Today is International Women's Day (IWD) – a point of contact on the calendar where all the amazing women, society and the media are celebrated who are rarely the focus.
On this occasion are just a few of my lesser known everyday heroes who have inspired me to think differently and live my life better.
The Eco Pioneer
I heard Kresse Wesling speak for the first time at an event many moons ago when Pai was still in its infancy. Her voice was emphatic, her mission echoed. She stole the show that night.
When Kresse saw a ton of discontinued fire hose at the landfill, she felt compelled to find a use for it.
History says (if I remember correctly) that she rented a truck there and then transported it back to her house. It was then in her front yard while she figured out what to do with it.
She and her (now husband) Elvis invested £ 40 in a cutting tool and converted the tube into luxury bags, belts and wallets.
They persuaded Harrods to sell them to the Fire Fighters Charity with half of their earnings.
Kresse is a woman of creativity and conviction – may her amazing recultivation work continue for a long time.
In 2012, a close friend Mairead was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41. It was discovered at a fairly advanced stage. She did research, got busy, and turned her life upside down in a jiffy.
She cleaned her bathroom cabinet, started juicing, ate like a goddess, swam daily, had acupuncture, installed a water filter, designed her wigs and head scarves with vigor and had make-up lessons to perfect her slimming brows.
She wasn't just strong. She was determined and defiant.
I remember visiting her at a particularly low point in the hospital. She and her husband discussed Christmas card lists and how she would come to the children's crib games. It was clear that her priority was to maintain normality for her family.
Mairead – the woman, the mother, even the career woman – lay there thinking about everyone else.
I am happy to say that Mairead has staged a full recovery.
There are a million Maireads in the world on the same difficult journey, and this is my greeting to all of them.
The Business Wonder Woman
I met Emma Sinclair recently, but she leaves her mark and her energy is infectious. As the youngest woman to ever list a company, she now manages successful companies on both sides of the Atlantic. In her free time she is also a journalist.
The word "busy" doesn't quite fit.
She speaks so quickly because she has no second to lose. It also has a lot of interesting things to say.
She is on my list, partly because of her excellent work ethic, but mostly because of her latest project, Wakeman Road. After experiencing firsthand the harmful effects of stress and strain on our health, she has created a retreat for those who need a minute for themselves. It is the ultimate feel-good oasis with a great atmosphere.
It contains inspiring books to borrow and a special mix of beautiful things that come from companies that Emma admires.
A unique place run by a unique person.