When I Was Katie Osborne

Ken Douglas and Vesta Irene in Trinidad 001

Vesta and I lived on a sailboat called Great White Wonder in the Caribbean for a decade and it was a great life, but sadly we ran out of money in late 2002 and we needed more. I was writing for two sailing magazines, but the money just wasn’t enough to keep us going.

So, I invented Katie Osbourne, a seagoing cook who’d sailed the world. And I started submitting stories under her name and they were picked up.

The only trouble was, she didn’t exist. Nor did the boat she lived on. And neither did her adventures. I made ‘em up. But after two stories, I started to feel a little guilty, so Katie (who was really me) wrote the magazine, which had published her stories, and asked if she could have a seagoing cooking column and she got it.

The stories that went with her recipes are, of course, fiction, because Katie still didn’t exist, but the recipes were real. I didn’t make those up. I stole ‘em from Vesta.

All in all, I wrote fifteen Katie stories and since I have to go through them and do a little editing, because Windows back then didn’t play nicely with Macs, so though the letters all translated between them, things like quotation marks did not, for example this, ‘ translated into this Õ, so I’ll fix it every other day or so till I’m done.

Plus, I’m going to stick a photo or two of me and Vesta in the Caribbean, from when we lived aboard Great White Wonde, with each story. Anyway, I hope you like the stories and that you try some of Katie’s wonderful recipes, well, they’re really Vesta’s. But they are to die for.

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