My chat with… CBeebies’ Mister Maker aka Phil Gallagher

Phil Gallagher, Mister Maker, CBeebies, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydid

Dream job: Phil Gallagher as Mister Maker

Recognise this fella?

The mummies and daddies among you probably will.

Phil Gallagher has been on our children’s TV screens for almost 20 years. The past decade has seen him bringing arts and crafts to life, in his wonky waistcoat and bowtie, as CBeebies’ Mister Maker.

And Mister Maker – plus the Shapes – will be at the Towngate on Sunday, as part of a 44-theatre tour.

But as I chat to ever-enthusiastic presenter at his home in Kent, I have to ask, just where does Phil end and Mister Maker start? Continue reading

My chat with… Alison Moyet

Alison Moyet, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidWhat is your earliest memory?
When we lived in Basildon, sitting in the laundry bucket which was filled with water, which was our take on a swimming pool, in the back garden. I must have been about two or something.
Funnily enough when my parents were thinking about their wills and we were asked what we wanted from the home, the one thing that I said was I want the laundry bucket.
I still have it indoors, this big yellow laundry bucket.

Where is your favourite place in Essex, and why?
It’s going to be Basildon because it’s where I grew and and because it’s where all my hopeful years were, those times where anything is possible. Continue reading

My chat with… TOWIE’s Maria Fowler

Maria Fowler, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydid, Towie

New mum Maria Fowler: Top beauty tip for mums? Apply a daily moisturiser that has a gradual self tan

What and where is your favourite Essex beauty salon/spa?
I used to love Beaus and Belles in Buckhurst Hill and Lifehouse Spa in Colchester

What one beauty product/tool could you not live without?
Definitely mascara

What’s the biggest beauty mistake you’ve ever made?
I think probably drawing my eyebrows on a bit too much when I was younger!

Has your beauty regime changed over the past decade?
Definitely. I take much more care of my skin now. And in terms of makeup I would say I have advanced a lot and learnt so many tricks to enhance my features.

And how has your beauty regime changed since you’ve become a mum?
It’s become a lot more rushed! I don’t get half the time I used to, to get ready to go out, so if I do get a bit more time then it’s a real treat! Continue reading

My chat with… Depeche Mode’s ‘Fletch’

Depeche Mode, Fletch, Andrew Fletcher, by Katy Pearson #whatkatydid

Interview: My chat with Depeche Mode’s Fletch in the Echo newspaper

What is your earliest memory?

It’s in the place I grew up in – Basildon – and it’s me and my sister. We had a barrow load of sand and we tipped it accidently over someone’s lawn and the man was shouting at me. It’s hazy but That’s my earliest memory.

Where is your favourite place in Essex, and why?

I like Leigh-on-Sea. I’ve got lots of friends who like there now and I like all the pubs and restaurants, especially those by the front on old Leigh.

Are the Essex roots still quite strong?

My sister lives in Basildon. My niece lives in Basildon. My mum lives in Billericay. So yes I guess they are. Continue reading

New life blossomed despite the lupus that shook mum’s world

Llydia Bannocks, Blossom Primrose, Lupus, #whatkatydid, Essex, Fiona Kennedy

‘That smile gets me through’ – Llydia Bannocks with partner Graham and Blossom Primrose
Picture by: www.fionakennedy.co.uk

Imagine having a condition that masquerades as several other illnesses.

For those living with Lupus – an incurable immune illness, mainly suffered by females – it’s a reality and part of the reason that diagnosis can take so long.

Hairdresser Llydia Bannocks, 37, of Ironwell Close, Rochford was diagnosed with Lupus in 2007, after two years of debilitating symptoms and misdiagnosis.

Llydia recalls: “I suffered everything from severe fatigue and hair loss to extreme pain in joints mimicking flu, an enlarged lymphatic system, intense rashing in the sun, corn beef looking pattern to the skin on my legs…

“I was extremely fit and active prior to my Lupus manifesting. I would go to the gym at least five times a week, work reasonably long hours without breaks and feel absolutely fine. Continue reading

How Claire is crafting a crochet business

Claire Mackaness, crochet, #whatkatydid

Craft creator: Claire Mackaness

IN recent years, TV shows like the Great British Bake Off, the British Sewing Bee and the Great Pottery Throwdown have helped fuel something of a craft boom in the UK.

Indeed, the craft market in the UK is now worth a massive £3bn (and growing!) and traditional skills such as crocheting, knitting and sewing have seen a real resurgence.

Claire Mackaness, 38, of Gooseberry Green, Billericay, has seen first-hand just how popular crocheting has become. She runs workshops in sewing, dressmaking and crochet at her studio in Brentwood – and now offers classes online.

But why does she think crocheting has become so popular again? Continue reading

A letter to my midwife

#whatkatydid, International day of the midwife, #IDM2017You probably won’t remember me. Though I’m sure there’s no such thing as a typical birth, my little boy’s was happily uneventful in the medical sense. There was no real drama. He was safely delivered just as your shift was ending, after a fairly long labour. He was healthy. And I was well. There was and is no real reason for you to remember me.

But we will never forget you.

Larissa. I’m sorry, I can’t remember your surname. It’s on the record of Sonny Jim’s birth, along with his weight and time he was born. That record is tucked away in a little memory box in his bedroom.

But anyway. Larissa. I first met you when you came on shift that morning. I’d already been in hospital for a few hours. I was, if I’m honest, just starting to get a bit panicked by all this giving birth malarkey. I was in pain. I felt out of control. I wasn’t sure I could actually do it anymore. Continue reading