Tag Archives: liverpool

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.


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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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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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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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Walk Like an Egyptian in the heart of Liverpool

Today I saw the ancient world version of a tweet. Seriously!

I was filming for The Guide Liverpool at World Museum this afternoon for the press view of Ancient Egypt: A journey through time, two days ahead of the official opening….and it knocked my sarcophagus off!

 

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Not sorry about my Will Smith red carpet pose!

 

Having visited the Egypt gallery regularly for many years (more than I’m willing to admit) both as a child and with my own brood, I expected to find a revamped space with much of the same artefacts we’ve come to know and love. What I discovered was so much more.

I learned more about our city’s links with the ancient world in the 20 minutes I wandered around the gallery and spoke to the team behind this mammoth project, than I could ever have imagined. From scarab beetle tweet-like messages and guy-liner to 10- stunningly presented mummies in all their finery, the entire 1,000 square metre gallery is phenomenal.

 

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Thebes/Liverpool we’re all the same when it comes to looking sharp and nailing those eyeliner flicks!

 

Head on over to The Guide Liverpool for our video and all the details about the official launch on Friday 28th April at 10am. If you do one thing this Bank Holiday weekend, discover a little bit of Ancient Egypt in the heart of Liverpool.

Kate x

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I’m lacing up for Cash for Kids

It’s no secret that I absolutely love my Nikes and I’ve amassed quite a collection, so what better way to support Cash for Kids Superhero Day 2017 than by putting them to good use?

 

Cash For Kids

You can get involved in Superhero Day 2017 too, details below

 

I’m lacing up and embarking on an ambitious running challenge to raise much needed funds for local families in need. And it means I can wear a cape too….winner!

May 5th 2017 is SuperHero Day and Cash for Kids is supporting When You Wish Upon a Star, a charity that works tirelessly to grant the wishes of children with life limiting illnesses.

Having heard first hand from parents and patrons of the charity at the launch event at the Hilton Hotel, Liverpool One, last week, about the phenomenal experiences the charity organises for desperately poorly children and their families around the UK, I was moved to tears and inspired to help.

 

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Just a snapshot of some of the wonderful experiences When You Wish organise for children and their families.

 

I have pledged to raise £250 in support of Cash for Kids Superhero Day 2017 and to hit my target, I plan to run 250km throughout the month on May. 31 days to rack up 250km, while also sustaining my job and family life and not twisting any ankles (I’m the most accident prone person EVER).

Family and friends will be loaded up with homemade cake, biscuits and honesty boxes to lure donations from their workmates, I’m going to attempt a sponsored silence (this will definitely require duct tape) in the office, and I’ll be rooting around in pockets and down the sofa for loose change, to help hit my target.

 

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That’s worth £250 alone in my humble opinion

 

I’d really appreciate your support. As ever, just £2 can make a huge difference for those little ones and their families facing unimaginable pain. I’ve set up a Just Giving page to make it even easier to donate. Head over to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/KRJ and do something awesome for those in need.

 

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This is how happy your donations make me!

 

I will of course be sharing my daily escapades on my social media channels with tweets and videos. Mainly Twitter, @Katereillyjames , Instagram @Kate.reillyjames and Facebook here and everyone who throws me a few quid will get a personal thank you x

You can also sign up to get involved with Superhero Day 2017 here.

Donate £2 and make a wish come true x

 

 

 

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Woodlands Hospice Bunny Run 2017

On Sunday I got my face painted, donned a pair of rather fetching bunny ears, pinned on a fluffy tail ran 3.2 miles at the Woodlands Hospice Bunny Run 2017.

Croxteth Park had never looked so utterly stunning, bathed in early Spring sunlight, the hall itself was a hive (or should that be warren?) of activity as fundraisers, runners and tonnes of dogs, came together to support this Woodlands Hospice fundraising event.

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Roped in by my friend and organiser, Pauline Cox, I signed up to run the 5k course with the lovely Michelle and Kerry and French bulldog Oscar (who completely won the day by being ridiculously cute!). We (just about) got through the warm up with PT Mark Riley before limbering up on the start line.

