Black Friday

Bloody hell, everything seems so difficult just now. Heads up, this is a rant + breath = gratitude type post. Just to bring you up to speed. 

So, the country has gone to shit. If you disagree with anyone on social media, you’re not only wrong, you’re also a kn*bhead as well. Everton can’t decide on a manager nor find their balls to sack the current one and to make matters worse – there’s more brawling going on at the school gates than ever before – and once again, it’s the parents not the kids that are fighting.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year. Disgusted I’ve not blogged since Spring but with comic work, ALL the what’s on at The Guide Liverpool, new podcast series with The Blue Room and three kids growing at a speed of knots, I’ve had about four days off. I spent my laptop free time in Paris – on the anniversary of the Yellow Vest Protests. You should have SEEN the tear gas and police parades. Spellbinding.

About the brawling. The school my kids go to if falling apart. I know parents who moved house to get their kids into the catchment area just a few years ago. The latest Ofsted was a shambles and nothing seems to have improved since. In fact its gotten noticeably worse. Police involvement in adults fighting and persistently using bad language in the school yard and resulted in some deep discussions about our future in the suburbs.

Letters have been written. Applications to new schools complete. Now we wait. And wait. And wait. Does anyone home school these days? Drop me a line, genuinely interesting in how that all works.

Comic book work should see a shift in the new year thanks to a brand new story and a little confidence boost from my friends in Texas. Ever wondered what would happen if the River Mersey ever burst its banks and engulfed the city? Bringing with it some big ass monsters?

This summer I interviewed Sister Sledge, I rocked out at Kings of Leon and interviewed so many inspiring people including former England Netball captain Ama Agbeze. I also assumed the role of Auctioneer for the very first time for the amazing, Clare House Hospice. Alongside celeb chef and Sunday Brunch presenter, Simon Rimmer, I was able to help raise more than £130,000 for children and families who need it most. An incredible 2019 highlight.

Doodling aside! I trained as a sports journalist as the sensational use of language that bridges punditry and media, has always fascinated me. Earlier this year I joined the guys at The Blue Room EFC podcast and gave my two cents worth on the Everton focused chat. It’s a brilliant laugh and I’ve been welcomed with open arms. So much so that we’ve launched a brand new strand of the podcast and now, Youtube channel.

Women on The Ball is a monthly podcast with Everton Womens captain, Lucy Graham and players Simone Magill and Maeva Clemaron and me as your host. Want to know what it’s like to be a female pro footballer? Tune in!

This week I joined the gaffer at The Guide Liverpool, the one and only Jay Hynd on a secret press trip down to London. We crossed the most famous zebra crossing in the world and visited the iconic, Abbey Road Studios! Stuff of dreams.

As Christmas rapidly approaches, you’ll find me writing gift guides, helping others to promote their independent businesses in Liverpool and donning my blue santa suit to rock up a BTR Santa Dash 5th medal! If I make it around the 5k course!

How’s your 2019 been?

 

 

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Almost There

If you’re not singing ‘Almost There’ from Disney’s Princess & The Frog right now, we can’t be friends. 

It occurred to me the other day, as a friend rapidly approaches a big birthday, that I’m halfway there. Almost done. Seriously. I don’t mean to be morbid about it, it’s just a fact. I’m 36. With my high sugar diet and penchant for stressing over things out of my control, it’s highly unlikely I’ll make it to 80. Diabetes and its best mate, cardiac arrest are always watching.

Clearly I need to make a few life changes, which I’m working on. Back out running, attempting to eat less sugar and plan my balanced meals (now that all 17 Easter eggs have been inhaled). But this impending birthday (not even mine – see what I mean about stressing over pointless stuff) did make me stop and think. What have I actually achieved in my 36 years?

Society used to say that by the age of 36 a woman should be married and raising children. Ticked those boxes. Turns out kids are absolutely immense, husbands….mmmm not so. And besides society can kiss my arse. We’re marching to the beat of our own drums these days.

Are bucket lists still a thing? Is there a 2019 version (a short YouTube video maybe?) of making a list of stuff you really wanna do before you croak? Should it take news of ill health or a monumental life event to motive us to live more? Surely the biggest regret in life is to get to your dying breath and wish you’d done more? Taken more chances, worried less about the consequences.

My personal bucket list has gone from worldly adventures to ironing all the school uniforms on a Sunday. Or getting all the washing out on the line on a sunny day. Sometimes I set a target for my daily word count, other times its my step counter or calorie count on My Fitness Pal.

