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

Let’s talk about last night… networking with #CWCessex

#CWC, Connecting with Cocktails, business, Essex, Katy Pearson, #WhatKatyDid

Inspiring stuff: Just some of the cards belonging to #CWC business women

We’ve all heard the saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

And with the business world being a male dominated arena for decades, sometimes building a network can feel like trying to convince the older kids at school to let you play.

It should come as no surprise then, that south Essex business women are setting up their own groups and support systems.

Forget the Masons, with their stuffy ways and somewhat odd customs. For 21st century women here in Leigh it’s all about connecting over cocktails. Continue reading

13 things the first 13 months of motherhood has taught me

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, What Katy Did, motherhood

Sweet boy: Sonny Jim has taught me a lot

First things first. I’m not one of those mums who, when asked how old their child is, replies with something like 47 weeks, or 22 months.

My maths isn’t good enough for that. I stopped with the weeks things when I got muddled up at around 14 weeks (or was it 15 weeks?)

Anyway. Sonny Jim is one. BUT as I have 13 points, it kinda wraps things up nicely to tie that in with the fact he is almost 13 months.

Right. That’s that cleared up.

Here are the 13 things that motherhood has taught me so far: (Obviously there are a lot more than this – some big, some small – but these are the ones my damn-that-sleep-regression-or-is-it-teeth muddled brain can bring to mind right at this moment.) Continue reading

My chat with… author Sue Wilsher

Sue Wilsher, When My Ship Come In, Essex, by Katy Pearson

In print: How this feature first appeared

LONG before Thurrock became known for Lakeside, East Tilbury was already somewhat famous for Bata shoe factory.

Founded in 1932 (it closed in 2005) its company town set-up was unique in Britain, offering its thousands of workers housing, schools, entertainment – and even its own newspaper.

And it was this Bata way of life that provided the inspiration for Linford born and bred Sue Wilsher’s debut novel, When My Ship Comes In, now out in paperback. Continue reading