Kate Harrad
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.

Entries by Kate Harrad

Red Phone Boxes: A Novel Angle

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 11:05 AM

I'd completely stopped noticing red phone boxes. When I moved to London a dozen years ago, I suppose I must have called people from them then, but then we all got mobile phones and that was that.

They're still there, though, on street corners, waiting for occasional use or...

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Am I My Avatar?

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2013 | 7:47 PM

As Gloria Raynor said - or was it God? - "I am who I am." But who are we? A report called Future Identities, published today by Foresight, part of the Government Office for Science, takes an in-depth look at the question of identity in the UK. As...

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Bad at Sports (Good at Spelling): Why Don't I Care about the Olympics?

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 1:29 PM

It's true that I once went to two football matches and enjoyed them. And I have been to two cricket matches, which I also enjoyed. Furthermore, I once memorised the rules of rugby for an afternoon, because my partner was white-knuckled over the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup....

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The Karaoke Expansion

(1) Comments | Posted January 19, 2012 | 5:34 PM

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 You're So Vain or Smells Like Teen Spirit while my friends watched politely and waited for their turn. (I can't sing, and have not completely come...

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True Friends and False Dichotomies

(4) Comments | Posted January 4, 2012 | 7:00 PM

It's the start of the year. Traditionally a time when people gathered around the fire, wrapped themselves up warmly and shared online self-help tips with each other, possibly accompanied by pictures of inspirational kittens hanging off things. 

I don't want to undermine this noble activity, but I can't help noticing...

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Have We Become a Nation of Scrooges?

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2011 | 10:02 AM

David Cameron recently called for Britain to return to Christian values.

Well, as a non-believer, I'd prefer not to sign up to the actual religion, but I agree some of the values are very much worth preserving. And for me, especially at this time of year,...

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A Tin of Baby: Should You Publish Your Book?

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2011 | 7:00 PM

Apparently, although it sounds distinctly uncomfortable, everyone has a book in them.

It's probably in your appendix. There has to be some reason why they're there. Curled up inside the appendix of everyone who still has one is the germ of the novel you always intended to write. (If...

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A Skyrim Widow Speaks Out

(7) Comments | Posted December 6, 2011 | 7:00 PM

I wish I liked computer games. I want to. I used to like some of them, the ones where you just solved silly puzzles while exploring an island with a weremonkey sitting on your shoulder telling jokes about pirates. (I may be conflating a few different games here).


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Thanksgiving in the UK: Can It Work?

(14) Comments | Posted November 22, 2011 | 7:00 PM

This week in the UK, thousands of foreign-born immigrants will be celebrating a non-British festival. They will be attempting to pursue their quaint native customs, such as gathering together with others of their kind and eating traditional foods. Will the EDL and the BNP be waving placards? Will the Daily...

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

(10) Comments | Posted November 14, 2011 | 6:00 PM

I was recently standing in Marks and Spencers, glaring at a chocolate éclair.

I have to admit, in the back of my brain, I knew that the éclair hadn't actually done anything wrong. It's only problem was that a month ago I would have bought it and eaten it, and...

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Frozen Planet: TV's Most Exhausting Show

(1) Comments | Posted November 6, 2011 | 6:00 PM

My partner and I are sitting on the sofa watching Frozen Planet. Two ponderous yet bloodily violent elephant seals fight as endless penguins stand around, presumably making cheerful bets on the outcome. ("I'll have five medium-sized rocks on the slightly greyer one." "You're on!")

We long ago...

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Gendering Free: Exploring Outside the Binary

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2011 | 11:27 AM

So this is how I've started to think about gender. It is just a metaphor.

Once upon a time there was a country called Gender. The country consisted mainly of two large cities, one called Male and one called Female. Most people lived in one of the cities, and...

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Eight Legs, No Soul

(2) Comments | Posted October 30, 2011 | 8:00 PM

In the fall a young girl's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of fear. Or, in other words, it's Halloween, and there's a ghost in every cupboard and a vampire hiding under every bed. (But it's okay, they come in all flavours now - maybe you'll get a modern, cute, sparkly...

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Rapture 2: This Time It's Fluffy

(18) Comments | Posted October 16, 2011 | 8:00 PM

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. The Rapture according to Camping would consist of one day in which all true Christians would be raised up to Heaven, and then a...

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

(8) Comments | Posted October 9, 2011 | 8:00 PM

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.


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The Stormageddon Effect, and Other Parenting Emotions

(2) Comments | Posted October 3, 2011 | 8:00 PM

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. But that's not what I mean - to...

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Putting gullible back in the dictionary

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2011 | 7:40 AM

In movies, if someone tells you something unbelievable, it's best to believe it. Because the mind-controlling robot alien from the future who wants to steal your soul and use it for a healthy lifegiving snack is usually going to be real. And you don't want to be...

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Mum

(2) Comments | Posted September 20, 2011 | 8:00 PM

Two major films were released last Friday, both adapted from bestselling novels published in previous decades.

Firstly, there's I Don't Know How She Did It, from the novel by Joan Le Carré. This gritty 1970s-set thriller features retired spy Georgina Smiley, pulled back into a world of secrets to...

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

(2) Comments | Posted September 15, 2011 | 1:00 AM

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...

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