My Name is Claire and I am a Kitchenalia Addict

I feel it is time to stand up and admit my addiction.

No, not Hollyoaks (although, that Freddie in it’s pretty damn fine), nor is it random programmes from my youth. Its not even being a smart arse.

Its stuff for my kitchen. 

I love it.

There is a shop in Marlow town centre, and to be honest I often suggest to Elder that we could go to Marlow, just so I can stare into its massive window display of Kitchenaid mixers in all sorts of colours, and the funky designs of its aprons. I have to suggest to him that he can recapture his youth by eating in the only Wimpey in existence in Berkshire as a way of going to my happy place of that shop window, kind of like Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys but with egg timers.

I can even feed my addiction whilst doing my volunteering bit at the Shop. Down to many of our donations coming from old people, we get all manner of retro cake tins, pie tins and jugs through the doors. I must have three sets of measuring spoons now of various vintage. 

When I go to buy another set, I have to justify that one set is in American cups, rather than our tea spoons. Although that does come in handy for my other addiction of searching cooking sites online for recipe and kitchenalia kitsch as I can use the American recipes with ease. 

In the same way some women convert shoes, I covert vintage placemats. I would literally kill for a old school Kenwood Chef with attachments. 

What’s not to love?


I feel its time to talk about my problem, only to gain help for others going through the same kitchen related nightmares. Maybe with you, reader, its tea towels (my Gran is a secret addict, she has two on the wall in her kitchen, and drawers full of them, from Australia and beyond). Or Cath Kidson Pinnies (actually I want one of those too). Perhaps its the humble spatula that gets you all dizzy with want?

Sod 50 Shades of Grey, I was like a kid in a sweet shop when Cargo opened a massive store in Maidenhead this week. So many gadgets. So many different colours.

This week, I became the proud owner of a set of 6 mini loaf tins, 1 small cake tin and a muffin tin, as well as a flat tray for yummy caramel shortbread, and a piping bag. 

My lovely vintage hoarding mate J even gave me a gorgeous set of Martini glasses- they are now on display in my kitchen next to my massive wine glasses. That’ll be next now- glasses. I already have three cocktail shakers. 

What’s your guilty pleasure? Maybe you’re more of a candle fan?

Let me know 🙂 

Is It Just Me: Who Actually Thinks Free School Meals for Young’uns is a Good Thing?

In fact, I think it’s such a good idea, I nearly fainted when I heard it had come from the Lib Dems. Frankly its the only good thing I’ve heard them spout since they came into power on the coat tails of slimey Dave not being popular enough to win an election outright (how right we were voters, eh?).

I’ve seen a few people suggest it’s a ludicrous idea. Where will the funding come from? Why should all children receive it when some parent’s are easily able to afford a lunch? What if the children don’t like the food? 

My feeling of positivity towards it comes from experience.

Mini is, by design, a fussy eater. I have blogged about it a fair few times over the years of writing about my girlie. One week she will happily eat a certain food. Next week, she suddenly hates it and it would be a fate worse than death or the removal of her Little Mix album and Doctor Who books to eat such a disgusting thing.

Or, at least, it was.

Since she started having regular school meals, the peer pressure thing- not obvious in its effect to the child- of seeing other children who she likes demolishing a meal at lunchtime was enough to help ease her into eating more and more types of food. 

From a child who wished to eat nothing other than the odd sausage, chicken nugget (although made by me) or bowl of pasta, we now have a curry loving, chicken and bacon lasagne scoffing, mash potato lover. The only item she wont eat is mince.I can live with that (and slyly give it to her in home made meatballs and burgers).

Not only that, she eats vegetables like sweets. Yes, actual vegetables. 

Another reason I hope this isn’t just Clegg’s way of looking good pre-election and trying to come up with a reason to say “yes we were part of the ConDems who have made most folk destitute but we wanted to feed kids” is for that reason- the amount of people who previously managed to get by and who, down to the ConDems has now ended up living on hand outs from local food banks.

You only have to look at the latest Kelloggs cereal campaign, which begs of us to buy their cereal so they can in turn provide 2 million children with a free breakfast, to realise that children are going hungry left right and playground. I cannot begin to imagine not sending my pair in with a breakfast inside their tummies, but such is the current climate that is simply a burden a possible 2 million (or maybe more) parents face each day. 

If that is the case, surely to fund this idea (as that is all it currently is) perhaps companies like Tesco, Kelloggs and others who all have massive profits each year, could be called upon to help out. Blimey, the CEO of British Gas and some of the banks could probably feed every kid from infants to uni and then some on their combined bonuses alone.

The thing that makes me uncomfortable is that in our western world, we now have to feel that there are children going hungry. Yes, it will benefit the children of well off folk who don’t need food at school not provided by their parents. However, if this is the price we have to pay for all children to have a decent hot meal inside them, assured 5 out of 7 days a week bar the holidays, than count me in to support it.

What do you think? Good idea or pie in the sky election hunting? Let me know below.

The Rules of the X Factor, by Her Who Shall Never Enter It, Ever (Even When Drunk)

Its the time of year when the nights are drawing in and the threat of epic snow is merely a coca cola Christmas Advert away, and that means the X Factor is back.

Now, I love a bit of X Factor. Not for the traditional entertainment, oh no. I love it as it means I can sit with a gin and tonic, some home made shortbread and settle in for some Twitter comedy. I love retweeting others witty comments and am lucky enough to gauge the mood enough to get some retweets myself.

After many years watching, even though I’ve not entered myself (as the title suggests), I feel I have some rules to help those, on average deluded souls to not end up comedy value on Twitter.

* Do NOT dress like you’ve run through a Charity Shop in the Dark.
Some people don’t even need to open their mouths to strangle a rendition of a Beyonce tune before they exude comedy possibilities from every pour. Day-Glo, big scary hair, dressing in anything other than sensible clothing which fits and is clean is just a no, frankly.

* Do Not bring in a picture of your sodding cat
What. The.Hell. I thought he was Mickey Flannigan taking the piss. Who does that?

* Do not be over confident if you’re not that good.
Kingsland are a prime example of this. They were pretty crap, no doubt that’s why they are being touted as the next Wand Erection. Cos they are shite too.

* DO NOT SODDING CRY
No, just don’t, it makes me wish for a trapdoor to open beneath you. I don’t care if it’s your dream, I don’t care if your Nan says you are amazing, if it’s a no, have some bloody self respect. Ditto begging.

* Have respect for the Judges (apart from Scherzy)
Gary Barlow is a multi-award winning legend. Sharon gave us (after pinching them off her Dad) Black Sabbath. Louis….well,yes he gave us some crap Irish bands but they did well. So don’t slag them off when they say no, these people know their stuff.

* Do not believe it when Sherzy gives you a Shermazing
This is the woman who gave us Doncha’ and basically we all know that Pussycat Dolls did well because teenage boys were perving over their cd sleeves. Or fat chavs were trying to look all come hither (bleugh) to their spotty other half (double bleugh). The woman is a glorified Stripper. End of.

* Do Not bring half your flipping family with you
If you want a family outing, go to a zoo, go to a pub, but do not enter the X Factor and then crowd around like its a bus station.

*Do have a USP
Not a sob story. Be different, if you aren’t doing your own song, funk up someone elses and make it your own

So, there we are, and I must say I’m glad we’ve not had any repeats of Nan Gate like last year (yet). I do miss Tulisa though, I’d have rather she stayed and Nicole went, purely because I bet Gaz and Sharon would have made mice meat out of her (and I now keep having Littlest ask me where she is every time the show is on).

Who are you tipping for the top (and thus instant obscurity?) Let me know below