Our trip t’Trip!

“It seems ‘England’s oldest inn’ has been flying the flag for passing debauchery, since the 12th century.”

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Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem VIP Bogger night!

We’re bleddeh fortunate to have several decent pubs in this fair city. I’d read, prior to moving here 10 years ago, that there “were over 300 bars per square mile in Nottingham”* (*source: Some bogger off tinternet) I’m sure that must be even truer today, because there seems to be a new bar popping up every bleddeh week!

Nottingham is a notorious hot-spot for revelling visitors, who flock to t’citeh for a ‘nayt aht’. Stag do’s, hen nights, pub crawls in droves. You’ve only gorra stand outside our shop at midday on a Sat’deh, to see grown men dressed as Teletubbies, ballerinas, golfers and the like (seein’ a man in a full skin-tight body suit, pretending to be a Power Ranger, is enough to put y’off yer snap any time of day, duckeh!)

The idea of descending on Nottingham to frequent it’s boozers, is not a new phenomenon. In fact it’s been going on for centuries. Legend has it, that the crusaders, in the time of Richard the Lionheart; stopped at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem on their way to the Holy land. It seems ‘England’s oldest inn’ has been flying the flag for passing debauchery, since the 12th century. It’s almost a rite of passage to have a drink in there, when visiting the city, even for a day!

Last Friday evening, us Boggers went dahn the Trip, to celebrate their grand re-opening. They’ve had a fortnight of renovation, so we thought we’d go and see what all the fuss was abaht! Prior to the re-launch, we’d printed some bags and mugs for them to give out to local businesses. We love doing corporate gifts for clients, so it was a real bonus to get to make these for one of our favourite pubs, and equally nice for big Boggers Greene King, to support an independent business like ours. The Trip is not your average Greene King pub, though. In fact it smacks of independence itself, and the fact that you can get a good selection of guest ales, means you can have nice drink in there annorl!

Upon arrival, we were met with warm welcome from Karl, the manager, who said he was pleased with how the renovation had gone, and was glad it’d all happened on schedule. We tend to sit outside usually, when we come for a drink, because this bustling pub is always so popular, that you can’t gerra seat inside very often. This time we went upto to the newly refurbished upstairs bar. I was very pleased to see the ‘Cursed Galleon’ still sits untouched in its glass case. I’m not very superstitious, but that dusty relic is best left as it is, as far as I’m concerned!

They’ve done a rate good job, and it was lovely to have a good nosey round. The whole place just felt lighter, and cleaner, yet it’s not lost it’s charm.

There was a generous supply of chips and mushy peas with mint sauce going round, and the general cosy bustle of the place had not been tampered with.

The upstairs bar, previously used as a coffee station; has been done up in order to relieve the pressure on the main bar. It was still a bottle-neck when you went in, put this is part if the charm of having a pub which is partially built into a cave.

We very much enjoyed chatting to Weaver’s, about their Castlegate Gin, which has been distilled with acorns from Sherwood forest. (Yer don’t get more Notts than that!) Absolutely delicious, and available behind the bar. It was lovely to chat with other local businesses, and I even gorra selfie with me favourite outlaw!

Robin ‘ud! im-sen!

The new heated outdoor bar area is bleddeh lovely, and I can see it being very popular all year round. Shame the ladies toilets stalls are still so cramped, but I guess it’s the inability to change the architecture that is the reason behind that.

Over all, we were very impressed with the changes. As a CAMRA member, and real ale snob; I’ve always enjoyed a night out at the Trip. It’s the sort of pub you can quite happily sit in all evening, without the need to move on anywhere else. They really look after their beer, and even though I’m not a great fan of Greene King beer (sorry GK!) There are always so many guest ales on, that you’re never short of something new to try.

Ye Olde trip to Jerusalem is an institution. It was lovely to see all the regulars, and the way the staff look after them. Well done to the team, for keeping this pub so special. Long may it continue for a few more centuries to come!

Ta-ra, duckeh!

Wonderland Review

“there is a real raw juxtapposition between the bleak, real-life hardships that these men faced, and pure lighthearted brilliance in the script writing. “

*Warning* contains East Midlands vernacular. If yer don’t like it, then Bogger off!

Ayup!

