Click through to read my review of this week’s really quite painful Guardian Blind Date column. We’ve got food-sharing, an exhausting dry wit and why you should never, ever, ever mess with an only child.
I had assumed it was all over.
I’d been brushing off my darkest black, digging out my finest mantilla and clutching my rosary in preparation for the funeral procession. Blogging was dead and buried, you see; its life force finally expunged thanks to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Medium. Or at least, that’s what I was led to believe, in pieces I read. By bloggers. On blogs.
But while I may have shed a tear for the demise of blogging, I wasn’t too perturbed, because I knew it would soon rise once more relatively quickly – probably before the sandwiches from its funeral tea had curled at the edges. It usually does.
I didn’t have to wait too long, because apparently, not only is blogging not dead, it is the new pop music. Oh yes! Take this excerpt from an email I received from a blogging network just this week. Step the hell aside, Calvin Harris – here is my moment.
Well! Who knew? One minute blogging is being read the last rites, now, bloggers are “glitzy celebrities” with “the world at their feet”. A cursory glance at my inbox, not to mention down at my immaculately polished Derbys, tells me this may not be happening for every blogger. I see no mountains of invites; my toes do not rest upon the Earth’s mantle.
So which is it? Is blogging throwing shapes to the sound of its own death rattle, or is it a den of internationally renowned celebrities, elegantly stepping off planes and into sponsorship deals as far as the eye can see? Well, it’s a bit of both, for relatively few. The rest of us are somewhere in the middle. Continue reading Bloggers are not the new pop stars
Social anxiety manifests itself in many ways, but one of my main triggers is being asked to recommend a restaurant. All of a sudden, I turn from a relatively clued-up man with 14 years of London experience behind him into an unimaginative drone whose horizons are narrower than a gnat’s waist. Where have I even been? Did I like it? What does my recommendation say about me as a person? Will they judge me if they have an awful time? I never go anywhere! Why are they asking?
The trouble with living here every day and just getting on with my life is that it’s rare for things to register. I don’t really retain vivid memories of any of my London experiences, as I’m not a tourist, and I have a few favourite things I do often but would never dream of imposing on anyone else. London just is, it’s something that’s happening to me, not a standout event. So whenever anyone asks me to recommend a place to eat or an activity, in my capacity of a London expert – merely because I’ve lived here so long – I wrinkle my brow in faux-concentration and say, “Oh, let me think; I’ll get back to you” and then I never do.
But if there’s one thing that will get me talking, it’s cold hard cash. So when eBookers got in touch saying they were looking for London-based bloggers to share their tips for a new guide, how could I say no? All I’d have to do is think of some tips, write a blog (and hello here we are) and that would be that. But contractual obligations aren’t very sexy, so I thought I’d add some value and explain why I chose what I chose. You can see the full guide here, with some good tips from other bloggers. My contribution is here. Here are the 5 things I picked: Continue reading A clueless insider’s guide to London