I simply love spring! Looking across Poole Harbour from our offices, that special, warm light is making the water more inviting and you get the feeling that balmy summer days are finally on their way.

I’m wondering how much inspiration it must be giving to our artist client, Kathryn Thomas as she works on a collection ready for her exhibition in early May. I celebrate the fact that Dorset has attracted a successful city-based artist from Bristol where her Poole Quay studio has become a catalyst for some of her most exciting work yet. There is so much going on underground in the art world here, I am hoping that the likes of Kathryn will help bring more quality art to the surface. An oil painter, Kathryn’s linen canvases extend to over 2metres in width so they’re dramatic pieces, full of colour but very serene. I can’t wait to see the new collection.

Easter last year was a roaster if I recall. Let’s hope we get a repeat performance as it’s coming up fast. Easter weekend and the school holidays have so much going on across Bournemouth and Poole, the Easter bunny is going to have to work hard to get some attention!

Beales has launched a stunning new homewares and gifts department in the lower ground floor of the Bournemouth store. There’s some seriously nice things and they’re beautifully presented; quite a transformation. To celebrate, they are closing the road adjacent to host a barbecue on Saturday April 7 between 12 noon and 4pm with free food, drinks and children’s activities. I’m hoping to see Beales’ top boss Tony Brown there, sporting his apron and ‘throwing a few snags on the barbie’!

If you’re stuck for something to do with the children on Easter Monday, take them to the Sandbanks Hotel, one of the rebranded ‘FJB Collection’ hotels, for a Wizard of Oz themed ‘Follow The Yellow Brick Road’ event hosted by their brilliant Funsters entertainment team. Tickets need to be bought in advance but for £5 there is live music, face painting, children’s activities, creative competitions and even a mini farm featuring Easter chicks, fluffy bunnies, pigs and lambs on the beach terrace. There are great prizes for the best Wizard of Oz fancy dress so I’ll be fetching those red Dorothy shoes out of the loft! Check out www.sandbankshotel.co.uk or telephone 01202 707377 for tickets.

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Philippa Thompson as the Sandbanks Hotel’s new general manager. She comes with a fine pedigree, straight from Champneys’ Forest Mere, so yet another lady of high calibre attracted to Dorset’s shores.

My own fine ladies in the LLPR office have been getting crafty with the ribbon and scissors this month, pulling together media packs for Hoburne’s centenary. Our meeting room became a factory as the now published centenary book ‘100 Years of Happy Holidays’ (yours for only £12.99 now available at www.hoburne.com), was sent in stunning packaging to impress national and regional editors far and wide. We’ve been excited by the response as they’ve landed on journalists’ desks and have attracted media interest from Cornwall up to Liverpool. They receive ‘stuff’ every day – well perhaps less than they used to – but they are usually pretty spoilt. Especially travel writers. For us to have feedback that it is one of the most impressive media packs they have ever received, we know we have done our job. Happy days! Well done team. You deserve a blatant plug of your own.

My lovely, loyal, lean and lively, long-suffering Lisa Illingworth has also been a trouper this very day – climbing atop the roof of The Green Room restaurant within Bournemouth’s Green House Hotel to photograph their new residents. Bees. Firstly, photographing bees is pretty tricky. Secondly, photographing them on a fourth storey roof requires some kind of ‘extra mile’ badge. The honey will be used in the restaurant and the hotel, enhancing their focused environmental offering. And how impressive to offer their own honey to any visiting hay-fever sufferers this summer? Local honey is meant to ease symptoms considerably so that’s bound to earn them brownie points.

Birds and bees and longer evenings. Spring is definitely in the air, and I say ‘bring it on’! Make the most of the moment.

‘Til next time…….

Liz