IdeasTap – How to get a mortgage when you’re self-employed in the arts

Want to buy a property before house prices shoot through the roof?

Take a look at this feature I wrote for IdeasTap magazine on How to get a mortgage when you’re self-employed in the arts. It’s full of lots of useful information. I promise.

Below is my poor attempt at drawing a house, which clearly illustrates why I’m a writer and not an artist. I think she looks melancholy. I can’t make her look any happier. I think it’s the poor placement and size of the windows.


Handbag Anatomy

I’m pretty houseproud. I like a clean space, an un-littered kitchen worktop, a clothes-free bedroom floor. But my handbag is gross. I don’t know why I’m so terribly bad at organising the stuff inside. And since I’ve become a mother I keep finding odd things in there like tiny pairs of socks, used bibs and those plastic syringe things you get with bottles of Calpol.

Today my handbag contains reams of tissue (kid has a cold), pens, notepads, earrings, a memory stick (don’t know what’s on it), a lolly, hair clips, tampons and crumbs. I also have a million expired cards in my purse. Plus kindling; dozens of receipts.

I remember  finding the remote control for the TV in my bag once. God knows why it was there. I still couldn’t tell you.

I need to clean my bag.

Kitchen gadget of the day

I really want one of these Spirooli things that makes spaghetti out of vegetables.


How cool is that? First stop courgette spaghetti, final stop kale smoothies laced with flaxseed, goji berries and agave syrup (let me assure you that this will never happen).

Pakistani quirks

I caught my daughter gently bobbing her head from side to side in the shape of the infinity symbol last week.


This sideways figure of eight movement is the South Asian way of saying that you agree or like something. It’s similar to a British nod in that it’s a positive affirmation. However, it means so much more than that – it portrays the sentiment of agreement, understanding, appreciation and encouragement. And I’m ecstatic that my daughter has picked up on this head bobble gesture without me having to teach it to her. Continue reading

Toddler talk

photo 5

I secretly blend spinach leaves into my daughter’s fruit yoghurt. I’m that type of mum. Obsessed with veggies and vitamins. Anxious over constipated poo poos. Concerned with avoiding sugar.

However, my kid’s first ever phrase was ‘more cake’. I don’t know what to do with myself. I allowed her to eat cake but I feel an odd mix of both failure and pride within my knackered mummy spirit. How did this happen? And she did it in such an adorably cute way that I just HAD TO give her the flipping cake. Continue reading

Miser musings

Just seen these paper lanterns online. Very pretty indeed. But surely you would just make them yourself rather than pay someone else three quid to do it for you? Is that just me? The skinflint? Okay then.

paper lantern