So much to do and so little time to do it all in

Jane Johnston is a hard working mum who juggles her time between family life, her mail order business and organising Townstock
Jane Johnston is a hard working mum who juggles her time between family life, her mail order business and organising Townstock
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Luckily both my husband and I can work from home, so we see lots of ourlittle boys, says Jane Johnston


We wake up with our boys, Billy (2) and Joseph (1) around 6.30am to start a morning of scrambled eggs and lots of nappy changing. The livingroom’s completely blitzed by toys by 8am.

The laptop’s open and email checked before I get chance to have a shower. Things are busy right now because I’m working on two big projects: Townstock, an event I’m holding in Halifax next week; and Vanroe, my internet business selling ladies powder compacts.

Luckily both my husband and I Alistair can work from home, so we see lots of the boys. The downside is that I look up from the laptop at 11am and realise I’ve not yet had that shower!


A morning of planning for Townstock. First up is Dean Clough, Townstock’s venue. Art director Vic Allen and events manager Terry Furness help with great ideas and put me in touch with the people I need to make next week happen – the man with the microphones, the new Chef’s School at the Viaduct and Totally Locally Café for catering.

At 11.30 I pop over to the Community Foundation for Calderdale to find out how Townstock can support fund raising for local apprenticeships. We talk about their plan to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End and I invite the cyclists to be there on the day.

On Tuesday evenings I’m often at Sowerby Bridge High School as I volunteer as a school governor. Being a governor gives me the opportunity to support the school and to work with fantastically committed teachers and experienced volunteers. The homemade biscuits make it even more worthwhile!


An early Skype call with Richard, a Calderdale lad now in China. Richard’s working with me on manufacturing some of my powder compacts out there, so I spend half an hour talking about samples and any problems he’s had with the factory this week. Then back on the laptop to catch up with lots of emails, pack my customers’ orders ready for posting and update my website.

In the afternoon I’m in Holywell Green to meet with my Business Growth Calderdale mentor. This is a council scheme to support small businesses like mine. My mentor Martin runs a manufacturing company and advises me on how best to work with factories to make my products. We feel like celebrities today as Business Growth’s Jocy is here to take photos.

Evening is a film and a pizza with my husband once the kids are in bed!


Thursday is my day with our two boys, so I get my lie-in until 7.30am while Alistair makes breakfast. Then it’s time for the household jobs, sticking some food in the slow cooker for our tea and a trip up to the swings in West View Park.

The boys and I often spend Thursday afternoon with a great group of friends I made through Calderdale NCT. We met when we had our first babies almost three years ago, and still meet regularly to catch up and let our little ones loose in Eureka or Play Palace.


Excited today to be invited to my first Eid celebration by our friends Ali and Zara next door. We all eat far too much food and I’m tempted to join the boys for their lunchtime nap. Zara pops round with the leftovers later so no need for me to cook tonight!

In the afternoon I walk the boys up the hill to High Road Well Post Office to send orders: my only exercise this week! Then off to Warley Village playing fields so Billy can jump in some puddles in his new welly boots. My littlest, Joe, loves the goats we see on the way.


On Saturdays we often pile everyone in the car for a visit to my parents in Burnley. I love the drive through Hebden, Tod and the crags around Cornholme. Dad’s finishing a model railway for an exhibition in Padiham, so my boys “help” their Granddad test the engines. They are already Thomas the Tank Engine crazy, so their Nana has stocked up with Thomas toys from ebay. It’s hard to tear them away!

Both Al and I spend the evening in front of Strictly with the laptop open, working out Townstock things on a spreadsheet. Nearly there now!


Sunday can be a workday for me. This week I’ve compacts to pack for ladies in the UK, Australia and Greece, a huge to do list for Townstock and “My Week” to write for the Courier! So, I hole myself up in our back bedroom with lots of cups of tea and Radio 2. 
My evening’s a splashy bath with the boys, steak for dinner and Downton Abbey before bed. The perfect end to my week!

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