don’t believe me?

1. They keep growing forever

The secret is out. digital marketing is HUGE now, and with companies going from realising they need to be employing it to realising how they can be employing it, it’s only going to grow further.

With the industry demand so high, students and graduates have started to develop themselves to fill the mould. From social strategy to writing for the web, it’s a whole new communication skill-set.

Injecting concision into creativity with the objective of selling, is an art. Not only do you need what you’re saying to be informative and persuasive, you need your audience to enjoy the experience of it. You need them to think ‘yes, that was just right, you’ve got me.’

2. They eat each other

Yes, digital marketing eats digital marketing.

The industry is ever-evolving, and there’s no place for ‘because that’s the way we’ve always done it.’

Not every strategy is going to be fresh from scratch, success won’t be achieved by leaping for the sake of leaping; the way I see it, the process is one of absorption. We take what we know works, that style of graphic from the last campaign, the tone of voice from that particular article and we build on it. A new focus for a new audience. A new incentive, a new excitement.

3. They don’t scream in pain when exposed to hot water

(Apparently it’s expanding air bubbles trapped in their shells finding an avenue of escape from their bodies)

So the digital marketing pool, much like the lobster’s saucepan, is filled with hot water. I mean this in the way that digital marketing is challenging, high pressured and not for someone with only half a heart to dedicate.

The mediums that make digital marketing so successful do so because of the opportunity of escalation and reach. It’s great when you’ve created a swanky campaign that your audience loves and wants to share, but escalation and reach can work against you, too.

One off-comment, one brand voice slip-up, one dodgy campaign component and you run the risk of your brand ending up re-branded with minimal input from you.

4. One of their claws can exert pressure of up to 100 pounds per square inch

All fast-paced and changing industries have claws, but it’s more the power here I’d like to address. Like the lobster’s claw, digital marketing for a company is their most valuable tool.

A company should use analytics and digital research to uncover who their audience is and what it is they want. Once you know what to deliver, the stage is yours. Creativity begins and lays the path for success.

Then a company can sink its digital marketing claws into their next business objective.

5. They can regenerate limbs

Companies looking to establish digital marketing strategies can start almost anywhere. The trick is regenerating strategies bit-by-bit.

Whether it’s creating social accounts or setting aside some time to encourage employees to practice social advocacy, it doesn’t need to be everything and it doesn’t need to be all at once. As we’ve established, the saucepan of social is daunting and can burn you if you’re not careful.

But if you haven’t already, you must dip your toe in and try it. You won’t be the first, of course, but you definitely won’t be the last. Late to the digital marketing game is okay, because the industry is growing as it’s learning, constantly developing, regenerating into a process map of increased engagement, success and profit.

So treat yourself to some cast aluminium lobster crackers and get stuck in. Before you know it, you’ll be eating digital marketing for breakfast.


If animals did social media, which one would you be?

Written for Distinct Digital, digital marketing for recruitment agencies.


Have you ever seen the motivational memes floating around on LinkedIn that say stuff like ‘run with the wolves’ or ‘surround yourself with lions to become a lion’? Well what if your recruitment agency was actually an animal?

We researched the psychology and habits of hundreds of different animals in order to draw accurate and relatable comparisons to the way your recruitment agency operates. This takes into account your approach to things like social media, online marketing and content.

So we’re not giving out ego massages here. We’re not telling everyone they’re a lion or a wolf. We might even call you a carp. These are simply truths about animals that we’ve found to be accurate metaphors for business.


No-one can accuse you of half-heartedness. No-one can associate your type with laziness or fear or poor time-management.

You’ve got a spring in your stop-at-nothing step and a destination in your mind’s eye. You take a leap, you land on your paws, already preparing for the next one.

But with all that leaping, and all those destinations in mind, you’ve neglected one thing.

Sociability perhaps isn’t something you’ve really thought about addressing. Well, you’ve thought about it, of course you have, but quickly hopped on to something higher up your priority list.

‘I’m social by nature,’ you tell yourself. ‘That will do for now.’

But what’s sort of happened while you’ve been busy hopping between your million other tasks is that the ‘now’ has extended into months, even years, when you think about it.

Your social nature isn’t doing its job at promoting your recruitment agency.

The frustrating thing is all this twisting, turning task-hopping, you’ve quickly become clued up and confident on practices that a social network would be inclined to prick their (much smaller) ears to.

No-one will ever hear you if you don’t speak out.

So find a mouthpiece. Find someone who knows your industry, someone who can listen to your story, someone who can extract #whatmakesyou Distinct – and do it time-efficiently for you.

Find someone that knows the social media rabbit hole well. Don’t jump in blind.



Why is your head in the sand? It’s not really that you’re wanting the world to go away, is it?

Like the other animals, you’ve been searching on the ground for a while now. They seem to be sourcing what they need to survive, and you thought following the pattern would do the same for you. You were right, of course, I mean look at you now – you’re surviving.

But you always knew, that you shouldn’t be at their level – and instead of putting work into figuring out where you’re supposed to be, you took the easy option and buried your head in the sand instead.

