Hello, I'm Bonny Snowden, ex-corporate person, a mother and successful artist entrepreneur. It wasn't that long ago though, that I lacked the confidence vision and support network to focus on growing my dream business. Fast-forward past many life curve balls, waves of self-doubt and so many lessons learned, and you'll see - Ignite - my thriving online colour, pencil, artist community. A community that changes members' lives for the better. It gives me freedom to live abundantly whilst doing what I love and spending quality time with my beloved family and dogs all whilst creating my best artwork with coloured pencils and mentoring others to do the same, but this life wasn't always how it was for me. It used to only exist in my imagination.
I've created the It's a Bonny Old Life podcast to help increase people's confidence, share mine and my community's experience and hope through fascinating personal stories champion the other amazing humans in my personal professional and membership community and create another channel through which I can support others to realise their dreams. If you're a passionate colour pencil artist or an aspiring one, who's looking to create their best work and a joyful life you love you're in the right place. Grab a cuppa and a custard cream. Let's get cracking.
Welcome to my latest episode of It's a Bonny Old Life. Surrounding yourself with amazing people can have a huge impact. I find their amazingness brushes off. We find ourselves in a bigger circle of incredible people and all of a sudden your life just isn't the same anymore.
I'm delighted this week to introduce you to an amazing marketing entrepreneur and downright fabulous human being. She has made a huge impact in my life over the last year, introduced me to fascinating people, podcasts and books, and has turned my idea of marketing on its head. Lucy Hutchings Hunt, Hello? Or should I say Bonjour?
Hello, Bonny. Thank you for having me.
My pleasure. I don't know whether you want to just let everybody know where you are chatting to me from today. So I I'm in my little home office in my flat on lake Annecy in France, a little village, halfway down lake Annecy. And if I look out my window, I can see the Chateau Menthon Sant Bernard, and lake, oh,
something I can see that's very interesting is The Plateau de Glieres (I never quite know how to say it), but it's where they used to drop all of the resistance fighters during the second world war. There's a massive memorial to all these people that were parachuted in to fights or as spie for the resistance, whether they were French nationals or British people. And so, so I've got quite an interesting view out of my window.
Oh, wow. That sounds amazing. Well, I have to admit, I keep seeing some of your just fabulous videos and images and stuff on your social media. And I'm always very, very jealous as I look out onto grey Yorkshire fields.
Well you know how I feel about Yorkshire - it's God's own country. And, and if I were to ever move back to the UK, it would be to Yorkshire not far from where you live now. I had some of the happiest years in England living in the Howardian Hills, near Castle Howard in a little village called Dalby, just outside Terrington. I love it there.
I mean, I'm Yorkshire born and bred. So, you know, I've always lived in Yorkshire and I absolutely adore it.
Right. Okay. So I could tell the story of how we met, but I guess it would be really nice to hear it from your point of view, how we kind of met and,
and what we've been doing together over the last year.
Yeah. So I'm a marketing strategist, digital marketing strategist and website designer. And I've been doing that for well, on and off for 20 years. However, concertedly in the last eight years since my daughter was born, I sort of set up again and I properly do that now.
So you were introduced to me by a mutual contact, Laura, who I'm very grateful to. And that was, I think, about this time last year, January last year. Yeah. And you came across my path and basically the situation was that you already had an established brand and a website and a presence online, but you wanted to move on to the Kajabi platform (which is one of my specialties) and create a much more process driven membership organisation out of what you've already established. And that is how we met. And I am very, very grateful that we did meet. Because it's been a very exciting, interesting, and wonderful adventure for the last year with you.
Yeah, it has. It has, you know and the one thing (well, not the one thing - there's loads of things that I I've absolutely loved about working with you) but one of the things is that you've introduced me to a whole host of just incredibly amazing people and fantastic books. I mean, I've got books galore now because every time I speak to you, it's like Bonny, have you read this book, you need to read this book and, you know, have you, have you got this? And have you got that? And it's, it's opened up this whole new world for me. You know, we, we tend to sort of, sort of sit in our own little circle that way. And then as soon as we kind of move into somebody else's circle, you've then got this whole wider pool of resources available to you. And it's been absolutely fantastic. It's the mind blowing, but it's just brilliant to now be kind of connected to all of these other fabulous people that you know and have introduced me to, and then the whole, the whole different way of marketing, you know, I mean, thought I knew what marketing was all about and honestly, it has blown my mind and he's just completely turned everything on its head. You know, how marketing for a membership is so very, very different to traditional model.
