House Column by Liz Willingham
March 2012…

Although they say you should do something that scares you every day, I don’t often welcome moments where I am totally out of my comfort zone. However, I am looking forward to our ski trip this month to celebrate my husband’s 40th birthday. It’s been three years since we have been skiing as a family and, having never skied as a child, I am a total novice. The way I compensate is to focus on what new clothing and accessories I “really need” for the trip, and no doubt I’ll be the one with the biggest suitcase at the airport. All the gear and no idea!

Thank goodness for a dry ski slope on our doorstep. Spending many Sunday mornings there, watching the kids gain their confidence, has transformed our reluctant 12-year-old into an excitable skiing diva who can’t wait to hit the slopes. I’m working out whether I can face ‘ski school’ or indulge in a private tutor instead (which means a handsome young Frenchman who I can’t look in the eye without blushing or, knowing my luck, a hairy, scary military-type). Whatever happens, this time I know I need some direction…otherwise the only direction I will find myself in is towards the bar! Apres-ski I’m very good at but maybe this year my inner alpine talent may finally be exposed?

In preparation, I am trying to make headway in my aim for improved fitness. I recently gave in to my curiosity for Zumba; a genius concept where your latent rave persona can express itself, all in the name of ‘health and fitness’. Perfect.  However, my first session got me into trouble within the first five minutes; I invaded a regular’s personal space and was clearly being too enthusiastic with the arm and leg movements. I concluded that she was simply jealous of my natural rhythm and ability. It did not put me off and although my co-ordination seems to be getting worse, not better, it’s great fun and worth sticking with if nothing but for the entertainment value. For an hour each week I become Beyonce or a svelte, salsa sensation. I’d be mortified if any of you saw me though so no blatant plugs for the class, sorry!

On the subject of blatant plugs, life has been busy at LLPR with work on our new website and sponsoring the Enterprise & Skills Awards. Acknowledging our young local entrepreneurs, I was proud to present the Communications Award to Chapter 12 a team from Bournemouth Grammar School. Well done to all you talented teenagers.

We also helped Monkey World with their blanket campaign which has been great fun – the primates need them all year round so if you have any towels or blankets you can donate, please get in touch. It’s amazing to watch them make their own beds and snuggle down.

We’re all looking forward to ‘Wave 105 Live’ at the BIC on Saturday March 31 which brings one of my current favourites Caro Emerald to the stage, along with The Saturdays and Beverly Knight. For £17.50 the tickets are an absolute bargain to see such huge names so we’re expecting another full house. The event might help us pull together the sequence of music for the next Beales Girls Night Out fashion show on May 19for which plans are already underway. Coming up with a fresh approach gives us a lovely challenge twice a year; expect a nod to the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics this time with a celebration of Britishness. Tickets are available now, grab them quick – the show’s always a sell out and children’s hospice, Julia’s House benefits so much from the proceeds.

Having lost another family member to cancer recently it makes our work for the Friends of Forest Holme, the charity established to support the Poole-based hospice, even more important. With challenges upon the NHS, we are likely to see more pressure put on such charities. There are several fundraising events coming up which we are promoting, and one particularly, the Woofers Woodland Walk on April 29is marked on my personal calendar. Our dog-loving team at Liz Lean PR will be out in force with their four legged friends (I wonder if they’ll all get on as well as we all do?). Bryher, our chocolate lab pup will love it, nose down in the bracken of Wareham Forest. For a £5 donation it will be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. For further information on the hospice and the charity go to

‘Til next time.