Friday, 29 June 2012

Recipe: Moroccan Tagine

This is a much simpler version of to Antony Worrall Thompson's BBC recipe which replaces lamb with vegetables. This is such a delicious Sunday dinner and will serve 4 or keep in the fridge all week.

2 tsp ground pepper
1½ tbsp paprika
1½ tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cinnamon
One handful of sultanas or raisins
One handful dried apricots, chopped roughly
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 can chickpeas
1 courgette, chopped into 1 inch pieces
Half a butternut squash, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 can chopped tomatoes
200ml stock (vegetable, chicken or lamb all fine)
Large handful chopped coriander
3 tbsp clear honey

1. Mix the spices together. Sprinkle half over the butternut squash and courgetter and retain the other half
2. Fry the onion gently in olive oil until soft (do not brown). Add the remaining spices and stir
3. Add the garlic, butternut squash and courgettes and fry on a medium heat until the veggies have warmed through and are beginning to brown
4. Add the fruits, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, stock and honey and bring to a simmer
5. Cover the pan/wok with lid or foil and simmer for half an hour, until the butternut squash is cooked through
6. Uncover and simmer for a further 10 minutes to reduce the liquid
7. Serve with couscous prepared to your liking (I add lime zest and coriander). Garnish with plenty of coriander

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Top Ten Perfumes (w/c 10/05/1999)

1. Tommy Girl
2. Eternity
3. Fetish
4. Exclamation
5. Adidas Womans
6. So...?
7. CK One
8. CK Be
9. Quiddity
10. Hugo Woman

Fave places in London: Franco Manca

In normal circumstances I would wholeheartedly recommend this place BUT I don't want it to get any more popular, so yeeuugh - stay away! These fresh and lovely pizzas and made with slow-risen sourdough and local ingredients.

Gorge gorge gorge gorge gorge.

After 2.5 years in Brixton, I finally braved the queue (on my birthday, no less) at around 1pm and it was worth the wait!

The queue moves very quickly and the dude in charge is aaall over the table situation. We were given a menu to look at while we waited, which was great as it was a really difficult choice!

The fact that they have about 8 choices, with a couple of specials on the board is a testament to how uncomplicated but 'fresh' this restaurant is.

I had the ham and wild mushroom which was heavely. My sister had the chorizo/meaty one - she did comment that 'it's a bit too much chorizo for this time of the day', but this is my review, not hers :-)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Dear Diary: 09/05/1999 (aged 14)

It's only 2.15. I've got a headache. Got up at 10.30 for Church. I can't believe Selina and Danielle were smoking. Lisa's back from Devon. There's this really good programme on T4 called Real World. I'm glad SATs are over.

Fave places in London: Lamb & Flag Pub

It's tucked away but signposted, and is a really lovely, authentic historic pub, right in the heart of Covent Garden but within easy reach of Leicester Square/Strand.

There is a large selection of ales (although I went for a Simmons cider) and plenty of standing room out the front for the summer time. Upstairs there is a large area of tables/booths and chairs and I BELIEVE they serve food - the ketchup bottles on the table were an indicator - although I haven't eaten there yet.

This pub is VERY popular with Thursday/Friday after work drinkers and the very narrow bar area can feel very tight. I was last there last night (Monday), and it was absolutely fine.

My only real gripe is the harsh, bright lighting upstairs. I came for a relaxing drink and catch up with a friend so we sat upstairs, but the lights are as bright as a toilet cubicle which just made it feel a little less 'chilled'.

Other than that, a very endearing place.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Recipe: Coconut Fish Curry

I saw this on Saturday Cookbook and thought it looked  easy and delicious so decided to recreate it. It tasted so good, I had to share it!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Serves 3/4

Enough white fish for three people (cod, sea bass, monkfish), skinned, deboned and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, sliced
1 chilli, chopped
Thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
2 tbsp tumeric
2 tbsp tamarid paste
1 lime
Handful of coriander, chopped

1. Sprinkle fish with tumeric, set to one side
2. Fry onions gently until soft and coloured
3. Add chilli, ginger, coconut milk and tamarind, bring to the boil and add the fish
4. Turn down heat and simmer for a couple of minutes until fish is cooked through and flakes apart
5. Serve with rice and a wedge of lime, sprinkle generously with coriander

Dear Diary: 08/05/1999 (aged 14)

I was tired this morning from Lisas Ninas Lucys party. It was good. Party was good. Selina + Danielle were smoking. Catherine got off with 2 boys. Danielle with 2. Nina with 1. Katie B with 1.

