Welcome to the FBWN

Our Member of the Month for June 2016 is Julie-Ann Amos.

To let you know a bit more about Julie-Ann, Maggie asked her some questions about herself:

  1. Who is your hero/heroine? Evil Knievel. My secondary hero was Eddie the Eagle, so I was very glad to see a film being made this year. I so badly wanted to be a daredevil. We lived in front of ascrap yard, so I had unlimited access to old cars and bits of bikes and machinery, so it could have been a lot worse, but you could only get in there over a fence so I couldn't ever get my bike in there to try stunts involving buses and cars. I was banned from riding my bike on many occasions as a child, due to the large amount of minor accidents and trips to casualty. When I was about 13 I was stopped in a minor car chase by the Police and given a warning - for overtaking a police car on my bike going down the steep hill from Cribbs Causeway Mall towards the old Severn Bridge. I used to put planks on walls and dustbins to make precarious ramps and jumps, but fortunately people wouldn't lie under anything for me to fly over. I also used to climb wooden telegraph poles, mark how high I had climbed with a pencil and jump off - to see how high I could jump from before I broke my legs. I would have loved to be a stunt man, but back in the 70s there weren't really any stunt women so I had no career prospcets. Therefore, all the sympathy members have given me for my bad knees is rather misplaced - I have definitely "abused the parts" over the years!
  2. What would be your dream meal, and name your three perfect guests (dead or alive!)? I would return to a time when I worked in investment banking and ate out for work 5 days a week, and I'd go back and have a meal at what was my favourite restaurant - The Orrery (Jasper Conran) on Marylebone High Street. Smoked salmon and scallops, vegetable Veloute of the day, Fillet steak with peppercorn sauce, gorgeous puddings, and the cheese board to die for. I'd start with a G&T, then top it off with a small bottle of Tokaji, one of Montrachet and a bottle of Pavie. Guests - that's VERY easy - Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey and David Tennant. I'd have Freddy Mercury resurrected and also Russel Brandt on standby in case of last minute no-shows.
  3. Where does your drive come from? I have a rare subset of bipolar, Chronic Hypomanic Disorder. Whereas "traditional bipolar" is up and down, I describe it Chronic Hypomania as "up and upper". It's rare to live to my age without medication, but I have managed it for many years. Without medication, my high is just below manic and my low is restless anxiety, which means my "low" is still some way above "normal" (if such a thing exists) for the rest of you. So I don't quite do the manic things like thinking I can rule the world and have superpowers, but on a high it's not far off - it's just below manic. At worst I am a restless, pacing, "caged lion" full of anxiety. Both are active and energetic. Over the years I have MOSTLY managed to channel all that drive into activity that is useful and valued by my employers and then after I started my own businesses, clients. It's a blessing in many ways, giving me what can seem to others to be endless energy, and incredible optimism, but has caused a LOT of problems over the years. Frankly, it's exhausting being me, but I wouldn't change it. Never, ever give me antidepressants. That's when I really do think I have superpowers and can do anything. I have been depressed, as you do get periods of crashing, when not on meds, but only a handful of times in my lifetime.
  4. What is your favourite film? Cloud Atlas. I've not read the book, just couldn't stick at it, but the film was amazing. I saw it with a friend on a Tuesday, went back on my own to see it again on the Wednesday, and saw so many little things and touches that I went again on the Thursday! Then I bought it on iTunes. The story and the film are just mesmerising. There are a thousand tiny, tiny touches where the different parts of the story are woven together with little things placed in the background, or throwaway lines that reference other storylines. It's like a big ball of knitting wool of 5 different colours all woven together so beautifully... I could watch it again and again.
  5. How often do you buy clothes? Never. Please tell me it doesn't show! Maybe once every 3 years or so I will visit a clothes shop, but a large part of my wardrobe is very old, and the rest is bought online. I have a few staple online sources, and a lot of course I knit or have someone make for me now and again. That sounds very grand doesn't it? It's not. So yes, I BUY clothes but not in a shop
  6. If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? Me, and I'd have back the day with my dad in Italy. It also answers the 'Best Holiday you've ever had?' question. When my Father was terminally ill, he mentioned that the Mille Miglia classic car race in Italy was just one of the things he would never do now. He was a classic car buff all his life, and it was his huge passion, so I decided I had to make it happen. First hurdle, I had to pay privately to get both knees fixed up so I could walk, and only in the nick of time was I walking ok. Second hurdle - we now have me post knee surgery, and him post chemo/radiation so we needed help. Third hurdle, I know nothing about the race or Italy, and everything is sold out months ago anyway. So I hired a travel organiser, and we were chauffeur driven around Italy and followed the race, and even took a diversion to the Ferrari museum. The start of the race day was the best day ever - Dad and I walking slowly round Brescia poking about in all the old cars of the 1950s. I bought him a red and gold race hat, which he didn't take off for months! He was very frail, and we were both on walking sticks, but it just didn't matter - we got the energy from somewhere. It was just me and my dad poking about in old cars like when I was a kid, in glorious sunshine all on our own together, and I'd go back there again in a heartbeat and do it exactly the same. It was perfect. When it got dark and the race started, we stopped for a pizza and discovered that the route brought all the cars right past the restaurant, so we were in and out of the door to cheer each one as it passed and didn't miss any of them. He ate an entire huge pizza, which was astounding given that he'd not eaten properly through months of chemo and radiotherapy. Then we found the start of the hill stage, and watched that, cheering as the old cars got started up the steep hill (those that made it, anyway!). I will always remember him in the pitch dark after midnight, sat on the kerb at the side of the road in the dust and dirt, happy as could be, clapping and cheering, waving at every car. For that one perfect day, the Gods smiled on me.
  7. What is the last joke you recall? I don't really remember many jokes, but from childhood my favourite one always sticks in my mind - Cecil the Caterpillar. You'll just have to get me to tell it live, though, because it involves a LOT of actions.

To read all about previous Members of the Month Click Here

The Forest Business Women's Network is a network of both fledgling and established companies within and around the Forest of Dean. Set up to provide support and a point of contact, our aim is to promote the professionalism and increase the stature of women in business in the area.

We meet once a month for a morning meeting. This provides a framework for sharing experiences and the potential for meeting new clients and forging strong business links. Each member is invited to give a short introduction on the products and services their company offers, thus providing a platform for promoting their business. We welcome guests who wish to come along and see if they feel that the FBWN will be of benefit to them.

If you would like additional information or advice please contact FBWN's Secretary, Maggie Mortimer by email or by phoning 01594 542578 or complete our Contact Form.


Our Next Meeting : 16th June 2016


We meet at The Pavilion, Forest Holidays Forest of Dean, Bracelands Dr, Christchurch, Coleford, Gloucestershire GL16 7NN

Date : Thursday, 16th June 2016

Main Event : 09:00 - 11:00

This month the speaker will be Mary-Rose Young, internationally known ceramicist.

   Guests are welcome - £9.00 per meeting until you join.