Thank you so much, firstly, I just want to say thank you because I am really touched that you are so grateful to me for introducing me to so many great books and people, but I mean, that's just kind of what I do because I am one of those people that gets so excited. When I find something that sets me on fire, I basically can't stop talking about it. And I just tell anyone and everyone that comes into my pathway. So, but I'm really pleased that some of my finds have helped you - as you know I'm a personal development junkie and I have been for years. So I have read an awful lot of personal development books - in personal development, but also in business development. And I really happily share them with anyone that will listen basically. So I'm glad that you're appreciative of that. And in terms of the interesting people that I've got in my circle, you know, I'm quite a natural extrovert. And I think that is just means I just, I just love people, you know, I think I'm like you, you love people as well. I know you do. And that's where we have a lot in common and I just love people's differences, people's stories. And because of that, I do have this kind of really wide, eclectic circle of really interesting and fabulous humans in my life. I wouldn't say all of them are my best friends. Some of them are just acquaintances. Some of them are people I've met through business. Some of them are really good friends and will be for life... but because of that, I do often know who to connect with who when the moment is right.
And, and I mean, I'm so glad that you've joined, for example, Sister Snog, which is the women's business network that we're both members of now and you know, that the women that I've met through that are so fabulous and it's just a delight that you get how fabulous they are too. So thank you for acknowledging me on that front.
So the other thing I was going to allude to which you mentioned - is the new approach to marketing when it comes to membership sites and, and sort of digital products, and it is quite mind-blowing. If you have come from a traditional marketing background or traditional bricks and mortar business background, or even a corporate background to when you kind of understand how powerful some of these new approaches to digital marketing or in terms of revenue generation, and business development and how nimble you can be in business with, with the application of these, these new ideas, it's quite revelatory and it does kind of make you see the potential in pretty much everything. Like for me, I look at people and I'm like, wow, you do that. Wow. I can help you build a course out of that or that could be a membership...And you know, I'm pretty sure I could turn most people's unique genius into a six figure business without too much effort if they were to put in the effort and focus to
Yeah. Yes. Do you know, isn't it funny because you know, my, my sister, they have a, they have a business, they, they have a smoked salmon business. And you know, when I get talking to her and everything about my membership and what I've been doing and what you've been helping me do, I know all the time I'm thinking you could do this, you could have a membership and you can do this... and it's every single person you meet. It's like, well, you could do a membership too, and it's just like this. It's fantastic. It's absolutely fantastic what, what you can do, but it, it really is so very, very different to your normal, everyday marketing that we're, we're all used to. And, and it's, and it's, it was quite a bit of a shock. I have to say, I went along with it because I trust you, you know, a hundred percent, but I've kind of come away from meetings going. I trust her and I know it's going to work, but I don't know how,
I'm glad you did trust me. And the thing is 'm one of these people that kind of, I really believe in life leap and the net will appear.
And I, you know, there are a lot of people who (it's almost like what you think about you bring about) and if you spend your whole time thinking 'that's not going to work, that's not going to work... how would that possibly work?' Do you knew the likelihood is that maybe it won't work because you brought quite a lot of negative energy to it, and you've doubted yourself and you've created these kinds of energetic blocks to something working, but because YOU have that positivity and you almost, you kind of put that blind faith in me, which I'm really grateful for. You know, it wasn't like, I was just kind of spouting nonsense. I knew that I have a proven track record and that I also have seen other people do what I do and that it works. But the fact that you believed and you jumped and the net appeared, and it has been such a really incredible year for you is really, I put that down to you having the faith and the positive attitude and the energy that has manifested the positive outcome for you.
