It’s been another great year on the blog. As it comes up to its 9th birthday this summer, I can only say it’s been a fun, positive activity that’s enhanced and even transformed my life. I love writing it; have had wonderful experiences that I would have otherwise missed; it’s encouraged me to be more adventurous in my eating, cooking and travelling and to reach out to people I meet along the way. It began as a positive exercise at the end of a challenging time in my life and thus I only ever intended that it was a positive force in itself – it wasn’t a place for complaint or negativity. That’s my continuing intention – this isn’t ‘my life’ it’s some of the best parts of my life; the half-full glass part. It’s only strayed at odd times, usually when I’ve had a disappointing meal in a restaurant. Even then, my policy is not to attack small independents, but only big names who draw in the crowds by their fame and then – well at least when I’m eating there – fail to live up to their reputations. I work on the policy that I’m not likely to do them damage but it allows me to vent a little frustration.
The blogging world has changed a lot in the 9 years since I began and many bloggers are highly respected these days rather than greeted with suspicion and even disdain; some have even turned their blogs into successful and lucrative careers. In the great big blogging world of today my following is a modest one, even after all this time, but I’ve been delighted that my list of followers has grown by about 50% this year – from just under 1,000 email followers to 1,467. I’ve never looked to make money (although it would be nice!), so I don’t have ads here; I even pay to prevent WordPress adding them. I’ve wanted to make money if I can from my writing – which is actually quite a hard thing to do! But the last year or so has seen me earning a small regular royalty from GPSmyCity for some of my travel posts they publish on their app. The delight of this is that they approached me and thus their support is like an unexpected but wonderful gift. It has also made me ‘professional’ enough to be accepted into The Guild of Food Writers at the beginning of this year, which was a great honour and pleasure.
The year 2019 saw the blog receive 81,000 views, an average of about 222 per day. GPSmyCity published another 16 posts, taking their total of my articles to 60.
Here are the year’s Top Ten Posts – the posts which have received the most views; not necessarily 2019 posts, some are oldies that still continue to be popular. They’re given in order of most views this year:
No.1: Rick Stein’s Lamb & Pistachio Kofte
No.2: What to Eat & Drink and Where in Turin
No.3: Ottlenghi’s Roasted Aubergine with Saffron Yoghurt
No.4: Tostadas – Spanish Breakfast or Snack
No.5: Fegato alla Veneziana
No.6: Spiced Apple Cake
No.7: Grom Gelato, Piccadilly, London
No.8: Greek-style Stuffed Vegetables
No.9: Beef Meatballs with Lemon & Celeriac
No.10: Old-Fashioned English Bread Pudding
Like my recent Ten Best of 2019, it’s always a great feeling to look back over a year and remind yourself of all the best parts! I hope that 2020 will bring you, follower friends, many good things and I wish you much happiness, good health – and fun!