Tag Archive: collaboration


BURNING MAN – BLACK ROCK CITY 2011

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As we left BLACK ROCK CITY (BRC) in the Nevada Desert and the iconic “BURNING MAN” celebration, I can’t help feeling, “thank feck for that!!!”.   Nothing can prepare a ‘Newbie’, especially one who is three months pregnant, to this onslaught of the senses!

The heat, the dust, the dust and the dust!!  Phewww!!  It was a challenge and a worry knowing that I was subjecting myself to extreme survival situations only having ‘just’ come out of that First Trimester hormonally-up-and-down ‘sicky’ stage.  I was glad that I decided NOT to crew and instead be a ‘gentle’ participant and contributor at this massive event.  I knew I could leave at anytime.  There was no way I was going to put my pregnancy in jeopardy.

The event is characterized by massive art projects, its namesake at the centre which is burnt towards the close.  Participants head into the desert each year to build a working city from the ground up.  This includes an airport, a post office, radio station, hospital and security teams (to name a few).  Self-styled “burners” exercise radical self-reliance, community, civic responsibility and an economy based on giving freely.  It has a beautiful ethos, and there is an air of excitement, acceptance of artistic expression and hedonism like no other I have ever experienced.

Burning Man started with an 8-foot structure burning on a beach in California at summer solstice and has morphed into a sophisticated community with year-round projects.

“LOVE THE DUST MAN!!”

This anti-establishment arts festival and survival project, created from the grey alluvium of the Black Rock Desert, however, leaves its mark in your heart.  It is truly an amazing experience and my RIGHT OF PASSAGE was a success.  I did miss my old wild-party self  and it would have been a very different experience indeed had I not abstained from pretty much ‘everything’! lol.  But this was ‘my’ Right of Passage, and one I accepted in a state of content and happy surrender, with only the occasional bit of frustration!

I did, however, during the cooler hours of the day (when I could venture away from the shade and a loo),  explore, experiment and participate in BRC’s weird and wonderful workshops and events.

Our performance of Mr & Mrs Mud, inspired by our adoptive Asaro tribal family in Papua New Guinea, was a huge success and was very well received.  I was chuffed to have been chosen to receive an award, certificate and medal for our artistic tribal contribution.

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Hairy Harrogate & Road Kill Thrills – Come Dine With Me  Series 20 Episode 29….program synopsis.

What a funny episode, we all loved it and loved making it!  It was edited pretty well and got a lot of laughs at our expense, but we expected that and are fine with it – why else set yourself up and go on the show?  lol.

Watch the episode now  – using Channel 4 link or or Seesaw link.

I would like to make a few points as I feel the editing left some important bits out.  I am aware that what people think of me is none of my business, but it doesn’t hurt to get a few important facts right now does it?  Some people do tend to believe everything they see on TV!  I also want to praise a few people who were wonderful and supported my menu, but didn’t get a look in.

In order of appearance….

The Motor home – I borrowed the motor home from a friend of a friend.  The idea was to show an alternative option to living in bricks and mortar.  It was meant to be a visual-aid, while still shopping for my own motor home on ‘ebay’ (which I now live in).  Unfortunately the borrowed van did not reflect my personality and no real filming of it or explanation of it took place.  I hope ‘As Seen On TV’ will help it sell as it was for sale at the time.  Many thanks anyway Clive.

Butchering the Road Kill Dear  – I had help from a wonderful man who stopped and offered to help.  He happened to be a local deer stalker and gave me the most amazing butchery lesson.  Thank you!  I wish I could find the card you gave me with your email address on it.

My Nomadic Lifestyle – After returning from a long trip abroad last summer my partner and I decided we were not going to settle in the UK, and wanted instead to buy a bit of land elsewhere to build an eco home, grow organically, raise our own animals and accommodate our friends.  The way the program went gave the impression that I lived my entire life ‘dossing’ from place to place  and taking advantage of my friends.  This isn’t true.  I was going through a transitional period only, meant to last about six months and only until we found our new motor home – which we did a few weeks after filming.  All stays with friends were wonderful and of mutual benefit.  Also, I do not coin it in with my little rented house, it pays the mortgage and that’s that!  lol.

Matt and his attitude – Matt is actually a really nice bloke and ‘hams it up!’ a lot.  We have kept in touch since and had a great laugh, he’s a great sport and a big softy really. 

Water Buffalo Bourguignon – On the show it makes out that the buffalo I used was not local.  It was!  The buffalo are reared in North Allerton, also in North Yorkshire.  Langhorne’s Buffalo Produce visit all the local farmers markets.   The buffalo was not called ‘James’.

The Dessert – The Bailey’s was not mentioned in the desert, and the recipe my dear friend Nick gave me was not used because of it.  Shame, it was a great recipe.

Extremely Exotic Petit Fours – The show did not use the clips of the Civet Coffee that I served, or the Scorpion Lollies that I gave as gift bags.  Many thanks and also apologies to Fenwicks and The Food Company Anglia for donating those, but not seeing them on TV.

All the school got involved

Click the image above to view a slide show of photos from commissioned projects that I’ve carried out with schools and communities (more recent images and press clippings pending upload).

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