Maybe I’ve become uninspired and bogged down with the practicalities of parenting. The kids need a solid education, to be settled, see their friends, get enough sleep etc. And they get all that. But I’m always blown away to hear stories of people who’ve upped sticks on gone traveling with their young families for months on end. Can a school with ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted results really question the education of world travel?

In reality, the inspiration still burns inside (oo-err). I don’t want to be on my death bed content with never having travelled further than the M62 but its okay because all the laundry was done in a timely matter and I scored highest on My Fitness Pal for calorie deficit.

We’re all heading the same way. I’m almost there, but the second half of my story will take a different path.


Say hi! Twitter & Instagram.

 

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Dear Liverpool, I think I love you

It’s been one of those on/off things for 36 years. I think it’s love. 

Adopted as my hometown, I grew up in this spectacular city. I’ve spent the longest time under one roof here (5 years) and moved away only to come running back when the shit hit the fan. I couldn’t be any more of a wool if I tried. Born on the other side of the world, my mums scouse roots pulled her back to Merseyside when I was just 7 weeks old.

Living in the North East for a while as a kid, my favourite memories of coming to Liverpool were going to the markets, bonfire night in Sefton Park and absolutely anything from Steve’s chippy in Aigburth Vale. Not much has changed.

I’d go back to my little market town with all the latest gear. Clothes, trainies, hair accessories. My country-bumpkin friends jealous of my modern threads. I first went to school in L8 at the age of 8 with a Geordie accent. Safe to say I was ripped mercilessly for that and it soon gave way to ‘shiiikkkkennn’.

After a stint in Germany I was back again at the age of 10 to join a rough as shit school in L14. Having the audacity to tower a whole inch over the tallest girl in my class, I got my arse handed to me one day after school and was promptly moved to the upper echelons of……another, much nicer L14 school.

I moved back home to Sydney in 2000 for a short time. After working the Olympics I fucked up massively and needed my family and familiarity. So I came home, properly home. That’s when I knew this thing with me and Liverpool was serious.

I’ve made life-long friends here. I made vows here. Twice. I made some of the most incredible memories within Liverpool’s cityscape that will stay with me until my last breath. I know this city like the back of my hand. Each and every bump. It’s soundtrack, pulse and layout.

Liverpool Women’s hospital is an important place on the map for me. It’s where I changed. I shed my skin and took a new path. I grew up.

All three of my incredible little dudes were born there. Aided by equally incredible, local staff who work around the clock delivering miracles. I left my dignity at the door in exchange for knowing what love really feels like.

I’ve truly lived here. My life has fallen apart here. I’ve grafted, cried, hurt, loved, messed up, laughed til it hurt. Walked home from town in the small hours, watched the sun come and go and stared, open-mouthed as the full moon passed over the illuminated Liver Birds – for real, this actually happened.

I love the people. The polar opposites of the north and south of the city, red and blue. The scouse-ims, the drive and ambition. I adore the ‘don’t give a shit’ and ‘because I said so’ attitude. More than anything I love the solidarity. Scousers care, they love hard. And because of that, so do I.


Say hi! Twitter & Instagram.

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For Hire: Expert Juggler

I cannot juggle balls. 

I can juggle a young family, school run, parents evenings, dentist appointments, hospital check ups, daily nosebleeds, domestic shiz, seeing my friends, meetings, writing, sketching, way too much social media, running every day and dating – ish. That’s level expert kind of stuff right? Apparently not.

2019 is an age of influencers and the belief that we can be and achieve anything our heart desires. Manifest your best life, work hard, don’t drop the ball and you shall receive. Absolutely nothing wrong with a positive attitude and strong work-ethic.

I see that go-getting, ‘no-stopping me’ approach everywhere I go, especially on social media. Inspirational quotes based on having it all, reaching for the stars, it’s all about working on your hustle. I meet friends and colleagues who are constantly in a rush. Working on this, that’s in the pipeline, meetings for this, planning for that. It’s fascinating and fucking exhausting in equal measure.

Just because we can have it all, it doesn’t mean we have to.

I’m self-employed. I’ve juggled freelance journalism/copy writing for a number of years and I love my job. I adore it. Journalism, listening, writing, stories, meeting people, working with clients, planning media strategies, learning. It constantly challenges and frustrates me. The perfect mix.

But in 2019, is a little job satisfaction enough? How many of us believe the old adage ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’? I love my job. But I also love switching off my laptop, muting notifications on my phone and re-watching Sex And The City for the 74th time.

