So much has happened in the last few days I don’t know where to begin.
I am spectacularly late for my amazing friend Ann’s cake fest which is raising oodles of money for Syrian refugees. I should be driving. I am in my pyjamas, blogging. She will understand. Also, cake fest will still be going when I get there. She makes a LOT of cake. Over the years she has raised thousands of pounds for Bliss and for the Riding for the Disabled charity and now refugees. She is a powerhouse.
Ann is someone I met through blogging and I still can’t resist calling her Mrs. Hairy Farmer Family, even though the blog is dormant at this point in time. She and I have become friends in real life, and through her I met Jess, who was also a blogger and now also a real life friend. Both are amazing, brilliant, clever, compassionate women who do enormous amounts of good things in life. I would never have met them if it weren’t for blogging, so absolute hats off to social media, despite what everyone else says.
That is by way of an introduction to a gorgeous piece of writing by Emma who blogs at Belgian Waffle, and who has written this astonishingly beautiful book, which you must all buy. She too is a wonderful human being (she will say she is not. This is part of what makes her wonderful. Also owls, and krill, and small ponies make her wonderful). We have met a few times, and she is just as good in real life as she is in the virtual sphere. She appreciates cake like no other.
In this article for today’s The Pool, she writes about whether blogging is dead. The answer, in a nutshell, is not really. From my precis you can clearly see why she was commissioned to write it and not me. She does it much more elegantly than me. She also, I am profoundly grateful to mention, quotes me in it a bit. That is not why the article is good, by the way. It’s a great privilege to be in it, and it made me very nostalgic for the old days of blogging. If you’re an old school blogger you will love it. If you want to know what all the fuss was about in the beginning, reading it will give you a hint.
Yesterday I went to Media City (darling) in Salford where I was interviewed for the BBC radio 5 Live Daily show, hosted by Emma Barnett. You can catch up with the show here. I also got my gurning face on the BBC News website article, here. I’m at the bottom, where I belong. It’s the first half hour segment of the programme. Because of that I was also asked to take part in the BBC Radio London, drive time show talking about the same thing later that day.
I was part of a debate around the taboo on women’s periods and whether women should be allowed time off of work for menstrual problems. This too, came out of blogging, thanks to a post I wrote about the woman tennis player, Heather Watson, last year, which got picked up by Mumsnet, who I then wrote a follow up article for.
Because of the show, I met an amazing woman called Nancy (also in the BBC news article), and later on BBC Radio London, another fantastic woman called Claire, both of whom have suffered with terrible period problems and were happy to speak out. We are now in conversation about something we might be able to do to reach out to more women and spread the net a little wider.
It has been an incredibly rich and rewarding couple of days. This might sound like a bragging post, but really it’s not. I am incredibly privileged to have met all these women, and have them in my life. I am incredibly privileged to be able to use my voice to make small changes that might, one day, have a bigger effect than I ever dreamed. All of this came through a small, unglamorous, personal blog I started ten years ago to stop myself going mental.
Over the years this blog has repaid me a thousand fold what I put into it, whether it be through opportunities or friendships or a platform to speak that reaches a wider audience. People still ask me why I blog.
This is why I blog.
And the not going mental thing.