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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Top Ten Boys (w/c 03/05/1999)

1. Shane Filan
2. Nick Carter
3. Josh Jackson
4. Rich Neville
5. Scott Robinson
6. Jack Ryder
7. Nicky Westlife
8. Dave Moffatt
9. Matt Le Blanc
10 Leo DiCaprio

Fave places in London: Lupita

The food here is really tasty and the waiters and waitresses are always very friendly (especially the guy who comes across as the manager - so friendly and welcoming! I've been about four times now, and have never been disappointed.

I always go for the same dish - the torta with ceviche, as this is the place I first ordered ceviche (after I saw Nigella make it!) and it's really delicious. The coolness and acidity of the fish compliments the crunchy tortilla perfectly. They could give you a bit more for the price, but the small-ish sizes of the dishes leave plenty of room for desert!

Now I really love the churros here, but the dessert menu itself is no match for Wahaca up by Covent Garden, which does AMAZING dolce de leche ice cream with dark chocolate chips and a larger variety. Saying that, there's still a decent choice at Lupita.

This restaurant is often busy but I have always managed to get a seat. I like it a lot.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Dear Diary: 31/10/2000 (aged 15)

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI am letting my top hole close up and it hurts A LOT!!

It is Halloween, and there are floods all over England, not really around here but lots and lots and lots of rain. The ariel photos on the news look like 1 big puddle. Ooh, dinner's ready. I hope there's more rain, I know its selfish but its EXCITING!



Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Fave Places in London: Satay Bar

Satay Bar is a bar (no way!) and restaurant next to the Ritzy cinema in Brixton. It offers a delectable array of pan-asian food including Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean and Chinese in a very funky and modern setting.

The food here is incredible! The portion sizes for the mains are huge, and you always know anything you choose will be lovely. I always find it difficult to decide what to have as the menu looks so very appetizing. My particular favourites are the red Thai king prawn curry, the Big Belly Pad thai, the hot Tom Yum Yum soup (which they have taken off the menu!!) and the lamb massaman curry.

As indicated by the name, the starters menu offers a large variety of different satays, from chicken and peanut to tempura vegetable.

The cocktails are fantastic and taste that little bit sweeter before 8pm during Happy Hour.

I love this place, but always book as it can get VERY busy on a Friday/Saturday night (when I didn't book, I waited 90 minutes - it was worth it though :-)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dear Diary: 19/02/1996 (aged 11)

Woke up at 8 and stayed in bed till 9. At 11 we went to Sutton to get a cheque and then we went to PC World. Mum picked up the wrong printer but the man was helpful. Miche came over and we printed a calendar each and rules for our room. So did Lisa.
Mum and Lisa say I'm grouchy so I'm going to mensruate [sic]! Oh no!

Dear Diary: 04/03/1996 (aged 11)

Today I woke up at 7.45 and had a chocolatine. Yum. Went to Michelle's house and went to school. Alex B. was a nutter as usual. Had maths group and English where we had to write a "Disaster at Sea" story. Had science. Came home and Louise was round. Had a shower and went to bed.

Blogosphere: Week 6

This week I have been mainly hiding my face. A funny suncream reaction on hols has caused a plethora of angry spots to set up shop on my face. I have a new found sympathy for the acne prone, it's horrible.

Luckily Grey's Anatomy season 7 has been keeping me entertained; I've just finished it. I think it's one of my favourite seasons, I love how the characters (especially Bailey and Sloane) have developed and there are just enough gripping moments to keep you locked to the screen.

The Grey's Anatomy motto in our house is 'Just one more episode!'

What music have I been enjoying this week? Perhaps unexpectedly, I'm a fan of post-hardcore and am enjoying 'Raised by Wolves' by Falling in Reverse and 'Hey Baby, Here's That Song You Wanted' by Blessthefall. If My Chemical Romance and Bullet For My Valentine had a baby, it would be called Falling in Reverse. I've hit the nail on the head with that comparison!

I also adore 'Sixteen Saltines' by Jack White and am also enjoying 'Black Heart' by Stooshe - very sultry and soulful and they have great voices.

I wasn't sure if this was a piss-take, but it's not. Yuck yuck yuck, Kate Nash, what is this?? *Ears bleed*

Monday, 18 June 2012

Dear Diary: 31/12/1999 (aged 15)

I can't believe it's less than 24 hrs till we pass from the 20th century to the 21st, from one millenium to the next. I'm so lucky to be living in this era. Today I did my paper round in the pouring rain and in Epsom I got purple sequin horns a purple fluffy bag, shoes (silver) and a South Park desk diary. Mum got me 2 more Bacardi Breezers to go with the Bucks Fizz.
Looking forward to tomorrow! It's gonna be the best EVER! See you in the new year. I'm gonna show this to my children + grandchildren. This is gonna be the party of a lifetime. I hope it's good! See ya!

