Thursday, 31 October 2013

Crafts from the Crooked Magician, part two


How to make a bottle of Liquid of Petrifaction

When everyone else was admiring the just finished powder of life, Ojo snuck in a few extra brains into the inanimate body of the Patchwork Girl. Then Margolotte went and added a few more, but Ojo was afraid to say anything for fear of getting into trouble.

Then when Dr Pipt was bringing Scraps the Patchwork. Girl to life, it went horribly wrong.

But suddenly the Patchwork Girl threw up one arm, which knocked the bottle of powder from the crooked man’s hand and sent it flying across the room. Unc Nunkie and Margolotte were so startled that they both leaped backwards and bumped together, and Unc’s head joggled the shelf above them and upset the Liquid of Petrifaction……They stood motionless and stiff as marble statues, in exactly the positions they were in when the Liquid struck them.  


 Well, Unc Nunkie and Dame Margolotte were turned into marble statues by the Liquid of Petrifaction and the rest of the powder of life sadly spilled on the Phonograph who from then onwards followed everyone round playing  records and dancing a jog. Most annoying.

The rest of the story is that seemingly impossible quest (stay tuned for more about that later) that Ojo the Unlucky must go on to find all the ingredients needed for the antidote to save Unc Nunkie from being a statue forever. 


More crafts! Hoorah!

 I decided to make a bottle of Liquid of Petrifaction.  I had a bottle that used to contain rose water that was just right for this craft, plus my standard technique of torn parchment paper and a sharpie.


However….upon looking back at my book I was astounded to see that the word was not petrification but petrifaction.  My mum *always* read it to me as petrification and I, myself, *always* saw it as petrification and only because I stopped to check the spelling did I notice. I looked it up and they both mean the same thing so decided to go with being inauthentic (I know, I know…Oz purists don’t kill me) because that is the word that was in my heart. 

I added a few illustrations of marble statues (one male, one female) and a warning which reads Caution: do not spill.


I decided to fill it with blue liquid as the book does not say what colour it is and they are in Munchkin country. This the faze where Baum was writing that *everything* n each country was that colour (Munchkin=blue, Winkie=yellow, Quadling=red, Gillikin=purple, Emerald City=green) . So far in the story there has been a mention of blue peas, sweet milk with a delicate blue tint, a blue pudding with blue plums and a blue log in the fireplace.

So that’s my Oz crafts for a while. Stay tuned for another Oz post soon about the impossible journey of Ojo the Unlucky!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Crafts from the Crooked Magician


How to make your own powder of life!


The Patchwork Girl of Oz is hands down, my favourite of the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. Not only is Scraps a most memorable character, but the plot is a cracking good one as well--the seemingly impossible quest. 

The story begins with Ojo the Unlucky and his monosyllabic uncle Unc Nunkie  called “The Silent One” visiting Dr Pipt, the Crooked magician, who is crooked in more ways than one. His is described by Baum like this:


He was really very crooked and Ojo wondered how he managed to do so many things with such a twisted body. When he sat down upon a crooked chair that had been made to fit him, one knee was under his chin and the other near the small of his back; but he was a cheerful man and his face bore a pleasant and agreeable expression.


He is also crooked in his dealings--magic is outlawed in Oz  and Dr Pipt knows this. Only Glinda the Good and the Wizard  are allowed. (The Wizard  was a humbug and at one point evil, but now is reformed and a proper magician). He makes an excuse that he is allowed to do it for himself or his household, but not for others or for a profession. Ozma puts a stop to this later.

He also previously had dealings with the old witch Mombi in The Marvellous Land of Oz. The Wizard (in his evil faze) kidnapped the Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, and gave her to Mombi who turned Ozma in a boy called Tip and used him as a servant. She visited Dr Pipt and traded some of her magic for a sample of powder of life which was used to bring Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse to life. 

Enough of the plot for now. On with the crafts!

When we went on holiday to Chichester, we ate jam out of these adorable little jars and so I saved back a few after breakfast and washed them out. I wanted to make a tiny jar of my own powder of life. I used my standard technique of printing a design onto parchment paper, then tearing the edges. I used a brown sharpie to lightly stain the edges of the torn paper and then I used a mixture of watered down white glue to stick it on. I also found this great looking eye on the --check them out for the best free vintage clip art. Take a squinty.


Wanna know how to use it?

