What I’ve Been Eating
I’ve been trying to do a lot more of this blogging thing but like I said on my last post, it’s tougher than it sounds. You can write about anything but to narrow it down to one thing that’s vaguely interesting is a real challenge. I’m a photographer, I’m not supposed to read or write. How restaurant critics find something new and interesting to write about essentially the same thing every week, their dinner, is nothing short of a miracle. I think I’ve found the answer to more regular blog post, I’ll just write a bit about what I’ve been eating. I don’t have any agenda, I’m not gluten free, a clean eater, a vegan, or any other type of eater. I just like a balanced mixture of pretty much anything and everything. So, my blogging will be devoid of any themes, it’s basically just pictures of what I’ve been eating.
I think Instagram is the real reason for this. I’ve been posting pictures of food on Instagram pretty much every day for over 18 months. Having worked as an editorial photographer in London for over 20 years in 2010, my wife and I took over a pub on the south coast to be nearer friends and family. We had the romantic idea that I’d still be popping out doing freelance jobs as and when I wanted, carrying on with not one, but two careers. Wrong, big, big mistake. It soon became clear that running a pub is an all-encompassing lifestyle choice. If I spent days away from the business it would sink, quickly. In the six years we were running the pub my photography career pretty much came to a grinding halt.
When we left the pub, I picked up my camera again, this time for pleasure. I began taking pictures of what I was eating because well, why not? Food and drink was and is, a big part of our working life. At the pub, we were constantly looking at food magazines and recipe books for new ideas, my wife bakes cakes and so I started to enjoy taking pictures again. I like to think of my Instagram account as not only a diary of what we’ve eaten but a record of where we were in a moment in our life. I’ve pretty much become addicted to Instagram, I know there are a lot of arguments against it, especially for photographers, but I think it’s a great tool. I love to see what other people have been stuffing their faces with, looking at how restaurants present their food to their customers, even what the famous chefs on there are doing. Also, some of the photography is really outstanding. If you don’t believe me dig around a bit, you’ll find it.
Every weekend through December there has been a market on in Southsea shopping centre and every weekend I’d been walking past the Polish street food traders at Heavenly Sausage. These smoked pork foot long beauties are called Kielbasa and if you finish one of these off you won’t need to eat anything for some time. Good street food is amazing and these guys certainly know what they are doing. Next month we are visiting Thailand for the first ever time and I plan on eating street food, a lot. In November, I even bought a new camera in preparation for the trip. I’ve shot with Canon cameras for years but I didn’t want to be carrying a heavy camera bag around with all my equipment so I finally bought a compact system camera, the Fuji X-T2. Same control over aperture and shutter speeds and similar file size but no mirror, so less than half the weight. It was weird learning how to use a new camera again but after initial uncertainty, a few weeks in I’ve grown to love it. I’ll only have to carry one lightweight body and two small lenses around for the entire trip, perfect.
Where we live in Southsea we are lucky enough to have some great places to eat and drink, and Southsea Coffee is one of the best cafes you will find anywhere. A small independent place that really does care about what they do. Everything is homemade and they batch roast their own speciality coffee. The menu is fairly small (which is always a good thing) and constantly changing (which is another good thing). There’s lots of vegan and vegetarian options, both of which I’m neither, but everything there is super tasty. If you’ve got a sweet tooth there’s bucket loads of cakes and pastries to satisfy your needs. We are really lucky to have this gem of a place almost on our doorstep.
Finally, I’d like to mention leftovers. One of the best bits about Christmas dinner is the food that’s leftover. Cold meats, pickles with bubble and squeak, that stuff puts me in heaven. Throughout the year we’ve nearly always got excess food in our fridge, and it’s a dark day in our house if there’s no leftovers to be had. I’m a massive advocate of cooking and eating everything we’ve bought. Even when I’m at the gym I’m thinking, just get through this and there’s some leftovers in the fridge with your name on it. Christmas leftovers are an indicator that the big day is over, the shopping is done, everyone’s had their presents, relax a bit, watch the telly. More importantly, graze on the contents of the fridge and fill yourself with cheese.
Now that I’ve worked out that I don’t need a theme for my blog updates I’m hoping they will be more frequent. As they say, you’ve got to eat, so I may as well take the pictures.