Bloggers: they come in all shapes and sizes, all types of personalities (from the shy to the outgoing, from the loud to the timid), they dress with all different styles under the rainbow, they may even wear the wrong bra size but, you know what, they are all fabulous.
This is why, when you find yourself in a room full of female bloggers (300 is as full as a room can get), you will not (and should not) ever feel judged, criticised or put down. There is such a feeling of camaraderie, community and genuine happiness at finally meeting in real life that person whose blog you have been reading for ages, whose recipes you’ve been trying in your own kitchen, who you have been tweeting for ages… or seeing again that blogger you met a while back at an event.
This is due to the fact that most bloggers start writing their online journals as their form of expression and personal release and, through it, they end up finding support and friendship.
Yes, there may be trolls but, you know what, they already existed in the coolest gnome cartoon I used to watch as a kid.
|See? All fabulous|
To stand in a room full of these amazing, inspiring, fabulous women and being a part of their group, where no one should ever be left out (and if they do they should come have a word with me and I’ll sort them out)… to be able to do that one whole Saturday in mid-May 2012, that has been the highlight of my blogging time so far and I owe the organiser Siân To and my train companion Kat from 3 Bedroom Bungalow (who I had already met the week before for a coffee) a huge thank you.
Sian: geek is indeed chic and you are most inspiring and generous.
Kat: thank you for confirming what I thought all along, I am blogging for myself and, with people like Typecast’s Nickie O’Hara to put my (Blogger technical-side) arse into gear in just 40 minutes, I shall keep on doing this my own way, writing “me”.
There were so many amazing women there (and a few good men) that I couldn’t mention them all here as I would be bound to forget some, so everyone who I spoke to, even if it was for only 2 seconds: I am honoured to have met you.
I probably should have done this ages ago, for goodness sake I booked my ticket last year! But better late than never, right? Here we go, my Cybher Meet & Greet.
Name: Maria, also known as Feisty Tapas
Blog: Feisty Tapas
Twitter ID: @feistytapas
Height: About 5’5″ but I haven’t measured myself in so many years that I may have shrunk. Plus that’s a conversion, remember we use the metric system for EVERYTHING in Spain.
Hair: Variable. Right now I think it’s chestnutty and about shoulder lenghth. Who has time to look in the mirror anymore? Next time I colour it it will probably be a a shade or two lighter.
Five things you should know about me:
- I speak with a very strong Spanish accent, it catches people by surprise after reading me.
- I can hardly feel the left side of my face, curious? Look here if you want to know why.
- I come from Northwest Spain. No, not from Catalonia and no, not Bilbao either. No, no, not Santander, neither Asturias. Right, here you go, this is Northwest Spain.
- I am on the wrong side of my thirties, i.e. next year I will be 40, fabulous and throwing a massive vintage party if I have it my way, think the garden party in Sabrina.
- I have a little girl, right now aged 22 months.
If you are at Cybher 2012, make sure you indeed come and greet me! Look for these polka dots.
This bank holiday weekend, instead of “enjoying” the current British weather from your living room window. How about spicing things up with an exotic celebration? On Sunday make sure you celebrate Spanish Mothers’ Day.
Every year Spanish Mothers’ Day falls on the first Sunday of May, it makes it easy to remember. In Catholicism, the month of May is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. In fact, Spanish Fathers’ Day falls always on March 19th (St Joseph’s). I may not be religious but I did go to a Catholic school and grew up in a majorly Catholic country, that’s my bit of serious knowledge for you for the day.
Now, let’s move on to the fun part, shall we? Yes, if you are a mother or you have a mother you want to treat this Spanish Mothers’ Day you may have to put in some effort.
You could prepare some tapas easily at home. Some ideas:
– Fill a bowl with olives (you know, from that olive bar you have been eying up).
|What’s usually left of the chorizo in red wine, i.e. nothing|
– Slice some thick chunks of chorizo sausage and fry them first on their own to release some juices and then add some red wine and let it bubble. Make sure you peel the chorizo first, at least that is the way I prefer it, I don’t like nasty surprises. Mr Tapas has this chorizo down to a fine art ever since he tried it at Tapas Revolution.
– Buy a tin/jar or two of anchovies
– Buy some manchego or idiazábal or any other Spanish cheeses that you can find, that’s a couple more dishes sorted.
– Get nice crusty bread (to dip in the chorizo’s lovely wine sauce and to put the anchovies on), for instance.
– Buy some Spanish meats: jamón serrano or ibérico, chorizo, lomo, salchichón, fuet. Whatever you can get your hands on.
– Buy a few tins or jars of sardines, lay them over sliced boiled potatoes, some people add raw onion to it. It will depend on how well your tummy and breath deal with that.
– Make a mixed salad: buy a prepared bag, empty it in a bowl with some cherry tomatoes, cheese, tuna, olives, sliced onion, boiled egg… anything goes where salad is concerned. My favourite homemade dressing is: a garlic clove stamped on bluntly with the hand a few times, good extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and grain mustard, put it in one of those handy bottles for making salad dressings or in a jar, cover and shake really well. Adapt the measurements to your liking, whether you like more the flavour of vinegar, of good olive oil or of mustard.
– Get a good Spanish wine, a good Tempranillo. Or a beer, see if you can get your hands on a few Estrella Galicia.
You don’t have to do all of these, they are just suggestions for you to mix&match.
Lay it on the table really nicely and you’re set. Spanish Mothers’ Day sorted for you, your wife, your mother… whichever woman in your life is or is about to become a mother.
If you’re doing it for yourself, make sure they know why you’re doing it, that they are doing the washing up and that they need to talk Spanish for a little while. And no, no sombreros (they’re Mexican!).
A few words that may come in handy: a la mesa (basically short for come on you lot I have just slaved over a hot stove for hours and I need you all to sit down and tell me that you like it).
And yes, this is how we eat at the Tapas household quite often, I love that my husband has taken so well to it.
Of course, you could just take them all out for some tapas, that way no one has to wash up. The fact is that you now have an excuse to do something Spanish this weekend!