Love Katie xx

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Annoying London folk!

1.       People who stop as they come off the escalator – WHAT!?

2.       People who walk straight to the front of the bus queue – RUUUDE!

3.       People who drop litter in plain view of everyone else – NAASTY!

4.       People who get to the tube ticket machine, then start rooting around for their ticket – COME OOON!

5.       People who run across the road in busy traffic – INSANE!?

6.       People who put their bag on the bus seat and don’t make eye contact – BAGGY!

7.       People who join the bar queue after you then shamelessly shout their order above everyone – AAASSHOLE!

8.       People who look like they’re eyeing up your bag – SWIPEY!

9.       People who get on the bus to ask the driver for random directions – LAAAZY!

10.   People who walk in front of you smoking with no consideration of those downwind – GROSSIE!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Blogosphere: Week 5

Returned from holiday late last night! I had a great time, despite the 7.10am screeching toddler next door and the questionable hotel food. The weather was stunning, the pool clean and refreshing and the sea crystal clear. I have inadvertantly visited Malia and Ayia Napa in the past 6 weeks because my hotels were nearby. Definitely too old now.

I had a sorry case of the post-holiday blues today *cue music*, beginning at half five this morning when Lisa's blasted cat started scratching at my door. Not cool, Millie, not cool. What's with the weather here!? I've spent a week developing a nice golden tan, returning to a London where Ugg boots and coats are out and about. De-press-ing.

There was one ray of sunshine in my day - I won the Apprentice sweepstake at work! Nice one, Ricky Martin. I didn't watch one episode (I don't like the confrontation!) but heard he was a bit of a doofus, a wrestler who thought he was the 'reflection of perfection'. Puke. Anyway, I took my winnings and spent the evening making chocolate cupcakes for my colleagues. Man, they are such a great bunch and I love to spoil them.

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I booked a hair appointment for Saturday afternoon and am looking forward to it. Think I'm going to go back to blonde (from Ombre/the grown out roots look) for the summer, with an inch off the end. I like to have enough length for a 'gym ponytail' nowadays, after a decade of the choppy bob too short to do anything with. Happy days!

Bloody gawwwgeous snack

Ciabatta with Halloumi and Mango Salsa

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App1. Buy halloumi, a red onion, a ciabatta roll and a mango. Grow some coriander (or buy, if pressed for time).

2. Chop half a red onion and handful of coriander finely and mix together; cut mango into small cubes and chop all three ingredients to mix.

3. Slice halloumi and place on a hot griddle/frying pan until browned. Turn over and brown other side. Remove.

4. Slice open ciabatta and toast inner sides on griddle.

5. Place halloumi onto roll and plop chutney on top.

The perfect summer lunch - LOVELY!!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Top Ten Best Places To Go (aged 14)

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1. Seaside
2. Ice skating
3. Kingston
4. Spain
5. America (esp Florida)
6. London
7. Cinema
8. Concerts
9. Parties
10. Options

Monday, 11 June 2012

Dear Diary: 12/02/1997 (aged 12)

I only just remembered to set the timer for Friends. Tomorrow I'm going to buy some hair colour after school, just a blonde one. Leo is very sweet and cuddly right now. Mum is in a stress, and Lisa asked me if I have a locker.

Best thing today: Getting a lift to school.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Dear Diary: 04/02/1997 (aged 12)

Sometimes I feel like swearing at mum. She just WILL NOT let me get Sugar. I even let her cut out the rude parts. I feel really jealous of Anna, Louise, Halyey [sic], Sarah, Natalie, Catherine, they are ALL allowed to get it. She is so fuddy-duddy.

Best thing today: Seeing Michelle at disco and getting Shout.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Dear Diary: 17/06/1997 (aged 12)

Today at school I sprayed perfume in the classroom and Mrs Chambers could smell it. We got Physics results back. I got 77%. That isn't too bad, but guess what? I got more than Amanda! I was really surprised! Leo is being cuddly.


