It feels like the past few months, well years, we’ve been living through a moment in history. The world is changing around us and life will quite literally never be the same. I guess that’s always been the way, I just feel it more urgently at the moment.
I’m someone who talks to think. But when you have been shut away solitary in isolation for so long, with no one to talk to, I started writing again – just sending posts to myself, not publishing, but it helped…
I’m going to start writing some more, I’m not sure yet if I’ll publish any of my musings but I have been given a touch of encouragement from friends on twitter and so I’m going to start writing and worry about sharing it later.
So, I used to blog, in the early days of blogging. I kind of started by accident as a way to document. I had not long moved to London and thanks to the joys of twitter, I found London life a very different experience to the one I endured as a fresh faced 18-year-old.
London then was so lonely. I had spent years itching to move here, escape the small town I felt trapped in during my teenage years, and was lured by the idea of bright lights, big city. But the reality was quite different to what I’d expected.
I’d totally miscalculated how much money I would get paid (the London premium only applies to professional level jobs I found) and what I could afford to pay in rent (£780 pcm for a place you could touch your door and your sink from your bed is a dumb idea now never mind almost 20 years ago).
I was broke as a joke and Uni was not the social whirlwind I expected, everyone got on the tube back straight after class. I didn’t speak to another soul for long stretches of time. Growing up in Bath, you got used to strangers talking to you, at the bus stop, at the newsagents, on the bus, but to speak to a stranger in London was madness. I started to write. I’d email my boyfriend tales of how low I was, knowing full well he didn’t actually read his emails, it was more therapeutic getting thoughts out of my head, I didn’t really need anyone to read them.
I had a whole day of pent up conversation in me, by the time by boyfriend got home from work. I called my mum every day using a charge card – and pretended I was loving life as she’d counselled against London preferring, I go to Reading. Although she did ask once or twice, ‘If you are having so much fun, why are you calling every day?’. ‘Just because I miss you mum’ I’d reply. And I did and now still do.
Anyway, back to blogging.
I randomly commented on a tweet from @MeemaLee who had been to a Vietnamese place opposite my office by herself, and I’m not sure what possessed me but I reached out to say if she fancied some company next time to let me know. Mimi ended up inviting me to join Clerkenwell Lunchers, a random group of food bloggers who lived and worked in Clerkenwell that went for lunch every Friday somewhere new. I met loads of people with a similar passion I’d probably never come across in my normal life. From there I joined London Cocktail Society and Juniper Club and found a host of virtual tribes online that met in real life.
You usually make friends with those you work with or went to school with and as a grown up it’s actually harder than you think to make new friends. Through the magic of twitter and blogging, I met loads of amazing people – lawyers, bakers, scientists and we connected about food and drink.
After hanging around with all these bloggers, I felt lazy for not joining in and writing too. Also, I was doing some pretty cool things thanks to work and I remember my sister telling me that I was going to look back on these years and adventures fondly one day. So, I started the blog as a semi diary, to document my food and drink adventures around this exciting capital city and it also helped me make new friends, some of my best friends in London I met through blogging. London as a young professional and a blogger was way more social than the isolation I experienced at 18.
I started blogging about where I was eating, what I was drinking, events and people I met, and later to help me process my Wine & Spirits studies. I figured reading is one thing, writing notes another but to try and teach someone else something and put into words what I understood would help me retain information that bit more.
I stopped blogging, when work got busy, and I started to have more half-written posts than published ones and I felt the need to self-censor as life and work collided and as my subject matter often was in the same field as my clients work.
Anyway, during the pandemic and lockdown that ensued, I’ve turned to twitter again and found friends, in the same way I did back in 2008.
I now feel compelled to write again, to put into words, what I’m thinking, feeling or doing and document my adventures. I will probably look back on this period of my life fondly one day and want to remember it properly, without the rose tinted glasses that time often provides. Most posts will probably relate to food and drink in some way as that is my life or just be random musings on the move. If you’re reading this, I’ve decided to publish. Be kind.