28 Apr 2009
27 Apr 2009
As you know, MEN Media is going through perhaps the most difficult period in its history as we contend with steep falls in our revenues. The recession, combined with longer-term changes in the way our customers and audiences behave, is having a serious impact on all areas of the company.
We need to reduce our costs substantially to remain viable as a business, and in March we announced a number of changes within MEN Media, including redundancies, designed to do that.
At the time we said that Channel M would be subject to a separate review, albeit one with the same objective: a sustainable future for our business. Like our newspapers, Channel M has come under severe pressure in terms of falling revenues, and it is now making unsustainable losses.
The review of Channel M is now complete, and we have today spoken to staff about a number of proposed changes at the station.
From June 2009, the schedule will be scaled back to focus on an early evening magazine show featuring news and information for Greater Manchester and on general sports programming. In addition, we are proposing a reduction in the number of people employed at the station, which is likely to result in 41 redundancies across different functions.
The company continues to believe there will be a successful future for local TV in the UK. Channel M will continue to broadcast, and we reserve the option to restore aspects of the schedule should economic circumstances improve.
We will continue to explore the potential of this progressive idea, and remain in a strong position to take advantage of such opportunities as they develop.
In the meantime, though, there is no option but to make these difficult but necessary changes to our business.
26 Apr 2009
Developers very often don't really budget to make hallways fabulous, or have run out of money, or just run out of enthusiasm! Either that or so many of the apartments sold off plan (those days are now gone??!) that they did not need to spend extra cash on creating a gorgeous entrance as their cash was already in the bank!
22 Apr 2009
Fantastic post for headboard ideas, all inexpensive, recycling, and innovative can be seen at the post link below. Not so sure about the pictures unless they were firmly screwed to the wall, but all better than buying an expensive shop sourced one!! http://mysweetsavannah.blogspot.com/2009/04/diy-able-headboard-ideas.html
21 Apr 2009
I reckon firefighters (with my other half amongst them) may well have given up trying to put out the mother of all fires - the (in)famous Vance Millers Maple kitchen empire in Oldham is, well, as you can see, probably not going to be trading tomorrow.
Got these last year in the habitat sale and summer had already gone..... SO great to get them out this early in the year for bbq's already, result!
20 Apr 2009
17 Apr 2009
16 Apr 2009
Roast duck with Marsala soaked roast potatoes, godammit he's good.
- Use a decent camera, and get some high resolution, high pixel shots in case local press can't send a photographer out.
- Remember to get the same angle of the room before, during and after, so test shots can be sent to magazines easily on email
- Get shots of the property before you start ripping it out, to get that lived in look.
- Visualise where you are planning to really make a statement - it's no good getting a before shot of the original kitchen if the new one is going in a totally different corner of the room and you didn't get a shot of the latter corner!
- Take portrait and landscape shots of each angle.
- If you can invest in a fisheye lens they do make rooms look bigger but go easy, as they can distort the room if overdone, and it looks like you are cheating (or were once an estate agent :-)
- You don't really need to pay someone to take fab pics, your own will do as the test shots to send off initially (and you can then take some lovely pics when the magazine dresses and lights your place on the day of the shoot!)
- Be extra nice to the photographer and he/she may let you have some of the images taken as long as you don't re-use them for print elsewhere (very bad manners and you could get sued!)
15 Apr 2009
It's been such a peaceful few hours.... getting on with some paperwork in this horror of an office full of problems and bills and piles of post!! However, this is about to change, as four hungry males are about to descend on me to have a sleepover and watch United. Charlie's team have just stuffed their opposition 5 nil, and he's bringing a friend back, plus dangerous dave and M.
12 Apr 2009
I remember my first rented flat, pine furniture, brown carpet, wood chip wallpaper. Maybe this is why I have resolved not to create these type of hideous rentals, and this is definitely why I try really hard to create spectacular interiors on a budget, helped by all the amazing finds on the high street, and on line.