I can't find my Brad Renfro picture (sob!). I got a chocolate exchange letter from Selina and you are supposed to get 36 bars of chocolate! I have to give out 6 letters to people. On Saturday I am going into Epsom with Hannah, Natalie etc. I am gonna buy some magnetic earrings even though in one month I am getting a second hole pierced. I can't wait but I hope it didn't hurt like last time. Jo Gallagher and Selina are always swearing at school and it isn't very nice.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Dear Diary: 07/02/1996 (aged 11)

Woke up at 8.45. Went to school and had ass. Did maths and ?. Came out of school. Did dance club and came home. Michelle caught Liz and Ben snogging and was really upset.

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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A massage to forget!

This is written a little after the event, perhaps it's taken this long for me to process the experience and feel able to commit it to text!Whilst reading Cupcakes and Cherries: The Queensbury regarding a Groupon voucher, I was reminded of the only time I've used a Groupon voucher. It was for 75% off an Indian herb oil massage and facial.  I've had mixed experiences when it comes to massages but thought I'd indulge myself one Saturday afternoon in March.

That particular Saturday passed with no massage as I was called on my way there to let me know the shop had had to close for the day and Could We Reschedule? Ok then.

Suffice to say all of the Groupon pictures portrayed a glossy, colourful and professional salon. I arrived at a dingy little office which could have done with a right old spruce up containing one little old lady receptionist in a big coat. She asked for my Groupon voucher and called the therapist out of the 'treatment room'; they proceeded to examine it for 15 minutes before making a telephone call to the owner to discuss it some more. I entertained myself by looking at the selection of products on display in a cloudy display cabinet, all of which were past their sell by date. Yum! The certificates adorning the wall had a distinct Microsoft Publisher feel to them.

I toyed with the idea of 'doing a runner', but I'm just too damn polite.

Eventually I was lead into a room and handed a pair of paper pants. 'No top', she replied when I enquired. I was sat on a wooden chair and warm oil was poured on my head for a scalp massage. Mmm, greasy! I was expecting an oil with a delicate aroma of rosemary, thyme, mint... in reality all I could liken it to was a chip pan.

The room itself had bay windows with blinds across. Blinds which were open. Again I was too polite to say anything but wouldn't be surprised if it acts as a meeting spot for a couple of local pervs.

The body massage wasn't all bad, as was the facial (if a bit 'scrubby'). Two particular points of the experience stand out:

1. Once the face mask was on it was relaxation time "Goodnight". Whilst trying to relax I heard the therapist going to the toilet in the small ajoining toilet. At this point I smiled wryly to myself and wished someone else was there to share the experience.

2. Once the face mask was wiped off, I was lead into said toilet and some facewash was squirted into my cupped hands so I could Rinse Off The Remnants in the teeny tiny wash basin. Now that's pampering for you!! 

I pulled my clothes back onto my greasy chip pan body, pulled my greasy chip pan hair into a ponytail and called my sister to pick me up (to spare the public my appearance and smell). I possibly left the salon more agitated than when I arrived.


Dear Diary: 01/02/1996 (aged 11)

Woke up and went to school. Assembly. Hymn practice and we leant [sic] a song called Oo - oo -- oo Dolphins across the water, oo - oo - oo dolphins across the sea. Went back in the classroom. After school, went round Michelle's and went on the computer and then went to dancing.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Dear Diary: 03/07/1999 (aged 14)

Catherine's party was really good. I got some nice white trousers.
David Wakefield Y Katie B
Robert Wakefield Y Rachel

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Blogosphere - Week 4

The Jubilee Weekend has turned me Royalist - Lizzie's beaming face on the front page of the papers melts my ice cold heart a little.

On Saturday the estate where we live had a fair - it was lovely. On registration we were handed food and drinks vouchers with a huge selection of food to choose from; ranging from Latin American epanemas to Caribbean goat curry to fish, rice and peas. Yum! We watched the swing band, ate candy floss, got thrown off the rodeo and jiggled along with a zumba class. Check us out in our t-shirts!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Dear Diary: 26/06/1999 (aged 14)

At Cathy's suprise party James had been taking drugs & he came up to the house & knocked on the door & was shouting to Cath. We were terrified and crawled up the stairs & stayed up there for about 15 minutes.

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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Dear Diary: 22/04/1997 (aged 12)

Today mum bought be the soundtrack of Romeo and Juliet. I am taking it to school tomorrow. Maybe it will get me some popularity tommorrow. When you open the sleeves there are all pictures. Today after school Catherine and I went into Cheam and then to the library. In WH Smiths there is a L&K magazine and it has 2 posters of Leonardo in it. It is £2.50 and I am going to buy it. Katie B is coming on Thurs.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Top Ten Songs Ever (aged 14)

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1.  Crossroads - Bone Thugs n Harmony
2.  Time of me Life - Dirty Dancing
3.  Unchained Melody What becomes of the Broken Hearted – Robson & Jerome
4.  I Need You Tonight – Nick Carter
5.  Eternal Flame – Bangles
6.  I Want You Back – Jackson 5
7.  Edge of Heaven – Wham
8.  Summertime – Another Level Don’t Walk Away – The Moffats
9.  Friends Forever – Thunderbugs
10. Love Fool - Cardigans


Friday, 1 June 2012

Jubilee Nail Art!

