Sun, Garden and Books

I have taken the opportunity of the many holidays in April and the sunny weather which has continued to May to do two of my favourite things which when combined make a perfect day for me.

The first is sitting in the sun in my garden and the second is having the time to read lots.  So in the past month I am proud to say that I have been an avid reader once more of fact and fiction.  Sitting on my chair in the garden as the kids have played swing ball and football around me or like me they have stopped for a while and read books in the colourful setting of our spring garden.  With the dog in his element as he plays with the kids or sits at my feet and does a little bit of sunbathing himself.

I am nearly finished my third marketing book of the month which is titled Social Nation and is about how businesses need to create communities both off and on-line and the importance of really making your customers feel part of the business.  I also read a book on Sales for small businesses which I enjoyed less but which did have a great quote from Winston Churchill.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

However I always feel that if you learn even one thing from a business book that you can take into your business then its worth it.  In the sales book I learnt that what people want from other people is to solve problems that they have from the day to day of what to have for tea to issues that Bright Light Marketing may be asked such as why a business is not attracting new customers.  So it was worth the read as I have already given the thought of how we solve problems much thought and will no doubt think more on it in the coming weeks and months.  Finally I read a book called Unmarketing by Scott Stratten who lives in Toronto.  The kids thought the title of this book was hilarious as they couldn’t understand why if my job was to market why I would want to unmarket.  Good observation by a seven and ten-year old and we have had some interesting table discussions as a result.  The book really struck a chord with me as it was exactly what I have always believed which is if a business doesn’t have customers at the heart of its business it doesn’t matter how good it’s marketing is it won’t succeed.  It mirrored Bright Light Marketing’s latest newsletter http://brightlightmarketing.briefyourmarket.com/Newsletters/How-to-keep-customers-happy/Would-you-like-more-customers-.aspx.  I also enjoyed this book for its observations on social media and finally as the author lives in Toronto a city I love it was great to hear about examples of good and bad practice from that wonderful Canadian city.

So rather pleased with myself on my reading of facts.   Especially as my Continued Professional Development record for my chartered status with the Chartered Institute of Marketing needs to be completed shortly.  However but it has also made me think about the ongoing strategy of Bright Light Marketing and that of our clients.

I have also read fiction as I confess I am never able to just read fact I need my fiction fix preferably on a daily basis.  So alongside the marketing books I have read William Boyd’s brilliant novel “Any Human Heart” which is for my May book group.  I just loved it and was totally involved with the book and its main charecter.  A wonderful read.  On a visit to our local bookshop Mainstreet I saw the Orange prize winners displayed and decided to read as many as possible and started with “A memory of love” by Aminatta Forna which like “Any Human Heart” drew me in and took over my imagination from the start to the finish. 

With two kids who share my love of reading I have not abandoned reading to them and bedtime stories have moved outside to the garden if warm enough or the summer-house with its marvelous great green chair which can sit me, a child and the dog and at this time of year is usually warm and cosy.  My son and I are still enjoying the Wombles.  We are now on book four the Wombles at Work.  It is another lesson in life of waste not want not with some hilarious tales of Orinoco being lazy yet again and Bungo being avidly pursued by a swan.  My daughter and I are reading the sadly deceased Eva Ibbotson “A company of Swans.” which yet again has caught both of our imaginations as we read about a girl who runs off to join a ballet company who are touring in the Amazon in  the late 18th century.  Long chapters and long books which every time my daughter and I don’t want to finish as they hold us in her spell.

So April and early May for me has combined two of my favourite things.  Sitting in the garden which I have done as if this is the summer I want to appreciate it and get the best from it though hopefully it’s just the start of a hot summer. Well I always like to look on the bright side.   Plus lots and lots of reading both fact and fiction.  So if you are looking at a good marketing book to make you think I can recommend Social Nation and Unmarketing.  If you want a good fiction read Any Human Heart or the Memory of love.  Any book of Eva Ibbotson to me is great for a girl who likes to read and has a soaring imagination.   But to top them all for lessons in how to reduce waste and to bring a smile to my face every night it goes to the Wombles.  Again I salute you.

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About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. www.brightlightmarketing.co.uk. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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One Response to Sun, Garden and Books

  1. Pingback: The rainy weekend that wasn’t | Fionadranesblog's Blog

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