Saturday, 5 July 2014

June Bites Roundup

I've been busy this month, too much work. But I love it. As Joan Rivers says "What fun is this, to wake up and say, “I don’t have a minute free today?” It’s fabulous." Cos I've been that person who has no work. In the two decades that I've been a single parent, I spent approximately one decade of it unemployed (in as much as a single parent can be unemployed), frustrated, silenced, wanting to be a part of the conversation and having no voice. This is why blogging is important, especially for women. To this end, for the last three years I've talked at the Britmumslive conference, an annual parent blogging event. In the last talk I got a bit heated because of the emphasis on 'monetising' your blog. I think it's vital that blogging is not entirely taken over by PRs and brands. It's essential that we make the most of this opportunity to have our voices heard and not just be chasing the freebies. Blogging is revolutionary, access to mass communication. It changes lives. Food writing has always been the preserve of connected upper middle-class women and men. And now it isn't.
The food styling workshop, my award for Outstanding blog, Emma Freud the keynote speaker and her husband, writer and film director Richard Curtis.I've enjoyed an unexpected burst of publicity, owing to the Marmite cupcakes plagiarism post, which led to articles in the Evening Standard and the Daily Mail.
BBC Good Food magazine ran a three page spread on me and my kitchen. I'm obsessed with homeware and crockery, and appreciate any opportunity to talk about it.
I did a camping food video for South Africa fruit. We filmed it at safari park Africa Alive in Norfolk. 
Top left and clockwise: Head chef of the Dairy Clapham, Robin Gill; Restaurant magazine editor Stefan Chomka (one of the funniest men in food) and Ferran Adria giving the award for the best UK restaurant; the audience, almost exclusively male; Giles Clark, the winner of the Young British Foodie chef awards, for which I was a judge. He's is now working at Koya and hoping to win a scholarship to Japan. 
I attended the National Restaurant awards at the Hurlingham Club. Notice anything about the pictures above? Virtually everybody has only one 'X' chromosome. The women that attend? Mostly front of house, WAGS (wives and girlfriends) or PRs. It was a good event, rubber-necking at famous chefs, however. I had a chat with Robin Gill of the Dairy Clapham. Last year Marina O'Loughlin wrote a very positive review of this restaurant in the Guardian. But it was the comments that provided the most entertainment, specifically the complaint by Angeliqiue(sic) Murphy, which went viral. Robin Gill told me that the restaurant was accused of writing the comment themselves, which, while untrue, is not a bad idea for the creative restaurant PR.

Viv Albertine and Thurston Moore talking at the Stoke Newington literary festival
I found my copy of ZigZag mag, the cover featuring The Slits. It was first edited by Pete Frame who made wonderful Rock Family Trees. He should do one for chefs.
I went to the annual Stoke Newington Literary Festival to attend a talk with Viv Albertine of The Slits who has written an autobiography 'Clothes, clothes, clothes. Music, music, music. Boys, boys, boys.' I'm reading it at the moment, it's almost like reading my own autobiography, except for the part where she joins the groundbreaking female punk band. Being a punk in Muswell Hill, you really felt like the only punk in the village. I remember arriving at Creighton school at break with spiky blue hair and having 2000 kids scream and laugh at me. I remember walking down the street and a red bus would pass by and every head would turn and stare at me, mouths open, in unison. I remember seeing The Slits play at the Vortex and Palmolive thumping the drums and thinking 'girls can be this too'. 


  1. Wow you have indeed been busy, congratulations on finding your voice and your niche. The only thing I would say is like the phrase "there's no such thing as a free lunch" I also don't think there's such as a freebie (well at least they are very few and far between) as most freebies come from a brand with expectation of publicity from your blog which entails work. Even if something is "a gift" I will still give it publicity out of gratitude:-)

    1. I turn down a lot of stuff such as restaurant reviews because I will then have to write about it. And it is work.

  2. "for obvious reasons I don't like going to south London"

  3. Strangely I'd written something similar in the comments too....'I never go sarf of the river'

  4. Amazing really what lengths people will go to rip off someones work, and clearly lola wasn't very clever about it. I've been plagiarised before and although I was upset by it - mainly due to the fact my post was used as a islamaphobic slur piece by a two bit bigoted blogger- I took it as a mild success, for at least someone found my work (which is hard these days in a saturated niche) and, that they found it good enough to rip off as there own work!


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