Welcome to the Ex-Official Blog of Writer, Presenter & Crafts Expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain which stopped being active on 31st August 2016.

For more regular updates follow Momtaz on Twitter: @TheCraftCafe Instagram: @The_CraftCafe Vine: @TheCraftCafe Periscope: @TheCraftCafe Snapchat: Momtazbh

For workshop bookings, writing commissions, presenting jobs, craft project designs, or any kind of enquiry email contact@momtazbh.co.uk

Momtaz's NEW BLOG is www.craftandtravel.com

Saturday 22 October 2011

My So Called Life...episode 1

When I started writing this blog almost two years the plan was to focus on the 'craft loving' side of my life, but over the last 10 months things changed and I turned it into my diary. I write about things I do, people I meet, where I go, my experiences, thoughts and reactions to things, even the random bits of advice that go through my head…all the things that make my life what it is. While I manage to write a couple of posts a week about specific highlights, there are still lots of other things I get up to that I don’t have a chance to mention. So I’ve decided that every few weeks I’m going to stock pile such events and post them under different episodes named after my favourite TV programme; My So Called Life. I’ve been catching up with the box set recently, every bit of it affects me like it did when I watched is back in the mid-90s. It follows the life of a 15-year-old girl called Angela Chase; the alternative girl at an American High School. At the time I was the 15-year-old alternative girl at a UK comprehensive. The show deserves it’s own blog post so the topic is To Be Continued. In the meantime….this has been my so called life of late:
The return of PULP:
The vast % of the population first heard of Pulp when Common People was released in 1995. Yet I first heard of Pulp in the late 1980s and was one of their earliest fans! At one point I was the youngest member of their fanclub, Pulp People, and I used to get really exciting post from a librarian called Alex who ran the club with Mark Webber (who later joined the band as a guitarist.) When I started secondary school in 1992 I had a Pulp schoolbag (homemade) and no one knew what it meant. For three years I was ridiculed by NKOTB and Take That fans, until that fateful day when Common People was released and overnight I became popular.
The day Pulp split I vowed I would be there on their return gig, as I knew they would reform.
When they made their comeback (finally!) this summer, I realised that actually I wasn’t prepared to pay £55 to see them at Hyde Park. Then they announced two special gigs at Brixton Academy and my head and my heart told me I had to be there. So on September 1st I went to see them. It was overwhelming and emotional, the highlight being when they played an old track called Sheffield Sex City from an early album. It was a track that only a handful of people in the audience could connect with, and it’s a gig moment I will never forget.  

Brighton Beautiful:
Another trip down memory lane was seizing some of the late summer weather and taking a friend of mine who had never been there, to my other home; Brighton. I call it that because I lived there for four years and left a bit of me there, which I don’t think will ever follow me to London. But whenever I do go back I’m instantly at ease because of the familiarity. I went to all my favourite places; the pier for a chocolate and coconut waffle and a go on Dolphin Derby, all my favourite vintage and retro shops in North Laine (where I picked up this lovely flamenco shawl) and of course had a nap on the sunny beach. I don’t think I would live there again but I’m extremely lucky that I had the opportunity to.

Rosie & Harriet of TD
Drink Shop Do:
Back in London town and back on the craft scene I’ve been hanging out at one of the capitals loveliest bar venues; Drink Shop Do - a crafter’s heaven based in Kings Cross. It’s a craft shop, cafĂ©, bar, afternoon tea venue and has an event calendar filled with free crafty events, workshops and book launches like ‘How to Make Jewellery’ with Tatty Devine. TD are known for designing quirky, kitschy jewellery with character and while I was there I made a rosette from a tape measure; a project in the book. I was aided by one of the friendliest girls I have ever met…I think she was called Emily. She works in the Tatty Devine shop in Brick Lane. Apparently she always gives a cup of tea to whoever pops in, so if you are ever passing by, please say hi to her. 
At the launch I sat opposite Lady Velo, a cycling fashionista who is now one of my Twitter friends.
Rocking at The Royal Albert Hall
Bollywood beats:
Bollywood wise I’ve watched two excellent films recently Bodyguard and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara but one of the highlights of my entire year to date was watching a live performance by India’s biggest musical directors Shankar Ehsaan Loy. They are three gentleman whom despite having written the biggest Bollywood blockbuster songs ever, have never performed in the UK. It was a really special occasion and totally sold out. The set list was incredible. They played so many of their popular songs that I was speechless for most of the night.

Film Fayre:
More recently I went to the launch of the Native Spirit Foundation’s annual film festival which celebrates films about indigenous cultures. The event was held at Rudolf Steiner House and started with a spiritual procession and incense lighting ritual and included a remarkable set by international ethnic folk star Kouame Sereba who played some very unusual instruments.

Dinner with Delwar:
Then last weekend I attended a dinner party to celebrate one of my best friends completing his PhD at Cambridge University. I met Delwar when I was 13, we appeared on a TV show together and since then our paths have continued to cross in the most peculiar of ways. We have a joke between us that we will probably end up living in the same old people’s home. But before that we have other paths to follow. I felt so proud of him, knowing  he’s completed his labour of love. And so I joined him in burning his notes!!!

Something I could NEVER do to my own. I still have my secondary school exercise books even of the subjects I couldn’t stand….I just can’t part with them. And here were pages of recent handwritten research. I guess I should take this as inspiration to de-clutter my belongings?

I could open a shop with this lot!
Finally: work:
I don’t write much about my work….but these last three months have been spent writing my second book….which I can reveal has a working title of ‘101+ Things to do with glitter’. It is due to be published Autumn 2012 by Vivays Publishing. It’s been sooooooooo hard not talking about it because I so want to share the projects I’ve been making but they are under wraps for now! However I can reveal that my entire flat is currently one giant glitter ball. Here on my bed are all the sample glitters I was sent by PRs…over 150 varieties. The book is due for completion very shortly and then I am not sure what adventures I will be embarking on next…


  1. I love love 'my so called life' I also bought the box set a few years ago and it is still brilliant!

  2. Wow, I'm so jealous, this post makes my life seem so dull and inactive, something must be done to correct this, and hearty congrats to Delwar + 101 things to do with glitter sure sounds amazing.