Wednesday 21 February 2018

Marion blames her food-blogging on the kids. It was great being home on maternity leave with Rebekah, but it was boring, too.

Marion blames her food-blogging on the kids. It was great being home on maternity leave with Rebekah, but it was boring, too.

One night, Marcus observed that she found the weaning to solids more absorbing than actually being at work. At first, she wanted to hit him over the head with the stick-blender, but then she had a brainwave. On her phone, she already had a stockpile of photos of meals she had made for Rebekah. She'd only been sending them to her fellow mummy friends, but she realised she should start a blog. She wasn't showing off, and blogging is different to boasting. It could even become a proper job.

That was three years ago. Marion hadn't gone back to the office as planned, because she got pregnant with Toby and Ruby when Rebekah was eight months. And the blogging isn't paid work yet. Unless you count the freebies as pay. Which they kind of are, she tells Marcus, because they save them on the shopping. Not when it's stuff they'd never buy otherwise, and things she never uses, Marcus answers.

He's wrong. Marion uses everything. Just not necessarily more than once. There are several lurking bags of chia seeds. Her chia-seed puddings looked amazing in pics, but they tasted like frog spawn, and no one would eat them. Not that she mentioned this online. Nor the fact that when she was sent some black puddings, they were gobbled. Marion loves freebies, but they have to be the right freebies. She has her integrity.

The freebies started coming once the blog gained a profile. Everyone says her pictures are the making of it. She did an online course for food bloggers and learned about choosing quirky crockery, keeping boring domestic clutter out of shot and always remembering to namecheck the freebies. And making sure everyone knows where to send stuff. But you have to be careful what you accept.

The kids would love to see some frozen chips arrive, and, really, so would Marion, but they're not in keeping with her image. She has a reputation to maintain.

What she'd like next is a book deal. Marcus needs to see something more come out of this than the odd free rib roast and many, many new varieties of artisan granola. As he says, it's a lot of work that isn't work, but Marion loves it. Lack of income is an issue, though, unless she can start online trading in unused food.

Sunday Independent

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