World Mental Health Day

I went into journalism wanting to be Laura Barton. I loved her writing in the Guardian, I still do. At university in Durham, my friends and I would always turn to her stuff first. On Mondays, we’d sit in Riverside Cafe and pore over the (then massive – oh how things change!) jobs section in Media Guardian and plot our move from the north of England to Fleet Street.

My reason for wanting to be a journalist was that I wanted to entertain people. I had a lovely vision of having a column somewhere, which luckily didn’t happen, because when I was in my early 20s I used even more adjectives than I do now. The one thing I didn’t particularly want to do was to use my life as the basis for features. Again, how things change. Continue reading

Favourites from EGX: A Light In Chorus, Lumino City, How To Be A Tree & Bertram Fiddle

A Light In Chorus

A Light In Chorus

Yesterday, H and I spent six glorious hours trawling EGX, the video games expo in Earls Court which runs til Sunday. SUCH joy. The cosplay! The Streetpassing! The hunt for new games we’d heard of,  and new things to fall in love with and throw our pounds at in the near future.

Towards the end I was hungering for new Street Fighter so wasn’t wild about visiting Rezzed, the indie zone, but blimey it’s grown since I last went a couple of years ago. And double blimey – this year’s had some of the most beautiful and entrancing games I’ve seen since playing Okami, that gorgeous watercolour RPG reboot. All the ones I tried were works in progress, and these ones were my favourites. Continue reading

Tall Girl Treat: TTYA x Long Tall Sally (and new shoes!)

I’ve managed to keep two secrets of late – three, actually, but one is so secret it is not actually allowed to exist. Let us never speak of this again.

First in the successfully-kept and disclosable section, H’s birthday present. I kept schtum about that for two months and by God it nearly killed me. Second, this collaboration between Taller Than Your Average and Long Tall Sally which I wanted to tell you about last week, but was asked to keep schtum til today – handy, because that’s when it actually goes on sale. Continue reading

Vermouth masterclass at Mele e Pere: a ridiculous London bargain

White and red vermouths, handmade in Mele e Pere, and a really fearsomely disgusting hyper-dark vermouth which I am not adult enough to enjoy

White and red vermouths, handmade in Mele e Pere, and a really fearsomely disgusting hyper-dark vermouth which I am not adult enough to enjoy

With Elizabeth locked away in her flat until she’s finished the first draft of The Book (I know I’m biased, but bloody hell it is SO GOOD), we put a date in the diary weeks ago for a catch up.

“Erm, do you fancy a vermouth tasting?” she said. I assured her that I am on board with pretty much anything that is suffixed by the word “tasting” and we duly booked, and headed off to the vermouth bar in the basement of Mele e Pere, an Italian restaurant on Brewer Street just across the road from the Glasshouse pub.

Now, let’s have a quick pause for you to sign up, because I haven’t encountered this sort of ridiculously good value in London in aeons. Mele e Pele’s vermouth masterclass is £15. FIFTEEN POUNDS. For reasons that will soon become apparent, this isn’t so much a steal as a giveaway by an incredibly courteous saint. Continue reading

#TBT: “You want me to do what?” What it’s like being a lay preacher

IMG_6714

Instead of wearing a cross – bit Buffy for me – I have this beautiful bracelet which my godfather gave me for my confirmation

Nostalgia week – commence! After four and a half years at The Times, it’s my last day next Thursday. Of the many opportunities I’ve had here to write about something I feel really strongly about, my 2010 series about being a feminist, LGBT-supporting person getting confirmed was one of my favourites. I know, sexy subject, right? Nothing says “This won’t alienate people at all!” like talking earnestly about faith, religion and small sacred biscuits that are actually really difficult to swallow. Continue reading

Friends: The Play

friends-the-play-cover

Growing up in London, and later in Hampshire, I loved nothing more than playing with my BF, Ben Key. Ben was a cultural ambassador in otherwise fairly boring Raynes Park, and introduced me to Clueless and my two great loves, X-Men comics and Grease 2. Unfortunately, whenever we tried to play together, our horrible mothers forced us to endure his younger siblings, Marcus and Tammy, and my younger brother Nick being foisted on us whenever we tried to play essential games of Captain Planet, or The Worst Witch. Continue reading

Tall Girl Treat on Domestic Sluttery

ASOS Tall red scuba midi skirt

Oh HI THERE, HI

I’m currently working on a guide to where tall girls can buy decent clothes. Shopping when you’re 6’1 can be a sodding nightmare. In the meantime, I thought I’d round up some of the most useful posts I wrote in my fortnightly column for Domestic Sluttery: ones that focus on brands rather than specific clothes that might no longer be in stock. Continue reading