Friday, 18 April 2008

Why blog?

A few people recently have commented that my blog seems to be all about food. They say it in almost an accusatory way, although I’m not sure quite what they expected. This led me to reflect again on why I write it. I was initially unsure about whether to start a blog, as the idea seemed very self-indulgent and self-publicising. I am naturally averse to being the centre of attention and anything that starts with ‘self-‘ makes me a bit nervous. I like to see my friends in small groups, and feel very uncomfortable about the idea of hosting parties (another reason why we are unlikely ever to get married!). This is despite the fact that I am happy to go out of my way for other people, and know full well that my friends would willingly do the same for me. I had so much fun reading other people’s blogs that I was tempted, but there were so many great ones out there already that really what was the point of starting another? Then Kiwi Bro got a job in New Zealand, and the prospect of he, Kiwi Sis and their Kiwi Munchkin leaving started to become a reality. Suddenly the idea of a blog took on a whole new role, as a way not only for me to keep them in touch with what we were doing, but also for the whole family to leave messages for each other. And that’s really how it started.

Actually writing a blog, however, has been quite a different matter. I realised that I needed to think carefully about who might read it and what I wanted them to know. It’s quite strange that my friends know all my news and random little things I’ve been doing (and eating) without me knowing anything in return. That’s why the comment function is nice, as it’s the only way you know who’s reading. It’s also why so many of these posts are about food and not about our personal day to day lives, which are a) boring to most people and b) too close to our home life to want to divulge. And then it took longer than expected for Kiwi Family to get on the internet (they are now – hooray! Kiwi Sis has read up to the end of February and is having a lie down to recover). So in the meantime, the connection with a world of people I have never met in person has been one of the happiest and most unforeseen benefits of blogging – I never imagined that anyone I didn’t know would be interested in it, and I’m constantly delighted that I’ve met some really lovely people. Those people are also interested in cooking and baking and local produce and making ethical choices, and being both healthy and indulgent in what they eat, and that’s why I write so much about food. I was barely aware of all the foodie events that take place in blogland, and they have prompted me to try all sorts of new dishes and types of cooking. My cookbook collection has expanded even more, and I have a massive computer file of recipes I want to try. That’s been a great boon, and I was thrilled when my friend Julie said she’d tried one of the soup recipes I’d posted about, and when Eco Sis tried making the wonton dumplings. And also, I love writing the posts. I write a lot in my job, and have always enjoyed putting together nice sentences which communicate my ideas effectively. But here I don’t need to worry about statistical significance, weighing up arguments, and substantiating all my points. I can witter, blither and go off on the randomest of tangents without attracting the vitriol or disapprobation of a journal referee (see what I mean??).

So, to reflect on the reflection, that’s why I blog. I love meeting new foodie people; I love writing my posts; I love it that I’ve expanded our experience of foods and cuisines, and that it’s involved challenging The Scientist’s cooking boundaries too. And I love it that it has been a family bonding thing – Israel Grandma knows what I’m up to; Eco Sis leaves me messages; Munchkin Granny texts me when she can’t make the message function work, and I got into trouble with Munchkin Gramps when Junior Sis found out through a post that I’d been knocked off my bike. And if Kiwi Sis can summon the stamina to make it through March and April, I’m sure that mailing the munchkin will become more than just a name. I’m sorry if this is a bit long-winded and self-indulgent after all, but here are some more good words to end on. I wanted a better word for ‘overlapping’ today, and could only think of ‘contiguous’ which means ‘next to’. I opened up dictionary.com and was firstly delighted to see that the word of the day was ‘inveigle’, which is up there with ‘egregious’ on my list of words we should all use more. Then I put ‘overlapping’ into the thesaurus function, and was even more tickled when it came back with ‘no results. Do you mean evildoing’? Laughed? I nearly absquatulated. Thank you for bearing with me. Tomorrow I’m making Passover desserts, so normality will be restored.

4 comments:

Katherine said...

I've done it. I'm all caught up and have some recipes to try. Now have to go watch 'Friends' to recover from that reading marathon.

Love you - you little baking queen!

Johanna said...

Thanks for some interesting thoughts - blogging is a strange beast that is both self-indulgent and community-building but it does make cooking more fun!

Ilana said...

my goodness, absquatulating sounds like it might leave you as just a puddle of gunk on the floor! then how will we have pesach desserts?

i like the blog and i think more people should leave comments :)

see you tomorrow x

LisaRene said...

Here are two new words I learned this week;

Abulia

Parsimonious

So many words available to!