I know there will be a fair, few parents out there quite relieved that the school holidays are over and the routine is back in place. Oh to have those heady few guaranteed weeks off every year! You never fully appreciate something until it’s gone do you? But there are only so many trips to the cinema, drizzly hours in the park, or being ‘typically British’ with gritted, chattering teeth on the beach that you can cope with during our ‘high’ summer.

With one child going to secondary school for the first time and my second going into his next stage of junior school, they’re anxious like all of them as to what the year ahead holds. Weather will be the last thing on their minds. For the rest of us, we’re just pleased to know that the juggle of childcare versus the working day is somewhat less chaotic for a while.

As mentioned last month, Liz Lean PR is looking forward to a full remit of events every weekend throughout September; Windfest, Feast of Dorset, Julia’s House Enchanted Ball. It’s all going on! And, as always happens, there are lots of clashes with special friends’ 40th birthdays (big shouts to Katy Poole and Amanda Eastwood), anniversaries (the out-laws, Pete and Dot, Nina and Nathan) and a general sense of not being able to be everywhere at the same time. Most frustrating. I need a clone!

Feast of Dorset 2011

Feast of Dorset 2011

Even into October, things are still lively and tickets are already on sale for the popular Beales ‘Girls Night Out’ fashion show and shopping event on Thursday 6th October at the Bournemouth store. A great way to help raise well needed funds for charity, save money on early Christmas gifts, treat yourself (20% off all products and 10% off cosmetics) and enjoy lots of entertainment too. Grab your tickets now – they genuinely sell out quickly. We’re really excited about the theme for the show itself, but I’m not giving anything away, you’ll have to wait for the surprises!

In the meantime, my blatant plug of the month goes to ‘GEM’ designed exclusively by George Davies, Beales’ brand new in-house ladies fashion range which goes live in the Bournemouth store from 17th September and is to be rolled out to 31 stores across the UK. As a department store chain, they’re now the fourth biggest in the UK after their recent acquisitions. We should be very proud of them.

We’ve welcomed a lovely new member to our team in (sunny) Sandbanks this month and she’s looking forward to meeting our many friends and colleagues across the conurbation. Rachael has joined us from Bristol and was originally a radio journalist before heading into the world of PR; she was even a breakfast radio presenter for a couple of years. She’s joined us to work on projects including the Shelley Manor development in Boscombe, Quay Living, Poole Harbour Commissioners and Bournemouth University’s Wellbeing in Practice so it’s a busy time for us overall. Not least due to the final rounds of Dorset Business Awards applications to find the greatest local companies.

Dorset Business Awards Launch Event Photo

Dorset Business Awards Launch Event

With judging now about to start on the many applications received, we are pleased to be in tandem with Dorset Chamber of Commerce on the Dorset Tourism Award this year. We’ll be rewarding those organisations that bring tourism income and awareness to the county – watch this space for our chosen finalists and the glitzy black tie awards ceremony at Poole’s Lighthouse on November 24th. Tickets are available to buy for the dinner so contact the DCCI (www.dorsetbusinessawards.co.uk) to get your place amongst Dorset’s business glitterati!

The only award I am winning at the moment is the ‘unfit’ award unfortunately. My best intentions to get the bikini body have somewhat faltered with school holidays and lovely trips to Cornwall to eat pasties and scones. But I must say I am slowly learning to be more motivated mentally about exercising and I am enjoying the – too few – excuses to get on my bike more than I ever thought I would. I think running and the ‘dolphin fin-flailing’ toning exercises on the beach I have mentioned in past columns may not be my thing, but I guess you have to try everything before settling on something that suits you. I plan to get back into some routine as soon as possible so watch out drivers for some wobbly bike riding around the area; I probably should treat myself to a high-vis vest!

Well, for my sake, stay safe on the roads this Autumn! I look forward to inflicting another ramble next month!