Any Other Boot Camp

Readers, readers, readers…

Thank you for all your brilliant comments on my Life of Pie post.  It made me happy to realise I’m not alone, and since then, well, life slowed down.  Slightly.  And now I’m living it, rather than other other way around.  And you know what happens when I’m back in the saddle? 

The blog gets some intensive one-on-one time with me.  Call it bootcamp.  Spreadsheets get made. Fifty emails get replied to at once.  Posts get drafted.  People get chased.  AOW has to do fifty press ups whilst I stand over it, shouting.   I’m back on it, folks.  Think of Any Other Woman as a camel, and I’m in Egypt, spurring it on over rocky terrain.

Let the record show, I did not compare Team AOW to a camel. 

It’s time to take stock.

The AOW A-Z of Getting Married

You may remember this as the idea we had (that’s us AND you lot) that generated more comments than we thought this blog had the capacity to handle (163.  And counting).  It’s our upcoming sane, wise, reality-check A-Z Guide To Getting Married in a world saturated with ridiculous ideas of what a wedding should be, and how a bride should feel. 

There are two things you need to know:

1. There is still a chance for you to get involved if you haven’t already.  There’s still lots of topics we haven’t matched, and potentially some we haven’t even thought of.  Drop me an email and we can discuss!        

2. You don’t have to be married to contribute.  What you have to say about issues like racial differences, being a bridesmaid and age difference is just as important as anyone who is married. 

If you have a business and you’d like to get involved with sponsoring any part of the series, or if you’re a photographer and would like to donate any images for the series, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. 

We are beyond excited and thrilled to bits about this project – it’s going to be the first collaboration of its kind.  We want you on board.  Please, please, if you’re undecided, email us…we will do everything we can to make it easier for you.  The bigger this crazy runaway train project is, the better.   

Posts, generally

We can ALWAYS do with more Jobs For The Girls, Hidden GemsAny Other Photo, Ask Anna and Ant, or any of our other series.  And we always, always welcome your stories, thoughts and experiences.  Please, please, send us your posts.  It’s what makes Any Other Woman what it is.  We are so honoured and humbled and excited to run your posts, and we learn every day from your experiences and wisdom. 

Or how about I put a little pressure on.  Listen up, readers.  If you don’t send us submissions, you are destined to a life of me drivelling about my house and Clare drivelling about Emmi (just call us one-trick-ponies). 

And a special call-out.  I would love to write some scathing political rants sometimes due to what I read in the media.  I often can’t, because it conflicts with my job as a civil servant.  But if you feel angry at anything, anything at all, we’d love to run your post. 


This blog exists for its readers.  We always always welcome your feedback and we’re lucky that we have readers that aren’t backward in coming forward.  We always listen and value what you say.  There have been a number of changes since we re-launched in March, and if there’s anything that is happening on the blog about which you aren’t happy, or if you have any suggestions for change, or if you think we don’t have the balance right, please please tell us.  We’ll treat what you write in complete confidence and consider everything you say.  Good, bad, for-the-love-of-God-Anna-stop-talking-about-your-treehouse, the whole shebang.  

Happy birthday, AOW

Because we are neglectful blogparents, we failed to notice that the blog turned two on 2 July.  AOW sat in the corner crying, because all her schoolfriends had party poppers and presents and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and last year she got peach-frosting cake and was buried under a pile of collapsing brownies, and this year we FORGOT.  (In my defence, I was in work til 10pm rocking back and forth and staring at my computer screen thinking I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS, and making blog birthday cake was far from my mind.  Must Do Better.). 

It’s been a hell of a second year.  We learnt a lot.  We’re still learning.  I know I speak for us all when I say we wouldn’t be anywhere else.  We continue to hear from and meet some of the most inspiring women out there.  And sometimes, we get to have tea and cake with them.  All because of this blog.   

Happy belated birthday, AOW.

Categories: Behind the Scenes at AOW, Written By Anna
22 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Sandra C
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I’ve not got a lot of time, but can I please say-and I mean this sincerely (I’m not prone to gushing unecessarily-I’m a) a scientist and b) from the North!) that I love AOW. It seems to be full of lovely people with great and interesting viewpoints-with a healthy amount of cake and life-induced meanderings thrown in. And more than a cupful of irreverance (sp?)
    It’s interesting, hilarious, provocative and sad. Just like life. And it made me write, which I’ve never done before.

