Sad news about Truck Festival going into liquidation


Really sad to read that the company behind the Truck Festival has gone into liquidation. I was introduced to Truck in 2003 and have been every year since, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having been to Glastonbury a couple of times, Truck was similar in ethos yet on a much smaller scale. Set in fields just outside Didcot, there are three or four stages, including the main stage –  formed from a truck (of course!)  – and the Barn (now no longer used) which was … well, a smelly old barn. Over the years Truck has hosted a huge number of local bands as well as some bigger names too, and it’s become a family event for us too, as my kids (now teenagers) have come along for the last few years.

Over the years I’ve discovered the likes of Chikinki, Alphabet Backwards, The Race and Nathaniel Rateliffe, all who have become big favourites of mine; I’ve enjoyed performances as diverse as Mr Shaodow and KTB; I’ve watched big acts like Supergrass, Ash, Biffy Clyro and Futureheads wow the crowd, and I’ve seen smaller acts shortly before they have become household names – bands like Bellowhead, The Magic Numbers and Foals.

This year it was obvious that something was wrong long before the festival gates opened. Continue reading



There have been some pretty shocking stories in the news this week but this one shook me most. As a loving parent I can’t imagine how or why you would want to put your child through medical tests, surgical procedures, feeding tubes and so on, all for attention and freebies. Maybe it is Munchausens by proxy, I don’t know – surely you’d have to be pretty mentally ill do do what she did. Her sentence – 3 years and 3 months – doesn’t seem nearly enough for having put her son through years of what can only be described as torture, both physical and mental, as well as deceiving her husband, family, friends and neighbours, the benefit system and all those good-hearted people who gave money to allow the family to live a life of luxury. She was found guilty of cruelty – I’d have thought further charges of neglect, abuse and fraud at the very least could have been added.

Shame on her. And shame on the doctors and officials who seem to have turned a blind eye to her actions or worse, gone along with her  and effectively helped her continue the abuse.

Devon woman jailed for ‘sick son’ con

Lisa Hayden-Johnson
Hayden-Johnson’s lies led to her son being fed through a stomach tube

A mother has been jailed for subjecting her son to “enduring” cruelty by pretending he was severely ill, to gain publicity and financial rewards.

The actions of Lisa Hayden-Johnson, 35, from Devon, led to him being operated on, Exeter Crown Court heard.

She also presented him in a wheelchair to the Duchess of Cornwall, appeared on television and spent charity donations.

She was jailed for three years and three months after admitting cruelty and perverting the course of justice.

Continue reading

4Networking – business networking at its best!


I’ve been involved with business networking organisation 4Networking for about 18 months now and it’s had a huge impact not only on my business but on my whole life. Unlike many business networking groups, 4Networking prides itself on being 50% business, 50% social – and it works.

4Networking has almost 200 groups around the country, meeting for breakfast between 8am and 10am every fortnight. There are at least half a dozen within half an hour’s drive of my office, and as I’m a passport member I can travel to any of the groups around the country, as little or as often as I like – so I can go to my nearest group in Faringdon and also visit groups in Witney, Swindon, Abingdon, Oxford or further afield (Edinburgh, perhaps!) whenever I want.

4Networking has given me so much, a lot more than I ever thought a business networking group would offer. I’ve picked up new advertisers and contributors for In The Vale magazine, a whole new business (The Proof Fairy) offering editorial and publishing services, new friends, support and a few laughs along the way.

Recently I took over the Faringdon and Witney 4Networking groups as Area Leader and I also started running the Faringdon group, which meets at Carswell Golf Club on the A420 on alternate Thursdays. Our next meeting is on 3rd September and we have a special guest speaker – Tim Johnson is one of the directors of 4Networking but more than that, he is a truly inspirational man who had to rewrite his life story after a car accident tore his world apart.

It would be great to see you at the meeting. If you would like more information or to book, simply visit the website, or give me a call. See you there!