Yeah. You see, and I'm a huge believer in, I'm a huge believer in the benevolence of the universe. And if you don't believe in the universe or a scientific facts, you know the reticular activating system is one of the facts that basically, if you, if you feed into your brain, you know, what it is that you want to do, your plans, your goals, all of that type of stuff, your brain then kind of starts to sort through things and picks up on things that are important and picks upon opportunities.
And I think, you know, actually having the courage to think, right, okay, this is what I want to do, and I'm just going to do it. And what's the worst that can happen. Yeah and just put it, I am very trusting person. I do put my trust in people, you know, and usually it works out. It works out well, but I had to, I, I think I had a really good feeling about you anyway, because when we, I think we put some tenders out, we put some briefs out and we got quite a few backs and yes, I can do your membership, we'll just, you know, bang, bang it onto the end of your current website. And, and the, the brief that I got back from you were so in depth and you know, this is what we're going to do. I need to know all about you. And we spent, we must have spent about four months just talking.
Yeah. And I think, I think it's really interesting that you, you saw that as a positive because so many people are interested in speed and they're interested in 'how quickly can I get to that goal?' you know? And they don't actually realise that it's the foundations that you put in before you get to the place where you want to be ongoing - that determines whether what you build in the longterm is sustainable and has that durability and that potential to really scale.
And I really acknowledged you for understanding how important it was to kind of do that unpicking of what it was that your vision was before you went ahead and bashed it out. Because I don't think your membership would be what it is today if we'd rushed through it in a month and just tacked on a piece of software to your existing WordPress website or square space or whatever it was at the time, I can't quite remember. And just kind of got that quickly without kind of really doing that sort of almost business therapy. If you like, of - what is this vision? what have we got already? How can we de de deconstruct it so that we can rebuild it again sustainably? So its big getting better and it can be there for more and more and more people, which is your vision. You know, your vision was so clear to me - you want to help people grow in confidence and realise that dreams in life, through developing their colour pencil skills. And it's such a powerful vision. And it is kind of infinite and how it could be applied. So what I really wanted to help you do is build a platform and a business model that had infinite capacity. And I don't think we could have done that if I'd bashed it out in a month.
No, definitely not. Definitely not. And what was really nice about it is that we, we, you know,
we did get to know each other a little bit more, you know, I remember having we'd booked in zoom calls and we both, I think we both sat there crying, you know, because we both, you know, we both have had difficulties and I think people sometimes see successful people or, or happy people and think, oh gosh, they've had a really blessed life and everything's been perfect for them. And actually usually the strongest people have had not fantastic things happen to them in their lives. And I can recall, you know, just sort of sitting and I was kind of recalling what, what would happen to me and my little family and everything. And I know that you have had, you know, all sorts of, of things happen in your life and it's it's horrible when we're going through them. But I do, I really do believe it makes us far more resilient and better people in the end.
I so agree Bonny And I think, I think a big part of business success is actually knowing yourself, really knowing yourself, understanding yourself, understanding your strengths and weaknesses. And like when you're triggered, when you want to throw in the towel, why do you want to throw in the towel? You know, because really business is about sticking at it when the going gets tough. And when you feel like everything's really difficult, and if you're not strong enough in yourself, when things are difficult on a daily basis (because business is not linear, it's up and down all the time) you will end up throwing in the towel or thinking 'what's the point?' or 'who am I to have this dream?' or actually, 'do you know what? It would be safer to go back and work on the tills in Tesco because at least I know what I'm going to do. And no one is questioning me when I do that...' You know, not that I'm suggesting as anything wrong and having a day job. I actually think that sometimes day jobs are the most important thing in helping you get to your dream. If you've got one. But the point is that if you don't know yourself and you don't know what triggers you, you are unable to manage yourself going forward. And I think both you and I, because we've been through quite tricky scenarios that, that have shaped - you either do one of two things - You either get to know yourself better and look at why you felt so miserable or why that happened when, you know, OR you bury your pain even deeper and you sort of pretend it's not there. You deny it and you just kind of don't grow from it. I think what I see in you is that you went through some really difficult stuff in your life before you got to this point of success. You really kind of looked at what your part was in all of those things, you've taken an ownership of it, and you've grown from it and applied that growth, that emotional growth to your work. And you share all of the lessons that you've learned with your community. And that is so powerful. And I hope on some level, in some way, my own small way that I do that too, with my work.
