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September/October 2023

Sorry for not doing a blog in September, so this will be a combined 2 for 1 blog this month.

I say you buy 1 you get 1 free! - remember that one?!

(Sian: Well, that's awkward timing, do you not watch the news?🤦🏼‍♀️….)

2 for 1! Such a great concept in its distilled and varnished (is there such a thing?) form. You are literally giving 2 things away for the price of 1. So that’s what I am doing, it’s not me being forgetful, I am tapping into a shrewd and well used marketing strategy. Right?

I feel I remember where I was when the 2 for 1 shampoo was first launched in the 1980s. I was in the shower. I think. My JFK moment, shampoo style. Yes, 2 for 1 shampoos were a big thing. For me anyway.

So, in the blue corner you had shampoo, which tended to be a more translucent kind of gloop that obviously would evoke some form of fragrant summer meadow of some description or another. And in the red corner you had the conditioner- clearly a different player altogether. She/he was opaque, creamy, hard to read. Something clearly different from the world of shampoo. You got the feeling that the conditioner saw herself/himself as a cut above shampoo. Like a bit more of a big deal. A bit more technical. A bit more qualified. After all, you did have to leave her/him in for a full 4/5 minutes for maximum results. Then. All of a sudden, they were together. Prised. Crowbarred together. As one. A forced union perhaps. I didn’t think about it too much at the time, as you do, but thinking back to the halcyon days (and fragrant meadows) I bet that the conditioners that were forced into this union were gutted.

Bottle of conditioner: (Sian: FGS…SERIOUSLY?) "I don’t know. It just doesn’t sit right with me. I mean don’t get me wrong, I knew it was coming. We all knew it was coming……. But when it did……


I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with it if I’m honest. It changed everything. And don’t even get me started on working conditions and pay grades………."

I get her/his point, I would probably feel the same if I am honest. But for the neutral, probably the male neutral who didn’t wait the required 4 to 5 minutes for maximum results. (Sian: or actually use conditioner!) I think it worked, working conditions and pay grades aside.

But, this afternoon, after perusing the array of ‘body/hair washes/shampoos’ available, I have begun to question whether the initial concept has been somewhat (pardon the pun) diluted.

A lot of the so-called 2 for 1 products aren’t shampoo/conditioner fusions any more. More like ‘body wash and shampoo’ types. It just seems all a bit wishy washy 😉. Don’t get me started on so-called 3 in 1 products which apparently include a body wash gel, shampoo for hair and a mood enhancing fragrance……bonus!

I have to say, having tried this so-called 3 in 1 product (and no conditioner in sight?!) after a recent team squash performance where I cemented my rich and dismal run of constant defeats with yet another dismal defeat…….it didn’t work. The mood enhancing fragrance was alas, seemingly not potent enough to rouse me from my homicidal post- match slumbers.

(Sian: enough about shampoo! Unless you are going to regale us all with the time that 13 year old you entered the bathroom to apply delicate streaks of ‘Sun In’ and exited with ginger splodges…..just get on with it!)

Anyway, to quote Charlotte Bronte, I digress. Grown up stuff!

The first stage of the editing process has involved me sifting through the feedback from the Alpha readers and then making a list of the points that I definitely think needed to be added in. Thank you, Alpha readers! Then I went over the manuscript again, adding little bits and pieces in here and there, sometimes writing new chapters too, where it was felt the story needed expanding. Writing new chapters was very enjoyable as it is always lovely to revisit Jamie and Robbie’s parallel universe. 🥰

But on another note, it’s amazing the difference to the narrative, that adding a new sentence here or there, can make. This whole process added another 6 or 7 thousand words to the book and I am really pleased with how the final draft manuscript looks.

Jump!2 (Sian: still?! 🤯) has now gone on the next leg of its journey to our editor, who I am really excited to work with as he is a poet, a fellow squash player and someone who absolutely ‘gets’ the book. I can't wait to collaborate closely with Ted over the next couple of months taking the manuscript up to the next level.

In the meantime, our illustrator, the supremely talented Carina Roberts is putting the final touches to the artwork for Jump!2 and I hope to give you a sneak peek at the cover in my next update!

Until next time! (Sian: just to be clear, that is November! No more of this 2for1 nonsense!)



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