Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Matric Nostalgia and a New Website

A request for a picture of our son’s first day of school came through last week. It’s his Matric farewell dance coming up in April (how did that happen?! Our son is in his final year of school already?!), so we’ve been plunged into a flood of nostalgia going through the ancient archives of pictures on our computers. Sighing and aahing (the kids too not just us!) over how cute they were, little girls in princess dresses, gap-toothed and sparkly eyed, our son dressed as a cowboy, a native American Indian, an army soldier, a pirate, round cheeked with a big smile. Of course we haven’t found a single picture of the first day of school. So he has a choice – in what role does he want to feature at his Matric dance – pirate or Indian, cowboy or army dude?

When I started this blog, coming up for ten years ago, the kids featured a lot – it was never specifically a mommy blog, but they got in on almost every post. Then at some point I felt that it was time to step back a bit and leave them out of the spotlight. The focus shifted to farm life and food, and always our festivals. But I don’t regret a word of those early posts documenting them as small kids – it’s my photo album, my journal, a place where all those funny moments and sayings have been preserved…in lieu of that proper photo album, which I’m always meaning to put together, but haven’t yet achieved.

That nostalgia for past cuteness is a strange thing. I wouldn’t for a minute turn the clock back, as that would mean turning my back on the amazing, interesting individuals they’ve grown into as teenagers, but it’s hard not to feel a little sad that all those baby and little kid days are behind us. Now I know why moms start agitating for grandchildren the minute their kids leave home! Anyway right now we’re in full on teenage mode ever since Youngest turned 13 last year and we went shopping for her first high heels for the Grade 7 farewell. Middle Daughter pointed out that her younger sister got high heels before she did, which didn’t seem right, so she compensated by getting the silveriest strappy high heels possible for the school’s Valentine’s dance. But enough, I said I'd taken the spotlight off them and it’s starting to reflect back in a myriad of highlights from glitter and sparkling nail polish.

My blog has become rather thin on the ground lately, I know. Is anyone still reading this? Anyone? I know Marcheline will stop by sooner or later, and my Mum, but quite understand if everyone else is off reading someone who actually posts more frequently! The reason/excuse is that I’ve been writing so much more for work as a freelance writer over the last couple of years that the last thing I feel like doing on weekends is sitting back down at the computer again.

I’ve been a regular contributor to Neighbourhood, a lifestyle and property supplement in South Africa’s Sunday Times, since it started up in July last year. I’m writing about food: restaurants, cafes, artisan bakeries, chocolate, anything and everything to do with food in the Cape Town area and it’s been great. Sometimes I get to review fine dining restaurants, other times it’s a new deli or cafĂ©. And then there are interviews with all sorts of new businesses that aren’t food related, or spotlights on a suburb of Cape Town, chatting to residents about what it’s like to live there. I fully intended to write up separate blog posts here to share the experiences… but that’s up there in the realistic stakes with my plan to create a family photo album. But here's the news: my husband has built me a new website as a portfolio for my writing work, and I’ve got a Facebook page to go with it.

So if there’s nothing new to read here, and you feel like a glimpse of the Cape Town food scene, head over there. Or if it's the farm and family life that you want more of why not go back into my archives and share the retrospective mood that I've been indulging in.

I’ve just been re-reading my blog posts from 2006 (getting diverted from writing this post by all those vivid memories brought back from ten years ago) and I’m feeling slightly damp-eyed and nostalgic all over again. For my kids and all those little details that I would have forgotten if I hadn’t blogged them; for the early days of blogging when it was a whole community thing, when I made new friends, and we commented on each others blogs regularly, some of those friends I’m still in touch with today, some still blogging, others just on Facebook; and for those crazy days of being a full time mother with three small kids.

So a shout out to all those early bloggers of 2006 and to others who started a year or two later like Marcheline of Mental Meatloaf, and who are running with the baton in the true spirit of blogging now that some of us oldies are flagging. And a special mention to Corey of Tongue in Cheek, who started blogging just before I did and who has posted EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last 10 or more years, delighting followers with French brocante, gorgeous pictures and stories of family life in France. I wouldn't be doing what I do today if it hadn't been for my blog and I'd have missed out on knowing some lovely people! I feel like starting a retro blog meme all of a sudden, any takers?!