The day in the life of a leftenant colonel’s daughter

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buckingham-palace

First Person: Jess Forrest

Leftenant Colonel Wayne Forrest has served over 30 years of service for the Royal Engineers, and as a result received an MBE for his commitment, dedication and ultimate talent in the job. He first joined at the tender age of 19 as a soldier and was promoted to a paratrooper a few years later. He then became an officer, then Captain, then Major soon after and finally earned his official title of Leftenant Colonel Forrest MBE in January 2012. Jess Forrest his 19 year old daughter re-lives the day she visited Buckingham palace to watch her dad collect this prestigious award.

Interview by Natasha Pilling

Thursday January 10th 2012. It was like any other morning in the Forrest household, the dogs where barking to go out and the kettle has just about boiled so I could make a cuppa before I left for the long drive to London. I remember panicking like anyone does about forgetting something, as I knew how important this day was to me and wanted it to be beyond perfect. I kept imagining what would happen when the time came and thinking back about the letter my dad received from Buckingham Palace a few weeks before, printed on a gold trimmed yellow card it was. It read ‘You and 2 significant others are formally invited to Buckingham Palace in London to collect an MBE award for your Service for the Royal Engineers’.

I sat in the car ready to go in my 5inch heels and my tight-fitting designer dress I saved up for months to buy for the occasion. I don’t know whether it was the dress that was restricting my breathing or the nerves, he hadn’t even turned the engine on yet! I started to wonder as we got to the motorway who would be there, what they would wear, how would they sound. Was I overdressed, was I under-dressed? I was certainly still taken back with what was about to happen, but overthinking is what I do, I just couldn’t help but let me imagination run away with me.

We finally made it to London and despite the freezing weather and the deafening sound of traffic, my adrenaline was keeping me warm and numbing the sound of the busy city. All I could think about was the Queen, again overthinking, what would she be like, how would she dress, how would she sound. Would she smell of the latest Channel perfume or the kind of old furniture that sits in a library for years? We carried our bags into the entrance of our 5* hotel which was of course all paid for. We were only meant to stay for 1 night, but the stay was extended to 2 and our standard room was upgraded to the club lounge. WOW! Was I in heaven or what! The floors where all marble and hand painted, the staff where more posh than anyone I had come in contact with, EVER! And the free bar was calling my name. I knew I shouldn’t drink before meeting royalty the next day, but who in their right mind refuses a free bar? Far too many nervous drinks later, we decided it was time for bed as we were expected outside Buckingham Palace at 7:30am in the morning.

When we arrived outside, I find myself stood in awe at the gracious looking architecture that stood before me. I felt like I was a princess in a Disney film, but this time, I was with my knight in shining armour not looking for him. I crossed my arms outside the gate to warm up my body whilst waiting for something to happen. It felt like days before anyone from the palace even acknowledged us or anyone else waiting, but a few curious tourists did ask for our picture, I felt like a royal myself.

Eventually after about an hour we were taken in by some elegantly dressed guards in red, I tried to talk to one of them but he just kept looking past me like I wasn’t even there, I almost waved my hand in front of his face to get his attention. I looked above my head after walking about 100 yards into the palace and my jaw dropped as I saw the extravagant artwork that filled the walls. There were paintings as tall as 10ft long, couches that stretched for meters down the never ending hallways. I asked my dad ‘How many people live here again?’ he just chuckled under his breath and took hold of my hand surprisingly emotionless. Surely he was nervous, I was! My dad’s name was finally called and he took his MBE medal from The Queen while a 20 piece orchestra played a tranquil cover of a Beatles song. She didn’t say anything to him just smiled, a bit disappointed I didn’t hear her voice, but Im still amazed I got to see her in the flesh. He then shook Prince Charles’ hand, it was the proudest moment in my life, literally unforgettable and my dad was calmer than ever. He told Prince Charles’ he had worked with his son Harry in Afghanistan and Charles replied ‘Thank God for people like you!’

#Ronaldmcdonald -How Mcdonalds got it wrong on twitter

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The re-introduction of the famous McDonald’s mascot has sparked controversy on social media.

People in the US have questioned the come back of the McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald on social media.