This bedroom in Pjt Cathedral has wonderful high ceilings as it's up in the roof space, hence the purlin which was stripped, sanded and oiled. I ummed and ahhed over wallpaper and finally plumped for this one. Not cheap, but so much was saved elsewhere, simple white paint, pine painted flooring, that I justified it (to myself!). The Brain Yates Paraiso range.
Left over paper being put to good use in the Morebo glass doors of the Ikea Billy bookcase, specially requested by the tenant for all her shoes! These doors are great for customising and making your own style.
11 Apr 2009
And what has been even more surprising and noticeably different are the new tenants moving in. Almost without exception, they are public sector workers: nurses, teachers, social workers, council employees. As opposed to the private sector tenants we used to get, people in sales or banking or pr or property. It seems to be a real sign of the times, that the only tenants comfortable enough to sign up new tenancies and take on the responsibility of their own apartment, work in the public sector. They feel a security in their jobs which private sector workers just do not have at the moment.
Not that I mind in the slightest, as all of the new tenants, so far, are just lovely!
Thanks to Ro Barratt, journalist extraordinaire for a lovely article in this month YQ magazine. Someone did ask me how much I'd paid her for it, as it was quite flattering, I must organise chocolates.....!
Bbq time at ours, the sun is shining, the boys are playing footie in the garden, it's warm, on Easter Weekend??!! I must be dreaming.
Attempting Nigel Slaters Marsala Duck tmw, must go prick my duck, as it were.
10 Apr 2009
Living room before, during and after
After removing the ceiling, the space up to the roof was enormous! All the spaces between the ceiling joists had to be kingspan-ed for insulation and double boarded. The chimney breast bricks were uneven, jutting out towards the top, so this was designed around and the upper part timber framed out to create a space for artwork and downlights to light the feature wall. There was no reason to change the door to the balcony, so this was cleaned up and kept. The purlins weren't in good condition, so I had the builders box over them with enough space left for star lights (check out a later post for this great lighting)
Its been a tough few weeks, but Project Cathedral is very nearly complete, and I feel like a proud parent. The mahogany fireplace has gone, as has the woodchip paper, the emerald green carpet and the unacceptably low ceilings! Opening up the ceilings to reveal the A frame of the roof has transformed the place, it seems huge compared to the flat that it once was. The tenant came over today and was giddy with excitement, saying it was glamorous and gorgeous and how she couldn't just have a house warming, but had to have cocktails as the apartment deserved no less - lovely. In the depressing world of the landlord, thats the best feeling, that someone can't wait to move into the home you have created. It isn't all about money, no matter what the "buy-to-let" haters think.
I haven't had time to take all the photos, the shower is yet to be sealed and little bits to be finished but its almost done. Good Friday, a 7pm finish (positively early) and a Gurkha Grill - luxury.
9 Apr 2009
Money is VERY tight at the moment, so it's back to basics, recycling and re-using. It's what i used to do, but when life is hectic and momey isn't hard to come by (ie cheap credit!), it's easier and lazier to go and buy new.
I needed a mirror for Project Cathedral, something to do justice to the super glam girliness of the apartment, and the budget for mirrors was blown on the Venetians for the bedroom and bathroom. So after a dig around in the cellar, I unearthed an old, gold mirrror from one of the refurbished flats. Couple of coats of shiny Hammerite black metallic gloss found in the same cellar, and some super-glue and crystals later - one transformed mirror.
The floorboards are varnished now, and you can see from earlier pics the difference a decent varnish gives. It is well worth paying for a good varnish, and is false economy not to. I've used Diamond Flooring varnish by Ronseal, and when you've spent time painting floor white, the last thing you want is it to be unprotected by a cheap lacquer.
A 5l tin (£60) has done two coats in both bedroom and living room (34m approx) using a small roller, and there is still almost half a tin left. So yes, I bought too much :-)