1. Sprinkle a bit on the inanimate object you intend to bring to life.

2. Lift your left hand and point your little finger upwards and say Weaugh!

3. Lift your right hand and  point your thumb upwards and say Teaugh!

4. Lift both hands a with fingers and thumb spread out and say Peaugh!

Back to the story.

The Crooked magician had foolishly given Mombi the witch his last bit of the powder of life and so had to make another batch so his wife Margolotte could bring the servant girl to life that she had made out of a patchwork quilt.

Making the powder of life is a lot of trouble. Dr. Pipt  had to spend six years stirring 4 kettles simultaneously --two with his hands and two with his feet.

Note: not having several years to waste (not to mention not owning 4 kettles) I opted to fill my jar with bicarbonate of soda.


That’s all for today. Stay tuned for the next instalment of Crafts from the Crooked Magician!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Pizza’s the food that sure to please…

….these Ninja’s are into pepperoni and cheese. Sorry, obscure Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reference there. That is from my one of favourite songs (no seriously) from the first Ninja Turtle film sung by Partners in Kryme.  I love the giving away of the whole plot in the song lyrics the way that Sid and Marty Kroft used to do (Puffinstuff, anyone?) but also the lovely moral and rather Quakerly message of:

 When you stand

For what you believe in

And find the strength to

do what’s right

That’s Turtle Power.

Have you heard they are remaking the Ninja Turtles but are making them be from outer space? That is so wrong! Everyone knows it was the radioactive ooze in the sewer!


But anyway.


This is just your regular old pizza.

Red sauce

Red onions




Sweet corn (it’s a British thing)

And vegan mozzarella! 

Hells yeah! I found this recipe over on

Fresh Moxarella Cheese:

This cheese stays in a “melted” type form until baked, and then it forms a nice crust, like dairy cheese does. It’s not intended to be eaten plain (like real dairy fresh mozzarella can). It’s also fairly salty to make it stand out in your recipes, if you prefer less salt, please feel free to reduce to 1/2 teaspoon, or less, but the flavor won’t be as pronounced.

  • 1/4 C. raw cashews (soaked in water for several hours and then drained IF you don’t have a high powered blender)
  • 1 C. hot water
  • 2 T. + 1 t. tapioca starch
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. fresh lemon juice

Method: Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a small saucepan and cook, stirring constantly over medium high heat. After a couple of minutes the mixture will start to look weird, like it’s curdling or separating. This is totally normal, reduce heat to medium and KEEP stirring so you don’t burn the cheese to the bottom of the pot. Keep cooking and stirring til really thick (about 2-3 more minutes) and the mixture becomes like a cohesive mass of melted dairy cheese and stretches like in the photo below. Remove from heat and let cool a bit while you assemble the pizzas.

p.s. Moxarella stores well in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days and can be used to make excellent grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, etc….

 It looked simple enough and made enough for 2 meals. I cooked it ahead of time to save time, refrigerated it and then plopped it on the pizza straight from the fridge.

It was surprisingly good. It reminded me of those balls of mozzarella made from Buffalo’s milk--which is also a kind of British thing. It was kinda bland but salty  just like mozzarella cheese made from animal milk, but it also had a stretchy quality to it.  The stretch was the coolest bit!

I firmly believe that compassion tastes better and discovering a way to eat something that tastes good, but doesn’t cause harm or distress to an animal is a win-win situation in my book.

Dairy cows go through something awful--they are dosed up with hormones and anti-biotics to make them grow at an unnaturally accelerated rate and then give them drugs to combat the diseases they get from living in their own filth. Most dairy cows have severe mastitis (infection of the udders) with open sores that leak pus into the milk.

They are serially impregnated by artificial insemination and then once they give birth, the milk that is supposed to be there for their baby is used to feed human beings. Doesn’t it ever strike you as odd that you are drinking the breast milk of a cow? The breast milk of another species? Human milk is for humans until they are weaned, cow’s milk is for calves. 

But also their baby is taken away from them (imagine ladies if your newborn was taken away from you) and there are hundreds upon thousands of documented cases of mother cows  and their calves calling out in agony and anguish for DAYS after being separated.

Female calves are then raised up to be milkers like their mothers and males are turned into veal. If you find the veal industry abhorrent, you need to know that by purchasing dairy products you contribute to the veal industry.

Lastly, cows have a natural life span of about 25 years, but in the intensive farming industry that is the standard, they are slaughtered by the age of four to five. Still just babies themselves, really. 