The fictional character once played a supposed role in a ‘childs happiness’ and promoted and encouraged people to donate to charities who help children under this household name. The mascot is better known for living in the fantasy world of Mcdonaldland where he has adventures with his friends Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and The Fry Kids.

Over the years he has largely phased out until the character was mocked in a recent advert by a rival fast-food chain, Taco Bell where men with the name Ronald McDonald are shown enjoying a Taco Bell breakfast. This sparked the re-intoduction of the character and now Mcdonalds are trying to give their famous mascot the ‘good name’ it apparently once had.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqBWnjloU0I

This unfortunately was not the outcome of the character re- immersing, as Twitter users have used the hashtag to futher mock the character or more slate the company for animal cruelty towards chickens and comapred it to a slaughterhouse.

http://www.peta2.com/achievements/ronaldmcdonald-coming/

The comedian Ry Doon, also posted a Vine using the hashtag stating that McDonald’s turns him on.

https://vine.co/v/hnJAAQbZ5gw

The mascot was then accused in an article written by Corporate Accountability International which was later tweeted using the hashtag. It accused the fast food chain of ‘getting kids hooked on junk food’ and telling McDonald’s to retire the character as a way to attract young children.

http://act.stopcorporateabuse.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16695

Could the Friendly faced mascot ever make McDonalds look good? What do you think?

 

Final Article

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Aspiring artists to embark on a journey so amazing you would be foolish not to go with them.

Two aspiring artists have already made themselves known to the public and are battling to make themselves credible in the music industry.

rime suspex Rime Suspex

Rime Suspex, a trio from Blackburn, have been making soul soaked melodies with urban poetry since they joined in January 2013.

Rory Myles, 21, Rob Duckett (Vivid), 25 and Miranda Myles, 18 are great friends and enjoy nothing more than gigging together. Rime Suspex recently performed at the Blackburn light switch on alongside Matt Cardle and gained complementary media coverage for their show stopping performance.

Aside from performing, the band are always trying to promote what they do. Blogging, posts on Facebook and Twitter and Sound cloud are some of the things they use to do this. But the hardest thing for the trio is rejection.

Rob Duckett (Vivid), 25 said: “I guess the hardship of trying to make it is as a band is your music not being recognized to the level you believe it should. The main difficulty with us isn’t the quality of the music as we believe in that 100%. It’s just trying to find a way to get it out to as many people as possible”.

Building strength and getting to know the industry better is what they want to.

Miranda Myles, 18 said: “We have faced rejection in the past but we believe in ourselves as a band. If we get rejected from one person that doesn’t like our music then that’s just their opinion and their entitled to that, there are plenty of other people out there that love our music.  After all rejection is all part of building your strength and making you better as a performer and survive the business”.

The band always keep high spirits and want to stay true to themselves. Shows like X-Factor and the Voice could offer them the dream they want, but nothing tastes better than a challenge especially for Vivid.

Rob Duckett, 25 said: “I don’t know if we quite fit in with their idea of what a pop star is. I’m sure the lyrics to ‘Money’ embody everything Simon Cowell stands against. Imagine the feeling of satisfaction you’d get from getting the same level of popularity as a singer from X factor without selling your soul to the devil.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LISJNzCifn4

Singing has always been a part of their lives and building their brand and making it big is definitely the dream.

 sam callahanAllessandria

Another upcoming soloist is the beautiful Allessandria, 21, from Widnes who sings effortlessly whilst making her covers unique.

She has recently performed at the Runcorn Christmas lights switch on and promoted her music on several radio stations, most recently Wire FM.

This young star is not just a pretty face, but a hardworking business woman at heart. Allessandria does whatever she can to promote herself and network and was recently seen with X-Factor Star, Sam Callahan in Swinton earlier this month.

Just like Rime Suspex, the soloist has had her fair share of rejection and dislikes online, but not let this stop her from living her dream.

Allessandria, 21 said “Singing has always been a part of my life, but I only realised this year that this is definitely what I want to do. To have a career, and know that I would always enjoy it no matter how hard things could be”.

The young female has also made it to the grand finale of Open Mic UK and received their prestigious exposure award for 2013. Due to this, Allessandria has gained more views on her YouTube channel and followers on Twitter.

X-factor and shows like it aren’t her first protocol.

Also like the trio, Allessandria is in two minds about entering televised singing competitions and wants to be credited for all her hard work and dedication.