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Woodlands Hospice Charitable Trust is an independent charity committed to delivering the best possible practice and development of Specialist Palliative Care for people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses with complex needs. It honours people’s right to dignity and respect at whatever stage of their illness by its aim to improve the quality of life for patients and their families

Woodlands Hospice

More than 50 runners, old and young turned out to support this amazing cause alongside a team of the most encouraging and smiley volunteers who clapped and cheered every single runner to the finish line. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Roz Gladden handed out medals to all the participants and laden down with Easter eggs and goody bags we set off for ice creams, fair rides and a well earned sit down.

If you’d like to get involved with raising much needed funds for Woodlands Hospice, click here to check out what events are coming up.

 

 

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The Lord Mayor of Liverpool’s Charity Fashion Show 2017

On Thursday evening 8 of my friends took to a catwalk and strutted their stuff to a classic Whitney track……and I teared up with pride.

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool (the lovely Roz Gladden) hosted the third annual fashion show which raises vital funds for four local charities and also gives aspiring designers, models, make up artists and event managers an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and experience it first hand.

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I signed up to create and show a collection back in September 2016 and the biggest lesson I have learned from the whole experience is that leaving absolutely everything – including the actual making of the clothes, until 24 hours before hand, is not a good idea.

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However, three sewing machines, two acrylic nails and the best sister in the world later  (thank you so much Cazzy), a mini collection of 13, 1940’s Land Girl Army inspired pieces, was born. Who doesn’t love a head scarf and a winged eye liner on a Thursday night?

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Having grown up as an ‘Army brat’, married into the RAF and more recently worked closely with 156 Regiment in Allerton, I felt that the armed forces theme was the way forward, and my second thank you is to Maj Laurence Roche, who very kindly donated his mess jacket (Which I wore) and tartan trousers (worn by Cath Bore), which inspired the rest of the collection.

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I specifically asked friends of all ages, heights and shapes to model my collection. What society calls ‘real women’. Ensuring there was a range of sizes from 6-16 was important to me, as was empowering my models to go out into the limelight and own the catwalk. No sullen faces, but plenty of attitude, a bit of a dance and ear to ear smiles.

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the girls who battled nerves, victory curls and my wonky-tailoring, to show the 150+ crowd of smiling faces, just how utterly amazing you are. Thank you Cath, Leanne, Steph, Caroline, Paige, Meg, Deanna, Ashleigh and Michelle.

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For the first time I truly appreciated just how much make up and hair makes a collection really pop. Thank you to Hayley and Ashleigh for creating razor sharp, sultry flicks, red lips and victory curls that brought everything together. You absolutely nailed your first show, and Ashleigh even ended up modelling for me too! Legends!

It all came together at the very last minute – as these things tend to do. Kudos and huge thanks to Andrew, Anna and Emma – seasoned pro’s at smashing out breath-taking runway looks as standard!

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A few people to thank:

To my three beautiful children – I almost broke under the pressure so many times, trying to juggle everything, be a good mum, progress at work, do my small bit for charity. I don’t always get the balance right, but coming home every day to hear you all arsing about, giggling makes it all worth while. Love you millions x

Emma for the best show day surprise I could ever have imagined and for supporting me every step of the way and at all hours of the day and night.

Jay at The Guide Liverpool for allowing me to shirk work for a few days to create the collection and also show it on the night. John at The Guide Liverpool for filming all the action and not being phased by half-naked models running about!

Thank you to Andy and Geoff at 156 Regiment for the loan of the berets and flags. I’ve never been so nervous of borrowing something so precious!

Paul, Pauline, Tash and especially little Kaidie, thank you for being there to support us all on the night x

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My biggest thanks and admiration are to Jodie McShane. I have no idea what I’d have done without you and considering we’d not met before, you read my mind and kept everything running smoothly when I was flapping! I’m really looking forward to working with you again.

Lord Mayors Fashion Show

Led by the lovely Sofia Spencer, the show ran smoothly and raised just over £1400 for the Lord Mayor’s charities. To see all the official photos from Ian Williams and Andy Forster and video clips of The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Roz Gladden realising her daughter was on the catwalk……click here. Also check out my Gallery page for all the backstage pics and shenanigans too!

Same again next year?

x

 

 

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