    Please have a belated virtual cake from me. It’s massive, full of cream, is moist and light-as-a-feather and contains no calories. The best cake a gal could wish for.

    Love from Sange xx

    • Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      “It’s interesting, hilarious, provocative and sad. Just like life.”


      Sange, thank you, your feedback has made our day! (yes I can speak for the others) x

    • Alex D
      Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Exactly what the mighty Sange said. You rock, AOW. I’m starting a new job on Monday with the fuzz, so once I’m settled will be happy to do a Job for the Girls post. As for political ramblings, I’m afraid I can’t help you there as I’m not clever enough. Keep doing what you’re doing, ladies. I look forward to meeting you all at the party in a few months! Eeeek! x

      • Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Hurrah Alex, seriously can’t wait for your Jobs for the Girls!

  2. Mahj
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Aww, happy belated burfday AOW. Sending you virtual brownies and champagne daaaaarrlliing!

    And purely in the interest of the AOW Community, Anna to the K, for the love of all that is holy, can we please see photos of your tree house?!


    • Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      My dad’s quote when he came to visit:
      “Anna, you’re pushing it a bit calling that a treehouse. It’s more a den on stilts”

      • Zan
        Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Erm… want to see pictures of it anyway – is still FAR cooler than anything in my back garden (dodgy looking shed and falling over fence anyone?) even with that description!

        • Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          Alright alright I’ll post something on Twitter now!

          • Steff
            Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            *heads off to twitter to check out the treehouse*

  3. Alex D
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    p.s. I’d also like to see pictures of the tree house please. Am vay jealous.

  4. Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    So if we’re not camels, what does that make us in your analogy, Anna…? Hmm?

    Also, if that isn’t a cry for ‘please someone write a post about how frickin’ awful George Osborne is!!’ I don’t know what is.

    Happy birthday, AOW. We all love you every day of the year, so you shouldn’t feel bad. We’ll make up for it at Any Other Party!


  5. Zan
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Happy Belated Birthday AOW! Thank you for being my primary reading material of a day :)

  6. Vivienne
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I thought I was going mad, and that I’d got it wrong that AOW’s birthday was in July! I shall have some belated cake for you all.

  7. Carly
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Ah, a big happy birthday hug AOW!

    I’m getting cracking on my A-Z piece ASAP (as soon as I’ve finished a Summer dance academy with 150 screaming children!) I have also got an idea brewing for another post so will try and work that one out too!

    I am a HUGE member of the AOW fan club, what you ladies give us is priceless.


  8. Alex D
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Sorry for the double post on this – my computer has a stutter.

  9. Posted July 26, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Oh you ladies know I think you’re every single kind of awesome there is. You should be so phenomenally proud of this space, and this community that you have created, that so many women get so much out of. All of you should go home today and pour yourselves a giant glass of celebration tipple and eat a giant slice of cake, and take a moment to be super proud of yourselves and how far you’ve come in 2 years. Celebrate your achievement, it kicks ass.

    Happy Blog Birthday AOW! *blows birthday whistle, eats birthday cake, does birthday dance, drinks birthday cocktail*

    K xx

    • Yanthe
      Posted July 26, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Here Here!

  10. Frances
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday AOW! Does this mean I have a good excuse to make weekend cake? (As opposed to just making cake sod-needing-an-excuse style, which is what I usually do…ho hum)

    I don’t think a job post from me would be that entertaining but I would love to write a A-Z Wedding post if there are spare letters, although I forget what letter/idea I originally signed up for…

    • Posted July 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Frances there absolutley are still spaces. The Mega Spreadsheet Of Joy (the A-Z one) is at home so when I get online there I’ll drop you an email with options, or you can tell me if you’ve an idea you’re bursting to write about!

      And YES a job post from you would be brilliant. Scratch that – we would love it! x

      • Frances
        Posted July 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Ooh exciting! :-D I shall get thinking on the job front too… x

  11. Alex
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Happy BDay AOW! Your posts make me laugh, shed a tear and are so often spot on what is going on in my life, it’s scary. Almost as if you have a sixth sense of when I need a boost/input to help me move on. Keep going strong!
    PS: Oh wow, Anna, that treehouse is amazing!

  12. Anita
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I too would like to write an A-Z post -let me know what’s available and I’ll have a think. (If that’s not too weird…)

    Happy belated AOW birthday!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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