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Kate Harrad

Fausterella. Selling my soul to go to the ball

Kate Harrad is a novelist, feminist and parent. Topics include feminism and social politics, parenting pitfalls, entertainingly silly religious things, reviews, genderswitching the classics, pop culture (especially musicals), comments on the news, and interesting links. It's not exactly a themed blog.

Kate is London-based and writes this blog in between working for the
NHS, looking after two children, writing her second novel and trying
to see her friends occasionally. She feels her life would be
significantly easier to manage if she could sleep while doing some or
all of the above.

Her novel, All Lies and Jest, is also London-based. It's a
counter-culture comic thriller featuring people who think they're
vampires, people who think they're Christians, people who think
they're Christian vampires, and people who think all the above people
are rather silly. And several cults. And a fetish club. And, in a
minor role, a were-mosquito.

Red Phone Boxes: A Novel Angle

So what's the book about? It's based around the idea that phone boxes are essentially small enchanted places where almost anything can happen. You pick up a ringing phone and your life changes. And God help you if you get trapped in one.
03/12/2013 17:13 GMT

Am I My Avatar?

Foresight suggests that we have no 'identity' as such; we have multiple identities - social, religious, ethnic, national, and so on - which together make up the self: and whichever identity we might think is most relevant to us at any given moment can change. When a toddler is pushing banana into my ear on the sofa, that's a different facet of me than the person I am in a meeting at work.
21/01/2013 12:10 GMT

The Karaoke Expansion

So karaoke has been around in the UK for quite a while now. Like most people, I've done my share of tipsily emoting to <em>You're So Vain</em> or <em>Smells Like Teen Spirit </em>while my friends watched politely and waited for their turn.
23/01/2012 12:21 GMT

True Friends and False Dichotomies

I can't help noticing that a lot of self-help advice is not actually that useful. Being inspirational is all very well, but being told, for example, "stop worrying" and "stop blaming other people for your problems" and "you can't love others till you love yourself" is getting a bit grating.
04/01/2012 23:17 GMT

Have We Become a Nation of Scrooges?

Christmas Eve is this Saturday. Who's on for putting on some chains and arranging a midnight visit to Cameron? Or is it the whole country that needs deScrooging?
19/12/2011 22:16 GMT

A Tin of Baby: Should You Publish Your Book?

If everyone does have a novel in them, let it come out. But like any other object that emerges from your insides, don't assume that it will necessarily appeal to the wider world until you've polished it up a bit.
13/12/2011 21:58 GMT

A Skyrim Widow Speaks Out

One of the reasons why I wish I liked computer games is that I have currently lost my partner to one. Well, not lost. I know where he is. He's in his room, killing people in order to steal their souls and sell them so he can buy soft furnishings for his house.
07/12/2011 06:49 GMT

Thanksgiving in the UK: Can It Work?

A holiday based around an emotion? Can the British cope with that? We can only just manage Valentine's Day. Having to express both romance and gratitude in one year might overload us. We're not great at giving thanks, at least not when it matters. I've said thank you to shop assistants probably a hundred times in the last year. Have I thanked my parents for bringing me up in that time, or my partner for his support? Of course not.
24/11/2011 00:03 GMT

Let Me Eat Cake! What It's Like to Be Suddenly Diagnosed as Coeliac

I will do a lot of things to avoid dying of bowel cancer, and if one of those things is going to have to be sounding like a fussy eater in public, then so be it. Picky wins over dead. But the thing I hadn't quite realised is how wheat gets into everything. Like chips.
14/11/2011 23:45 GMT

Frozen Planet: TV's Most Exhausting Show

We go through a guilty process of determining what we can manage to watch. Whales eating fish? No problem. And then there's the inevitable, heartbreaking narrative of the baby polar bears versus the baby seal cubs. That's the one that gets us.
06/11/2011 23:21 GMT

Gendering Free: Exploring Outside the Binary

Pink and blue aren't the only colours in the world - no matter what toy shops may believe. So why do we feel the need to be so rigid about male/female? Why do we teach children that they have to fit into one box or the other in order to be normal?
31/10/2011 18:04 GMT

Eight Legs, No Soul

In the spirit of the season, I was talking to my daughter the other day about our biggest fears: I said mine was spiders, and being trapped in small dark spaces, and being trapped in small dark spaces with spiders.
31/10/2011 00:04 GMT

Rapture 2: This Time It's Fluffy

Back in the spring, you may remember, a man called Harold Camping informed the world that the Rapture was going to take place on May 21st.
16/10/2011 23:55 BST

Be Yourself. No, Not That One, The Other One

There's a lot of advice out there about being yourself. It's generally in favour of the idea, and quite right too. The opposite of being yourself is not being yourself, and who wants that? Who would you be then? You'd be somebody else. And that can't be right.
09/10/2011 23:58 BST

The Stormageddon Effect, and Other Parenting Emotions

When you tell people that becoming a parent has introduced you to a whole new range of emotions, they probably expect you to start going on about loving your child in a way you'd never loved anyone before, that kind of thing.
04/10/2011 00:02 BST

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Mum

Two major films were released last Friday, both adapted from bestselling novels published in previous decades.
20/09/2011 23:26 BST

Are you There, Mind? It's me, Body

The word "just" bridges a multitude of gaps. As in "just lose weight!", "just be confident in yourself!" and "just stop taking heroin!". It has that handy ability to make something difficult sound as if it should be easy, with the bonus implication that anyone who doesn't find it easy should be a bit ashamed of themselves.
15/09/2011 09:37 BST