I cannot put my appetite before my conscience. In fact, the thought of suffering makes me lose my appetite completely. Why? Because I care. People do. We care deeply and no one wants to see another creature suffer. We love our pets, we would do anything for them. So why are some animals for loving and some for eating and wearing? Why have we, as a society, decided that some animals are worth caring about and others are not? Shouldn’t all life be sacred? Or is it a case of All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others?

Disclaimer: no animals were harmed in the making of this delicious pizza.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Thai pizza

Ever since we discovered the quick and ridiculously easy vegan and gluten free pizza crust recipe from Including Cake’s blog we’ve been trying to have more pizza.  We were remembering one we used to like to eat at Schlotsky's Deli all those years ago. It was a pizza made with slices of chickens, but the idea came to adapt it because it was the sauce and the crispy veg we liked the best. .

Instead of  using meat (which obviously we would not do) or using fried tofu (which we use in a stir fry and has a lovely crispy coating) I decided to go all vegetables. In hindsight, I could have even put on more vegetables, but I didn’t want to risk making it soggy.

This pizza came together in a snap. We use this recipe for our crust
  but use whatever your favourite one is or go for a pre-made crust to save even more time.

Thai Pizza

One crust, precooked according to directions. Ours has to cook a few minutes before you add the sauce and toppings.


For sauce use your favourite peanut sauce. I make my own using a recipe from one of our favourite cookbooks Vegan on the Cheap (or Cheap-ass Vegan as Spiderman calls it) but you could totally use premade sauce to make it go even faster.



For toppings I used:

Sugar snap peas, cut into thirds

Red pepper rings

3 thinly sliced button mushrooms

Matchstick cut carrot

A few spring onions (plus their green tops)


That’s it! Continue cooking the crust according to the directions.

I had planned to use snow peas which are flat instead of sugar snaps which are 3D, but you know what? Sugar snaps were on sale for £1 a bag  whereas snow peas were £1.70. Plus there were enough sugar snaps (as the pizza didn’t use that many) to be veg on the side for another meal later in the week. Bonus. 

 Try this one today.

Unless of course you have a peanut allergy, then don’t.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Fig and Olive Flatbread

Whoa, Mama. This stuff is *good*. I discovered the best recipe for gluten free vegan flatbread from the blog of Including Cake.

I love that these are not drenched in  oil. Not that I am against oil, but GF vegan baking does tend to be rather oil heavy. These are made with soya yoghurt and come out light and pillow-y and delicious.

They are just a variation of her plain flatbread which we eat at least once a week. Spiderman says I am genetically incapable for cooking a recipe exactly as it says, but the only thing I did was double it because I knew one flatbread each simply would *not* be enough.

Here is the plain flatbread recipe:



How I did it with doubling:


Fig and Olive Flatbread

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

200g GF flour (could use regular flour) 200g flour is about 1.5 cups plus a TB more.

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp xanthan gum (only if GF)

4 tsp balsamic vinegar (lovely vinegar!)

1.5 tsp dried rosemary

½ tsp dried thyme

2/3 cup plain yoghurt

¼ cup water

handful of olives, slices

2-large or 4 small fresh figs thinly sliced

(smoked) sea salt


1. Sift the flour and mix with dried herbs.

2. Add yoghurt, balsamic vinegar and water and stir until a sticky dough forms.

3. Using wet hands diving into 4 parts and flatten into circular patties approximately half an inch thick.

4. Gently press in the olives and figs

5. Spritz with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake for around 20 minutes until tops are golden and fruit is caramelised.


Eat and swoon.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Vinegar Whore

I admit it. I have a problem. My name is Spidergrrl and I am a Vinegar Whore. My pantry cannot cope with my ever evolving range of vinegars. I cannot be content with just one or two. Oh no. At present count I have seven. I had eight, but I finished off the last of the (rather expensive) fig vinegar last month. It was heavenly.


Here is a picture of my vinegar hoard. There are the basics, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar and red wine vinegar. There are the more speciality ones--sherry vinegar (bought recently for the Copycat M&S meal), rice vinegar (for Asian meals) and balsamic vinegar. There’s also a wee bottle of malt vinegar for when we have chips. Mmmm….salt and vinegar chips.

