24.01.2020 – Introduction

Admittedly I have been a part time, flaky blogger pretty much since blogging became a thing. As I sit here in my favourite coffee chop in Clapham Junction, creating blog number 49589329, I come across many of my old blogs from over the years, and I’ve found myself utterly amazed at how my life has panned out and un-forcefully fallen into place over the years.

Let’s rewind back to summer 2014. I’m living in France with my mum and sisters. This was a temporary home however we weren’t certain of this at the time. I was in between my first and second year, studying Geography at Newcastle university and my passion for baking had exploded in full force. If anywhere is going to help unleash a passion for food, it’s provence.

provence

We were staying in a tiny little apartment in St Jeannet, about a 20 minute drive into the mountains from Nice. My sisters came and went as they got on with their own lives, but mum and I spent a whole 2 months in the heat of summer, pretending to be French locals. Our whole day would evolve around food. The abundance of fresh produce in France makes it impossible to have a bad meal and it was because of this availability, that I spent more and more time in our tiny little kitchen, creating French desserts. I actually went on to write my dissertation on the importance of local produce, but thats a story for another day.

Anyway, I digress into what now seems like a French fairytale, however the point of me telling you about this part of my life is because this is where my passion for baking really began. I stumbled across my first ever blog today, where I wrote about my experience baking in France, I was reminded of how far I have come since then, and what once seemed like a very non chronological series of events, now makes complete sense. Cliche I know, but I truly believe everything happens for a reason.

Fast forward 5 years later to 2019, and at least a dozen blog attempts of different sorts, I am living in Clapham Junction, working in Sales for a healthy snacking company and writing blog posts about finding my purpose in life, as my life at the time, clearly wasn’t feeling very purposeful at all. This blog post is traceable through this link and I personally, found it absolutely fascinating to read as if almost forgotten that I’d even written this in the first place. As you can read for yourself, I was feeling like my passions and dreams weren’t at all aligned with what I  was doing at the time, and admittedly I was feeling quite depressed about the whole situation.

I felt an immense pressure to follow the same usual path as everyone else that graduates from a well established university. Work as hard as you can to earn as much money as possible, to then be able to spend as much as possible to then repeat the cycle all over. My rent was more than half of my monthly salary, and I was working long hours to then spend the rest of my salary on drowning my sorrows in alcohol. As much as I could see that this wasn’t a way I wanted to live my life, I couldn’t see a way out. It wasn’t until my health began to deteriorate that I decided enough was enough. I quit my job in sales with no prospects of what to do next and moved back home for the summer. As much as it was distressing not to know what would come next, I had an immense sense of freedom and for the first time felt and acknowledged that I myself am in control of my own life.

If I knew someone would actually be interested enough to know more, i feel like this blog post could be 100x more in depth with all the creepy little signs that eventually I would be where I am now, however perhaps for now this is enough.

So where am I now? Coincidently relevant to my top 2 biggest passions in my blog post about finding my purpose (baking and writing), I am a pastry chef at Ottolenghi, whilst studying a course in professional patisserie, and about to scarily commit myself to daily diary entries about my journey and experiences, perhaps with a few recipes thrown in here and there. If you’ve happened to fall across this blog and at all think you’ll find it interesting, then I wish you very happy reading and would like to thank you for your attention.

Grace x

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