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

By the sea we mustn’t forget to raise little swimmers

Katy Pearson, seaside, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydid, #mummyandsonny

Starting him young – I want Sonny Jim to be sea safe

What are the most important lessons we teach our children?

Don’t talk to strangers. Look both ways before you cross the road. Don’t tell lies.

How about learning to swim?

As the weather (finally!) starts warming up again, and Whit Monday and the summer holidays inch ever closer, we’re likely to be making the most of our beaches with our little ones.

And with all the fun to be had by the shore, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous it can be.

Drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death of children in the UK. More than 400 people accidentally drown in the UK every year – that’s one every 20 hours. 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

My chat with… Kierston Wareing

Kierston Wareing, Katy Pearson, Essex, the Echo

Interview: My chat with Kierston in the Echo

What is your earliest memory?
I remember when I was about five years old, making my younger brother dress up as a horse, using my dad’s belt and he would say gidiup gidiup. We would laugh and run around our house in Leigh for hours.

Where is your favourite place in Essex, and why?
I love taking walks on the beach in Leigh. I also love Rollacity when I am in the mood to roller skate!

Are you often in the mood to roller skate then?!
Always! When I’m down here that’s what I do. I’ve properly roller skated from when I was a kid. When I was 14, I used to roller skate everywhere – all down the seafront – and every time I’m back down here I do! It’s great here. You’ve got this roller skating rink right on your doorstep in Rochford. And now you’ve got the trampolining open next door, so it’s perfect.I go and see my dad and then I go roller skating and then trampolining! Continue reading

They’re small but babies are a big expense!

Charity shop buy, toy, Katy Pearson, Children's Society, Sonny Jim

Why pay £80 when you can pay £7? A charity shop find

A year into this parenting malarkey and while I’m still figuring A LOT of stuff out, one thing I know without question is that babies are expensive. Silly expensive.

Even when you take out the big expenses – the pram, the buggy, the car seat, the crib, the cot – the cost of clothes and toys do really add up.

So I’ve been trying to save money wherever I can – without feeling like a total Scrooge. And these have really helped…

  • Ruby & Willow, Leigh Road, Leigh: Sells pre-loved designer baby clothes. Pick up some lovely clothes for a fraction of the price they are new (my fave was a pair of Blade & Rose rocket leggings which cost a mere £4!) Which, when your baby grows out of *all* his clothes about every ten weeks, is a huge help. Plus you can take in your baby’s gear and they’ll sell it for you on a 50/50 basis. So you can get some cash BACK on the clothes the baby wore the whole of once before they grew out of. Groovy Baby, a few doors down, also sells the most FABULOUS pre-owned baby clothes.

Continue reading

Baby-friendly places to eat: Leigh-on-Sea

Sonny Jim, Birdwood, Leigh-on-Sea

Little lunch date: Sonny Jim at Birdwood

Heading to Leigh-on-Sea with a little one in tow? These places will make stopping for a bite to eat worth your while!

  • TruLeigh Scrumptious, Broadway West. We held Sonny Jim’s post-Christening bash here. Which should give you some indication of how lovely I think it is. There is baby changing. High chairs. Friendly staff. Fizz to drink. And the tea room decor is just pretty lovely too.
  • Piggy Went To Market, Elm Road, has plenty of room to get the pram in and to park it next to the table while still leaving room for others to get by. And plenty of high chairs. It has an alcohol licence too. And a stash of daily newspapers. And staff who are friendly and have no interest in rushing you out. Which is always good. Downside? No changing facilities on-site (but the community centre is just a couple of doors away…)
  • Speaking of the community centre… Lorna and Lotties Cafe, on the ground floor of the centre, Elm Road. Soooo family friendly. And sooo reasonably priced. Me and Sonny Jim stop here for a hot chocolate (me) and milk (the boy) before our baby yoga class.

Continue reading

A classic christening

Katy Pearson, Gary Pearson, Sonny Jim

St Clement’s church: Our boy’s christening day in Leigh-on-Sea

My mum is a priest, so it was inevitable, really, that my little boy would be baptised.

And it was rather lovely that Sonny Jim’s grandma was the one who could actually do the dunking on his christening day.

Contrary to what many may believe, christenings aren’t “going out of fashion”. My mum is booked up for most of next year with baptisms at her church on Canvey (sometimes as many as three per Sunday).

Oddly though, it wasn’t that easy to find some of classic christening staples we’d need on the day. Hence, having *eventually* found them, I thought it only fair to share…

Baby outfit. If you’ve got a little girl you can probably skip this bit. I’m sure you’re aware that Monsoon do the most gorgeous little dresses perfect for a baptism (or for flower girls at a wedding for that matter.) As do John Lewis. And Debenhams. And, well basically everywhere. If you’ve got a little lad though, and don’t fancy them looking like a mini 1980’s wedding singer (why so much satin? Why?!) then this is for you. Continue reading