Keep making noise

Let's not rule anything out

So last night, this happened.


At what point have I invited attention here? Or is it the case that I’ve got my head down, keys between my fingers in my pocket, ignoring my boyfriend’s text messages lest I become distracted and vulnerable, trying to simply get the fuck home? It doesn’t matter, because as a woman on the street – a public space and by default a male space – I’m fair game.

The narrative between my female friends and I is tedious and exhausting. ‘I’m sorry you had to go through that’, we say with almost weekly-regularity. ‘That’s shit’. ‘Are you okay?’ ‘At least you got home safe’. At least you got home safe. Like the entirely feasible and almost unsurprising alternative is not getting home safe, and if you’re aware of my back story you’ll know that actually, not getting home safe is a very real and possible…

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News Feed FYI: Click-baiting

Facebook Newsroom

By Khalid El-Arini, Research Scientist and Joyce Tang, Product Specialist

Today we’re announcing some improvements to News Feed to help people find the posts and links from publishers that are most interesting and relevant, and to continue to weed out stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don’t want to see. We’re making two updates, the first to reduce click-baiting headlines, and the second to help people see links shared on Facebook in the best format.

Click-Baiting Headlines

“Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.

News Feed FYI Click-baiting

However, when we asked people in an initial survey…

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‘Those with any gay pride in themselves will be there’: The Privatisation of Brighton Pride

Pride Brighton & Hove: the corporate machine that should be ashamed of itself.

Headmaster Rituals or Barbarisms Began at Home?


‘Nothing is free nowadays’, or so we were repeatedly told at last nights public ‘consultation’ re. charging entrance fees for Brighton Pride Street Party. It was one of those familiar phrases so effortlessly employed to underpin the dominant discussions allowed by the chair. A clichéd expressed used to pacify the residents of the ‘footfall’ in which the event is now planned to take place. It was striking how little time was given to those who attend the event from outside of this site, the majority queer. We were told we’d get to speak, if we listened to countless presentations on ‘revised pride’. We listened to ‘Pride is not political’, ‘unsavoury acts/people’, ‘Hillsborough waiting to happen’, ‘homophobic attacks.’ We then listened to the questions and concerns raised by residents and shop owners, who were twice-round privileged above those who attend from outside St James’s.  It was clear that this was no consultation:…

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Street Food Awards 2014 – south-east heat June 14th @ Street Diner

A few weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming south-east heat of the British Street Food Awards 2014 at Street Diner, which, incidentally, has just recently turned one – happy birthday SD!

If you want to be part of the action you MUST attend the event on June 14th at Brighthelm Garden, Queens Road Brighton. You’ll need to download the app to cast your vote. The votes will be counted on the day so get involved – bring your mum, dad, your sisters, brothers, great-aunts and uncles – anyone with opposable thumbs and a smartphone!

This is your opportunity to be heard, people! Show your support on Facebook, Twitter and spread the word. remembering to use #BSFA in all your posts…so c’mon, what are you waiting for?!

Street Diner Street Food Awards Poster

#BSFA SE Heat 2014

Anyway, with just two weeks to go until the big event, it’s about time I let you all in on my choices…

*drum roll please*

In no particular order, my top picks are:

  • The Troll’s Pantry – in my opinion the troll is responsible for the gourmet burger trend that’s hit Brighton in the last couple of years. I wasn’t even mad keen on burgers before I tried one of his but I’m hooked for life. Sourcing local ingredients wherever possible (probably about 99.9% of the time) he creates mouthwatering concoctions such as The Shaman and along with his minions, takes enormous pride in his work, which really shows. The Troll’s Pantry also accommodates the gluten free gang, of which I’m a long-standing member, so his (much-appreciated) efforts to get more local traders onboard with Sussex Bread Company’s wares confirms his spot in my top three.
  • Toston Tolon prior to Toston Tolon’s arrival at Street Diner, I’d never heard of the Venezuelan Arepa before. Oh boy, was I in for a treat! This little maize flatbread makes a refreshing change to the (highly respectable) Mexican corn tortilla. My favourite is the pulled pork (no surprise there) piled high with black beans and plantain (a favourite fruit of mine that sends me back to my childhood, eating Ghanaian treats at my best friend’s house). Toston Tolon is a worthy contender, I think you’ll agree.
  • Little Blue Smokehouse – these guys had me at “salted chocolate bacon”… Purveyors of smoked delights, they cater to my carnivorous cravings and then some. Keep your eyes on Twitter for their under the counter treats, but shhh! Don’t tell anyone, they’re TOP SECRET! I can’t wait to get my mitts on some pork cheeks and kimchi soon.