(L-R: without flash, with flash)

What do you think? I painted these bad boys last night when I should have been asleep. What can I say, I'm just too damn excited about the 60th anniversary of Queenie's rule.

Excuse the wonky brushmanship, but as I say, it was 11.30pm at night. Then I went to sleep and imprinted them with duvet cover patterns.

This is really easy to do - no fancy tools required:

1. Blue all over (2 coats)
2. Thick stripes of white vertical, horizontal and diagonal (I used silver in the abscence of white). Don't worry about making these perfect - most of it will be covered by the red.
3. Thin stripes of red over the white/silver.

I only used the brushes which came with the nail varnishes - I dound that by wiping them on the rim of the bottle, I could alter the width of the brush.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Dear Diary: 20/04/1997 (aged 12)

I can't stop thinking about Leonardo. I think I love him. I don't really like Lee any more and I'm not sure whether to go to the 911 concert. By the way Zoey had her baby. It is a boy called Joseph. We have got a biology test tomorrow about reproduction. Thomas and Amy came over and we went into the forest. I tidied my room.

Dear Diary: 29/03/1997 (aged 12)

Today we went ice skating and I went REALLY fast. I really hate Lisa. She is such a telltale. She told when Helen and me did a treasure hunt and called her ugly and she told when I put a sign on my door.

Best thing today: Skating fast.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Dear Diary: 23/01/1997 (aged 12)

Today was a boring day. We are swapping places in the form room and I want to stay where I am because I might get a crap locker at the bottom and I want one up at the top.

Best thing today: Nothing really (in the library the white haired lady told Miss Fenton that I had fallen asleep and I got told off. I didn't really. It was embarassing).

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

1995...and now

Sit patiently at your enormous computer, trying to
connect to the internet via dial-up, listening to
that inane squealing noise.

High-speed internet, any time, on the move!

Listen attentively to the Top 40 on a Sunday
evening, recording favourite songs and desperately
trying to hit Stop before the DJ started talking!

Any song, available beginning to end on Spotify, on the move!

Pull up the aerial on mum’s heavy mobile
phone, on the One2One network to send a text to a
friend (1/3...2/3...3/3)

Touch-screen mobiles with the capability of a computer, on the move!

Carefully turn the knob on the radio one iota
to eliminate the ‘crackling’ on your favourite station.

Digital radio with zero interference on the move!

Agonise over setting the timer on the video
recorder to tape Buffy/Top of the Pops/
Sweet Valley High.

Programme the Sky+ recorder from your mobile app……
on the move!

Dear Diary: 12/06/2002 (aged 17)

L arry, no friends
I s a skanky ho
S ays babyish things
A lways copies me

S o disgusting
O gles my diary
T ries to mess up the house
I s such a moaner
R efuses to shut her mouth
I ndividual, she is not!
S cary look'n face

Dear Diary: 18/04/2000 (aged 15)

We went to Aunty Rose's today. She made me laugh by saying that Rich, Abs and Sean from Five were queer! Lisa is ANNOYING me! She has been on the internet for an hour! Even though I have been on for 2 hours. Ooopsy.

Going to Croydon with Cat + Louise tomorrow.


Katie xx

Monday, 28 May 2012

Woolworths, I still miss you.


It's hard to believe it's been three years since you left. I still think about you all the time. I think about you when I need fairy lights or a trowel. I think about you when I crave Pick 'n' Mix. I even think about you when my biro runs out. You gave me so much of what I needed and I don't know where to turn now. Standing so steadfast and proud, on the corner by Riva Bingo, I often came to you without knowing why I was even there.

Where, now, can I pick up a bucket and JLS's latest single? You were always so great at multi tasking. Party poppers and plants. Combs and cat beds. Noone does it like you did.

We didn't part on good terms, did we. 'You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone' the famous saying goes, and that's certainly true in our case. I barely raised an eyebrow when the news came through but as time passed I started to realise what I'd lost. Holidays are the hardest. Christmas, Easter, Fireworks Night. You never let me down.

