Ford and Me

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Friends // PLAY

Music connects, uplifts, affects… and FordSocial reports research from Spotify that reveals “that it is during solo drives, in our own private space, that we cue up secret playlists, turn the music up and sing our hearts out. For many of us, there are playlists that we only dare turn to in the car, an especially intense place to listen to music where the sound is designed to perfectly fill the space we are occupying.”

You know already that when I heard I was to join the launch event team I turned the volume right up with some Faith No More. My tastes are pretty varied – I know I’m feeling down when I haven’t got the heart to sing along to the radio, and I flip between stations to find something that fits – be it smooth Motown, ’80s pop, ’90s rock… but if I can play steering wheel drums while I drive it’s probably a winner – Guns’n’Roses tends to hit the spot pretty reliably!

The new B&O PLAY Sound System for editions of the all-new Fiesta is said to be the most powerful for a car in its class. “Engineers spent a year listening to more than 5,000 tracks to ensure the premium 675-watt technology sounded great whether enjoying Adele, Foo Fighters or Jay-Z – or chilling out to classical music – no matter how quietly or loudly you play it.”

So I polled my friends to find out what their go-to, turn-it-UP tracks are for the car, and while we cover a huge range of musical tastes, here are the tracks that came up time and time again:

  • Bon Jovi – It’s My Life
  • ELO – Mr Blue Sky
  • Guns’n’Roses – Sweet Child of Mine
  • Killers – Mr Brightside
  • Meatloaf – Bat Out of Hell
  • Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (another 41-year old in the mix!)

All of which I would cheerfully turn all the way up. As you can see, I have excellent taste in friends!

My colleagues at this launch event chose these:

  • Hazel: Power / Little Mix
  • Pete: Leeds United / Amanda Palmer
  • Nathan: Living on a Prayer / Bon Jovi (we like Nathan!)
  • James: Cocoons by Bungle (James used to be a DJ)
  • Adam: Storm Queen / Look Right Through 
  • Rick (@Ford):  Victoria / The Kinks

Even our Chairman, Andy Barratt, has recently shared his musical tastes (from Coldplay to Górecki if you’re asking).

So what was my verdict on the B&O system in the All-New Fiesta?

Spanish radio is not good. And whoever had preprogrammed a playlist into the system had missed our tastes entirely!

But when you find something you love you can turn up the sound and despite being as loud as you want it sounds wonderfully balanced – surrounding you from all angles, with depth, rather than attacking you with a front wall of noise. 

As someone who tends to like to tick the options box the extra couple of hundred pounds is worth considering, and of course the B&O PLAY system is included as standard with the Vignale, which was our Day 2 drive.


To find out more about Ford’s research with Spotify, click here.

I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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Ford’s Next Top Model // Blue Steel

A short post just to share a few of my favourite ‘posed’ shots from yesterday. To remind you we drove a Blue Wave Fiesta Titanium 1.5 Diesel. The colour changed with the light – blue, then turquoise-green. Lovely!

Pete undertook sterling work in field navigation and traffics management so I could achieve these… thanks Pete!

I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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Ground Control // A Fibreglass Cow

It’s has been a looooong time since I’ve flown anywhere on my own.

I recommend it.

After our welcome from hosts Chris Muers, Product Marketing Manager, Chris Rushton, Fiesta Marketing Manager and Oliver Rowe, Public Affairs Manager, and a getting-to-know-you bacon roll for the Fellowship in the lounge, we boarded our private charter plane and were off…

As I listened to the shop-talk from the journalists around me (including the story of the fibreglass cow which I wish I’d heard more than the end of…), I settled back.

This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the Company has sent ‘tame’ employees on a product launch and having represented the Marketing & Sales team in my HR role for a number of years I can see why the opportunity was something people often wistfully mentioned.

Lunch was served, chicken with quails egg and peppers, gorgeous goats cheese and French bread, a light brownie.

None of it shared, bargained or swapped, no need to cast around to check that everyone has something they want and won’t cry because it’s on their plate.

No need to upend everything for an urgent toilet visit with a child who swore blind they didn’t need a wee five minutes ago.

A seat for my bag.

Above the clouds.


Before I came out, I watched a couple of YouTube videos describing what going on a trip like this is like. I’m struck by one of the journalists very honestly saying that while the trips can (sometimes!) be pretty luxurious, it’s not about the company trying to curry favour or ‘buy’ a good review, more putting the journalists in a healthy state of mind and body to do a review justice. I think that sounds fair, don’t you?

While on the plane, plenty of journalists beavered away at their press packs and laptops on the plane, working through the specifications, preparing a structure.

I wonder how many pre-prepared paragraphs will be blown away when we get to the cars..?

I sincerely hope we do a good enough job while we are here to ensure the Company offers this again (and I already hope I can be part of the team again one day too!).

Now our descent… the adventure begins in earnest…

I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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The Fellowship of the Ring Road // Others

I’m not the only Ford employee out here at the moment so I thought I’d take a minute to introduce the others and their twitter accounts… check out what they think and find out how our opinions differ!






I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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The summer of ’76 // Skateboards

My doctor says he thinks I’m having a mid-life crisis.

I was so surprised I nearly fell off my skateboard.

I don’t remember the summer of ’76. I mean I was there but I was six months old so I’m not expected to remember it, surely.