Nah then, yo Boggers know just how likkle I manage ter write on this blog. It’s supposed ter be a platform, fer letting yer know warrav bin upter, keepin y’upter date, like. Burra rarely gerra chance, an’ when a do; it’s usually ter moan abaht summat.

Well, I went dahn Playaahse on Toosdeh, an’ saw ‘Wonderland.’ Yer know, the play abaht the pit moggys. Just so ‘appened, tharrit wuz ‘press’ night, so I thought ad try me ‘and at writin’ a likkle review. Well bogger me, it were bleddeh briwyunt. A felt compelled ter write summat abaht it, if onleh ter encourage the rest on yer ter get dahn there an’ check it aht!

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Image Courtesy of Nottingham Playhouse

The Nottingham-born (playwright), Beth Steel, draws upon her father’s 40 year experience a miner. The play is set during the 1984-85 miner’s strike, at Welbeck Colliery.

The play starts with a well choreographed piece of dance, set to music. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was going to end up being a musical, whereby they’d suddenly break out into song at the mere mention of ‘snap tins’ or ‘cobs’. This was not the case, and, as much as I like musical theatre, I was quite glad about it. There are enough industrial hardship stories, that have been set to music (Brassed off, The Full Monty…) and I don’t think this story, nor the script would’ve benefitted from it.  It was so much better than that, and would’ve distracted too much from the message that was being portrayed. This is, of course the Midlands, and we don’t like to be too over the top!

The casting was great, and considering Nottinghamese is one of the hardest accents to adopt, I thought they were all very convincing. (I mean, what do I know, am norreven frum raahnd ‘ere, me-sen!) There were certain characters that shone out over others, but, as us Midlanders don’t like to blow our own trumpets, am not gooin ter single any Bogger aht! The wonderful direction (Adam Penford), bleddeh clever set design, (Morgan Large) and perfect lighting (Jack Knowles) make the whole play gel together really nicely, and there is a real raw juxtaposition between the bleak, real-life hardships that these men faced, and pure lighthearted brilliance in the script writing. (Some absolutely cracking one-liners annorl!)

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Image- Nottinghampost.com

Although I have no connection to the mining industry, and, fortunately I was too young to remember the ruling of the Iron lady, this play really struck a chord with me. The heartbreak, devastation and destruction of these men’s lives, and their families, must have been harrowing. The sense of pride that these men show, in the face of adversity, is portrayed so well throughout the performance. The need to fight for what you believe in, or return to work, and face being called a ‘scab’.

Anyroad, I don’t think I’ll be winning any nobel prize fer literature, as a result of this review, but I hope it’s given you the impetus to get yersen to the Playhouse, and see this masterpiece before it closes on the 24th Feb. Get yer tickets here

Right, signing off nah, until I can get me-sen organised enough ter write some more rammel.

Ta-ra, ducks!wonderlandplayhoue

Black Friday can Duck off!

Am not gooin ter beat abaht t’bush, I bleddeh ‘ate Black Friday… 

Am not gooin ter beat abaht t’bush. I bleddeh ‘ate Black Friday! Don’t get me wrong, there are some wonderful things ter come aht of America, (pancakes, eagles, Nirvana) but starting Christmas retail in September (why???) and Black Friday Should have no place in UK shops. I’ll let yer into a few secrets. You are NOT gerrin a bargain telleh, when yer queue up ahtside Tesco at 6am, they’re all old stock, that they put the price up in the weeks before, so it looks like you’re gerrin more for yer munneh. 

Black Friday idiots
Daft boggers fightin ovver a iPad

I was walkin dahn Beeston high rd tiday, an’ the Card Zone ‘ad a sign in the winder, sayin ‘Huge Black Friday Deals’ What the duck is a card shop, in a sleepy suburb of Nottingham, doin’ bleddeh Black Friday sales for?? Black Friday was a gimmick, setup by Wal-Mart, as an excuse for people to spend even more money after their Thanksgiving celebrations. It’s got bogger all ter do with owt ovver ere! In fact Wal-Mart refused ter even participate last yeeyer, an they started the bleddeh thing!!! It meks me so bleddeh angry…

A tell her what. Instead of queuin ter buy a 900 inch, 4k, HD, smellovision, super duper pile of rammel,  that yer don’t even need, why not donate some food ter Hope House food bank instead. 

If you are an independent business, I URGE you ter bleddeh boycott Quack Friday, and stop all this silliness, before it gets aht of hand! Support your local independent businesses, be it greengrocer, giftshop, barbers or shoeshop. Shop local this Chrissmus, and don’t fall into the Black Friday trap – it’s just for gullible people. 

2nd December is Small Business Saturday, and it’s also Dukki’s 3rd Birthday.  So come along and see us, and pledge to support local businesses this Chrissmus. We wholeheartedly support the #justacard scheme, which encourages even small purchases from independent businesses. Every little helps, (even if it is a slogan for Tesco!) 

 Don’t head aht on Friday, hoping ter secure a special deal on a piece of tat. Head to your local indie shops, and help them survive the dog eat dog world, that is being a small business. They need your help, more than Asda needs you ter buy an Xbox. 

When yer doin yer Chrissmuss shoppin ovver the next few weeks, remember, our highstreets are full of independent shops, tucked away because they can’t afford the main drag, so go lookin forrum, yer never know what yer might find, burrit sure as ‘ell won’t be some BOGOF made in wherever rammel that the chain stores sell! Think differentleh, don’t be a sheep, buy handmade, buy local, and most of all, tell Black Friday ter do one! 

Dukki’s upcoming events:

25th to 26th November Rufford Abbey Food and Drink Festival 

1st December Dukki’s Birthday late night shopping event. 5:30 til 8pm

2nd December Small Business Saturday -shop local!!!

3rd December 10am til 3pm, Barton’s Not the Camden Market, Chilwell High Road.  

17th December Barton’s Not the Camden Market, Chilwell High Road 10am til 3pm. 

DUKKI 3 YEARS ON.

So much has happened in the last three years, but winning the competition gave us hope, because for the first time since I was made redundant (in the march of 2014) someone actually saw the potential in our business model, and deciding to become self employed, instead of working for a soulless corporation didn’t seem like such a big mistake after all.

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Heidi – Head Bogger

A very personal account.

Ayup, yer boggers. It’s three years to the day, since we won the Inspiring Retail competition, that spring-boarded our little online home-run business, to a thriving destination shop in the centre of Nottingham. When Ian and I applied for the  competition just a month before, we never thought we’d eventually end up winning it.

So much has happened in the last three years, but winning the competition gave us hope, because for the first time since I was made redundant (in the march of 2014) someone actually saw the potential in our business model, and deciding to become self employed, instead of working for a soulless corporation didn’t seem like such a big mistake after all.

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Just after winning the Inspiring

I’m not going to say it was easy. When I was made redundant in 2014, I was probably at my lowest point emotionally. I had given everything to my previously job, lost relationship after relationship,  and felt terrifically undervalued as a human being by the end of it. I also thought that I didn’t have the skills I needed to find another job, so becoming self employed seemed like the only lifeline. Surviving on Beans on toast, and the odd graphic design job here and there, I really thought “This is it. who’s going to employ me now?” I felt like I’d sold my soul for 4 years, and gained nothing from it.

I referred myself for a series of cognitive behavioural therapy, which is probably the best decision I have ever made, as it allowed me to see things differently, and discuss my problems with someone unbiased. It was certainly the turning point, and I would recommend it to anyone. There is a huge stigma attached to mental health issues, and I, myself have been guilty in the past of thinking people should just “gerroverit”, but it only takes one significant life event to make things not OK. and things were definitely NOT OK.

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Little Audrey

A week after we met, I went to pick up a kitten I’d bought, (because I’d resigned me-sen to a lifetime of spinsterhood, surrounded by cats.) Now, we’re a little family unit, and she’s as much a daddy’s girl as anything! She’s a bleddeh tinker!

I’ve always been a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of girl, and spontaneity doesn’t phase me, whereas Ian is a lot more level headed, and I think that’s why we work so well together. When we won the shop in Broadmarsh, I knew it would work, and I was excited about living each day as it comes. Don’t get me wrong, you need a good business plan in place, if you’re to succeed, but not going through with the shop, after being given such an opportunity, was not an option. I knew we had to make it work, and it nearly killed us!

DUkki Broadmarsh opening.
Look how empty our shop looked when we first opened!

We opened 1st December 2014, 3 weeks after winning the competition. Luckily I had suppliers in place from my previous job, and, as it happens, all those skills I’d learned manufacturing personalised gifts, transferred very well to this job, which is why we manufacture 80% of the products we sell on site now.

