Category Archives: Blog Post

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’s 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.

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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.

Kate Reilly James

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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This Could Be….

It’s no secret that my 2017 dating escapades have been right up there on the crazy scale and so, on the very last day of the year, I’m vowing to do it all again in 2018. No regrets, these are the guys that made up a year in the dating game.

I have to give an enthusiastic high five to the multitude of dating apps that have aided my year as a singly, as hours of message tennis, back and forth until someone plucks up the courage (usually me) to arrange a date, has provided a number of fun adventures…..and a few I’d rather erase from memory. Bumble is my current fave but with a jam-packed January on the cards, I’m going to swerve the apps for a while and see how I get on in full 3d, rather than swiping for love!

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You know what’s worse than being stood up? Meeting your date knowing they bare face lied to you. I have an issue, a deep rooted issue from way back when –  I don’t date guys shorter than me. It stems from a lack of confidence (I know, me!?) and a crappy experience when I was 17. It is what it is and I’m really upfront about it.

This year I’ve matched with no less than 3 blokes who’ve sworn blind they’re 5ft 10, yet stretched up on tip toes to kiss me hello. Why? Why lie about it? Don’t smoke, be up front about your height and DON’T LIE! Am I asking too much?

Anyway, here’s to the guys that make up my dating history for 2017, the good, the bad and the awkward…..

The suited and suave, the epic first kissers, the muddy proposers, the man in uniform, the engineer, the one off the telly, the model, the chef, the property tycoon, the high school sweetheart, the one who made me laugh so much it hurt and the one who said he missed me, just a little, tiny bit. It’s been one hell of a ride.

Huge shout out to my best boy and girl friends who have listened, laughed, encouraged and offered up advice this year. I love you all very much.

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Initially I was all up for big New Year statements such as ‘no more f^&k boys or chasing men who aren’t available’, ‘I’m working on loving myself’ and ‘I’m letting love find me for a change’, but in reality, I really quite enjoy meeting new people and seeing where it goes. I’ll be writing my column on How to be Single in Liverpool over at The Guide Liverpool so keep your eyes peeled for regular, honest and frank accounts of my escapades there.

So while I’ll be focussed on my amazing kids, my bloody awesome job and training for GNR this year, I’ll still be playing the game, in hope there may just be a Prince Charming, Mr Big or 1970’s Harrison Ford out there for me. This could be the year I find my happily ever after.

Happy New Year Guys!

 

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My Love for Phil

As Christmas rapidly approaches, I’m truly grateful to be able to spend the festive period with my true love, Phil. 

Is there anything more lovely than spending Christmas with the one you love? Kids and magic and gifts aside, being able to go for Christmas drinks, buying gifts you know they’ll love, a little Christmas date night and of course matching jarmies (I’m joking)….(kind of).

Our relationship is a little one sided, yeah I spend a bit of money on him over the winter period, but what I get in return is limitless. Laughter, music, emotion by the bucket load and memories that will last a lifetime, he spoils me.

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He has incredibly talented mates. Classical, international and home-grown musicians who showcase their talent every day of the week at his request. And as for sense of humour, he counts the like of Jimmy Carr, Jon Richardson and Liverpool lad, Chris Cairns as friends.

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He’s great with kids too, is Phil. Over Christmas he puts on a huge Christmas sing along with Santa as well as classic movies for families to enjoy together.

Oh Phil, or rather to give him his full title, The Royal Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street! With your twinkly lit canopy and stunning classic, art deco style, there’s no where else like it. My favourite venue to enjoy intimate gigs, comedy films and of course the incredible Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The first place my kids ever saw a live performance and out staple Christmas treat day out.

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I’m counting down the days until my next date with Phil. We’re seeing comedian Jon Richardson and settling down for Laughterhouse in early December, before we do a family date and sing along with Santa on Dece 16th. If you’ve never been, you’re definitely missing out. Give yourself a gift this Christmas and book a ticket to a performance at The Phil, you wont regret it

My heart belongs to The Phil this Christmas

x

Cake & Balloons

Ever had one of those nights where you’re so messed up you think your nose has fallen off, you can’t stop hysterically laughing while devouring Cadbury Dairy Milk and watching Waking the Dead because that Trevor Eve is a solid 10 for an older man..?

That’s pretty much exactly what I was doing 12 years ago today, in fact right now, I was telling my anaesthetist, Michael Moneypenny (no word of a lie, that’s his name) to keep it down while he was putting a freakishly large needle into my spine to curb the crippling pain I was experiencing while attempting to give birth to my eldest daughter.

