Monday, 27 December 2010

Google and other random additions.

Well our website finally hit page 1 of google today, (also bing and yahoo but only google really counts) so pretty happy about it. Of course the old site is still above. Will take a bit for us to pass them as they been around a couple more years. This is great news for promotion and with the changes I'm working on means interesting things coming 1st quarter of the new year.

Busy day at work today, usually busy days go fast but today didn't. 15 mins for lunch as we didn't have time for more, which is a bit evil but I checked my emails on my lunch to find one from Tuomas which always makes me happy and hyper, that helped continue with the rest of the slow working day.

I am on sorting out the February project this week (Thursday/Friday) as off work those days, and I will be starting to get London fan gathering timetable/member lists coming finalised in the next fortnight.

Not much more to report as most of the things I'm doing are work in progress, so I will add as things progress.

Sleep well all

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Xmas is the sales begin

Well Christmas came and went for another year. I had the typical family Christmas- eating as much as you can in one day.
Ethan is still too young to understand but he enjoyed playing with all his new toys, I once again was resident taxi which meant for the 6th year running no drinking for me. Next year I plan to have Christmas at my house and people can come to me for once :)

Boxing day sales start in most of UK shops today, mine included. So we braced ourselves for some onslaught and got nothing but crap through the doors. We were busy, but the quality was not there so when checking what sales etc you did they looked pathetic. To top it all, when handing the customers over to pay; the cashiers we give the customers to were not putting the sales under our names... less money showing on our reports. 3 more days to go.

On a website note, Tuomas got some lovely birthday messages so I will have to let him know and give him access to that thread on forum if he wants to read them. Also huge thanks to all the PM's and emails I got wishing me a nice Christmas- the love and support of the fans is overwhelming.

Right now I just got home from work so I'm sat, feet up and watching Charlie and The Chocolate factory. Amazing Johnny Depp in it, so funny.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Healthy again

After a week of feeling pretty rotten, I'm finally healthy again. I've never had flu so bad that I could barely even stand which was annoying with me just starting a new job.
It's going to get very cold and heavy snow in UK again over this next week. Looks like we will have a white Christmas after all!

I don't have a whole lot to report website wise except I had to get a captcha system installed. I know it's a pain but we have some annoying shopping site bots posting spam and some were not really suitable for under 18's to read. Hopefully this will stop them :)

I'm still hunting for more people to get involved in our February project, we are doing ok but few more would be nice.

So upcoming this next week we have Tuomas' name day, Christmas and of course Tuomas' 34th birthday. Busy week heh

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Today was suppose to be relaxing but...

plans never work out do they?

Well my bad day started last night actually, the server for the website had a critical error and went offline. Things happen I thought, but got out of bed this morning and our website was still down. Typically this server error hit our site the hardest and deleted our database, so this started the day perfectly with a frantic call to the host tech support.
So about 2 hours later we finally have it back up and running, one hitch the only backup that survived was from the 4th of December. We lost over 25 new member registrations and 100's of forum posts, yes both can be replaced but it's still annoying.

The next thing which got me riled up was the following. Being at work yesterday I was not in the house to accept a parcel too big to be delivered. The mailman put a note through the box to say it will be taken to the local post office and I can collect there, fair enough. I went this morning and stood in the queue for about 15 minutes until finally my turn. I handed the card to the women behind the desk who looked through the pile or parcels behind her then looked elsewhere, another 15 minutes later she came back with "Sorry I can't find it". I said to her it was not acceptable and she just shrugged her shoulders at me, so I was expected to just walk away and try again later.

On a positive note: Hans Zimmer received his star on the walk of fame yesterday. About time to be honest.

Hopefully my next post will be more uplifting

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snow, Hockey and more snow

Well it's the third day I have been practically "snowed in" at home. This morning involved waking at 6:30, digging the snow away to be able to open my garage door..15 feet later of driving and the car got stuck. So I gave in, came inside got hot cup of coffee and all is well. As I type this we have yet more heavy snow and its -4 at the moment.. I don't think I will be going anywhere today.

The snow cannot dampen my mood though as I'm planning a little something special on our website after chatting with Tuomas last night. Some people ask me what do we email about, well mostly.. Ice Hockey. We found it's a common interest so always good to chat about something not work related.

Don't forget we have our London meeting coming up and check our forums for some things we are arranging.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Website gathering update:

Just a quick one, I will update a proper blog post later.

London has now been finalised. Thank you to the replies about it I have so far. Amazing interest in this. We are booked on Tuesday 15th February 7pm @ The Pipeline Bar

I checked and under 18's allowed up until 9pm - then any under 16 are not. But since we only have 16+ interested we should be good.

So if you are interested in joining in- I have our own private area booked. Just please email the following information to as soon as you can.

Forum name:
Country coming from:
Contact number:
How many people will be coming (including you)

Mark here with a X: Coming ( ) Should be ( )

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

London 2011

Time for another update.
Well after hearing from Tuomas about London, I've now had the very expensive pleasure of booking my flights and hotel. Makes it quite exciting however to have these booked.
I'm currently now searching for a location for the website gathering on Tuesday 15th Feb. If anyone has any suggestions, please get in touch.

I really need more people to help with something we are doing for Tuomas, please check out our announcement section of our website for details on this. We are running out of time.

I have a job interview tomorrow so hope that goes well. Not great pay, but it does involve working from home which will be handy. Spent a small fortune and this website and with London, Christmas and the host renew coming up, I need all the cash I can get at the moment.