Yeah. I was, you know, very inspired with everything that you do. I mean I find it fascinating that you live in France. There's all sorts of things that I find fascinating about you. I love, I just absolutely adore your Instagram videos where you're dancing and the ones I love the most are the swimming ones. I'd really like to know a little bit more about that, why you started, what, what it means to you, and I guess, you know, what, why you do it and what you get from it.
OK, So in brief, I struggled with addiction from the age of 11. So I had a terrible eating disorder from the age of 11 to 23. I was chronically ill with bulimia and it really spoiled my youth Bonny. I was very depressed for a long time. And I think it was, it was a lot to do with my hormonal ups and downs when I got my period (sorry for those who don't want to know about women's hormones) but at the end of the day, this is what I'm getting to the point of in the story. You know, those hormonal changes precipitated deep depression, which ultimately resulted in me having an eating disorder. And then when I got to the age of 18 and alcohol became more easily available to me, I also developed what I feel was a drink problem. So from the age of 23, I have been doing my best to live a sober life and I work a 12 step program through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). I really believe that had I not discovered that community, that I could potentially not be here now because I was so depressed and I struggled so much in life. I didn't have a toolkit for life. And, you know, it was only through the community of Alcoholics Anonymous that I found this ability to deal with the world and, and kind of work out how to manage life, which to me just felt so unmanageable all of the time.
So when you see me dancing and living my dream, because it is my dream, it's not, everyone's dream to live in France. And you know, I'm going through a divorce. It is a very amicable divorce, but I'm really doing my own thing. And it isn't everybody's idea of what a 44 year old woman should be doing. But when you see me happily living my dream Bonny it's because I've intentionally created this life because I spent a long time being very miserable and I don't want to spend the rest of my life being miserable.
Oh gosh. I mean, I'm sitting here and I'm kind of, I feel like I want to just sort of shed a tear and everything, but, you know, I, I think it's so brave to tell you to tell your story and because I know you are totally honestly honest and completely transparent, you know, and you'll tell your story all of the time. I know that it helps other people. I have to admit. I struggle to tell mine. I think maybe it's still a little bit too raw, I guess, but I, I think it's so well, it's inspiring that you, you can do that and you feel okay doing that.
Tell me about the water and why the water is sort of helping you through all of that as well.
Yeah, so obviously we've all (everyone in the world) has had quite a difficult couple of years with COVID. It's not been easy for anyone. We've lost people we love. And we've had this bizarre scenario where be locked down in our houses and we sort of either had to get to know ourselves better and understand how we work or block it all out with Netflix or something. And, you know, I love the fact that a lot of people have taken up colour pencil drawing because of it - because you know, the fact that we've all had to sort of work out how are we gonna get to know ourselves better and deal with our downtime. But for me, I, one of the things that came out of confinement, they call it confinement here in France, we called it locked-down in the UK, was this sense of l'ife is finite and I'm going to do things that are meaningful to me' and it helped me become - it really enabled me to. I realised that I loved people a lot more because I lived in the middle of nowhere and, you know struggling a little bit with loneliness, but it also forced me to get to know myself better, even better than I thought I did. And I think now I do a lot of meditation. I'm training to be yoga teacher. Although I don't really want to be a yoga teacher. I'm really doing the yoga teacher training just to get to understand yoga better. But one of the other things that I've taken up is cold water swimming, and that's partly because I live on Lake Annecy and it's sort of easy thing for me to do, but partly because I started doing it as a challenge, just to see whether I could do it. The transformational therapeutic experience that I've had from cold water swimming has just been such a powerful experience for me that I would put it alongside, you know, meditation, yoga. It's just such a powerful thing. And it's free and to be honest, even if you don't have a lake, you could run yourself a cold bath. I remember my brother used to do it. My brother was in the army for a long time and then he left the army after 10 years and has retrained as a doctor. I'm very proud of him, but when he was training as a doctor, he used to run himself a cold bath and sit in it for 10 minutes. And I remember this is about five years ago going, oh my gosh, he's gone completely mad. I'm really worried about him and now of course, I go swimming in the lake every day and I'm in a costume and it's plus five degrees. And, you know, I would think that I was mad as well, but it's just such a wonderful thing. I can't identify. I hope I'm making sense, but the transformational experience that I've had from cold water swimming, I'd definitely put it on a par with meditation and yoga.