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I was 11 days overdue, had been subjected to the most god-awful induction earlier that day and despite 12 hours of labour, the kid just didn’t want to come out. Typical obstetrics of 12 years ago…’Here, lie down flat, get comfy, you’re going to be here for a while’. As opposed to move your wobbly ass, get moving and let gravity/nature bring that little curly haired whopper out.

I was indeed there for a while, a further 12 hours as it goes. From a quiet, darkened room at 06:25……just me, my hubs, my mum and the most knackered looking junior doctor ever, to blazing strip lights, spot lights, may as well been car headlights for all I knew, a registrar, two midwives, a consultant, the blurry-eyed junior doctor, Moneypenny and what dignity I had left and 10 minutes and the clinical version of a Dyson later……Ellie was born.

 

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Picture Credit: Matt Bowen Photography

 

She looked like she’d been dragged through a hedge backwards, which isn’t too far from the truth I suppose. First thing she did was poop in the scales. Never lived that one down since. 8lbs 11oz, with a superman curl on her forehead (she’s still got it too) the kid with the cerulean eyes changed my life forever.

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I’ve barely spent more than a few days away from her since that tumultuous first morning, and she generally still causes a riot wherever she goes. She’s generous and loving, witty and smart mouthed, almost a little too smart at times, I know, chip off the old block. She doesn’t know when to shut up (gets that from her dad) she gives the best hugs, she can twerk like a champ and can speak Japanese with surprisingly fluency (providing its the lyrics to a RWBY song).

She can quote Ghostbusters beginning to end, she adores Bill Murray, she’s a budding artist, song-writer and digital genius. Yet she can’t make toast, boil a kettle or locate the iron. I’ve still some work to do.

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She’s also 6ft 9′ (slight exaggeration), wearing women’s size 8 clothes, the biggest stationery nerd going and has the biggest, curliest mop of hair that even Side Show Bob would be jealous of. Having just started high school, Elle (Smelly Ellie, Elles, Crap Bag, Curly Witch, Elspeth) is working out where she fits in the world all over again, and she’s doing it in her own sweet time.

She’s my greatest achievement and whether she’s still causing a riot or peacefully going about her way, I’m confident that she’s going to change the world.

Happy Birthday Ellie, love Mum x

 

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Like It or Lump It

I did something really scary today, way scarier than when a mahoosive house spider dropped on my daughters leg mid-shower the other morning before school…..

I took some pics and put them on my social media. I know, it sounds pathetic, especially because I practise the art of pic-sharing online most days thanks to Instagram and being a birrof a narcissist….no really, I am. I love a good selfie, B&W street scene, and pre-planned Insta-story as much as the next weirdo, but today’s pics were a bit different.

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About 18 months ago I mislaid my beloved Nikon DSLR after a weekend away with my arsehole of an ex. You’ve no idea how gutting it was to find I had safely stored the SD cards containing pics of him grinning at Nou Camp, but lost the sodding camera.

Anyway, I finally replaced the camera this week (I know, I rock at procrastination) with a base model Canon instead, and its freaking awesome. I’ve not got much idea what I’m doing other than point and shoot at this stage, but taking a wander around the docks, Liverpool today while eldest curly kid was at a party, was pretty awesome.

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I took a fashion illustration class earlier this month over at Unit 51, Baltic Triangle and spent a blissful Saturday afternoon re-learning how to draw figures (in various sassy poses) under the expert watchful eye of Pro Illustrator and Photographer, Kitty Fuller.

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After much scribbling, hatching, shading (and me generally mumbling ffs), Kitty (also known as Sarah) noticed that I had an affinity for a long, straight line and that linear was my design style. It struck a chord with me and I was determined to find a subject for my first shoot with the Canon, that offered up the same look and feel.

Imagine my delight at being able to freely photograph Stanley Dock on a grey, drab Sunday afternoon! No really, I was totally chuffed. Some of the warehouse buildings as well as the old Heritage Market and Ten Streets earmarked site are symmetrical heaven! Typically I had filled a SD card within a few minutes, but these are the four images I really quite like.

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The scary part in all this? Is actually sharing the pictures. Art is such a personal thing. One person may rave about a pic which can be quite easily labelled shite by another, so I’ve made a conscious decision to shoot and share the scenes, people, events and things I love, and not what’s commercially ‘In’ to impress the digital masses.

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If you’re an experienced tog and want to share some tips on how to get the best from your Canon, please do drop me a line, you’ll find me on katereillyjames@gmail.com equally if you want to send some constructive criticism or a high five my way, that’s cool too.

Here’s to many weeks and months of taking pics and finding my ‘style’. Apologies in advance for being a camera bore, but I faffing love this city and sharing it with the tinterweb might just be my new favourite thing. (Apart from collecting Nikes of course)…..(and those processo freezies from Aldi)…….(and Maoam).

x

 

 

 

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