I used to buy a different kind of rice vinegar from Sainsbury, but they stopped carrying it so I had to look elsewhere. Waitrose had no less than six different kinds of rice vinegar--ones they were light, ones that were more acidic, ones that were dark and woodsy tasting. I was tempted to buy them all but our tiny, already overstuffed pantry would collapse in protest. 

 Maybe next time.

I really do use them all for different things--sweet and savoury. I use a Tablespoon of vinegar (balsamic for brownies and apple cider vinegar for blondies, Duck Flaps and Shut-Ups) in all my bar recipes to activate the baking powder.

I don’t feel I could do without any of them. You never know when you might be a vinegar shortage. There was a point when we both kept seeing apple cider vinegar on sale and impulsively picking it up. So we now have a standard joke about trying to add apple cider vinegar to every shopping list.

Just in case.

 Are you a vinegar fan? Are there any kinds I am missing that I need to try?

Sunday, 20 October 2013


As I said in my last post, M&S makes a whole range of healthy meal pots that sell for 2 for £3 which are perfect for a travel pack lunch--particularly now that we have our travel utensil bag.

When we were in Chichester we got to sample a few that we had never seen in our local shop. I had this one day and thought to myself, “I can make that at home.” So I did. I carefully saved the ingredient list and brought it home and put on my thinking cap.

This recipe relies on our favourite condiment Lingham’s Ginger Garlic Chilli Sauce. This stuff rocks my socks. It adds a huge depth of flavour to food, it has all recognisable ingredients (chilli (30%, ginger, 10%, garlic, 10%, sugar, vinegar, salt) and  no nasties like high fructose corn syrup. I don’t know if you can find this in other parts of the world but I’m sure you can find something comparable.

The first time I made it I followed the ingredients on the packet, but the second time I made it I added  chickpeas to the meal to make it more filling. There are no chickpeas in the photo.

Copycat M&S meal


1 ½ cups chickpeas (cook your own or use a tin--drain and rinse well if tinned)

1 cup frozen sweet corn

1 white onion, chopped

1 pepper, chopped

About 18 spears tenderstem broccoli (one packet)

1 carrot, cut into matchsticks

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F

1. Cover the sweet corn with boiling water for a few minutes, then drain and run under cold water and then squeeze out excess water with your hands.

2. Chop the stems from the broccoli. Save the florets on a bowl.

3. Put the chickpeas, sweet corn, onion, pepper and broccoli stems in a big roasting tin and drizzle with 1 TB oil. Don’t do the carrots yet--save them for the end so they stay crisp.

Roast for 10 minutes then remove the pan and scoot everything over to the side a bit (leaving about ¼ of the space empty) and put the florets on the ¼ that you have cleared. Spritz or drizzle with a little oil. The broccoli just gets crisper if it has it’s own space.

4. Put it back in the oven for 18 minutes more.

Meanwhile make the sauce.


 Juice of 2 limes

1 TB sherry vinegar

3 TB Lingham’s Ginger Garlic Chilli Sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

Pst of salt

Agave syrup to taste. I just squirt in and stir and taste until it is the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. I prefer it more on the tangy side.

5. Take the pan out of the oven and add the sauce and the carrots and then roast for 2 more minutes. Take it out of the oven and stir it all together mixing the broccoli with the rest of the roasted veg.

Serve over couscous.

Now go and copycat it for yourself.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Have spoon, will travel

Spiderman and I eat a considerable amount of pack lunches. It’s one of the ways we can have more fun. We buy cheap tickets to do something fun in London, then buy train tickets (which often cost more than the fun tickets) then if you added in the cost of buying food there isn’t any money left. Bringing food and water with us saves us from buying expensive food that is often not very healthy. £3 packet of crisps, anyone?

Plus it is more environmentally friendly as most of the stuff you buy for pack lunches on the go is made of plastic and comes with a plastic fork and some paper napkins all of which you throw away.

So I’ve been working on a better way. We used to pack sandwiches but since my tummy has rebelled against wheat we tend to go for other things these days. Sometimes I make my own or sometimes we spend £1.50 each on M&S meal pots which are basically a grain, some beans, lots of veg and a dressing. Buying them ahead of time means I can rehouse them into washable containers, therefore recycling the containers they come in (as opposed to eating them on the road and having to throw away the plastic container).

But what about utensils? And napkins? I wanted to come up with a carrier so we could bring our own and be even more green. So I made this out of some old curtains someone gave me. I only had to spend 20p for the button as I had everything else.