How many of us feel that working as much as humanly possible is the only way to get ahead or be deemed successful now? How many of us, and I’m definitely counted in this one, feel like a day off work is a day wasted? Maybe its the nature of freelance work. Don’t work, don’t get paid.

I’ve officially adopted my laptop. You know the way people in the US can marry door knobs or classic cars? My HP laptop is now my fourth child. It’s not even my favourite (that’s Cleo) but it’s the most needy and dependent. Or is that me? Is it lazy to be satisfied with one job and simply, get by? Is it not enough to boast about on social media? Should I be spending every waking moment trying to be ‘successful’?

Juggling is great. I think I’m really good at it. I have glowing references and it pays alright too. I’m going to give acrobatics a go next. You know, as a side hustle. That’ll look good on Instagram.

 

 

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It’s Only Words

I’ve got a proper dating dilemma going on……you won’t believe it.

And that one sentence above is the problem I’m facing. What happens when you’re so messed up by douche bag boys that you can’t believe a word anyone says. What happened to integrity, honesty, leaving your blue ticks and ‘last seen’ on WhatsApp? What’s with all the secrecy these days?

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I appreciate that some will read this and think I’m a proper weirdo stalker who is obsessed with knowing the second by second details of my partners life. That’s not the case. I’m just a firm believer that if you say you’re single and into me, liking hundreds of other girls pics on Instagram, bare faced lying about your marital status and concealing the fact your ex just had your baby……just isn’t acceptable.

When it comes to finding ‘the one’, a solid foundation is a must, right? If you go into a relationship with a shit tonne of skeletons in the closet, or you’ve stretched the truth about your amazing job, car, travels, whatever, the chances are the truth, or a quick Google search will trip you up eventually. Do you remember a time when automatically putting your phone on silent and face down on the table when you’re in company, wasn’t the done thing?

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Is it too much to ask that when you’re dating a guy, he isn’t liking pics of cute chicks on Instagram? When a guy tells you he’s single but you spot a sly pack of hair pins on the sink when he sends post-shower selfies? And the ultimate cringe fest that is having your mate trawl Tinder to find your boy parading as a single pringle, when you’re on the phone arranging your next date. (Ps – I got a ‘We were on a break’ excuse for that one).

I’ve met guys who’ve lied about their age, their hairline and their height, the latter being the most despicable when you’re 5ft 9. It can’t be just me. Is anyone else ready to give up because you can’t help but expect that the other person is bullshitting you?

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When we’re surrounded by ‘Reality TV’ that’s been proven to be completely staged for cameras and ratings, when ‘fake news’ attracts more clicks and controversy is the talk of the town, does anyone really care what’s real anymore?

The definition of integrity goes: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” First up, I’m no angel and my moral compass has a few notable dents, but when it comes to dating, I’m 100% straight up. No wait, bad choice of phrase. I mean, I’m honest about who I am, what I do, where I want to be and what I’m looking for. Is the truth too difficult to deal with?

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One guy I was talking to, but had no interest in meeting, finally gave it to me straight (jeeze Kate the puns!). He explained that if a woman had stipulated she wanted to date a non smoker, he’d just keep his habit under wraps until she either fell for him or he got her into bed, which ever happened first. Grade A manipulation, no?

Alright so I can’t tar every guy with the same brush and I’m sure there’s some cute, solvent, single guys out there who know the difference between reality and bull shit. There’s probably some who don’t need to resort to hiding who they really are with fakery and lies too. But asking for all of that and height as well? That seems like a step too far.

Can I pretend I’m 5ft 5?

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Can You Say That Again…?

My house is all about decibels. Friday night kitchen dance-offs give Alexa a headache from K Pop overload and Lee Butler’s 051 mixtapes…..

My three are early risers and so the racket begins from around 6am with renditions of Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ as my alarm wakes the street. Cue jumping on the bed (them not me) and scootering around the kitchen when the washing machine hits full spin and Channel 5’s Milkshake presenters cry ‘Stomp and roar like a dinosaur’ for the 15th time that morning.

After hair dyers, tumble dryers, Radio City and Beats have been turned off and put away, the morning traffic, school kids, mobile phone alerts, blaring horns and schools bells replace the din.

 

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Day-rider toting, bus wanker complete with Kanye morning playlist turned up on Beats.

