The Blogging Journey

I have been fiddling about in the blogosphere since 2014.  The blogging was initially inspired by school pals (I will not say old, but you get the drift – longstanding) who wanted to know how I cooked what was in the photographs that I shared.  I also wanted to find out whether I had a voice other than my professional, formal voice – potentially to get other, different writing work.  The only way to do that was to write.

It didn’t take me long to discover that —
  • just writing recipes was boring
  • I couldn’t just write about the recipes:  I felt compelled to write the stories around them, their ingredients and, in some cases, where they came from – yes, it’s bad grammar – it’s not clear who they are…
  • I started writing about other stuff, and The Cat’s Mother emerged and the favourites became more than just food, but life’s happenings – including some “un” favourites
  • I started taking the odd photograph…

Fiona’s Favourites became

reflections in, on and round about….with a lot of cooking on the side

And then

In 2017 I was invited to join a social blockchain where, through blogging, I might earn crypto currency – just before the bull run ended.  I fiddled about a bit, and two years later, I am still there, and post directly to the Hive blockchain using the Exxp WordPress plugin.  I am part of a growing community that produces content and where I earn Hive Based Dollars.  It’s not just the prospect of earning that keeps us there, it’s also, as is the case in the blogosphere, generally, the community of like-minded individuals one meets and the friendships that develop – in cyberspace – and which flow from the virtual into the real.

Fiona’s Favourites has evolved to the point that it covers a multitude of sins topics, musings and rants, ranging from my original focus – cooking – to life, and my participation in that crypto blogging world.


The urge (I hesitate to say inspiration) to write is one that I’d suppressed for years, but has been allowed to emerge thanks to the friends and strangers who read my blog (and  look at the photographs) – and who want more.

For some, the topics are trivial and fluffy, for others, less so.  Regardless, I have elected, in this space, to stay away (as far as possible) from politics, religion and bad wine…  So, Fiona’s Favourites is mostly a happy place, although, from time to time, sadnesses happen: all part of the fabulous fabric of life.

There is more about my blogging journey here.

Blog folk

Out of respect for the privacy of friends and family, they are not mentioned by name.  They are, in no particular order:

  • The Cats’ Father – my very longsuffering husband.  Sometimes known as The Man-in-the-Skirt and, of course, The Husband
  • The Cats’ Mother – me, myself, and I.  Sometimes called Gladys and Serenity (!)
  • Sannie Boervrou – a friend and former farmer’s wife of sunny disposition who is responsible for fostering my courgette creations and increasing passion for pickling
  • The Farmers – Jan Boer and Boer le Roux who share their surplus and/or undersized, slightly damaged  produce
  • Mr Mac – McGregor local, Scot, foodie, theatre, opera and movie buff (and member of the Grammar Police)
  • Menagerie Mum – longtime friend and colleague, currently living in Johannesburg, and who is mum to two very tall teenage boys and an assorted menagerie of cats, dogs and not least, Louise, the chicken, now in chicken heaven
  • Mark Maatjie – fellow stall holder and purveyor of vegetables and fruit at the McGregor pop-up market, not to mention, producer of the best chicken curry in the village
  • Suzie Wine – friend and business associate and owner of McGregor’s wine bar, Grape De-Vine.

More, I am sure, will be added…

Read these, too

Blog pals with whom I share real (not virtual) friendship, i.e. they have been or are a part of my life or a past life….and with whom I still stay in touch.

  • Under the Milkwood Tree, like mine, is an evolving blog. Jeanette is a former journalist and writer.  Many moons ago, at Rhodes University, we lived in the same corridor.  We lost touch, and through the passage of time, the social media and, more importantly, shared interests, we have reconnected.
  • American Soustannie:  You can take someone away from Africa, but Africa never leaves her.  Belladonna Took is one such now living in the USA.  Her award winning (Liebster and Versatile Blogger) blog is a (mostly) fun read.  Our one meeting, over tea, will remain with me as a surprising meeting of kindred spirits.
  • Navel-Gazing 101: Briony describes herself as a relentless people-watcher and eavesdropper with itchy feet and a predilection for adventure and stories. And then she chucks in the parenthetical comment that she’s in a wheelchair.  Well, she’s another fellow old Rhodian, a prodigious blogger, brave woman who’s wheels are firmly on the ground.  She has a zest for life that should be a lesson to us all.  I am delighted to have had the opportunity of meeting her, and of serving a Sandbag House supper to her and GM.
  • Crow’s Feet is Michelle Frost’s award-winning blog.  Michelle is school mate of mine, born in Africa, living in Scotland and who is an author and poet

Blogs I’ve discovered through my blogging journey, whose writers have become “blog pals”, and with whom I have the most fascinating virtual conversations.  They are, in no particular order:

  • Traci York is my witchy blog pal from New Hampshire.  I kid you not.  In addition to her weekly and unmissable Tuesday Tarot readings, her blog is eclectic and as cheerful as the witch herself.
  • Plants to Planks – a blog and website about plant-based foods to fuel an active lifestyle.  Katie Jensen is a personal trainer, nutrition coach and accidental vegan from Atlanta.  Topping it all, she’s a downright nice person.  In addition to having self-published her first recipe book, her blog is full of fabulous ideas for plant-based recipes.  She and I have great fun exchanging ideas about plant-based cooking.
  • Nicky Havey describes himself as a blogger, traveller and a producer of electronic liquid drum and bass music.  His travel blogs are legend, and if you like electronic music (it’s growing on me), this is a fab place to begin.  Oh, and he happens to be one of the punniest people I know on the Steemit blockchain!  Another thing: he’s considering a visit to South Africa which could necessitate his blog moving from this list to the one above.
  • Where to next? Riding in cars with dogs and What’s cooking on page 32? Peggy’s husband is a former Australian diplomat and they love traveling which tells you about the first blog.  The second is about cooking and has its own story – take a look.
  • The Drunken Cyclist is an erstwhile tour guide in France (not French) and has been noted as one of the top 100 wine bloggers in the US.  In addition to writing knowledgeably (very) about wine (and being a cyclist), Jeff’s stories of his time in France are often both self-deprecating and hilarious.  He’s being tempted (nagged) to visit South Africa where we have some of the best cycling … ahem … wine….  If he does, we shall sip good wine together, and this blog will also shift to the first list…
  • Notes from the UK:  Ellen Hawley is an American author living in Cornwall.  Her perspective on Brits and living in the UK can be both acerbic and screamingly funny.  Having grown up with British parents, and in a society that harks back to Britain, I often see in it, them and myself.

This list will grow (or shrink, as the case may be).  My informal criteria for selecting blogs I like reading:

  • topics that interest me
  • people who write what they like
  • what they have to say is compelling – whether or not I agree with them