Introducing . . . my boy Hector!


By the time you read this, I’ll have had my baby. We welcomed our second little boy, Hector Salem Rae-Wilson, on November 11 by C-section. The nightmarish experience of the birth of our first son is not something either of us wants to endure again, so we put our trust in science this time. Who needs David Lynch films when you can just allow yourself to be sucked into the middle-class dream of hypnobirthing and water births and end up living a nightmare for real.

I went in, full of confidence and armed with knowledge gained from of at least one series of One Born Every Minute. I ended up half dead after a snowballing, agonising sequence of mistakes, including being given paracetamol to relieve “bleeding to death”. I’m determined to have a pleasant experience this time and baby photos I can show people without having to apologise for my haunted, hellish appearance. In fact, I’ve had a spray tan and haircut especially for the occasion. So while I’m laid up in hospital, feel free to enjoy the delights of Rye I’ve laid out for you. Let me know how it goes! Now where’s that call the nurse button . . .

To visit
Earlier this week, we celebrated our little boy’s second birthday with a ton of presents and a trip to Drusillas. Parents, I strongly recommend it. It is such a great day out for little kids. Plus it’s hilarious seeing the men taking the kids on the “Hello Kitty Ride”, squeezing into little white “Kitty” convertibles adorned with bows, slowly circulating a neat, pink, floral garden. There is an all-you-can-eat ice cream and toppings bar, and “Birthday Thrones” decorated with painted flamingos. And someone up there must like us, because they put on a birthday rainbow for us!

Find out more at Drusillas Park.

Rainbow, flamingo, terrible attempt at a cute photo.
Rainbow, flamingo, terrible attempt at a cute photo.

Let me know
Back in Rye, fresh from a business trip in Japan, and bowing to all of us, is my jetset Nana. She treated us all to the most beautiful Japanese tea. Warm Sake from a gold bottle, tiny, pastel-coloured handmade fondant cakes, crackers and sweets in the shape of flowers and geishas. All packaged so exquisitely, I’m framing some of the wrapping. So kawaii! Do the Japanese sit around eating English treats and talking about how quirky we are, how beautifully we package everything and how exciting our sweets are to look at? I’m doubtful. Some Japanese colleagues of hers are coming to Rye in January and she needs to show them the finest we have to offer. Does your venue have what it takes? Let me know.

Kawaii is Japanese for cute. I heart cute food.
Kawaii is Japanese for cute. I heart kawaii food.

To do
Opening of Vintage Stockroom, 113 High Street (formerly Bird), Saturday November 15, from 11am.

New local Natalie Spencer Macgowan leads a double life. Here, she is a working single mum, homemaker and now High Street shop owner. Eight days a month she is in Hollywood, working with A-List directors, within some of the world’s biggest companies as a make-up artist. And she’s GOOD. Really good. Clients include: Blondie, George Clooney, Jay-Z, Orlando Bloom, and Gwen Stefani – and she styled the make up on The Hunger Games. Daughter of Jamacian artist Kenneth Spencer and a 1970s’ King’s Road, Edwardian dress-shop owner, Natalie has eclectic, global style. She is surprisingly down to earth, and calm and wants a “tangible” business and normal home for her kids. Go along for a drink and peek at the stock, 1940s and 1950s Americana themed Cupie Dolls, rhinestone-encrusted shirts, industrial furnishings, a boar skin rug and Navajo throws. Natalie wants to bring a bit of the vintage shopping experience you get in Hollywood to Rye. She’s keen to leave the make-up in Hollywood. I would love to see a professional make-up outlet on our High Street.

And what did I learn about Natalie’s A-List clients? Well, she’s a professional, very tight-lipped about them, no names mentioned, but the anecdotes she gave, referring to “the client” or “the celebrity” were not disappointing. I guess I could say she’s seen it all . . .

A taste of Vintage Stockroom. 113 High Street, Rye
A taste of Vintage Stockroom. 113 High Street, Rye

To buy

We’ve got America and Japan covered, so I’m featuring a Scottish, men’s Harris Tweed jacket as my item to buy this week. I will always try to feature affordable items that you can buy with whatever cash you have in your purse or wallet. This item does not fit into that description, but Christmas is coming, and this is just the most handsome object I’ve seen in Rye this week.

'Callum' Harris Tweed Jacket, £199 from The Golden Fleece, Lion Street

“Callum” Harris Tweed Jacket, £199, from The Golden Fleece, Lion Street, Rye.

Talk about
Who stole the sign for Rye’s charity Christmas card shop?! Two of my editors at Rye News work really hard there every festive season selling cards for charity. I’m sure it was a silly drunken idea, so if it was you and you feel like giving back to charity, get someone to drop it off anonymously at The Pette Shoppe on the High Street. We promise not to tell . . .


As this was written before my new arrival, I’m off to enjoy some peace before baby’s screams shatter my evenings once more. As ever, feedback is welcome, and contact me if you, or someone you know, should feature in an upcoming Rye, Me.