Two good years in the Broadmarsh centre, allowed us to open our current shop in St. James’s Street. A lovely quirky little shop, just next door to the Malt cross, and Handmade Nottingham – another wonderful example of an independent gift shop. We love being on St. James’s Street, along with several other independent businesses. It suits our brand, and has upper floors which we use for studio space and manufacturing.

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Our beautiful shop on St James’s Street.

We never know what each day will bring, but we have built such a wonderful following on social media, and even have our own ‘Bogger Talk’ group on Facebook, dedicated to speaking proper Notts! I only wish I could clone myself, so that I could achieve all the ideas that are floating around in my head! Any small business owner will tell you, that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Right now, whilst I’m typing this, I’m acutely aware of the fact that Ian is running around like a blue arsed fly, collecting stock together for a market we’re doing on Sunday!There is always something I want to do, and never enough time to do it, which is why this monthly blog, has become a quarterly rant, and my mailing list members are lucky if they receive an email twice a year!

Any-road, I love running Dukki, and chatting with you Boggers on Facebook (please like our page!) and we hope to be able to continue it, for as long as the economic climate allows us to! If you find yourself in Market square, just nip up St. James’s Street and see us. We’ll always welcome you, and the ‘kekkle is allus on!’

If you’ve got this far, then well done! I’ve rambled on forever, so I’d better go and get all the other jobs done that I’ve neglected.

Ta-ra, me duck!

Our upcoming events: Barton’s PLC ‘Not the Camden Market’ Sunday 5th and 19th November, Chilwell High Rd.

25th-26th November – Rufford Abbey Winter Market.

Barton’s PLC ‘Not the Camden Market’ Sunday 3rd and 17th December, Chilwell High Rd.

Late night shopping ’til 8pm every Wednesday in December. We will also be open on a Monday throughout December annorl!

 

 

 

A shop is for life, not just for bleddeh Christmas

“Ooh look, Barbara, that shops closed dahn, a wuz gooin ter get me bits fer Chrissmuss!”shops_1446694c

 
It’s an all too common sight on our high streets. Empty units, pop-up shops, permanent sales. But you boggers can help. Support yer independent shops this summer, because this is the time of year when they need you the most.
Small businesses rely on a good Chrissmuss ter see them through the quiet times, but if we all bought summat when we popped into an indpendent shop the rest of the yeeyer, then it could mek the difference between it being there or not when it comes round to Chrissmuss!
So, next time yer in tahn, pop in and support an independent shop. Because by doing so, you’re not helping some CEO jet off ter the Bahamas inniz new yacht, you’re helping Boggers like us pay our rent, and buy cat food, and maybe nip off ter Skeggeh for a couple of days if we’re luckeh.
Think abaht it… big corporations don’t need yer munneh, they don’t even pay any bleddeh tax arf the time. Behind every small business, is a real person, tryin’ ter mek a difference to their lives, and yours. Just a card is all it teks, me duck.
Don’t get me wrong, we can’t bleddeh wait ter see you all for yer Chrissmuss shoppin’ but if everyone of you supports a local independent business at the this time of yeeyer, then it could guarantee them actually bein’ araahnd at Chrissmuss!

Ta muchly, for your continued support, me ducks. And remember: shop-07.jpg

It’s all kickin’ off in the citeh!

Tomorrer (8th July) is the annual Nottingham Independents Festival, and seein’ as Nottingham has more independent businesses than anywhere else outside of London, then we reckon that’s a good enough bleddeh reason to celebrate, intit, duckeh?

Scavenger-Hunt

AYUP!

Tomorrer (8th July) is the annual Nottingham Independents Festival, and seein’ as Nottingham has more independent businesses than anywhere else outside of London, then we reckon that’s a good enough bleddeh reason to celebrate, intit, duckeh? There is loads gooin on, throughout the citeh, but us Boggers want to highlight some of the things we’re involved in.

