Well, this is exciting, is it not?
It’s been exactly two years since our first recipe – a curry loaf that looked like someone had pooed out a polysterene brick and presented in that awful comic-book style we thought was a great, unique idea. It wasn’t. You don’t know stress until you’ve attempted to distil a complex risotto recipe into four pictures and five speech-bubbles.
It was never going to last, we thought, because who wants to read about two fat mincers from Newcastle who do very little and moan all the time?
Turns out quite a lot of you, actually! We’ve grown in these last two years from a tiny little blog into something that we can’t begin to tell you how proud we are of doing. I remember getting to 100 subscribers, then into the low thousands and now we’re over 11,000 of you who want us to come in your inbox once a day. We can’t manage that anymore (we’re getting old) but we usually manage to get it up for you at least four times a week, and that’s not bad. The focus of the blog shifted right at the start – we planned on being a ‘recipe’ bank, posting a new recipe every day (we’ve got over 370 now!), but give me a platform and I start chuntering – most blogs fall on their arse within a few weeks because of lack of comments and feedback – not a problem with me. I’d cheerfully talk to a brick wall. We’ve got 26,000 in our group on Facebook (which we only allow a few people in at a time to stop all the posts about how many syns in a fucking Brooklea yoghurt) and, incredibly, 100,000 likes on Facebook. I find that mind-blowing and I could not be more grateful.
One thing that I hope runs right through this blog is our love of Slimming World. Christ knows that, as a diet, it has some major flaws (avocado anyone? Tweaking? Sweetener in a bolognese?) but we remain members and love the ethos of it all. I do like to think we provide a bit of a counter for all the sugary flim-flam they’re keen on pushing – no-one is on a journey, for goodness sake, we’re all just big balls of fat and muscle trying to fit into an aeroplane seat without them having to let the stitching out on the chairs. I dread to think what Slimming World think of us, but I like to imagine that occasionally our Fierce Overlord “Mags” puts down her gold-plated Chat magazine, lights up her 60th prison-rollie of the day with her penis-shaped SHAGALUF lighter and cackles and coughs her way through our posts like everyone else. There’s a love and a warmth in Slimming World that doesn’t come through in other diets and that’s why we stick with it, even if we don’t really follow the diet 100% all the time. I hope that shows. We certainly get plenty of messages from consultants who chuckle at our descriptions…aah SW, you should have returned my calls, all my disposable income and sass could have been yours! Right, some memories…
All links below will open in new windows, don’t worry.
I asked our facebook group and page for some memories and the feedback was amazing – the time Paul got bitten by a horse was a favourite, as was the night we got caught getting up to dickens by a farmer in the quietest tractor ever. The cats have featured heavily, as you’d expect, and Bowser’s trip to the vets or Sola’s hankerin’ for a spankin’ getting top billing. You’ve come with us to Ireland, Corsica, New York, Iceland, Cornwall and er…Peterborough. Who could forget our wonderful day out at Lands End (not me, I’m still paying for the counselling) or Paul dealing with the rep in Corsica with his cock hanging out?
You’ve hopefully laughed along with us as I shut a fart in a cupboard, fell out of a hammock, shouted uuuuuuuuuuuunt at a car, met the in-laws, exposed my hairy arse to a station load of waiting Germans, went accidental dogging, had an MRI scan (“vulnerable as I am on a metal tray being slid into a giant Samsung-branded sphincter”), explained in no uncertain terms what I think of tweaking, accidentally put a gaping bumhole up on facebook instead of a steak recipe, absolutely nailed what it is like to be a Slimming World member, created a new enemy in the car park, spent five hours not buying a caravan, ruined a tourist’s selfies…the list goes on! We’ve certainly had fun.
Actually, that’s one of the best things about this blog for me and Paul – we’ve now got a record of the last two years of our lives that we can look back on and enjoy. We have always said that we’ll keep doing the blog as long as it stays fun to do and, thanks in absolutely no small part to the wonderful folk in our group, page and who comment, it is fun. We love to laugh and hope that we’ve tickled you at some point. We’ve had about six complaints in all of the time we’ve done this blog – three of those were because we swear too much, which I abso-fucking-lutely took on board. One was about advertising but I’ve always kept that subtle:
Another complaint came because I made a poor taste gag (“shaking like Josef Fritzl on Through the Keyhole“) and the clincher complaint was some moon-faced harlot whinging because we didn’t do enough to support her despite sending her recipes, advising her on what to eat and checking on her. I presume she wanted us to get a bus to Leeds, chew her food for her and spit it in her mouth like a fucking swallow. Ha!
Of course, it hasn’t all been shits and giggles – there’s been some sad times too, and having this blog has given me an outlet I previously struggled to find. The week my gran died was both a low and a high point, when not a day goes by that I don’t miss her, I was able to pour out my grief in the only way I could – laughter and fondness. She died before the blog really took off, but I reckon she would have been tickled pink had I told her about getting a mention, albeit she probably would have preferred to be alive first.
There’s also been a couple of posts that touch on my anxiety, too – I struggle with health anxiety and whilst I’m usually very up, when the downs come, they come hard. Just like Paul. But here’s an interesting thing. When I ‘lapse’ now and start fretting, I can look back at previous entries where I mentioned I definitely had something awful and see, with hindsight, how silly it was. I feel fantastic at the moment. Let that be a quick message to anyone else suffering with anxiety – it can, does and definitely will get better. It never seems like it when you’re low, but trust this big old gay, it absolutely does.
Perhaps the lowest point of all though – even surpassing death and anxiety – was what happened this March. Even now it makes me feel sick, worried and regretful, and I’m a bloody strong person. It’ll absolutely take some getting used to, I know that, but I reckon I’m not going to be right for another couple of years. Changed my life? Yep. Ruined my life? Almost. But see, Paul was so desperate for change. So we bought a fucking Smart car.
Of course, you can read all of our previous entries in a lovely book, available right here!
Finally, let’s get this wrapped up – we owe the biggest thanks to YOU lot. No, honestly, we do! As I said before, I’d type even if no-one read what I garbled onto the page, but our page-views (now easily 60,000 – 70,000 a day) says we’re doing something right. We get so many lovely messages from folk who enjoy what we do and tell us it’s invigorated them or lit a spark in their dieting, private messages with ideas and thoughts, comments left on the blog from you good folk about what you like. We’re massive softies under the cynical, jaded fronts we put out and some of the stuff proper moves us, which as anyone on a Slimming World diet knows, is bloody important. We do read every comment and although we’re crap at replying (we work full time!) don’t think we’re not grateful! We love what this blog has become and we love you all – so thank you, thank you very much 🙂
A final favour, and this would REALLY make us happy – please do leave a comment on this post, either via WordPress or Facebook, just letting us know of a moment or bit of wording that has made you laugh. We forget so many that it really does wonders for us! We’re not looking for anyone to stroke our egos but it would just be brilliant!
Here’s to another year!
James, and of course, Paul