“I am in two minds about X-Factor and The Voice. Is it a celebrity machine or does it actually manufacture singers that stand the test of time in the industry? ”Allessandria said.

“I want to be recognised for my hard work and passion. However, being in the current competition I am in has really pushed me to want to enter Xfactor next year. Luke Friend who won a similar competition to mine is doing exceptionally well”.

Both these aspiring artists are still in the process of creating music and learning about the industry. Rime Suspex have their first ever album out called ‘EP’, which selling fast and can be purchased from their Facebook page.

Allessandria however, is preparing herself for the Finale of Open Mic UK, but hopes to have an album out soon too.

“I am going to get my head down very soon and concentrate on writing an album”.

You can access music from both artists online by accessing their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Sound cloud accounts.

My Questions Answered…Allessandria and Rime Suspex

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I asked the two artists these questions for my article:

https://www.facebook.com/messages/634308490

•What hardships or rejection have you faced while trying to make it?

•Why have you chosen not to get involved with television shows like x factor or the voice?

•Other than gigs how else are you trying to promote your brand?

•When are you thinking of making a new album?

•How have the public responded to your independent promotion?

•Ultimately where do you want to reach in the profession? Is fame the dream?

 Alessandria’s reply to questions:

Hi Tasha,

1. Singing has always been a part of my life, but I only realised this year that this is definitely what I want to do… to have a career and know that I would always enjoy it no matter how hard things could be. The hardships are trying to get contacts with people. It’s difficult to know who’s who, who will try to use you and who are the good people that will believe in you. Rejection is most commonly from YouTube or media, as that horrible dislike button or a simple dislike comment can make you feel absolutely miserable. You have to be tough skinned…

2. I am in two minds about XFactor / The Voice. Is it a celebrity machine or does it actually manufacture singers that stand the test of time in the industry? I want to be recognised for my hard work and passion, but there are parts of me that think if I was on these programmes and got through to finals that my dream would be there one minute, then gone the next. I do not think I would want to put myself through that. However, being in the current competition I am in has really pushed me to want to enter Xfactor next year. Luke Friend who won a similar competition to mine is doing exceptionally well!

3. FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, BITSTRIPS, SOUNDCLOUD, YOUTUBE, and REVERBNATION are all fantastic media tools to promoting what I do. It is extremely tiring posting all the statuses and photos etc., but you have to keep fans interested and make others notice you. I also spend a mass amount of time ringing radio stations, newspapers and councils trying to gain more support from those who are yet to discover who I am.

4. it’s only recently that I have realised that I want my own branding and own music material. So I am going to get my head down very soon and concentrate on writing an album.

5. From only having 50 likes on Facebook, in the matter of two months I have over 350 Likes and that’s from pure self-promotion. I have a growing follower population on Twitter and my YouTube videos are hitting off too, so the public are responding very well! I even have a few fans that come and watch everywhere I go locally. The only way is up!

6. I wish to have at least three No.1’s, No.1 Album and more than five minutes fame. To be up there as a female icon like Adele, Rihanna, Jessie J… something brand new and what the music scene needs. That I still have to find. For every singer, fame is the dream. But what fame costs is another thing, no privacy and always in the public eye? I suppose when the time comes (if it does) of breaking fame, I’ll know whether I truly want it. For now, I know I DEFINITELY DO!

https://www.facebook.com/messages/mcmoo

Miranda from Rime Suspex reply to questions:

Question 1 what hardship and rejection have you faced whilst……

We have faced rejection in the past but because we believe in ourselves as a band and know were good at what we do it just seems to go right past us and even determines us to do better and show them. If we get rejected from one person that doesn’t like our music then that’s just their opinion and their entitled to that, there are plenty of other people out there that love our music.  After all rejection is all part of building your strength and making you better as a performer and survive the business.

Question 2 At the moment we are not planning on entering one of those shows just because we want to see how far we can get without it. But in the future we will see what happens.

Rory Myles’ reply to questions:

https://www.facebook.com/messages/RimeSuspex

Rob Duckett- 25

Rory Myles- 21

Miranda Myles- 18

Question 1: I guess the hardship of trying to make it is as a band is your music not being recognized to the level you believe it should. The main difficulty with us isn’t the quality of the music as we believe in that 100%. It’s just trying to find a way to get it out to as many people as possible. It also can be quite hard to have to go from doing a great gig back to everyday life as we can’t do this as a career yet, if it was up to us we’d be doing it 24/7!