Apparently you've got a website now. I can't bring myself to look, I think it'd be too painful to see your logo. Too many memories.

I'm trying to move on, but it's taking some time. If you ever came back, I'm sure we would pick up exactly where we left off. I know some other people who'd be interested too.

Think about it.

Katie x

Blogosphere - Week 3

Ooh I've had a lovely weekend; a fabulous combination of friends, wine, friends, shopping, cider, sightseeing, beer and, um, shopping!

 Friday I saw a friend who's returned from two years living and working in Brazil. Ended up playing 'Fives' in Opal Bar, drank too much wine and left my cardi in there. Rats!! At least it was only Primark.

 Hauled myself out of bed on Saturday morning for mentoring. I actually took my old diary from when I was her age so we could have a look at it together, then we did a bit of Maths (my favourite!).

Walked down to Brixton to take part in a Cash Mob, which is like a spending flash mob but the group descends on an ailing business to spend some cash and perk them up. My pal Katie works for Yelp who organised it. Following our spendathon, we went to the Duke of Edinburgh and sat out in the massive beer garden for hours, chatting and then went to Gyoza for noodles. Went to the Falcon and the Clapham North for a few drinks but was in bed by midnight..

..becaaauuuse today (Sunday) was megaLondonsightseeingday! Two of my lovely American rellies are visiting the UK so I planned a packed tourist-y day which I was equally as excited about as I've never explored London as a tourist, despite living near all of my life. In all, we managed to cover:

Buckingham Palace
Horseguards Parade
Parliament Square
Big Ben/Houses of Parliament/Westminster Abbey
Westminster Bridge
South Bank
Trafalgar Square
Oxford Street/Afternoon tea
Tower of London

Phew! I had free tickets to ToL through work which was fab as it's flaming £20 each! All in all, it was a really great day with lots and lots and lots of walking; I have a blister the size of a peanut to prove it. BLEUGH!
Clockwise from top-left: Houses of Parliament in the evening, Cider on Saturday afternoon, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, afternoon tea off Oxford Street, view from Westminster Bridge, National Gallery, Tower Bridge)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Dear Diary: 10/07/1999 (aged 14)

My right ear is really sore. I hope I'm not allergic to steel. In the park it was sooo funny. There were these 3 boys playing football & 2 of them went away and I changed my trousers behind the bush & I had my grey hotpants on & the boy left could totally see me & he told his friends that I had black knickers on! Then there were these 2 boys playing football who followed us. One looked like Clay from Take 5. Ugly, but ok.

Top Ten
1. Nick Carter lush
2. Joshua Jackson
3. Scott Robinson (nice new hair)
4. Jack Ryder
5. Paul Marazzi
6. Matt Le Blanc
7. Brian Litrell
8. Clint Moffatt
9. Freddie Prinze Junior
10. ? Homer Simpson

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Dear Diary: 27/02/1996 (aged 11)

Woke up. Went to school and did times tables test. I got 46 out of 50 so that is fair. Had break and did english. Looks like I am going to have another penpal in america. I hope it's a girl! We are in new places. I am next to Ashley Urk Yuck Puke!!! At drama club Gemma got in a stress. Came home and did homework.

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Friday, 25 May 2012

Frisky & Mannish

Last night I felt something. I felt sad that I’d lived for twenty seven years of my live and never before experienced the intense rush of joy that comes from seeing a Frisky and Mannish show. Well now I have!

I have always been a big fan of pop music; I used to have Smash Hits delivered to my house every Saturday morning when I was younger (and cried once when it didn’t arrive, but let’s move on) and could regurgitate all kinds of ridiculous facts about the latest new group, to the chagrin of my friends. I’d say my musical tastes have broadened somewhat since then, although still mostly contained in the Top 40, but pop music has a special place in my heart.

Only too aware of this, my housemate (and good friend) bought us tickets to see Frisky and Mannish at the E4 Udderbelly on London’s south bank last night. This act is hard to describe, but I’ll attempt - a seamless mélange of cabaret and live music under a big canopy of PARODY. There.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Dear Diary: 13/08/1999 (aged 14)

I so totally Y Nick Carter that I want to MARRY him! Aheeheehee. Leo bought in a DEAD mouse. Oh no. It's Friday the 13th! Nothing went wrong for me today. I want to hear A1's new song desperately. Did I mention I Y Nick Carter?

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Email Home: 05/09/2011 (aged 26)

Kenya - Weeks 3 & 4

Hi all,

A quick note as the other volunteers have just arrived in the cafe next door for 'cake night', which is as amazing as it sounds. I'm foregoing 'Death by Chocolate' this week for a warm brownie on a sizzling platter topped with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce.