Yeah, well, I know, gosh, I can't remember which but I think it's cancer research is doing a, a wild sort of cold water swimming challenge at the moment. I was just popped up on Facebook earlier this morning. You know, it's supposed to have some amazing health benefits.
I sort of got into it partly because I did it a few times at the end of the summer here in Annecy. And I thought, gee, I feel really good. And, and then I set myself a challenge of I'm going to do it for 30 days, but I set myself the challenge at middle of November. So I carried on doing it until the middle of December. And so there were some days when I was swimming and it was properly snowing, you know, they were kind of like 10 centimetres of snow, which I had to get through to get into the water. And I was thinking, oh my gosh, I'm crazy. Why am I doing this? But I never, I never regretted getting in that water. And when I got out, I always felt invincible. And I felt like there was this sense of achievement and my body would tingle and I would feel really well. And for the rest of the day, feel great, even if I'd been swimming in the rain or the snow, in fact, even more so when there'd been a challenge to sort of surmount before I got in for the swim. So what happened was even though to begin with, I just did it as a kind of challenge. I actually sort of became aware of the fact that it was just having all of these other benefits that were totally unexpected to me. I found it to be quite therapeutic on a spiritual level as well. I'm not even sure what that's about Bonny. I think it's to do with the fact that you're kind of communing with nature. And when you're in the water, it's so cold that you can't think of anything, your mind goes completely blank. And it's like the most meditative experience. And you're just kind of there with nature or mother nature and nothing else. And you're completely in the present.
And maybe that's how you feel when you're doing your art. I don't know. But for me, someone that has a very busy mind and I'm normally quite frenetic and rushing around, it's this kind of, it's almost like the slate is just wiped clean, and you come out of the water and you feel completely cleansed physically and spiritually. And it's really quite a powerful experience.
Oh, that's amazing. And yes, it's that mindful thing, isn't it, it's that being completely in the now totally in the present and not having to worry about. And absolutely that is the state that I get into with my drawing. You know, it doesn't happen all at the time, but sometimes you just forget everything and everything just goes out out of your head and it's the most amazing feeling, you know, oh, that's fascinating. One of my sisters does, does cold water swimming in her river next to her? I don't think it doesn't sound quite as glamorous, but you know where you are with the lake and everything sounds really lovely. I have to say it is pretty picturesque Annecy.
It is very beautiful. So, and I found some lovely little spots to swim in, with a rock and the mountains in the background and stuff. And I recently invested in a GoPro. I bought myself a GoPro for Christmas and I'm just learning how to use it. I'm still not very good at it, kind of a bit wonky in my videoing,
but, but I'm actually really enjoying editing little videos, which for me, it's a bit like my version of, of art. If you like, you know, trying to capture the beauty of nature and combine that with this kind of digital world that we live in and this ability that I have of manipulating stuff on the internet. And, and, and I do share that quite a bit on social media and it brings me joy just to make these little videos of, of where I live, which I find so beautiful, but kind of very nature focused and inspired alot by the water and by my swimming. Yeah. How long have you been in France for?
