When I started my blog two years ago, no one was reading it. Carl’s job every night was to click in and out of my blog to cause something to show up on my blog stats. But quickly Carl’s fingers wore out. As did his keyboard. So as I didn’t know of any blogs besides my own, I asked Mr Google to help me find some. I asked him to show me best blogs, food blogs, Sydney’s top blogs, award-winning blogs and what I noticed is, one blog kept appearing over and over again on all of these lists. Mr Google introduced me to Not Quite Nigella so I clicked on over, read the day’s post, left a lame comment and exited.
Shocked to the core, the very next day I had my first cyber friend because Lorraine, from Not Quite Nigella had left a comment on my blog. Carl could take the day off. And every time I left a comment on Lorraine’s blog, she popped back to see me. ‘We must be besties’, I thought.
Through Lorraine’s blog I met many other bloggers and one of them was Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. She rang me one day and asked if I would like to go to lunch with her and her friend. ‘That sounds nice’, I said.
‘Good, because my friend’s Lorraine. I think you’d like her’. I couldn’t believe it. I was going to meet Lorraine, the Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella.
Because Lorraine has such a big blog, I was expecting a really big person (which is incredibly silly) but Lorraine is tiny. Tiny, glamorous and gorgeous. We had a terrific lunch that you can read about here and at the end, Lorraine said, ‘I love your writing and I love your blog’. Well, I went home on a high.
I’m not the only one who has been eagerly awaiting the launch of Lorraine’s book, Not Quite Nigella. A few weeks ago Tania, Celia, Rebecca and I were discussing the launch and we asked Lorraine if we could help in any way with the catering. Lorraine was overjoyed and relieved and agreed that it would be very special to have bloggers catering the launch of a book that is the direct product of blogging.
So we had ourselves a job and because Tania and Rebecca are both professionally trained, they took on the bulk of the workload organising budgets and costings and equipment and transportation and timing etc. Celia and I lay low and let them work it out while doing a little cooking of our own. I was going to make individual leek and bacon quiches but given the large numbers of gluten-free and vegetarian guests, I decided to make frittatas instead. While they were all eaten I won’t share my recipes because they didn’t look as elegant as I would have liked, mostly because the little buggers stuck like glue to my baking trays. I will refine the recipe and get back to you!
The launch was held in the penthouse suite of the Diamant Boutique Hotel in Kings Cross. At $3,000/night it’s a stunning venue with plenty of space for the 60 guests. Carl was the assigned photographer for the event and so we arrived early. In the lift going up to the penthouse was another early arrival. I asked her, ‘So how do you know Lorraine?’ And she replied, ‘I’m her hairdresser’.
With great interest I said, ‘So how was your date with Manu?’ Because in a post a few weeks ago Lorraine had mentioned that she had set up her hairdresser on a blind date with Mr NQN’s brother, Manu. The hairdresser looked a little stunned. But then the lift doors opened and there stood a tall thin man and the hairdresser introduced me to him as Mr NQN. And I threw my arms around him and gave him a kiss and a lingering hug and he was then even more stunned than the hairdresser because he had no idea who I was. It’s just that from reading Lorraine’s blog I felt like Mr NQN and I had quite a friendship going.
Banished to the kitchen I then took orders from Tanya who runs a tight ship in the kitchen, let me tell you. I’d clearly done something wrong because I was given the job of stirring the risotto. It’s a shame Tanya couldn’t have brought a bigger pot.
We emerged from the kitchen to hear Lorraine’s speech that was very heartfelt and brought a tear to the eye. Later I mingled with the guests and it was so much fun being in the same room as all the characters I have come to know and enjoy from reading Not Quite Nigella.
I have my own personally signed copy of Lorraine’s book. I haven’t finished it yet but almost. It’s an unstoppable read telling the story of how and why she became a blogger, the journey that path has taken her and all the funny, challenging and surprising incidents along the way.
I have tremendous respect for Lorraine for being such a trailblazer for bloggers; for setting an incredible standard and for showing us that blogging is a legitimate career, if that’s what you would like it to be.
I know Lorraine, that Tanya, Rebecca and Celia would agree with me when I say, it was an honour to assist you with the launch of your book. Thank you for including us in such a special event.
Oh, and I know I’m late to the party, but I’m now on Instagram. I look forward to connecting with you there.