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St James’s Street, where our little shop is situated, is playin’ host to a hive of activity, and will be well worth a visit throughout the day. Work your way up the street, and visit open studios at PopPress (open until 6pm), Live illustration,window murals and locally made gifts at Handmade Nottingham (open until 8pm), Outdoor DJ sets by Plates Records, and mek sure to pop dahn ter their record store, underneath the Maltcross. Speaking of the Maltcross, they’ve got Live music and a pop-up craft beer bar (open from 11am til late) We at Dukki, not only have our Ruth, doing live illustration throughout the day, but will also be hosting a city centre treasure hunt, with bleddeh briwyunt prizes, and medals for the winning team! Come and get your question sheets from our shop, and tek yer time doing it, as the prize is for the most correctly answered questions, not the quickest time! You can keep up to date with everything that goes on on St James’s Street, by following the Facebook page for the Street, here

 

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Find Ian Jones at the Street Art Block Party, Sneinton Market 11am- 9pm

Our Ian will be at the Street art Block Party, Sneinton Market, from 11am – 9pm, holding a stall of all of his amazing artwork, and you will also find live graffiti painting, music, art and more goin’ on dahn that end of the citeh! Mek sure you check aht the Street Art exhibition at the Surface Gallery when you’re dahn there! Check out Ian’s website here

If yer not too tatered after traipsing round the tahn, then keep an ey aht for the dinosaur sculptures that are dotted around the city centre, as part of the Dinosaurs of China Exhibition at Wollaton Hall. (also well worth a visit!)

More detailed events guide for the Nottingham Indedendents Festival can be downloaded here 

That’s all for nah, folks! Get yersen inter tahn tomorrer, for a whole day of fun!

Don’t believe the Instahype

Any small business owner will tell you, that social media and Instagram especially, play a huge role in advertising their business. For some businesses, like mine, Instagram is all-consuming. My day has become measured out by whether something is Instagram worthy. Whether it be my first cup of coffee in the morning, the new product I’ve released, or even the ‘work threads’ I’m wearing. To be honest, I hate it. But it has become a necessary evil, to show the world the inner (and outer) workings of DUKKI.

Trying to keep our brand personal, and appealing to the masses is exhausting. Most of the time, I’m sure you boggers* aren’t even interested. I try to keep what I post as close to the reality of how our business runs, but Instagram is great for allowing you to hide the messy reality of what is actually happening day-to-day.

Instagram is also a thief of time, and a means of prying into the daily life of other small businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about what other people are up to, and filling my head with inspiration, but it doesn’t half make you feel completely ill-equipped to compete. Being a creative professional plate spinner, it also makes me want to do ALL the things. Which eventually sends me to breaking point.  When I look at other people’s Instagram feeds, I can’t help thinking “what am I going wrong? How can they have such a perfect work life balance? Will I ever be able to achieve that?”

Of course, they’re probably all thinking exactly the same thing as me, which is partly why Instagram is such a powerful visual aid. It taps into the anxious part of our brain, and fuels the fire to post more and more. It’s a self-perpetuating torrent of colour and influence, and it’s totally addictive.

This morning, I’m sat at my laptop, at the patio door to our house, attempting to work in the sun, whilst Ian mows the lawn. I posted this picture to Instagram:

“Cup of coffeh and a sausage cob, then I’m going to smash the duck out of Monday”

What this photo doesn’t show you, is the mountain of crap on the rest of  the table, the fact that it’s already midday, and I’ve not achieved anything yet, or the fact that I can’t smash the ‘Duck’ out of Monday, because I’m so far behind on everything, that I feel like my head is going to burst.

I’ve been wanting to write this Blog for about three months, but I have never found the time to be able to prioritise it. I’m supposed to write one a month, (a silly goal that I’ve set myself) but then that’s yet another platform, by which to portion another piece of my life out, and there isn’t enough of me to go round.

Running a small business is hard, exhausting, rewarding, pleasurable, and time-consuming in equal measure, and sometimes, I really do wonder if it’s all worth the bother.

Not my real desk.

One thing is for sure, without social media, our presence as a business would be far less than it is now. People must read what I post about, because they come into our shop, and tell me they’ve seen stuff on Instagram. I just think I need to get the balance right, and stop obsessing about what others are posting about. It’s time to stop fixating on what I could be doing, and start finishing what I’m already doing!

Ta, for all your continued support, both on here, and bloody Instagram.

Heidi, Designer & Owner of Dukki Ltd, 18 St. James’s Street, Nottingham

*Bogger is an affectionate term for anything or anyone from Nottingham.