Crikey, it’s been a bit quiet on here recently hasn’t it? On the off chance there’s anyone still looking here, then let me explain.
There’s a line in a Piebald song that has stayed with me for years: “If you’re bored, then you must be boring too.” And dear lord, I’ve been bored. This is partly my own fault because I’d stopped exploring, weighed down by a pressure about all these new places. But how excited can you get over yet another Indian street food venue opening, when you’ve been eating thali and dosa for years? And if I wasn’t feeling much love for what it is I’m supposed to be writing here, then I didn’t want to go around boring anyone left who might be reading the blog.
So I just kinda stopped.
And the break has done me the world of good. It gave me the opportunity to do other stuff, like cycling and reading and less procrastinating because I was avoiding writing the blog when it felt like a chore. I still did a lot of the types of things you do when you’re procrastinating, but it wasn’t layered with guilt.
So where does that leave Full to the Brum?
Honestly, I was playing around with shutting the whole thing down. But I still took photos of food, I still enjoyed hearing about people’s dinners, and I still liked the surprise of finding somewhere new to me. But the food scene felt pretty unwelcoming and the more I felt like this, the more I just thought maybe it’s time to call it a day. I did what I set out to do, I got people sitting up and taking notice of the Birmingham food scene on a national stage.
But then a few seemingly unconnected things happened: I started reading Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, I read this tweet by Ruby Tandoh about needing different voices in food writing, and I had a few conversations about straight white men cliques in the Birmingham food scene. And my delightfully screwy brain clicked in all together, my stubbornness kicked in and I realised I’m not quite done, but it’s time for a change.
Full to the Brum has allowed me to do some pretty cool things, from being on telly to writing for national magazines. But being female, fat and not earning enough to be able to afford big fancy meals are an excuse some people use to try to discredit what I do. But that piece I did for International Women’s Day was far more popular than I expected; I want to do more of it. And whilst Full to the Brum isn’t going to become some overly political blog, I am going to actively start encouraging and lending my platform to other people whose voices are traditionally ignored – if this is you and you fancy writing something, let me know.
I’m also tentatively playing around with the idea of starting a podcast, which is something I’ve been thinking about for months. I love that people give me recommendations, tell me stories about food…if you forgive the cliche, I hunger for it. And I figure that it might be kinda cool to try and do something with this. I have no idea where I’m going to start or from a technical point of view how I’m going to do it, but it’s an idea I’m playing around with and if you’d be willing to let me interview you, let me know.
So, Full to the Brum is coming out of hibernation. For the meantime it might look like it always did, but I’ll be trying to make a change. It’ll still be about food and drink in and around Birmingham. It’ll just be better.