 

On the way to work the buses are packed with fellow commuters chatting too loudly on phones or to each other about how late/tired/overworked they are. Other people’s headphones vibrate with every genre, prompting me to turn mine up, much to the annoyance of the lady who sits next to me on the 10a from Knotty Ash. She’s not a fan of early morning Kanye.

At work the banter (I love that word, sorry not sorry) ranges from quiet words and carefully orchestrated meetings, taking turns to speak and listen in turn….to mad office sing alongs, multiple takes during filming and raucous laughter on location with clients. The thoughts, conversations and ideas running through my mind to their own beat.

Afternoon school run is again chaotic. Singing, chatting, talking about our day, what’s for dinner, homework and bedtime negotiations ensue. Dinner time at the table always, ALWAYS involves a spilled drink, which is swiftly followed by shouts of blame, rolling eyes and tired smiles.

Bedtime is a softer kind of noise, and man, I make those stories last as long as possible, knowing that when I’ve finished the 4th rendition of Oh No George….it all stops. At 8pm the only sound is the TV, or if I chance throwing the Dyson around.

The silence is deafening and it reeks of loneliness. You’d think that after a busy day with three kids, work and a 5km commute on busy roads, I’d be glad to kick back and enjoy the peace and quiet? Sometimes I do, but it doesn’t last. The bird song and the far away sonic booms make me crave someone to kick back and enjoy the peace and quiet with.

Alexa…….play…..anything

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Fear of Flying

Alright so straight off, I’m not scared of flying, I love nothing more than starting my holiday at The Kissing Gate at LJLA with a glass of prosecco before being crammed into a tiny seat with no space for my long legs…..

I am however utterly terrified of taking the first step off the top of the Radio City Tower (St John’s Beacon), backwards on Friday 4th May 2018. Which as far as I’m concerned, is about as close to experiencing flight as you can get.

 

Jay and the team at The Guide Liverpool totally duped me into volunteering for this charity challenge, and don’t get me wrong, Cash for Kids deserves all the help and fundraising it can get to help disadvantaged kids and their families in our local area. I’m just absolutely bricking it.

Friday 4th May 2018 is Superhero Day for Cash for Kids and the Skyfall abseil is just one of many fundraising activities happening on the day. The icing on the cake for me is that I’m (hopefully) completing my free fall abseil at silly o’clock in the morning with my fabulous friend and fellow Guide Liverpool presenter, Claire Simmo. She’ll be laughing her head off, no doubt dressed as Robin/Harley Quinn, or bloody Tinkerbell, while I’ll be more concerned about not losing a Nike trainer or indeed my stomach when I approach that roof edge.

Kate and Simmo

It’s a 452ft drop, and I’d really love to hand Cash for Kids £452 for the opportunity of a lifetime to see the city like never before……and likely never again!

If you can spare £2, seriously, £2 is more than enough to reach my total before next week, please head to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/superkatejames and do something amazing for those in need.

Thanks so much x

 

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Ladies & ……?

I have a very serious, not at all ranty, question to ask…..

Where have all the gentleman gone? Like authentically kind, thoughtful guys who aren’t afraid to show they care, make an effort to engage in conversation, take an interest in what you’re passionate about? I was about to write ‘you know, old school kinda of guys’ but why does it have to be old school?

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Who ever actually did this? And why? Unless she was wearing Louboutins or something

Alright there’s a few things to get straight here. Right now, feminism or equality as I prefer to call it, is at the forefront of our minds, the media and pretty much every glitzy award ceremony the world over, and so it should be, long overdue.

Women deserve an equal place in society to men.

Society has changed immeasurably over the years, from women knowing their place, expectation strangling our career aspirations, forced into second best and to show gratitude for it (I can’t watch Mary Poppins now without absolutely fuming every-time Mr Banks opens his smug mouth) to finally making progress towards women having a voice. We’re running countries, we’re making packed lunches, we’re calling the shots and shattering glass ceilings.

 

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Brush those shoulders off girl!

 

So where do men fit into this new equality thing we’ve got going on. Because if recent Bumble escapades are anything to go by, they don’t know their arse from their elbow.

Is it fair for me to say that despite having a wonderful little family whom I love dearly, a career that fuels my creative passion, friends who make me cry laughing and a fool-proof retirement plan……..is it okay to admit I’d still really like a bit of romance in my life?

Is it ok to be running countries, making packed lunches, calling the shots and shattering glass ceilings AND admit that a little thoughtful ‘hey hope you’re day is going well’ text from a guy I really like, would make my day?

