Oriental Otters, Beales fashion show, Battistinis big bikes; it’s all happening in the ‘man up’ month of May

May is one of my favourite months; the prospect of summer, the first flush of warm weather (boy, we have been spoilt already) and the social diary becomes even busier than usual. This year has felt particularly crazy with all the bank holidays thrown into the mix – you can see business people all over the place not sure whether they’re coming or going!

I was extremely lucky to have picked a deliciously hot and sunny week to enjoy some of my old haunts in the motherland (Cornwall) that included a trip to Zennor with our smelly old surf dog, Zennor (as mentioned in a previous column). Not doing anything to support my fitness drive at all, we ate far too many cream teas and pasties. Scrummy.

It’s good to know that the European Commission is now developing guidelines to protect the official recipe that makes a proper ‘Cornish Pasty‘ – nothing annoys me more than finding a rogue carrot or pea in my pasty! It does make me laugh though that the Cornish call a ‘turnip’ a ‘swede’ (they’re really quite different vegetables) making the guidelines really tricky for the EC. The upshot is that turnip can be listed in a pasty’s ingredients, yet it mustn’t contain any – it has to be swede! Simply bonkers……and I love it.

Back at base, there are lots of lovely projects coming to a head that we at Liz Lean PR are working on, and they’re all very different, which keeps our lives more than interesting!

Tony Brown, CEO of Beales with the models of the Beales Girls Night Out

First off, for fashionistas – Beales Bournemouth is about to host its third Spring Summer Girls Night Out fashion show in the store on 12th May. We love the buzz of this twice-yearly event; the reaction to the male models, the flowing fizz and the great discounts throughout the store. Heading to the Mac counter for a quick makeover starts the whole night off nicely.

Oriental small clawed otters at the Oceanarium Bournemouth

For animal lovers – a pair of Oriental small clawed otters are now basking in their waterside penthouse at the Oceanarium Bournemouth. From Saturday May 28 throughout the half-term holidays you can get involved with some otter themed entertainment, activities, talks and competitions. The otters are really cute and funny to watch – they juggle with rocks and pebbles and talk to each other in their own language of calls and noises; it’s been a real dream project.

In stark contrast, and for those who like big boys’ toys, the very first custom bike show comes to the BIC on 28th and 29th May from 10am to 6pm. The Battistinis California Dreamin’ Expo is likely to make some noise as it comes to town – several ‘chapters’ of Harley-Davidson and custom bike owners from all over the UK are heading to Bournemouth over the Bank Holiday weekend, over one thousand motorcycles are expected to rock up! Imagine the roar? It’s going to turn heads that’s for sure. We’re most looking forward to seeing Evel Knievel’s original stunt bikes and memorabilia, their first appearance at a UK bike show.

The inaugural Battistinis California Dreamin' Expo roars into town on 28 and 29 May 2011

The inaugural Battistinis California Dreamin' Expo roars into town on 28 and 29 May 2011

For me personally I’m not sure I’m a Harley type girl, I’ve never owned a bike but if I did, I think the closest I’d get is a nice vintage Vespa! I can’t really see it happening though……..flying to meetings on a scooter with laptop strapped to my back? Mmmm……..maybe not, I’d be a liability. I think I’ll stick to the Beetle!

For my usual ‘blatant plug of the month’, I need to give credit to one of Wave 105’s presenters, Simon Clarke, for his ‘man up’ month of fundraising in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust (I bet he’d ride a Harley). He has got to undertake a whole series of manly (and scary) sponsored challenges to help the stations’ dedicated Cash for Kids Teenage Cancer Trust campaign throughout May. You can even bid for someone to join Simon in the challenges. Wave 105 hopes to achieve enough funds to create a dedicated teenage cancer patient room at Southampton General Hospital whilst raising awareness of cancer in young people in the south. This is such an important cause so do go online and sponsor Simon at www.wave105.com/charity/cashforkids-teenage-cancer-trust

Well I hope your journey into June is a smooth and sunny one. The longest days will soon be upon us……….some time to catch up on business hours lost in the sea of bank holidays. Bah humbug!