I'm now just beginning my final week in Kenya and it has just gone so quickly! This is the first week of 'term time' teaching, where we follow a set timetable and the days are much more structured (and longer). The classes are also much larger. As volunteers we teach the English and Science classes for our standard/grade, and I am teaching standards 5 (9-16 years old) and standard 1 (about 6-8). The huge age ranges arise since children can't progress to the next year unless they pass the year-end exam, meaning they can be held back (many years, it seems). The standard 1 children are mad, crave one-on-one attention and are very difficult to control so am lucky to be working in a duo. The standard fives are much calmer and the boys are generally more compliant than the girls.

From other volunteers and staff you learn how malnourished the children are. They never eat breakfast and dinner is generally deep fried potato (Kenyan food is VERY greasy). Many children come to school just for the free lunch (which itself is pretty crap, generally rice and boiled beans) so you do get a couple falling asleep in class before lunch as they're so hungry - at least that's what I tell myself. There are stories from other volunteers of children eating dried pasta from artwork and rice from musical instument shakers that were made because they're so hungry.

Dear Diary: 05/02/1997 (aged 12)

In Physics Mrs Espejo came in and started screaming at us for being so loud. It wasn't my fault though, I was working. She said who has been screaming and Chrissie started crying and she took her and Antonia out of the room! My heart was pounding in my chest and Charlotte and Anna were the ones being so loud.

Best thing today: Getting Superscape on the computer.

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Dear Diary: 06/09/2000 (aged 15)

Went back to school today. It was ok, but we had to have lessons in the afternoon. Can’t wait till this weekend already. I look much, much better with a tan on my face. I hope it stays a while.

Can’t wait till my birthday but then again I don’t want 2 turn 16. For lots of reasons, none of which I can remember.

Rachel and I are going 2 C Scary Movie at the cinema. Lisa has had her hair cut. Looks ok:

Dear Diary: 28/06/2000 (aged 15)

Today was the worst day of my life. I felt like crying a lot. This is why:

1. BSB & Elton John are at Party in the Park
2. I left my school bag @ home & everyone laughed @ me
3. Broke pencil case
4. Couldn’t connect computer up to Hi-Fi.

1 good thing: I got Jessica Simpson’s new song Don Henley’s songs in MP3. I just can’t be bothered anymore! I SO BADLY want to get tickets to PITP!! Hayley is rubbing it in.


Katie Palladino

PS: In Smash Hits there was a picture of Nick getting a ‘tash! UHOH!!

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Monday, 21 May 2012

Dear Diary: 26/01/1997 (aged 12)

Today mum made me go to Church in the morning AND in the evening. I have NEVER been so bored. Catherine was in the Guide parade but I forgot to show her my NEW gold nail varnish. Its really cool.

Best thing today: NOTHING I WAS BORED!!!!!!

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Email home: 28/08/2011 (aged 26)

Kenya - week 2


Thanks for the responses to my last update – am sorry I don’t have time to respond to all, but be assured I look forward to logging onto my emails! Where to pick up from last time….??

Last weekend a group of us went to Shimoni, which is on the south coast of Kenya. There's another GVI project going on down there (mainly wildlife and sealife conservation), so we met up with those guys on the Friday night. Saturday we went on a FIVE hour forest walk across the harshest coral and tree-trunk terrain - it was exhausting. We then got the boat over to an island where the majority of residents are Muslim (we had to cover our heads) where we had a Swahili cooking class and stayed there. The next day we went on a boat trip where we saw dolphins and then did some snorkelling before making our way back to Mombasa.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

A Blog About Yog!

Having discovered Snog frozen yoghurt outlets last year, I'm now an enthusiastic follower of the 'fro-yo' movement. I adore mango or passion fruit flavour with raspberries dotted around the outside. I spotted this tub yesterday in Waitrose (the John Lewis food hall on Oxford St.) and prayed that it didn't melt on the bus home. Luckily it's fairly slow melting so was fine. 

This tastes exactly like the pumped stuff and the passion fruit flavour is Out Of This World. It's gorgeously exotic and best of all, it's fat free! Totally guiltless pleasure! I'm a huge fan and spent last night wrapped around this tub. Here it is, posing on my rug.

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

My first cheesecake

Give someone a cake and they'll like you. Give them a cake you made, and they'll love you forever.

I like sharing the fruits of my labour with colleagues, so I asked for requests last week. The general consensus was a cheesecake with specific instruction to wait until next week, when S is back from holidays. Once I had the idea in my head, though, I couldn't wait!