I genuinely do mean romance, not an emotionless, mechanical hook up with a guy from Bumble who shuts the front door the moment you step out into the early morning air, hoping your Delta hasn’t driven off. Can I get a ‘Did you get home okay?’ text? Not a f&cking chance.

 

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Oh well, obvs!

 

What constitutes a gentleman? This is where opinions will vary and while I can easily open doors myself, I carry my own shopping bags and luggage and I can pull out my own chair at the dining table, it doesn’t mean it’s not appreciated when a guy does it for me. They really are old school acts of chivalry, or affection, that have been bred into men for generations and I love nothing more than seeing them in action.

Cut to 2018 and a gentleman in current terms is anyone who hasn’t sent you a dick pic or already shagged half your postcode before your first date. Sheesh, what the hell happened.

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I asked a load of guy and girl mates what they thought ‘A Gentleman’ is. The overwhelming response was someone who is respectful, thoughtful and loyal. You see, it’s not about paying for everything, having to be the emotionally strong one or being the bread winner, it’s about being real.

A gentleman in my opinion is thoughtful. I think that’s it. It just comes down to thinking about the person you’re into/in love with/ care about/ whatever and carrying out those little acts of thoughtfulness to make them smile. It’s not a power struggle. Women are capable, strong, independent, driven and passionate, (and shit loads of other things too) but it doesn’t mean men can’t be appreciated as gentlemen.

You can’t manufacture a gentleman. You either make your momma proud or you don’t. Petition to get Bumble to add a gentleman filter, anyone?

Where do I sign?

 

 

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Close All Browser Windows?

It’s 08:21 and so far this morning……..

I have stripped beds, put laundry on, made breakfast for the kids, washed up last night’s dishes, emptied the household bins, tripped out the front door in my pjays and ugg boots with said bin bags, re-wound my toddlers first yo-yo 3,985 times, checked to see what’s in for dinner, stuck the heating on, put cartoons on, organised colouring in, finally nipped for a wee and boiled the kettle……..twice.

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Whatever

I was supposed to be writing a minute by minute account of what my day is really like. It’s Thursday morning, the kids are off on half term break and I necked two Kopparberg and two glasses of wine while watching Sleepless in Seattle last night, so I’m less than fresh.

 

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Where Mummy’s go for a bit of peace

 

I’m taking the kids into the city today to do some cultural shiz, art gallery, museum, central library etc. They’re so desperate for a Gumball and Darwin figure from McDonalds that they’re willing to appease me through a couple of stories and ten minutes admiring my favourite Impressionist painting of all time. It’s the little pleasures that matter on days when you’ve got 469 mental browser windows open and battling with being all things to all people.

 

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I wont look better than this today

 

A friend suggested writing a blow by blow diary of a ‘normal day’ to see if I can take a different view on how I manage my time and commitments. It’s a great idea in essence but because I suck as time management I’ve not been able to fit it into my day – hmmm.

So here I am, typing with one hand, the other is holding Miraculous Ladybug as she kicks Spiderman’s arse, I’m being forced to watch Power Rangers and I’ve still got a 500 word article due before I bath the kids, wash breakfast dishes, grab a shower, iron, pack a day bag and head out the door for some R&R.

What’s your day looking like?

x

 

 

 

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01.01.2018

Good morning and happy new year, here’s to another 365 days to smile, make memories and live life to its fullest.

Last year I vowed to give up taxis, takeaways and spend at least 30 days out of the country. I managed absolutely none of those things. On the plus side made a considerable effort to ensure Delta (local taxi company) and Khan’s Indian takeaway had a prosperous year while wasting hours of writing time scouring the internet looking at faraway places, I couldn’t afford to visit.

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I did however manage a couple of awesome city breaks which made for some brilliant memories and so, travel is the only resolution I’m carrying forward into 2018.

The name of the game for me is discipline. Woah kinky, not like that. Discipline to spend more writing words, photographing people and places and ultimately spending more quality time with my kids. I’m acquiring new ways of thinking, focussing on the things that make me and others happy which basically means spending huge chunks of time with my phone switched off.

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All You Need is Love……and discipline

My equation looks something like this…..

DISCIPLINE = Mornings – iphone + Fun time with the kids + travel + focussed writing time = 2018

I never was any good at Maths. Whether you’re rolling into the new year as fabulous and carefree as the last, or you’re on a mission to change, switch up or improve, I hope you smash it. Every single day.

I’m back on Radio City Talk this week (Wednesday 3rd January 2018) from 12-1pm, click here to tune in and let me know what your New Year’s plans are.

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