Don't forget everyone we have an active chat room not on the website too, don't be a stranger. Some fun chats happen there :)

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Competition ends..time to relax

Well the competition ended on Sunday and the judging was long and hard. We had a fantastic 602 entries (not counting emails that had multiple attachments), it was far more successful that I originally expected.
I am lucky to have had Allison and Ewo there to help with the judging process, there were just too many great ones to choose from. It would of took me weeks alone to decide.
The original plan was to go to Helsinki and sit with Ewo to go through them, but time got the better of us and we could not sort a date in time for me to book flights and personal commitments.
We had to use the website as a meeting ground instead, which worked really well. So go to to view the winners. Thanks again to Anette Olzon for promoting.

Had my last *nearly* all night working session in a while I hope last night as the work load calms, seems ever since my first contact with Tuomas I have been working late every night trying to perfect things. Although my body seems to have adjusted the the 3-4 hours of sleep I have been having the last few weeks. Decided the website design alterations I was planning will be put on hold till the end of February. This is because I plan to get some shots of Tuomas while I'm down in London to use in the website design so I am not relying on other's work. Many thanks to Christian of Photo Press and for allowing me to use his photo as main image for now.

Heard back from Tuomas regarding London dates, this means I can start planning the website get together..hmm what was I saying about calming my work load down? Oh well. Tuomas and I are working to 2 dates, so working out which is best and then will announce the date and hopefully not too long after the location of the meet up/good excuse for a drink..whatever you want to call it. This will not be the last member gathering, a lot of fans in other countries have expressed they would love to meet up with other Tuomas and Nightwish fans. We are already considering the second meet to be held in the Netherlands, this is still just a thought at this moment. This time will also provide something quite cool that Tuomas is doing for the website and something related to a future competition, but I will have to say "watch this space" for more information on that :)

All members thinking about going to London, please do not forget to fill in the form on our forum and email me it. I am needing rough numbers of people attending asap. Also something else very important on the forums I am desperate for help with. Please go look.

I want to finish with a thank you list of people who have helped me since day 1:

Sarah W. : For being positive about the website project before we started it.

John: For suggesting our name.

Alex: For being supportive, my unofficial proof reader.

Rebecca: For being a great mod and translator, and for being so supportive (thank you again for the wonderful gifts you sent)

Allison: Again fantastic mod and for helping me with the massive judging task.

Sarah: For constantly being so quick at our German translations.

Luis: For our Br/Pt translations and diplomatic relation co-ordinator between ourselves and Nightwish Brazil.

Robin: For constantly checking the website in 3 languages.

Lerren: For the complex task of our Russian translations and keeping the fantastic relation we have with Nightwish Russia alive.

Special thanks:

Anette Olzon: For being so supportive for us even before we received our official standing. We would not of had the amazing competition success we had without you. You have such a pure and beautiful soul.

Ewo Pohjola: For entertaining me with crazy email conversations, being supportive about the website and helping with the judging,

Tuomas Holopainen: For sending the gifts for the translators, giving your blessing and for the exciting future plans we have.

And to all the fans, for all the thank you messages I receive daily. Thank you for your ongoing support. I promise we will not abandon you, we will be here supporting all of you as well as Tuomas. We are not just his website..... we are yours! You keep us alive.

Take care everyone.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Been a while- keep getting told to write soo

So it's been a while since I made any kind of blog update but I've been really busy recently.

Things are good for me at the moment, the little one isn't quite so little anymore, he's 14 month old and I cannot believe it.

Most of my spare time is spent working on Tuomas Holopainen's website, trying to get it finished. We are currently translating it which is what is taking the time at the moment.
Timeline of the the birth of the site to future plans:

Approx dates-
2002: Initial idea for a site came to mind: lack of funds and time put my plans off.
2004: Revisited the idea again and started to think of designs but real life made me put on hold again.
2007: Found the existence of a official Tuomas site already, so used that but did not use forums at first.
2008: Noticed the official site had stopped updating, idea for site came back to mind.
End 2008: Fans of Tuomas pushed me into starting the project as they were angry the site had been abandoned.
2009: Purchased The Escapist initial domain and host, not really happy with 1st design but stuck with it for the moment.
2009: Due to a not so great pregnancy I kept the site updated but I was unable to give time to a redesign at that moment.
2010: Decided to finally redesign the site and relaunch it. Bought a new host that was more reliable for higher amounts of visitors and relaunched and promoted the site.
2010: Website became really successful, was at this point I started talking with Ewo from King Foo. The idea of a competition came to light.
2010: Gained official status, announced competition. Thanks to Anette and Jarmo at for the support.
2010: Slight site redesign and adding 6 languages and direct conversations with Tuomas begun.

Future: Meeting with Tuomas in February 2011. Some exciting things coming to the site after this. *Keeping it shush but it will be really good*

Since 9th October when we moved to from the original domain name, we have had 27,000 visitors.

So that's basically a very quick overview of the websites life. Of course I could go into more detail but we would be here all day.
Have some fantastic people work on the site with me, a big thank you to them for the ongoing support.
A huge personal thank you to Tuomas, Anette and Ewo.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

First day volunttering at the recording studio

Ok so just got back from my first day youth working down at the recording studio. Fantastic kids and very talented.

We are a non profit organisation bringing the chance for kids to practice and make music. Today we had some of our bands in the studio recording a track each to make a CD to sell for fundraising and to promote our gig next month, the rest will be in the studio next week.

If anyone has any fundraising ideas, would love to hear from you as in need of more equipment etc ...and heating!! we have no heating in the building and oh my goodness it's so cold in there.

I was there for 6 hours and I'm there every Sunday.

In other things, the little man is 17 weeks old today. Time has gone so quickly. He's trying to roll over now but he gets stuck and so annoyed with himself. He laughed for the first time on Christmas day which cheered us all up after Mum fell on ice and ended up in hospital.
He's a piccy of the little guy taken a few weeks ago. Everyone take care