About Me

I am a novelist and a journalist. I have two children a son born in 2001 and a daughter born in 2004. We live in London.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Bicycling 22 kilometres along the Canal

Me and the kids bicycling along the canal to Camden
This Saturday, we we were invited to  Proud in Camden for their new weekend kids lunch. My husband persuaded us all to bicycle rather than drive the car and at first I was reluctant. It seemed like a long way -  it was a long way.  We set off down the Uxbridge Road in Sheperds Bush, and then hit the canal, which is perfect to bicycle down with children. It wasn't all plain sailing, there were roads to cross, and hills to climb, but it was the best fun I've had for a long time. It took us an hour and a half to get to Camden(mostly along the canal)  but it was worth it. At one point we passed the Zoo, and saw birds in the aviary and some wolves prowling along in their enclosure. I felt happy and free as though we were in the country.
Belle being made up and entertained by Lucky
I don't think I've ever been to Camden Market before, despite living in London all my life, and wow it's busy. More LA than London, but without the good weather. We found the old Horse Hospital and then the Proud.  It's a music venue, bar and restaurant. On Friday evening they have burlesque, which is apparently really fun. The old stables are now separate lounge areas, where men were watching sky sport. At the other end is  'the Kitchen," a laid back dining space. We chose from a reasonably priced small lunch menu - £4 for a kids main course. My children loved it. They loved the food, the vibe, the entertainer, a plucky girl called Lucky, who kept my daughter amused. My son enjoyed the swing that hung from the ceiling and the sport that was on in another room. Huge  Success.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A Five Star Pampering Alternative to Botox

About a year ago, I looked in the mirror and saw an angry, tired, face staring back at me. I wasn't actually angry that particular morning, it was just the two lines between my eyes resembled a furious frown that made me look stern. I took the plunge, did a bit of research and booked botox with a trained doctor at a clinic. It was expensive, clinical and quick. The botox in my forehead felt tight and strange for at least six weeks. A couple of friends noticed that my face looked 'fresh' but I haven't been back. Maybe I will, but for a more gentle, approach I decided to try a brand new package, that has LITERALLY just hit the market.
The initial three hour package consists  of facial acupuncture, facial massage and nutritional advice from a pair of lovely ladies, who are working in tandem, just moments from where I live in West London.  They work in rooms above Kite Studios and the whole atmosphere is much less exhausting and trying than rushing to town, and waiting in a room filled with back copies of Tatler, Harpers and some wretched flowers trying to survive in a vase filled with not quite enough water. Star Gifford is an experienced acupuncturist who used to work at the Zita West Clinic, where she met Melanie Brown who was working there as  a nutritionist.  They both left Zita West to pursue independent careers and together they have come up with a unique pampering package to enliven your skin.
First you see Melanie for a nutritional talk, (She will give you a form to complete before you visit), she also gives you loads of notes with delicious recipes and wise suggestions on how to live well.  She advises on anti-ageing skin nutrition and the best supplements for you and all kicked
off with a fantastic skin restoring diet, (I have tried out both the recipes she gave me, and they were both delicious.) Next you go to see Star, who will address your face, with fine needles, that don't hurt at all. The atmosphere is gentle and soothing, restful and peaceful. The acupuncture session ends with Star rolling a jade roller across the skin which feels so soft and smooth its as if she is massaging your skin with the best oils money can buy. I was zonked after my session with Star and you get to keep the jade roller, to use when your skin is feeling puffy or tired.
Next Melanie gives the best facial massage I have ever experienced in my life. It literally takes your breath away and it feels as though it's definitely doing good, for the tired and/or stressed skin. She ends the treatment by giving you a little pot of bespoke facial oil, that she has made herself. Divine. I give this treatment 10 out of 10. My skin is literally dancing for joy!!!
Need to Know:
First appointment will be nutrition, acupuncture and massage of an hour each, which can be booked separately and the whole package is £170. Subsequent treatments of the massage and acupuncture  are 45 minutes, costing £45 each and can be booked together or separately.
Phone numbers for appointments Mel 07968 369 076,

Friday, 7 October 2011

Disney bag of Goodies

A rucksack of pens and stationary, a dvd, au audio tape, and lots more!!!

 Disney Junior Channel are turning Disney memories into cash for Great Ormond Street Hospital.  I wrote about going to see the Jungle Book at the cinema, it was the first film I ever saw and I absolutely loved it, particularly Baloo the bear. I also read and reread my Mary Poppins book which had little flaps which you lifted up to reveal tiny stories about Mary Poppins. Each memory is worth £1 for Great Ormond Street hospital and when a million memories are recorded they will turn it into  £1million for the hospital. You can post your own memory on the link - Then duplicate in my comment box or on Twitter KateMorris1 so I can choose one to send a goody bag to.