I thought long and hard about this, and it really was tricky to whittle it down, but I take my judging role very seriously and whittle I did! In fact, I take this judging business so seriously it shows – Hammer & Tongue even picked me for a judge at their recent Fringe event with Scroobius Pip and Hollie McNish at Komedia Brighton!

But I digress.

Our lovely local traders need YOU! There’s only three things you need to do:

  1. Download the app
  2. Come to Street Diner on 14th June, Brighthelm Garden, Queens Road, Brighton
  3. VOTE!

See you there x

Street Food Awards 2014 – south-east heat June 14th @ Street Diner

Street Diner Street Food Awards Poster

Street Diner Street Food Awards Poster

As most folk know, I have a loving and enduring relationship with food. I really don’t understand those “food is a fuel” types who seemingly gain little to no pleasure from cooking or *shock horror* eating food. I mean, are you CRAZY?! Sheesh.

You probably also know that I have a soft spot for street food from around the world, especially of the meaty variety, and am a huge (if not the number one, ahem) fan of Brighton’s Street Diner, albeit I rarely have the pleasure of visiting as I work out of town. I know; life is cruel sometimes. Fortunately for me the very lovely Kate and Chris hauled ass to Sussex Uni earlier this year and I was able to devour some delights from one of my favourite (m)eateries Bar-B-Q Shack. I’d like to think the sojourn was especially for me, but I suppose students need tasty treats too, what with their regular diet of Pot Noodles and such.

*UPDATE 31st May 2014 – Street Diner is back in town every Saturday! *does celebratory dance*

Fast forward a few months to the present day and you’ll be pleased to learn that not only does Street Diner now have a weekly slot at Hove Town Hall, but those canny ladies (I use the term loosely, don’t worry you two!) have rallied the troops for entry into the British Street Food Awards!

What does this entail and how can I get involved, I hear you ask? Read on…

The entries for the southeast heat are as follows:

Olly The Chef– not only does Olly supply the hungry Brighton & Hove workers with tasty, gourmet fish fingers at Street Diner, he’s also a community chef. What a doll.

The Troll’s Pantry – the favourite supernatural burger-touting being, the troll can be sure to concoct creations to satisfy the hunger of every carnivorous mortal.

Toston Tolon – arepas aplenty from these Venezuelan Street Diner veterans, bringing a new taste explosion to the street food scene.

Ahimsa– purveyors of mystical vegetarian and vegan delights from India and beyond…

Crocus Paella! Paella!– traditional Spanish paella made with authentic Greek saffron cooked in gigantic pans that mesmerise passers-by.

Cin Cin – currently in residence at the Spiegel Garden, Cin Cin’s delicious morsels and glasses of bubbles will keep festival goers nourished this season.

Little Blue Smokehouse– from the country to the city, the little brother of Crowborough’s Blue Anchor smokes up a host of treats, including salted chocolate bacon, if you know the code word…

Likkle Bickle– home to the renowned Ribwich, this is soulful Caribbean food at its finest.

Honeycomb Cakes– tasty treats abound to satisfy the sweetest of tooths. Also known to knock up a mean bacon fudge.

Sultan’s Delights– sumptuous savoury vegetarian lunchboxes fit for a sultan (and regular folk).

One of the things I love most about Street Diner (after the food, obviously) is the sense of community it has brought – between the traders themselves (just check out their support of each other on Twitter) and across the city. ALL of these guys deserve to win, but there can be only one… So get shouting about your favourites on social media, using the hashtag #bsfa.

You can vote for your favourite on the Street Food Awards 2014 app and at the event itself on 14th June – Street Diner, Brighthelm Gardens, Queens Road, Brighton. BE THERE OR BE HUNGRY! 

Oh, did I mention I’m one of the judges for the Southeast? How I wangled that I don’t know, but DREAM COME TRUE YO! I’ll be posting up a little bit about my choices here on soon! Until then, if any of the traders entered want to bribe me with gifts of food send them to me at…just kidding, I can’t be bought! Or can I…?