Here it is rolled up in its travel form.

Here it is open so you can see the pockets. I made a flap as the first one I made the stuff kept falling out the top into the bag. Very annoying.

Here it is from the back so you can see the fabric.

Here it is with cloth napkins and spoons in it.


I would always prefer to use real spoons rather than plastic but some places we go like the BBC for telly and radio recordings have a metal detector and frown on metal spoons. For these trips we have been washing a reusing a couple of plastic forks, but I really want to forgo plastic if I can so we hit on the brilliant idea of wooden utensils.


At first I wanted to get some beautiful handmade wooden ones that were very pretty. But what if for some odd reason they were confiscated by a security guard (which has happened to us. When they take your stuff, you have to fill out a form and then queue after the recording to get it back and it is a pain). So we decided on disposable wooden ones. You can get a bag of 500 wooden spoons for under a tenner and we can reuse a few times and then compost. Genius.


We’ve even had a go at bring our own utensils and napkins to our favourite healthy fast food restaurant LEON in London. Spiderman and I both can have a delicious chickpea and vegetable curry in a creamy coconut milk sauce over brown rice plus a drink for around £12. Sometimes we splurge and go there if the event we are going to is free. I love LEON because your food comes in a recycled cardboard box, but they give you masses of plastic utensils (a fork, spoon and knife each) plus a big wodge of paper napkins. The last time we were there I just said very quickly when I saw her reaching for them, “No thank you---we don’t need any. We brought our own.” I wasn’t quick enough to avoid the plastic straw, so that’s my goal for next time.


How do you reduce your plastic consumption and save money?

Friday, 18 October 2013

Salad Face

Recently I seem to have been complimented quite a bit on my flawless, youthful complexion. It always seems to be by someone who uses a million and one expensive chemical laden products who want to know my secret.

1. I am blessed with good genes. I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do about that, but you can do something about the next three items.

2. I eat a healthy plant based diet with little to no processed food. Eating lots of colourful vegetables like carrot and red pepper actually can add a rosy glow to your skin. FACT.

3. Exercise is great for a glowing complexion. Sweat really does make you glow.

4. I have a minimal skin care routine which mostly involves kitchen ingredients.


Yup I wash my face with olive oil and finish it with apple cider vinegar. Most people are horrified by the olive oil part, but Mediterranean women have been doing it for centuries. I have always had very oily skin and so spent way too many years in the cycle of using a harsh foaming cleanser and the following up with Sea Breeze to strip every drop of oil from my skin. 

Do you remember Sea Breeze? It smelled like paint thinner and the fumes made me dizzy. The  advertising slogan said something about “the tingle you feel means it is working”--um, no. The tingle you feel is actually layers of your epidermis being stripped from your face. This is actually the *worst* thing you can do for oily skin because your parched skin creates more oil to compensate for all the oil that has been stripped away and you back to a greasy, shiny mess.

Like attracts like. Oil attracts oil. Some people with really oily skin mix in a bit of caster oil, but my skin is more normal now that I’m in my 40s so just the olive oil will do. I buy oil in a spray pump from the supermarket (I used to try to pour my own into a spray container but the nozzle kept getting clogged so I opted for the supermarket ready-made one and then recycle the container when it is empty.)  I spent a few minutes just massaging the oil onto my face and neck, in upward strokes and then rinse off with warm water and a washcloth.

I used to use rosewater as a toner but at £6 for a 250ml bottle it just got to be really expensive. About 6 months ago I read in a magazine that apple cider vinegar was a natural exfoliator which contains alpha hydroxy acids. How many people waste pots of money on expensive alpha hydroxy creams when all the really need to do is go to the supermarket?

It is important to dilute it--one part water to one part vinegar. Then put it in a bottle and use it after you’ve washed your face. My skin had never looked better and when I run out I just go to the pantry and make up another batch.

 B. Radiant Rejuvenating Serum 30ml
Now that I am in my 40s I do buy a special eye cream (but for years just used vitamin e oil) from a company called  B. that are the first ethical cosmetic/ skin care company on the high street which means I can find them in Superdrug at an affordable price. All of their products are suitable for vegans (when you see things like collagen and elastic in products where do you think that comes from? Dead animals. Yuck.) Plus they have the Leaping Bunny logo which means they never do any animal testing. You only get the leaping bunny on your product if you are approved by the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection).  We won’t buy products without it.  You can get the logo and still have what I would deem harsh and unnecessary ingredients like paraben preservatives and sodium lauryl sulphate, but the good thing about the company B. is they are cruelty free as well as chemical free. They use more natural plant based ingredients.