So my husband or my soon-to-be ex-husband and I bought here just after we got married. We came on holiday and it was before the Lehman brothers crash, you know, before the financial crisis and both of us were working. I worked in the city of London. He was doing quite well and we felt a bit flush and we came on holiday and before we had children and we'd made a plan for life, we fell in love with France. They say 'un coup de foudre' It's like a bolt of lightning. You know, we had that. We fell in love with this little gorgeous house that we saw in the window of an estate agents shop in the square of the town, where we were staying on our French summer holiday. And before we knew it we'd signed the compromis de vente, which is the promise to buy a property. So we basically went on holiday not intending to buy a holiday home. And we came home having signed up for buying a holiday home. So that was, that was about 13 years ago. And so we've, we've had a holiday home in the Pyrenees for that long. And then about three years ago, when my husband and I decided that we were going to separate, I came out and lived here full time with my daughter. And she goes to school here, and I've got two sons as well, but they're at boarding school in Scotland with my husband. So I've been living in France full-time for three years, but before my boys were five,
I lived out here. We started them at school in the UK. They didn't go to school here and farm. So I kind of lived here for the first five years of their life, and my husband would commute from London. And I love France. I love the much slower pace of life here.
It's quite funny because a lot of British people and especially Americans, they don't understand it. Why are the supermarket shut for two hours at lunchtime? It drives people potty. And it's because French people, they work to live, they don't live to work, and for them, lunch is really the most important meal of the day. And it's really important, no matter what job you do, that you take that time to sit down at the table, put your feet and your feet under the table, and you have a three course meal. I mean, my children, my daughter at school, she literally, she actually has a four course meal in the canteen at school. It's hilarious. They literally, they have an entree which is normally salad or something. And then they have something like, I dunno, pasta or chips or ham chips, and then they'll have a cheese course, which is normally a piece of cheese and then they get some baguettes as well. And then after that, they'll have the piece of fruit and I had to do canteen duty. And it was so funny. I remember listening to the children and they were discussing which cheese they had that day. I was like, oh, see, on Tomme (which is a type of cheese). And I just thought it was hilarious that the French children have four course meals in the canteen and they have a cheese course.
Food Is important and mealtimes, I love it. I was brought up in a, in a restaurant. So my father is a Swiss chef. You know, I have been brought up on very good food, very good food. So yes, it is really, really important. Does your daughter speak French then? I'm guessing she's bilingual.
So she started school in Yorkshire actually. And then when we moved to Scotland, she did a year and a half in Scotland. And then we moved to France and unfortunately with COVID, she did spend quite a lot of time at home with me. And obviously I'm not a native French speaker, although my French isn't bad now, but she's, you know, the last year she's definitely turned a corner. And because it's been a pretty, pretty solid year at school for her, and yeah, I would say she's nearly there. You know, she doesn't have an accent when she speaks French, but she's missing the odd word here and there, which kind of stops her in our tracks every now and again, when she's trying to express herself. But I think, I think give it a year and you probably wouldn't know that she wasn't French put it that way. Yeah. It's brilliant though. Absolutely brilliant.
I always wished that we'd been brought up bilingual cause my, my dad's Swiss, you know, but we were always brought up just as English they can, which is, is it's a shame really, because he speaks three or four different languages, you know, I think it's amazing to be able to speak languages. And it, it's funny in England, you'll find all of the European countries that they speak English as well as their language. And in England we just speak English.
Yeah, I do. You know, what's so interesting is that when you, and I'm very, I'm a very much an English girl, you know, I was brought up in Bournemouth and I didn't really leave England. I didn't really leave Dorset or Somerset or Devon until I was about 16, 17. You know, I didn't, I wasn't one of these worldly kids, not like my children who seem to been to every continent but it's partly to do with the fact that it's much easier to travel in this generation, but what I see from children that are brought up really being familiar with lots of different cultures and is this much more open sense of acceptance of difference. And for me, that's something that I really value is that kind of ability to just accept that we're all the same, but different. And that just because you don't come from the same place or have the same accent that you're any less than, or better than the next person, you know, and I love the fact that as my daughter's here she's really getting to understand a different culture and a different language, it does automatically kind of mean that, that you understand that people are different, but the same does that, does that make sense?