Check out my slideshow from when Street Diner came to Sussex Uni for a taster:

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Equal Marriage? Not really


Today I heard the news that Scotland has passed an amendment to their version of the Same Sex Marriage Bill that might finally make marriage something even approaching a possibility for me. They’re adding a gender-neutral option for wedding vows, allowing couples (regardless of their respective genders) to declare themselves “partners in marriage” rather than “husband and wife”, “wife and wife” or “husband and husband”. If England had made such an amendment, the only things preventing me from getting married on March 29th 2014 would be the more usual obstacles of not being engaged to anyone and not being able to afford a wedding.

As things currently stand, I have one additional and very large impediment preventing me from marrying and it’s one that only trans and intersex people have. It’s also a problem that has been entirely and wilfully created by successive UK governments. 

My problem is that, in…

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1200 Calories

Spot on.

Review: Bar-B-Q Shack @ Worlds End Pub, Brighton

Bar-B-Q Shack Bacon Burrito

Sometime last year (I run a tight ship, me!) I happened to post this on Twitter. To my absolute, unadulterated glee Bar-B-Q Shack picked up the Tweet and got in touch to say that they would make one for me. Yep, my very own bacon burrito; the dream! Everyone who knows me on or offline is all too aware of my obsession with all things porcine (I have pork and piggie tattoos and EVERYTHING…it’s borderline pathological, and I’m probably downplaying it a touch).

So off I popped to Worlds End with the lovely Street Diner ladies for a jolly good night, set to the backdrop of the famous pub quiz, which even I daren’t enter. I barely knew a single answer..and I’m pretty smart! I’ve always been somewhat dubious about the venue, as it always seemed to be a den of drunks (it’s a pub you silly bint, I hear you scoff!), but it’s really rather lovely inside. A large space that manages to give off cosy, Brooklyn-esque vibe, full of colourful Brighton types without pretention.

I scuttled up to the bar behind my companions (I’ve always found the Twitter-”real life” crossover rather awkward despite having previously run a Tweetup for some time) and met John, the mind, body and soul behind Bar-B-Q Shack. WHAT. A. GUY. John is the guy you WANT cooking your meaty treats. A big hunk of culinary love, he instantly endeared himself to me (though he didn’t need to try, he’d already won me over on Twitter!). He regaled us with tales of his *incredibly* colourful life and his upcoming Berlin adventure (check his Twitter for details) as well as providing insightful information about how he runs his kitchen.

And then the magic happened. In my mouth. Oh yes (stop it you filthmongers!). Soft, squidgy, salty…I said stop it! The bacon weave burrito is truly magnificent. Housing egg, potato, sausage and cheese it was a blissful match, accompanied by a trio of mouth-watering dips (guacamole, sour cream and of course, BBQ sauce). It took A LOT of willpower to take a photo before devouring it. As a bonus, John also brought out some pulled pork spring rolls. I die. Seriously. Writing this, I’m actually getting the shakes. MUST. GO. BACK. 

Bar-B-Q Shack Pulled Pork Spring Rolls

If you don’t believe me, check out this review by Jay Rayner, he’s a big fan too. And of course, head down to The World’s End and thank me later. Preferably with some Bar-B-Q Shack treats…


“Cure a Cold” Squash and Honey Soup

Last week I suffered the harshest cold I’ve had since my teens. You know – the sort that has you feeling like the invisible man is crushing your head and chest and poking you in the ear all at once…a real beast…in fact I am still a bit of a snot monster this week! Dosed up on cold and flu remedy last week I hit an energetic five minutes, so what better time to make some warming, healing soup?

I can’t take full credit for this one; I poached the recipe from a colleague, thanks KateHealing soup!


1 medium butternut squash
4 smashed garlic cloves
2 small sweet potatoes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp turmeric
Oil for roasting
1 pint chicken stock
1 tbsp honey Greek yoghurt
Pinch coriander to garnish


  • Roughly chop the squash and sweet potato into chunks and in a bowl toss with a couple of slugs of the oil of your choice, before adding the spices and garlic.
  • Turn out into a roasting tin, ensuring there is only one layer and space between each chunk so they don’t steam.
  • Cook at 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 for 40 minutes, remove and let cool. Once cooled peel the skin off and discard. If you have a food processor you can whizz up the vegetables at this point, or alternatively use a hand blender at the next stage.
  • Make up the stock and meanwhile, mash the vegetables in a large saucepan over a medium heat, gradually adding half of the stock. Blend with a hand blender and add the remaining stock until you reach your preferred consistency.
  • Fill a bowl with the soup and stir in the yoghurt, add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with some torn coriander.
  • Enjoy!

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