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Writing by me elsewhere

    Birmingham, Theatre

    The Red Shoes at Birmingham Hippodrome

    A couple of weeks ago, I went to the press screening of Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes ballet, on behalf of Polaroids & Polar Bears, a local arts and culture magazine.

    I naively assumed it was about the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale about the girl who wears the cursed red shoes and didn’t bother to look anymore into it because I was supposed to go with my mum and I figured she’d know.  Only she cancelled on me as she had a meeting, so I ended up going with my friend Ian.  Turns out it’s based on a film, which I’ve never seen – but my friend Louise has righted that by getting me a copy for my birthday.

    Anyway, if you want to read my thoughts on the ballet, head over to Polaroids and Polar Bears!




    Blogpost for Dine Birmingham

     I like reading about food almost as much as I like eating the stuff, so writing about it was a bit of a given.  I really ought to blog about food more, but I’m really glad when other people give me the opportunity to do so.  Brum’s very own guide to where and what to eat, Dine Birmingham, recently did this and I reviewed the rather fantastic Blue Ginger in Kings Heath.

    Head over there to read my blogpost…


    Blogging about baking (and alcohol)

    I know it looks like I’ve abandoned this blog, given the amount of time it’s taken me to post something but that’s not the case – honest!  I have, however, been writing another project I’m working on.

    Having worked for a pub and a bar (and soon to be a steak and ale house too) I figured it was about time I learnt more about alcohol.  So as well as attending some of the training sessions, rum clubs and asking a lot of questions, I thought I’d combine it with another hobby – baking!

    At the moment it’s a cross between using found recipes and making up my own, but please take a look.  And if I can help tempt you, here’s my recipe for Whisky Cake using Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky.

    Ingredients for Whisky Cake
    175g Caster sugar
    185g Self raising flour
    175g Butter
    3 Eggs
    1/2tsp Vanilla extract
    75ml Whisky (I used the Chivas Regal 12 year old Scotch whisky)
    1/4tsp cinnamon
    30ml freshly brewed coffee (I used Ethiopian Mocha coffee)
    75g Butter
    175g Icing sugar
    25ml Whisky
    1/4tsp Orange liqueur

    Pre-heat the oven to 180c
    Cream in the butter and sugar
    Add the eggs one by one, making sure they’re combined
    Add the cinnamon, whisky, vanilla extract and coffee
    Sieve in the flour and fold in
    Bake for about 45mins-1hr, then leave to cool.
    The icing is a basic buttercream; cream in all the ingredients and ice the cake once it has cooled fully.

    Whisky Cake using Chivas Regal with a slight orange and whisky buttercream icing


    Vampires, boybands and writing for a magazine with a rather dodgy name

    So, last Saturday night I spent the evening with the fellow writers, artists and editors of the second issue of local literary mag, Dirty Bristow.

    It’s probably worth mentioning now that Dirty Bristow isn’t exactly your typical literary magazine (the name should be the first hint). They actually describe themselves as “dedicated to resurrecting the magazine as a fetish object, giving creative people the room to let their minds go. No ads. No rules.”

    Basically some time last year they announced the topic, Beast, and then let us write away for several months. I ended up writing an article on why vampires are the new boybands. Actually it was a bit of a continued rant I’d had at my housemates about why first boybands then vampires appeared to be pushing this really disturbing idea of need-you-forever-die-without-you kind of love that seems to be so toxic. So maybe I got a little feministy, but that’s not a bad thing.

    And the guys were good enough not to laugh at me (at least not to my face) and print it. They also printed some other cool articles and some copies even have a cassette – remember those?! I’m yet to find something in the house that will play it, but I’m looking forward to listening to the four cover-songs on there as soon as I get to my mum’s (aka the land of antiques) where I’m hoping she has a tape player.

    If you fancy reading my article or if you hate the sound of it and want to read everyone elses or if you want to look really cool and have a magazine they don’t sell at Smiths, then go here my good friends!

    Birmingham, Books

    Asked to write my first ever guest blogpost!

    I completely forgot to mention it here, but I’ve written a guest blogpost over at Urban Coffee Company‘s website on how to survive a book club.  Its about what to look out for if you’re new, have been going to book clubs for a while or are running one yourself – as well as trying to dispel the idea that book clubs are just retired old ladies discussing stuffy historical romances.  Kind of apt timing really, given my previous post here was about attending another book club.

    It has been up since last Wednesday, but check it out here and let me know what you think.