No safety Nettie!

Come on in, Nettie, the door’s open and the kettle’s hot. I’ve got some nice strong tea brewing and I baked yesterday. Look! I’ve got out your photographs you sent me.

Hello, Ailsa. What a lovely welcoming home you have. And the doggies are very friendly too. Do you think they smell my three? photo-5

Bound to, but they always come to greet all my visitors at the Bingergread Cottage. Here, give Titch one of these treats and he’ll be your friend for life. Nettie, I seem to have known you forever although we’ve never met in person but I know that you have a world of interests. Can you tell us about them? Let’s start with you business Meldrum Media – how, why, where?

Ooh, my business just ‘happened’ about a year or so ago. As you know, I have fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and despite trying several times, I have not been able to hold down a job outside of the home. For the sake of my self esteem — and the family finances — I had to find some way of earning some pennies. I had already been helping some friends out with their websites and it occurred to me, I could maybe charge for this! My prices started out ridiculously cheap as I didn’t have the confidence to ask people to pay the going rate for the job when I was so unexperienced. As my experience grew, I began to seek out more complicated jobs but even now you’d be hard pushed to find a more reasonably priced web designer.

Well, I can vouch for that! And I hope you still have that wee mascot bear I sent you – Mr. Meldrum in his tartan tammy and scarf! You have done wonders on my blogs and I’ve seen your other work. I also admire your working ethos, which I know but you might tell our friends. Here – have a bit of this other cake, there’s plenty. As we used to say back home “Eat up, hen, yer at yer auntie’s”. LOL

photo-4*Slurp* Excuse me, but you DO make a nice pot of tea, Ailsa. I felt there was a gap in the market that was under exploited. Writers and small businesses neither want nor need a complicated web presence. All they need is a shop window so why should they be charged the earth for that? My aim is to provide a service to my clients which gives them what they need and no more; a service that they understand; a level of customer service which will make them happy to recommend me to their friends and family. And that is exactly how I get the majority of my work: personal recommendation. I have diversified my services now to include social media coaching for writers and creative people who find twitter, Facebook etc a little daunting. May I please have a slice of that cake? The buttercream frosting looks scrummy!

Help yourself. I’ve had the privilege of writing a story to accompany one of your gorgeous photographs – so how did you get started and will you ever go professional?

I know this sounds a bit ‘pseud’, but I have to create things. (Ailsa nods in agreement through a mouthful of cake) I am constantly looking for ways to express myself artistically. I have tried drawing and painting but that always leaves me unsatisfied as I am so rubbish. I tried photography a number of times over the years and it left me feeling much the same as painting did. Several years ago I got a new laptop which came preloaded with Photoshop and as I learned how to use it on my bad photographs, I began to learn what made a good photograph. Three years ago I got my first DSLR and dedicated myself to learning more about the craft of photography. I realise now that I always had the ‘eye’. I just lacked the skill and confidence.

As far as going professional, I’m not sure. My own photography site will be live soon and I will be selling prints of a few of my photographs. We’ll see how it goes. never say never! Unless you’re asking me if I’d like more tea, because the answer to that would be yes, please!photo-1

Nettie! You shouldn’t be feeding cake to the dogs, they’ll slobber all over you! Now, you write too – tell us about that.

I have always written. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t. When I was a wee toot I was bullied non-stop and books were my friends, my escape, and my sanity. I became the emo teen before emo – I wrote screeds and screeds of depressing poetry. (Ailsa – Oh ye gods, that sounds like me! I was one of those “books to escape bullying” kids too) Everyone died. Now I write short stories where a lot of people die. Plus ça change…

I have three novels on the go too. really, I needs to get a wriggle on, pick one project and commit. BUT THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER INTERESTING THINGS OUT THERE!

(Ailsa falls off the sofa laughing at that one and agrees that they must be twins from a previous life.)

photo 3I love your blog and your Ma – fill the rest in on that for us because it would be a shame for them to miss it.

Nancy. She drives me crazy. I’ve been the parent in our relationship for longer than she was ever a parent to me. She is a kind, generous woman but totally away with the fairies. We have a difficult relationship but knowing I can write about her craziness makes it easier to cope with. I’ve been asked many times to turn my Nancy stories into a book. We’ll see.

(Serious face – yes, a bonkers Ma is a burden to carry, which is why we both have to laugh about it, or we’d cry an ocean.)

Tell us something about your childhood – I know you and I are always sharing Scottish jokes on FB – I’d like to know more.

I had an utterly crap childhood. I was an only child, had a suffocating mother, a Victorian father and we lived with my gran who covered mirrors in a thunderstorm so she wouldn’t see the devil in them. Is it any wonder I used to believe I was an alien? (Ailsa spits tea all over the sofa)

I had nothing in common with my peers; I was as different from them as it’s possible to be and still be the same species. I was beaten, called the nastiest names, had my property damaged regularly, had my gloves set fire to in my school bag and was shot at by an airgun. Being a grown up is much better. Apart from the fact I refuse to grow up. You know what I mean. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think it’s that only strong people survive and I thank the universe that I am fierce, cantankerous and imbued with Weegie fire and passion. And those are my good points! I am mellowing with age and am much more chilled nowadays. But gawd help anyone who messes with me or mine!

(High fives Nettie while chortling.) See? Twins separated at birth! Especially the cantankerous bit! Nettie thanks so much for coming over, I can’t remember when I last giggled so much. Here, I’ll put a selection of cakes in a box for you to take home with you. Lily, can you get off Nettie’s lap now, sweetie, she wants to leave. photo 2

©All photos in this piece are the copyright property of Anette Thomson and may not be copied.

5 thoughts on “No safety Nettie!

  1. You’re pics are beautiful, Nettie. The best day is a filled day (not sure if anyone else ever coined that phrase) and why not fill it with all the different things you do. Best wishes for your business & interests.

  2. Love this interview Ailsa and Nettie. I have to say, I agree with those who urge you to make a book of your ‘Nancy’ stories, Nettie and I can’t wait for your website to be up and running cos there’s a few photos I want prints of. Good luck with all your endeavours.

  3. i love this interview,made me smile! id love to hear more about nancy haha!. a very good well written interview from two lovely ladies. xx

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