Spring is in the air…

Spring is in the air…

Oriental otters to find a new home at the Bournemouth Oceanarium

As we see glimpses of spring appearing, we can appreciate with fresh eyes how lucky we are to live in this stunning area, and from what we’re hearing, it seems there’ll be some exciting new things to experience and enjoy for the summer season ahead. Watch this space, we’ll keep you in the loop!

In the meantime, make the most of a deal being offered for the whole of March to anyone living in a BH postcode. When fuel prices are getting ever higher and other increases are pinching our pockets, it’s nice to hear of someone looking after their locals. Oceanarium Bournemouth is once again offering half price entry to BH residents this month; it’s the perfect excuse to take the family or indulge in some tranquil time out. The Oceanarium is one example of a business creating something new for the 2011 season – they’ve got some new friends arriving. Otters! Their very first mammal arrives this spring and we’re looking forward to helping them celebrate with launch events and special activities. A whole new enclosure is in construction to welcome the pair of naughty Oriental small clawed otters, who are known to be funny to watch and extremely playful and mischievous.

Talking of playful and mischievous, I was recently treated to hang out with some very well-dressed footballers, courtesy of AFC Bournemouth. Not being particularly into football, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I accepted an invitation to lunch and a match one Saturday to watch the Cherries v Huddersfield with my kids, our events manager, Chloe and her lovely partner, Jason. I thought it was important that we got to experience a live football match – something I had never done before (yes I got ribbed for that). Well, I admit it; I totally get it now. Watching anything live is always a buzz and we really enjoyed ourselves. Having a sociable lunch first in the restaurant was a great way to start the afternoon and I’d recommend it to anyone. You even get tea and cake in half time! The children thought they were in heaven.

As we finished lunch and wandered out to find our seats in the stadium, I was very excited to see we were surrounded by other AFCB players. Suited, booted and Barbour’d up to the nines, Chloe quietly thought she’d gone to heaven too!

The atmosphere and the energy in the packed stadium was magical. Watching the match play end to end, and seeing the stadium explode as the Cherries scored, made our day. Sadly, Huddersfield equalled it right on the wire and the result was a draw, but we’d had a fantastic time and would like to shout a big thank you to the Club for inviting us. We’ll be back for sure.

From my blatant plug of the month to a tip from us about ‘blatant plugs’! Like us, many of you will be regular users of social media, and from now on you have to be much more careful about how you talk about the company you work for online. And not just for fear of getting the sack! The advertising standards people are cracking down on anyone trying to influence others through blogs, status updates or other online communications. You need to ask for guidance from your boss as to how you promote the company you work for online, and if you are a boss, please show your staff how to play it or you might be penalised for your employees saying nice things about you! It’s nice to plug something you believe in, but if anyone is paying you in any way to have that opinion, make sure you make that clear. There’s always something new which makes us busy in our world……and that’s just how we like it!

I hope your month is as mad as a March Hare, until next time……



Peter & Jordan try for a baby at the Oceanarium

Peter & Jordan try for a baby at the Oceanarium


Spiny tailed-lizards, Peter and Jordan, in the Oceanarium

Our client, the Oceanarium, is on a very special egg hunt this Easter…they are hopping the Easter bunny will bring eggs from eight spiny-tailed lizards. The staff have named two of these very rare creatures Peter and Jordan because of their tango orange colour and we are hoping that they will do what the very fertile couple do best and reproduce!

The lizards have been lovingly looked after at the award-winning Bournemouth attraction since they were seized by customs after being illegally imported into the country six years ago. Staff have installed a specially-designed box in their display for the lizards to lay their eggs in as part of the captive breeding programme. The egg-laying box, which looks like a rock, will be checked every day and will incubate any eggs found .

A ninth lizard from the Oceanarium is on a romantic break at Sparsholt College, Winchester, where she is being woo’ed by another male lizard there… The Egg hunt is on!

Oceanarium 01202 311993 or visit www.oceanarium.co.uk