In terms of rejections, you get them all the time, it comes with the territory but you can’t let it knock you back. Every great band has had disappointments and rejections, you’ve just got to make sure you know it’s them and not you, and believe in what you’re doing.

Question 2: A number of reasons really. Firstly because we’re quite an independent band who likes to choose what songs we perform, what we wear etc. I’m sure that Cowell would have us making rap versions of 1 direction songs in matching outfits.

Another reason is that it all seems a bit too easy, when I watch the musicians I look up to being interviewed they often say how the journey is the best part. These overnight ‘successes’ bypass all of that, I’m not denying TV shows like that are a great promotional tool, but imagine the feeling of satisfaction you’d get from getting the same level of popularity as a singer from X factor without selling your soul to the devil. Finally I don’t know if we quite ‘fit in’ with their idea of what a pop star is. I’m sure the lyrics to ‘Money’ embody everything Simon Cowell stands against.

Question 3: Our Debut EP is available to buy on iTunes now, we’ve got our first music video ‘Escort’ coming out January time and they’ll be some march coming soon!

Question 4: There will be an album coming out in the future! All the tracks are already written and we’re recording at the moment, but we’re pushing the EP at the moment and making sure as many people have heard that as possible to create some hype and demand. But there’s an album coming and it’s going to be sick!

Question 5: Everyone who hears us seems to like us, and if they don’t they’re keeping it to themselves. I think everyone’s pleased for us and the support and feedback we’ve had so far is brilliant.

Question 6: I never see it as a profession, it’s my expression! As long as I keep feeling there’s things I want to say and music I want to create I’ll stick at it. Obviously it would be brilliant to be able to make enough money to be comfortable from doing something you love.

As for fame, I can’t speak for the others, but I’m not going to lie when I say; I’d love to be famous. And let’s be honest, if you say you wouldn’t you’re only lying to yourself. I’d want to be famous for doing something good though, if you’re famous for being on Big Brother or TOWIE you may as well not have bothered.

Twitter Workshop

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This screenshot demonstrates how I have followed people and businesses on twitter related to journalism and news who are verified or have over 3,000 followers.

This is to increase the reach my tweets have so more people can interact with me and read my tweets.

This is beneficial in the industry as it helps your research and hard work be viewed by people who may be interested. But most importantly, the stories you have written will be seen by news companies, writers, editors and journalists who are potentially your target market aside from the public.

 

tweepi

 

 

As you can see I have followed and used Tweepi to further increase my tweet reach.

It helped me to find specific journalists that im interested in and other specific people or companies on twitter.

I also used WeFollow which helps find people in relation to specific specialisms. e.g. Broadcast journalism, digital publishing, broadsheet writing, editorial skills etc.

 

 

 

twitter

Nina L. Diamond has created on her Twitter account has created a large number of public lists to categorise different types of journalists in the industry.

This helps people following her to find and reach professionals quickly and easily.

Diamond also categorises businesses and companies, not all necessarily related to Journalism. Some which she is interested or some which she may believe her followers to be interested in. e.g. Doc Martin

List Article Pitch

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10 Best ‘Leeds Trinity Kitchen Restaurants’ for Vegetarians.

On each slide show it will include:

  • A self taken photograph of members of staff from each chosen restaurant/ a photograph of the menu listing the vegetarian options/ the restaurant sign or logo
  • A 50 word caption giving my opinion and other vegetarian’s opinion on why that place has been ranked were it has and why and some quotes and opinions from staff themselves. (preferably from managers claiming why they feel they represent vegetarians well/not?)

The questions I shall ask will be:

  • Does the establishment get many vegetarians eating there?
  • How do they think they cater for vegetarians? e.g. variety/value for money
  • Does the food suitable for vegetarians sell well? If not, why? If so, why?

The restaurants are:

  • The Alchemist
  • The Botanist
  • Carluccio’s
  • Cielo Blanco
  • Crepe-affaire
  • Giraffe
  • Handmade Burger Co.
  • TGI Fridays
  • Yo Sushi!
  • The Street Kitchen at BHS