I'm writing this post on the back of reading Joy's post celebrating the 6th year of her blog, so you can imagine I'm feeling a bit of performance anxiety right now. But what do you say to an amazing bunch of people on the internet, most of whom you've never met to say thank you for sticking by you, and putting up with your rambling and learning curves for 5 years? I'm afraid that in wet and rainy London, I'm not really in the position to go and film a video message on Santa Monica Beach this year!
Photo by Nicole Anderson, Memorial Day Weekend 2013, Newport Beach, Orange County, California
Last year I thanked you all for following my food, fashion and travel blog. Well, I've said ad nausium how much happier that last year I kind of unintentionally made the transition to being just a food blog with a bit of food related travel thrown in, but what I have not said yet is how surprised, grateful and thankful I am that so many of you chose to stick by me and keep on reading once I stopped posting about my outfits or photos from London Fashion Week and started posting recipes for brownies and reviews of food trucks. Also, hello to all of you who found me as a food blogger, and thought I was good enough to hit 'follow' or leave me a comment; I have not forgotten you all either! You all make me feel that yes, food is something I'm getting right.
While the past two years in blogging were pretty big for me, moving to Los Angeles and moving back, I think if anything this year is going to be even more crazy. Last count I only have 6 weeks (that is 36 hours) more teaching left, 6 essays and a 10,000 word dissertation left to write before I leave my education behind all together. It sounds like a lot, but honestly it all feels a bit daunting and I'll be done in 15 weeks. Then what.
What can you expect from me? Well, while I will probably base myself for the Summer down in Kent where there is a bigger kitchen and a vegetable garden, and I'll probably pop over to France once or twice I'll still have somewhere to live in London until September, so you can expect many more restaurant reviews and adventures around the city. I also have a trip planned around the fjords in Norway and to Iceland over the Summer, so I can't wait to share that with you all.
Then things start to get a little bit more fuzzy. I love writing from London, but rent prices here are so crazy mental I don't quite know how I'm going to manage that as I don't really know what I want to do with my time. I have been looking at jobs in food media and in politics, which would allow me to stay in the city, but looking at all of them I think I'd rather go work on the cottages and be able to dedicate more time to this blog every day, but then I'd be leaving so much of my life and friends in London and the train depresses me.
So we'll see. I'm not worrying about it, because there are so many more of my friends and peers in worse positions of finding a job and paying their rent, so I know I need to be thankful for what I've got, which brings me back to you guys. This blog has given me so much, and not just on the financial side of things that has allowed me to make my own decisions, choose my own path (for example as a student it have been my alternative to working in a bar or in retail, the usual typical student jobs) and it has allowed me to be able to stop and think for a moment, without worrying, about what I'm going to do next. Anyway, this year as I don't have a fancy video message in a lovely location for you all, I thought I'd leave you with a round up of some of my favourite posts so far, since I started blogging way back in 2009.
- One of my earlier posts, on July 28th, 2009 I shared some of my favourite Vogue covers.
- 31st July, 2010, with bad photography and styling my first recipe post: Chocolate Fudge Cake.
- On 21st February 2011 I saw Maroon 5 play live in Brixton, and I still love the photos I took.
- In April 2011 I visited California for the first time, and on that trip I knew I wanted to live there.
- On November 13th I wrote my first ever restaurant review, of The Diner in Soho.
- In February 2012 I did lots of LFW coverage, and did my first street style post, which I miss.
- I also covered Sophie Hulme's AW12 presentation, which is my favourite piece of coverage.
- On June 25th 2012 I shared one of my favourite views in France with you all.
- And then in June, I announced that I was going to be moving to Los Angeles.
- At the end of my first week in LA on September 9th, I posted thoughts on my new home.
- On November 19th, I posted one of my all time favourite restaurant reviews, Soot Bull Jeep.
- Another of my favourites from March 2013, LudoTruck parked up in Mid City.
- April 12th, I posted the most popular post on this site: Super Simple 3-Step Chocolate Brownies.
- On Memorial Day Weekend, Nicole and I took a roadtrip to Newport Beach, Orange County.
- I posted my food and eating philosophy on June 13th, which became this blogs manifesto.
- On June 27th 2013 I said goodbye to Los Angeles at the Griffith Observatory.
- Last October in London I attended my first ever #streetfeast at #dalstonyard.
So thank you for sticking with me, putting up with my rambling posts, odd details about my life, and I apologise for making you all hungry at inopportune hours of the day! Here is to another year filled with cocktails, cake, and hopefully by the time I write my next 'year in blogging' post I'll have another trip to Los Angeles planned; this is my only mission going forward. To save so I can see the city I used to call home and I miss every day again in 2015.