The first time is always when you hear a recording of your own voice. It is always traumatising. Always more high pitched and posh, or common, or flat, or regional or just otherwise terrible than you can possibly have imagined. One of the reasons I left my job on a newspaper was that I had to listen back to my stupid stupid buggery awful voice on recorded interviews.
There are many other moments after that, but that first moment of being confronted with the reality of what you sound like is always terrible.
I had another one today. I was beside myself with excitement at having a piece in the Guardian’s Family section. I love the Family section of the Guardian nearly as much as I love Style, so being in it RIGHT THERE THERE I AMMMMM more than made up for Kitty’s massive and terrifying nosebleed + 103F fever at 4.30am.
But then I opened the Times Magazine to see a piece they had on the “world’s best food blogger”, called Katie something; What Katie Ate, is her blog. She is beautiful and thin and her food looks fucking amazing. There was a glowing intro written by my husband’s editor at the magazine, which contained a slightly disparaging comment about “mummy” food bloggers.
I looked back at my picture in Family. I looked a bit fat. My hair needs a cut. I turned to see that Kitty was still staggering around the kitchen in her blood spattered pyjamas because she screamed every time I tried to take them off to get them soaking in Napisan. I thought about my clumsy, unchic blog, my stupid shit photos, my total lack, generally, of style and I felt really quite ill.
I have recovered now, by telling myself that this is just one of those times where you have to confront the reality of who you are and what you are capable of. This blog is almost entirely a response to food blogs like What Katie Ate, which are so professional and beautiful and chic and purposeful. I can never, ever be like that or do that. So I do this.
That’s another reason why I decided to go against most of what I stand for and feature a click-through to Lakeland at the top right hand corner of this blog. I love Lakeland. It’s not the height of glamour, but it is useful and I happen to know an editor at Vogue who reads the Lakeland catalogue in bed at night.
So that explains what that Lakeland thingy is doing on my blog. I’m sure Katie doesn’t have anything like that on hers, (I am literally too scared to look in case it gives me a nervous breakdown), but I’ve decided that I am that person. I am a Lakeland advertiser. If you click on the little picture and buy something off the website then I get 7% of your basket. And Lord knows all that germicidal soak we’re getting through these days isn’t going to buy itself.