1976 is when the first Ford Fiesta rolled off the production line (in Spain, co-incidentally). Despite not being a Fiesta owner previously maybe I share more with this car than just a long hot first summer…

1979: The millionth Fiesta was built for worldwide sales. Meanwhile I was receiving my first school report from nursery (ahh!) which described me as ‘cheerful… eagerly participates in activities’ – good job given this adventure, hey!

1989: By this point the Fiesta is on Mark III and I’m at secondary school.

1996: Mark IV co-incides with my first experience at Ford; as a summer vacation student in the HR team at Warley (where I still work!). I’ve written about it before, but basically it was 12 weeks of friends, pubs, and of course Real Work that meant something. Intoxicating…

2006: ‘Not much’ (disclaimer, opinion!) happened in the Fiesta world, other than first forays into voice activation and Bluetooth, but I was back at Ford, this time in the Credit business, again in HR. I’ve been with the Company ever since so you could say this was an important year for me!

So to 2017: two more Marks for the Fiesta, bringing three children home for me… personally I’m looking back at 20 years at work, forward to another twenty years, and thinking about how to make the biggest impact in that time.

I’m definitely mid-life, maybe like this car I’m ready for another bigger and better phase to begin…


{If you enjoyed reminiscing with me and the Fiesta, you can find out more about the first 40 years of Fiesta production here)

I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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España por favor // I love it when a plan comes together…

So here’s the itinerary for the All-New Fiesta launch event, which we’ve been issued ahead of time:


Tuesday, 27 June

Depart Stansted, arrive Valladolid

All-new Ford Fiesta driving experience

Pre-dinner drinks, then dinner

Overnight at the frankly stunning-looking Castilla Termal Monasterio de Valbuena Hotel


Wednesday, 28 June

After breakfast, a second bite at a All-New Ford Fiesta driving experience

Lunch at Rioluz, Valladolid

Depart Valladolid Airport, arrive Stansted


Excited is NOT the word.

It’s been a little while since I’ve been to Spain; being of Mediterranean (Maltese) blood I am a little ‘Moana’ in that the line where the sky meets the sea calls my soul, and so I’ve travelled most of the coastal southern half of the country, from beautiful Cadiz, through half-hidden Sevillano rosemary-scented alleyways, down the crisp Atlantic Costa de la Luz, snaking through the Pueblos Blancos, contemplating the gorge at Ronda, to Algeciras and the apes in Gib…

Then east through Malaga and the Costas (of course!), the bougainvillea-bowed white walls of Marbella old town, the reverential stillness of the Alhambra, La Mezquita…

Around to the Valencia region picking fresh sweet oranges from the trees in my parents’ orchard and then on, as everybody seems to, up to Catalunya, scaling Montserrat, Girona and then Barcelona for some gaudiness and Gaudi.

And of course I’ve dipped into Madrid’s xocolaterias and a few of the more central cities… but not yet the north of the country, though I have a hankering to visit Marqués de Riscal, and not just for the wine…

Deplaning to Spanish soil and taking that first breath of sun and dust, I’m transported each time back to my days of studying Spanish in Malaga. Mornings filled with study and laughter while sunlight spilled into cool school halls, learning the most beautiful language from scratch (trying not to mix up my French and Italian) and feeling my confidence in myself grow; freshly baked loaves of bread and hunks of cheese taken in the coolest shady corners before heading to bake on the beach for the rest of the day… bliss!

So Spain is my favourite place in all the world, and to be one of the first to drive the All-New Fiesta… quite frankly this looks like two days full of WIN.


I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta


Epic // Fall in Love

You can touch it, smell it, taste it so sweet…

(Faith No More, Epic)

I’ve never owned a Fiesta; well I have in a way because my husband had one for a few years between his (sshhh… notFord) convertible and his current Focus, as a nippy consort to our workhorse Grande Dame, my Ford S-Max.

With three small children the S-Max is a necessity, and we love it, but I used to delight in escaping with the Fiesta for occasional trips – like being set free, with rollerskate handling, a responsive pop of energy, and the sheer joy of gamboling along country lanes – taking the Fiesta out was like a little holiday, making journeys from want rather than mundane need. I miss that car…

So when my employer (Ford, in case you hadn’t guessed) offered employees the chance to spend some close-up and personal time with the All-New Fiesta I jumped at the chance to apply.

I’m no petrolhead – I only know what I like and what makes me feel good.

For me the car has always been a symbol of my independence; as a teen it freed me from reliance on parents and painfully irregular rural public transport, and opened up a way to swing through traffic and swoop towards the sunset.

Now I’m (a little) older, and once the children are dropped off at school and I’m on my own in my bubble of sound and comfort, it’s a symbol of me-time, a few minutes’ freedom to rediscover what makes my heart beat a little faster, and what makes me uniquely… me.

I heard I’d been selected to join the product launch event just as I was heading out the door on another school run – and turning the volume up, foot down, I threw my S-Max round the country lanes, and I’ll admit a little whoop may have burst out – much like the Faith No More song blasting out (I am THAT person in the MPV playing ’80s/’90s rock loudly and singing along without a care) I felt pretty Epic…

I know that the secret to falling in love with our cars is getting behind the wheel, so preparing for this product launch event feels a little like preparing for a blind date – I’m thinking about how I’m going to get there, what I’m going to wear, and of course whether I’ll like the car – or instead experience whatever the car equivalent might be of that evening I had once where my date let a door swing back in my face, or the time when another date refused to get a round in…

But then what if I like it very much indeed..?

You want it all, but you can’t have it…

(Faith No More, Epic)

Can I..?


I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event next week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta