The Blink Of An Eye

March 31, 2012

Just a short observation today in work:
One of the barbers blinks in an alternating pattern to her cutting! Snip, snip, blink... snip, snip, blink. She'll take a new section, cut it twice and then blink (repeat for whole head). She ends up blinking far more often than you would normally but I guess by making sure she blinks in between cuts then she always has her eye on the job at hand!
I must keep an eye open (haahaa) to see what other patterns people do. I observed early on that everyone has a unique work rhythm, like one of my colleagues who will comb up his first section of hair almost 10 times before making that first cut and then can speed through the rest, setting a solid line to follow I guess! 
Because I'm aware of these things in others I am constantly trying to find the best flow for myself which means changing it up a bit when I catch myself doing something. I guess that when I do find a rhythm that works I probably won't even be aware of it until someone points it out to me, like my best friend who sticks her tongue out just a little when she's concentrating - the funny thing is though, she'll often be practising her face painting on me when she does it so her face is really close to mine and it makes me laugh!
- BE

The Fame Update! (London, Awards, TV and Thank YOU!)

March 26, 2012

The Superstar has returned!
I'm back from my fantastic trip to London and, of course, the City and Guild's Medals For Excellence Awards Ceremony! It was truly fantastic and just like one of those gala awards dinners you see on TVand I really felt like a superstar. It was very surreal.
When myself and my boyfriend arrived at the hotel provided to us for the night I was greeted by the friendly hotel staff and presented with a small envelope containing a congratulations card and a small pin badge to be worn at the ceremony to show I am an award winner. The hotel was very close to the Roundhouse where it was all happening that night so, after getting all spruced up, we walked down to the venue to see they had a red carpet outside leading all the way in, past a whole group of photographers waiting to take everyone's photographs! It was like being snapped by paparazzi! Here's some shots of me on the red carpet (note the huge smile on my face and the white stripe in my red hair for the barber's pole!):
Once inside we were offered free champagne (though I opted for a soft drink) and shown to the balcony overlooking the main floor, where we were treated to a fantastic display of a man, dressed as James Bond, doing an acrobatic routine on silks high above where we would be seated! It was really incredible!
We were then brought to the tables on the main floor and the celebration began! I won't bore you with a minute by minute account but I will say there was great food, great company and great entertainment from an awesome choir who performed some traditional African welcoming songs! The host for the evening was Alex Jones ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/strictlycomedancing/2011/images/dancers/alex_jones624x351.jpg ) who is a mini-celebrity over here! 
Now I know you all are dying to know how I got on in relation to The People's Choice Award which you were all so, so fantastic in voting for me in... Well, I didn't win but I did come 4th out of 109 entrants so that's pretty fantastic in and of itself. And honestly, seeing everyone I know, and some I don't (!) rallying around me and supporting me has really meant so much more to me than that trophy ever would. I know it sounds cheesy but you'd better break open the packet of cream crackers because that's just how I feel!
So what's next for this Diva of the Barbering World you ask? Well, quite exciting things actually! My appearance on IrelandAM has been confirmed for the 30th of April and it will available to view on-line after its airing so I will be sure to post a link. Also, I was contacted just this morning by another promotions agency who are looking to get me a further TV/radio spot so I'll keep you updated with any news I get about that too.
On top of all that I am planning something exciting to post on here just before I am on TV so you can get scootching towards the edge of your seats in anticipation of that too! Okay now that my exclamation point button on my keyboard is nearly falling off I'll sign out!
- BE

Short Update: London and TV Appearance!

March 13, 2012

Hello everyone,
I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who voted for me over the last few weeks! I'm off to London in two days time where the People's Choice winner will be announced. 
Win or lose, you will be the first to know how things went and I'll post up photos also.
It's all been such an amazing journey when I think back to the start, and ever reader and comment on here has meant so much - I genuinely can't find the words to express how much. I hope to keep doing this for a long, long time and get back on track to regular blogging once I return next week.
Oh and did I mention I'm going to be on TV
Yup! I was at the Dublin awards ceremony a week ago, receiving my Medal For Excellence (they had an Irish ceremony for the 3 Irish medalists, before the big London one) and the lady covering the PR for the event told me she had spoken to Ireland AM (a daytime chat-show style program on here in Ireland) about 'my story' and that they want to have me on to talk about receiving the medals, my training, and I even get a few minutes to chat about a topic of my choice. I'm thinking it'll have to be about traditional wet shaving but what do you all think? I've been given an amazing opportunity to tell the Irish public about something to do with barbering - what do you feel is the most important?
Once it's aired I'll have to see if I can get a copy of it recorded to upload to here and show those of you reading from across the water.
Anyway I must dash and start to get everything organised for Thursday. Lots of exciting news to come!
- BE

Tallow Chandlers Awards Luncheon

March 4, 2012

I feel an update is long overdue about my recent trip to London for the Tallow Chandlers Prize For Excellence that I received last month and previously blogged about.
I've been to London many times, and the visit itself was fleeting, but I have to say the whole event was truly one of a kind! The Tallow Chandlers' Halls are truly magnificent and we were given a tour of the building when we, and the other award winners, had arrived and checked in our coats. After the tour we were announced into a room for a champagne meet-and-greet reception. Yes, that's right... I was announced into a room! How fancy is that huh? I felt so special and like I had gone back in time! My name was called out by the Beadle of the Halls and I walked in, was offered a flute of champagne (but took some orange juice instead), shook hands with Sir Christopher Dudley Pryke Bt MRICS (what a mouthful!) and Dame Josephine Williams DBE, and then was swished into the room and approached by a lot of fancy people with medals around their necks (indicating they were the Masters of the Guild) and asked all about myself!
After a good mingle it was announced that we should proceed into the main hall for the luncheon. The hall is really stunning (you can see a photo of it in the blog entry I link to at the top) and this was my table setting:
Everything was branded with the Tallow Chandlers crest, even the water bottles! The people around me, though upper class and posh sounding, were lovely and down to earth and we had some nice chats during the meal - which was very tasty. Speeches were made and the medallists were introduced one by one. We each had a piece about us, and our achievements, read out and then we went up and received our medal, certificate and an envelope containing a cheque! (Perfect as I needed to buy a new set of clippers!).
After the meal a photographer took our photos and we got them e-mailed onto us just a week ago.
So... I know this is the first time I've ever shown my face on here, but I figure it's about time...
Here I am, proud as punch, holding my certificate and medal!
On Wednesday there is a presentation lunch here in Dublin where I will receive my City & Guilds' Medal and then on the 15th there will be the huge ceremony in London again. I feel like a bit of a celebrity, and to be honest I can't help but sometimes think that I don't really deserve these somehow! Anyway I will keep you all updated on how the other two events go, including the results of the People's Choice Award section - and thank you all again for voting!!!
- BE