• Freelance Life: The Opening Of The Lexicon in Bracknell

    The Lexicon BracknellThis weekend, I was invited to a blogger breakfast at Bill’s in the newly opened The Lexicon shopping centre in Bracknell.

    If you’re a long-term resident of the Berkshire area, there’s no doubt you’ll have heard about the Bracknell regeneration, not least because it’s been in the works for 30 years! Bracknell’s reputation hasn’t been brilliant over the last few years, despite the beautiful parks and being surrounded by lots of family-friendly places.

    That reputation is set to change though, with The Lexicon opening last Thursday. It’s a brand new shopping destination, taking the place of the old town centre (which was, to be frank, a bit of a concrete jungle which I rarely visited). I briefly visited The Lexicon on Thursday, and again this morning, and it’s hard to believe that you’re walking around Bracknell, as it has such a funky, metropolitan vibe about it. It feels more like walking around an outlet village. Without the bother of jumping on tubes and trains. In fact, it’s a two minute drive from my son’s nursery, so I’m looking forward to popping in there on the way home.*

    *my bank balance doesn’t share this enthusiasm.

    I also really liked that they used a local artist, Kerry Lemon, to come up with a lot of the artwork around a forest theme. Hurrah for local, independent talent! There are areas of The Lexicon that play forest sounds as you walk past, and others that show a marble run through a forest theme. It feels like a really nice link to the leafy forests around Bracknell, and it caught my toddler’s interest too!

    What does it have for freelancers?

    So, what does it have for freelancers?

    • Wi-fi. I clocked as we left that there’s free wi-fi throughout The Lexicon.
    • Bill’s – we had our bloggers breakfast here, and it’s perfect for either a meeting or to enjoy an hour or so working – especially as they have free Wi-Fi and huge pots of tea. The eggs benedict was beautiful, highly recommend it if you want to hit the shops early.
    • Coffee Barker Co – an independent coffee shop if you want something with a bit of charm. They have a huge variety of loose leaf teas too, handy if you’re not into coffee, like me.
    • Flying Tiger. It’s Instagram p*rn. Seriously, everything in there is pretty much guaranteed an Instagram comment of “OMG where’s that from?” on your shelfie snaps. Come payday, that’s my first stop.
    • Paperchase. My home planet.
    • Loads of seating, and a new area called The Deck coming soon, which could be good for working outside in.

    There are still some stores that are opening soon, but I quite like that it’s not all open at once – it stretches out the excitement a bit.

    I’m really proud to have lived in Bracknell for the last six years, but even more so now that we’ve got such a great place to shop and socialise. In the past I’d have gone to Reading or Basingstoke to shop, but now my heart is firmly with The Lexicon.

    Update: I visited Coffee Barker this week, and it was SO good. I love that they have blankets to snuggle under, big pots of tea, china cups and really good cake. It’s perfect for this hygge-loving, tea-guzzling freelancer.

    What’s your town like, for freelancers?

    Disclaimer: This post isn’t sponsored, I just really really love it there. They did give us a free breakfast though.

  • Switching off, #SSSVEDA and South Hill Park

    South Hill Park Blogging Course

    Just a quick post today with some housekeeping. This month is set to be an exciting one – I turn 28 on Wednesday, get married on the 27th and have plenty to prepare for in May. I’ve also, possibly unwisely, set myself a couple of challenges for April.

    So, here’s what is coming up…


    Regular readers might remember me taking part in SSSVEDA last year – Sexy Savvy Social’s Vlog Every Day in August. I enjoyed it, but lost my way a little half way through the month. This year, I’m taking part on my Vine channel during April. Six seconds a day is achievable…right? If you fancy joining in, pop on over to Amy’s SSS site to sign up and check out the calendar of suggested topics. Also, feel free to leave me a comment below if you fancy joining in! Also, don’t forget to follow the #SSSVEDA hashtag.

    Switch off after 6pm

    With so much going on this month, it seems particularly important to find some time to switch off. I’m aiming to switch off my emails and social media after 6pm. Realistically, I know this isn’t going to happen 100% of the time – sometimes I need to work evenings, and sometimes deadlines demand a little evening overtime. If I can keep to this 80% of the time though, I’ll have achieved something.

    Teaching at South Hill Park

    Throughout May and June, I’ll be teaching at course on blogging at South Hill Park, my local Arts Centre in Bracknell. Teaching was something I wanted to do more of in 2013, despite being a huge bundle of nerves, so I’m really looking forward to this. April will be about finishing off the course content plan.


    Some of you might have heard about Cybher, the blogging conference for women. I attended last year thanks to The High Tea Cast girls. This year, I’ll be joining them on the speaking line up, talking about freelancing. Tickets for the event are still available, although running out fast!

    Now over to you! What three things are you excited about in April? 


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