Having your head buried, feeling that cool sand against your face, makes for a safe place. Under the ground, nobody can see you, nobody can interact with you, and whatever anyone’s saying about you, you don’t have to hear it.

After a while though, it gets a little lonely, especially because you can still hear sounds of life above ground. All that time you’ve spent with your head down has actually produced some thoughtful analyses, that actually, might do you some good to share. Not only might it allow others to learn who you are and what you do, but it will establish you as a reputable source of content.

It’s time to take the leap.

Lift your head. Let the sand fall off of your face. Let your eyes open and adjust to the light. Stop surviving at ground level and use #whatmakesyou Distinct. You’ve got strong legs to stand on and your neck has the potential to rise far above all the other creatures. From there you’re in prime position to deliver your message.

Now all you’ve got to do is deliver it.



‘It could be worse,’ you reason with yourself. ‘At least they’re not making fun of me. They can’t, can they, when they don’t know my name.’

Each and every morning you force yourself into the mainstream.

‘Morning, all,’ you say, ‘I hope you have a nice day.’ But nobody ever responds.

At lunchtime you reckon you’re onto a winner because you’ve got a cool lunch. A photographical lunch – and the others seem to love photographs. So you take a snap and display it for all to see, ‘This is my lunch,’ you say, ‘what are you guys having?’

But there’s no engagement. And it’s not because of your internet signal.

In the afternoon, you post a GIF, in the evening you post another with double the desperation and half the heart. Then another picture, this time of your tea.

‘Night, everyone,’ you duly announce before retreating to your riverbed.

You don’t sleep, of course. Soliloquizing salmon monopolize your mind. What do they have that you don’t? You’re so friendly, so approachable, so polite.

What are you supposed to do, when ‘creative’ just isn’t who you are?

In not being heard, you’ve spent a lot of time listening and watching. None of the others have binocular, wide-angle vision, so you’re positive that they don’t know this talent pool nearly as well. There really is an awful lot of value to #whatmakesyou Distinct.

So talk to someone about it, talk to a communicator who’s creative and knows ways to get heard. Unload on them your thoughts, let them be re-designed and redistributed into content the others will long to listen to.

Stop selling yourself down the river; you belong in the conversation.



Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

Strong, confident and fast.

Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

You’re on it. Your method of communication is tried, tested and successful.

Tap, tap, tap on the keyboard.

But then, the tapping stops.

You’ve said now what you’ve wanted to say. You’ve communicated the social messages that have been building up since the last flurry of phraseology, too. So what now?

Well you bow out, of course. There’s no point in chatting for the sake of chatting when you don’t know what else to say, and your to-do list is crying out for you, eager to be fed with your attention.

So you leave your social media for now. Halfway through your to-do list, a social post idea with that magical combination of professionalism and wit comes to you. You titter to yourself and make a mental note to send that out later.

The next day something else comes to you. Something clever and thought-provoking that you know could spark engagement with those who engage with your tapping. You can put it out next to that one from yesterday… But what was that one, again? Oh well, you’ll think of it soon enough, for now you can get on with other things. Besides, a few comments like that on social media don’t really have anything to bringing food back to the nest (do they?)

A busy week means your Twitter tapping temporarily terminates. An even busier week follows, and the thought leaves your reinforced skull entirely.

Your penchant for sporadicity is brilliant for multi-tasking in the day to day running of your agency; nobody can fault the way you switch and switch again from calls to flying between meetings, but your social presence does suffer.

So do what you do best: recruit. Get a company who know exactly #whatmakesyou Distinct, a company that can pin down your witty and professional brand voice and be there for your audience when you can’t.

Let them sing your birdsong from the rooftops, regularly and consistently.



Slow and steady wins the race. That’s what you tell yourself over and over like a mantra as you watch the others socially speed ahead with punchy personality profiles and easily accumulated engagement.

You post too, of course you do. You understand the importance of social media, even if you don’t understand how to navigate it.

New jobs promptly plod on to your feed, not too much to clog it, but once an hour, on the hour. It’s sustainable. It’s consistent. And that’s what you are, at the end of the day. It’s not an inaccurate reflection.

A creature of habit – professional habit – but your tried and tested professional words with your tried and tested professional tone don’t translate into success online.

The others, you notice, upload pictures, quirky quotations, news and blog posts. They have these voices that are miles apart from you and everything you publically put out. How do they conjure these distinct voices from thin air?

Nobody seems to understand that your thick shell is filled with nerve endings and that when you hear whispers in your direction that sound an awful lot like ‘formal’ and ‘awkward’; you can’t just retract into yourself and choose ignorance.

Idea sharing, inspiration, answering your question of ‘but aren’t digital marketing and advertising the same thing?’ – the things you really do need a network for, you’re not getting. That boat left with you still in the shallows a while back.

What you really need is another method of transportation. One that will pick you up and let you accelerate forwards on its back. One that will bring you up to speed with the others, and on the way help you to talk about exactly #whatmakesyou Distinct.

Give yourself the opportunity to really come out of your shell.