I'm not a huge cheesecake fan, but after a wonderful past experience with a lime cheesecake (with a ginger biscuit base), I decided that was The One. I went for this recipe by foodforfriendsyeah which reminded me of the one I'd tasted before. It was really easy to make and tasted lovely! There's a nice contrast between the citric, slightly tart topping and the sweet, buttery base *drool*. I used half-fat creme fraiche so it wasn't quite as sinful, but the reduced fat content did mean it didn't set as hard as you would expect. Not a problem though.

NB: It looks like pond weed on the top, but it's not. It's lime zest.

The only issue now is that my impatience  has made its way to S, who is not happy that I couldn't wait for her return, so I have to face her wrath tomorrow (and possibly make another to placate her!).

I've made another one today at mum's! Nueva favorita!

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Blogosphere: Week 2

Ok, I have well and truly caught the blogging bug. At the end of my second week I have reached 1,000 page views and am really chuffed that so many people have shown interest. Thank you! A couple of people have left lovely comments and I have found some great blogs to enjoy, particularly I Covet Thee, Emily Charlotte and Zoella. What's the antidote for Blogger's Addiction?

Yesterday I caught the bus from mine up to Oxford Street yesterday for a spot of shopping - had to take some bits back to Primark and John Lewis. Although I've lived in zone 2 for three years, I still get awestruck by the tourist sights and snap away merrily as the 159 crosses the Thames! Loser.

Dear Diary: 21/01/1997 (aged 12)

I got my refreshers from Lucy and ate them during break. I took Shout and T.O.T.P [magazines] into school but I barely got to look at them! In English we were being real idiots but it was funny. Catherine was doing when the boy turns into the mouse in the witches. It was really funny and she threw herself into it.

Best thing today: That was the best bit.

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Dear Diary: 20/01/1997 (aged 12)

Got up, went to school, came home. Biology and French homework took AGES. Lucy Jay is going to buy me a pack of refreshers since I gave her the money. Today in Bio we looked at dead sea animals and Candy thought we were dissecting them.

Best thing today: Calling M[rs] Chambers the cellulite queen. It was quite funny.

Mystery Jets gig!

Last night I went to see Mystery Jets at O2 Academy Brixton with Lisa and two friends. It was the fourth time I've seen them live - the first time they were supporting the Kooks at Brixton (wearing unforgettable sequinned jackets), the second at the iTunes festival and thirdly at the Hippodrome in Kingston which was a brilliantly small and energetic gig. Every show of theirs feels like a big party. They're not too active on stage, but I think the crowd they attract know and love their hits (Two Doors Down, Half in Love with Elizabeth, Flakes, Seratonin) and just want to have a dance and sing along!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Dear Diary: 18/01/1997 (aged 12)

Today I went round to Catherine's house and it was really cool, first we played on her SNES, then we went to Sutton but I didn't buy much but we saw Sarah and Natalie. When we got back all of Robert's friends were there.

Best thing today: Seeing all those boys. It was a bit overwhelming!

Katie Matey on Twitter -- Katie Matey on Bloglovin'

Dear Diary: 15/01/1997 (aged 12)

I might be going round to Catherine's on Saturday because it is her brother's birthday and he's having loads of friends over. I might be staying over as well! COR! Lucy Jay is over at the moment and at school Amy really got on my nerves.

Best thing today: At school with Cath and Lucy. They are really good friends.

Email Home: 18/08/2011 (aged 26)

Kenya - Week 1

Hi all!

After one full week away, it seemed an appropriate point to send my first email home! My time in Kenya so far has been better than expected (although I didn’t have any preconceptions) and everyone is really nice. I was surprised just how quickly you get settled in, and I can’t believe a week has passed! I've sent this email just to those whose emails I had, but please feel free to pass on!

I arrived at the Voyager hotel in Mombasa last Friday morning and stayed one night. All inclusive meant you could order snacks throughout the day (including pancakes) so I made the most of that! Nyali beach is lovely – the sand is like icing sugar but there’s a fair bit of seaweed when the tide is out.

The volunteers live in two houses on an estate near the slums. They’re fairly basic but definitely do the job (given I expected to be in a mud hut). We stay in bunk beds and have fans in the bedroom so heat isn’t generally a problem at night. There’s a chore rota so we take it in turns to clean and cook. We live near the Bombolulu slum (‘village’) which is where the ‘school’ is based. Olives Rehabilitation Centre is essentially a school which is not yet recognized by the government, but that’s the aim for the place going forward.