The other thing is I only really wash my face with olive oil in the late afternoon if I’ve exercised or in the evening if I haven‘t. In the morning I just wash with warm water and follow up with the apple cider vinegar. Once a week I exfoliate with a mixture of  almond meal, sugar and coconut mixed with vegetable glycerine. My skin is so much better for it.

If you are not happy with your skin, look at the ingredient list of what you are washing it with. Is it laden with unpronounceable words? Look at what you are eating. Is it full of white flour and highly processed?  Look at your activity level. Are you doing things that make your body sweat, which pulls toxins from your system?


Food for thought.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Mere Mortals vs. the Musical Gods

Last night Spiderman and I went to the Distraction Club in London for an evening of comedy music/musical comedy, whichever you prefer. It is always an amazing night out with lots of laughs and singing along and good food (they make this delicious sweet potato hummus).


We were super excited because our favourite band Jonny and the Baptists was going to be there. Those who read my blog know how much I love this band. They are the funniest thing since Toad and his Motor Car (poop! poop!) and I when I am playing their CDs and dancing around the kitchen or listening to my i-Pod trying not to dance in public I like to pretend that I am a singer with the band. I haven’t pretended to actually *be* the singer like that since I was a child and used to sit in front of the mirror lip synching to Dusty Springfield. Seriously.

They even get Spiderman singing, which is pretty amazing. On the train from Hertfordshire to London we were making up new lyrics to That’s Dangerous and cracking ourselves up.

The night was made even better by the fact that Jonny and the Baptists were the guest hosts for Distraction Club as Mitch Benn was away performing in the Vagina Monologues at a Butlins in Scunthorpe. OK, not really. The jammy bastard is actually touring with the cast of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy as Zaphod Beeblebrox.

It was a fantastic night with lots of comedy, some great music --including some ukulele playing! I had to come home and tell Tallulah the Uke all about it. She was sorry to have missed it.

But the best bit was afterwards. I almost bottled out. These guys are huge to me--they are comedy geniuses and Paddy is a fantastic guitarist. I am but a mere mortal who plays the ukulele slightly well. On the way out Spiderman pushed me forward like a reluctant child who has to say thank you to a scary Auntie with a moustache who pinches your cheeks and tells you how much you’ve grown since she last saw you. I gabbled something to Jonny about being a fan and having bought the two CDs and he was so warm and genuinely pleased to know we liked the music that I melted then and there. Paddy was surrounded by girly fans and I thought I cannot compete with gorgeous girly fans and so thought my evening was going to end on the good note of having spoken with Jonny, but not Paddy but Spiderman worked an opening once again by casually saying to Paddy something about hats as we were walking out which prompted me to remember something. Paddy promised me a hat in an email. When he sent our CD of Better Than Judas he didn’t put enough postage and it came 19p postage due. He promised me a hat (if they ever make hats, Jonny is against it but Paddy is for it. The battle continues) and so when I said “Hey! You owe me a hat!” He knew who I was! He said, “It’s 19p postage girl!” and then explained to the gorgeous girly groupie fans who I was. Then Jonny realised who I was I got hugged by them both. We had a nice conversation where I referenced Paddy’s podcast the Podshambles and we had a laugh. I saw Spiderman recede into the darkness so I could have a really happy moment with my favourite Comedy Blues Gods and then we took the train back to Hitchin.

 It was amazing. They were lovely, genuinely lovely people. I am even prouder to support them now. I was so afraid it would be like when I met my favourite playwright Edward Albee at Theatrefest and he was a *complete and utter dick.*

 But it wasn’t.  It ended on a better than good note. A great note.

 So I say again--support this band! They are clever and witty and funny and talented and (now I know)  kind.

Go to  and watch their videos, buy their CDs, see them live, listen to Radio 4‘s The Now Show on BBC i-player catch up (or whatever it is called) as they were on last Friday. Also if you do podcasts, be sure to check out Paddy and his friend Laurie on the Podshambles which as the name suggests is completely shambolic but loads of fun. Check them out here:  


Thanks Spiderman for pushing me when I need to be pushed. Thanks Jonny and Paddy for a great night! See you soon!