Yeah, no, I think it does. I think it does. I think, I think even my children, you know, have a very different way of, of sort of being in thinking and, and all of that type of thing to when I was younger. I mean, my children are quite a bit older than yours, but yeah, no, absolutely. And how wonderful to be able to, you know travel - you've just been to Rome I think, and then last week you went somewhere else and you've got all of these fantastic places on your doorstep that you're taking your daughter to and kind of showing her all of these amazing things. And it's just wonderful.
Yeah. I know my boys are a bit jealous. In fact, my husband (soon to be ex-husband) He did say, mum, we've got to, we've got to, we can't let mommy and Xanthe they go on all these trips, we're going to have to do one. So he said he was going to take them to Iceland one weekend. I was like, oh, I friends, you're going to Iceland, Bonny. We didn't go anywhere for two years but then I've been booking cheap flights this last month.
Yeah, no, no, I completely get you in. And it's funny. I was chatting to somebody this morning.
One of my, one of my members lives literally just around the corner in the next village. And she came for a cup of coffee this morning. It was lovely. It was so nice to see her. And it turns out we know each other and we know, you know, or friends and everything, you know, I was saying actually how comfortable I've got in just being, sitting in my house and actually I need to start making, not forcing myself, Cause I do love people and I do love Annecy and everything, but it's, for me, it's so much easier just to, just to sit in my house, which sounds terrible. Doesn't it, I'm so comfortable behind my easel, but I, you know, I've got to start going out and doing things and you know, like I did before, but we kind of just get into this sort of easy way of living don't we? Well, I think so I've been doing, you've been seeing me cause I posted about it on social media doing we've we did a trip to Budapest and a trip this week we went to Turin, which actually is only a three hour drive from where I live.
So I've been doing these little jaunts, but I'll be really honest with you, I haven't been out, you know, I haven't been to anyone's house for dinner for as long as I can remember, you know, and I used to be quite a socialite in my day. And the idea of sort of either throwing a dinner party or being invited to a dinner party is it does kind of it doesn't make me feel comfortable, put it that way. It's like, Ooh, socialising is a bit of an anathema. You know, it's one thing kind of taking myself to a city and wandering around on my own enjoying anonymity. But the idea of being forced into social scenarios is a whole other ball game of 'feel the fear and do it anyway'
I think, yes, no, Absolutely. I'm very close to my family, you know, so I have, I have close friends and you know, for me the perfect night out is with my sisters or my cousins or going to my mum's like, we're going to my we're going into my mum's this next Sunday week. We come Sunday for my little sisters, my twin sister's birthday. And we're having a fun day. That to me is, is a perfect night, you know, with, with family, with people I love, you know, eating amazing food and just having a laugh rarely, you know, I just love it. I just love it all.
I think if, if most, if any of us had a Swiss cordon blur chef as a dad, we'd probably all want to go to our parents' house for the night.
I know I need to, I need to ask him if he'll come and be a guest because he is the most interesting man. He has the most fantastic stories. He's he's just such a he's well, they're wonderful. They are really wonderful. And he has got these brilliant stories about how, you know, how he started his smoking business, his smokehouse business, and you know, all of that sort of stuff. It's, it's fascinating, you know, but yeah, I mean that that's, or my, my perfect night in is with my children, you know, a takeaway and monopoly.
Oh, that sounds heaven. Neither. I think I started to really enjoy my own company during confinement. I think beforehand one sort of would put things in the diary and you know, you'd put this dinner in and you put that night out in with the girls and, and actually, what was lovely about confinement was this kind of realisation that actually I loved spending a night in front of the fire and watching an old movie and watching it with my daughter and watching old movies like Some Like It Hot - is one of my favourite films, you know, that film with Marilyn Monroe. And I watched it with my children during confinement. And it's just, you just we just had so much fun with the fire burning and watching films. And, and I think now for me, yeah, I do want to socialise again, but I'm not in any rush to stash my diary full of nights out. It's going to be, it'll be intentional. And it's, you know, this is like these weekends away that I've been doing, I really want to go and explore these places and sort of have a nurturing, exciting experience that will be a memory that I can think about when I'm old and don't have the capacity to go jumping on airplanes every other weekend, but I'm not in any rush to kind of just go out for the sake of it and spend money in restaurants for the sake of it. Do you know what I mean?
I do. And it's, it's amazing. I've been single now since 2017, so it's nearly five years and I I'd been with somebody since I was 17. So I'd been with somebody for a very long time married for nearly 19 years. And, you know, I just love being on my own. That sounds awful. I mean, I'm not on my own and I'm not lonely because I have my three children living at home with me and I have my fantastic family and I've got all of my wonderful members and I'm always talking to somebody every day. I'm always seeing somebody every day, just being able to kind of be on my own and do my own thing and not have to worry about, you know, different bits and pieces. It's just, it's fantastic. And I, you know, people are there, they're going, so Bonny, you know, when are you going to get yourself a man? And I'm like, well, I'm not going to get myself really, really happy as I am. I'm just so content, you know, with me and myself and in my skin and what I'm doing. And at the moment I am absolutely living my best life. I've got my dogs, I've got my children. I'm just really happy.
I just love hearing that. I often say, and I've said it a few times in the last couple of years, you know, God-willing, I won't die tomorrow, but if I did Bonny, I would die, fulfilled, and happy. And knowing that I live my best life and possibly not stepped into my full potential, because I still think I've got, I've got few things I want to do in this world, but, but lived up to what potential I was able to whilst it was on this planet, you know, and I think that is a re you know,it's a really peaceful place to be when you think, well, if it all ended tomorrow I'd be happy. I happy, you know, I couldn't have said that a few years back, you know, when I was in active addiction and I was desperate and sad and depressed, and I didn't realise that it was possible to be happy.
You know, I couldn't have said that back then, but I can say it now. And it's because I have a job that brings me joy working with amazing and inspiring people such as yourself. And, and I have people that I love in my life who believe in me, and I believe in them. And you know, my relationships are really important and I know what matters to me. And let me say the most important thing is that actually I like myself and I like my own company and I don't need anyone else. And if I do meet someone (and I would like to meet someone one day) but it will be a cherry on the top. It won't be the thing that I need to make me happy.
Yes. I think, I think again, it's so, so important to be able to be happy with yourself and be confident with who you are, which then I guess leads me onto my, my last question. It's been so lovely talking to you about all sorts of different things, you know, not just about what, what email are we going to be sending out? So when it comes to confidence (I'm really big on confidence. I've always been confident and I've learned a lot of strategies to be able to help me) but when it comes to confidence, what is your number one Tip?
My number one tip would beif you think that you need to drink to give you confidence, you don't. Because I used to think that alcohol made me feel more confident but actually what it did was it stripped me of my me-ness - of who I was. It kind of was false confidence and it brought me a lot of shame and which fundamentally undermined my confidence and crippled me and stopped me from being who I had the potential to be and who I am today. And so I think that would be my number one tip. Can I slip a sneaky one second one in? So for people who don't, who don't have a, have a problem with drink, I would say, take up cold water swimming. It's absolutely amazing and transformational. And if you haven't got a lake nearby have a cold shower or get in a cold bath and your day will be very different in a positive way.
Wow. You see, I, you know, listening to what you're saying. I know, but I don't have a river near, but we've got a few massive puddles outside, but it really well, that's a very good idea. I could go splash in a puddle with Nellie, the dog, maybe, but I'm thinking, you know, possibly actually I take a cold shower in the morning. Maybe I might try it. I'll let you know. Oh, well, it's been really lovely talking to you today. Thank you ever so much for joining me and for just being so honest and, and just lovely.
Thank you, well, I'd just like to acknowledge YOU too Bonny, for everything that you do, all the joy that you bring, the care. You know, I've worked with you very closely now for a year, and it's just mind blowing how dedicated you are to your community and and your team. You're brilliant. You know, you're just one of the most fun and like dedicated people that I've had the honour of working with. So I want to acknowledge you for that before we go and say, thank you for your time. And for inviting me to interviewed today, it's been lovely.
Thank you. Thank you so much, Lucy
I really hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of my it's a Bonny old life podcast.
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