My name is meemalee and I write about food.
That first part's a lie. "Meemalee" is just a nickname my best friend made up for me at uni. My real name is MiMi which virtually no-one can spell correctly (that's two big M's, thanks). I do, however, write about food.
I always wanted to be a writer. My mum still has a book in which I scrawled my first ever offering at the tender age of three. I'm reproducing it verbatim as a world exclusive:
"A long long time ago there was a man and a wooman. They went to Beflehem. A long long time ago."At the age of five, I wrote a Blytonesque six-chapter extravaganza about a kindly grandfather, his adorable grandson and a magical rocking horse. I was meant to write about what I'd done that weekend.
At the age of eight, I typed up a sequel to the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. I illustrated it and everything.
At the age of ten, I wrote a storybook called "Dragons in the House" for children (well, for children younger than me). It had a pop-up, firebreathing dragon and little envelopes just like Janet and Allan Ahlberg's The Jolly Postman.
At the age of 14, obsessed with PG Wodehouse, I entered a school contest with a short comic novella called "High Society" about a young toff seeking fame and fortune. I won.
And then, and then, I put away my childish things. Decided I had to be a grown-up. I stopped writing altogether.
I met my husband at university. He was a creative type - short stories were his forte. He got published in the May Anthologies. He was this close to winning a BBC writing competition. He wrote a proper novel. And I looked on, wistfully. My muse had long flown.
I kept myself entertained though. I took photos of everything, and especially of food. I even began to write a Burmese cookery book, figuring that no-one really knew anything about Burmese food in the West. I got a fair bit done, and then became demoralised and decided no-one would be interested, especially as, rather than concentrate on recipes, a lot of it descended into whimsical rambling.
And in the meantime, I'd read food blogs. Not the big, famous ones about restaurants I could never afford in places I would never go to and which were often incredibly earnest, worthy and self-important.
No, I liked the ones that managed to have a sense of humour, that were not afraid to poke fun at an establishment or at themselves, and were written by people who I thought I would get on with in real life. All of these blogs can be found on my blogroll.
By far my favourite blog was noodlepie, by a guy from
But I'd never write a blog myself. I mean, who'd be interested?
The years went by. I watched a lot of telly. Food shows were my personal pr0n - Come Dine With Me, The Restaurant, Great British Menu, The Supersizers, god, even Eating with the Enemy. All grist to my TV-viewing mill.
And then there was MasterChef. How I love thee, MasterChef. In 2009, a loveable Kiwi guy called Mat Follas managed to reach the grand final and if I had been the gambling type, I'd have bet on him to win. And lo, he did.
And I jumped up and down on the sofa and I ranted to my husband about how great the final had been. And my husband gave me a look and said "Why don't you blog about it?"
And I looked back at him and said "Don't be silly". But then I thought about it for a while.
Finally, I realised that it didn't matter that I was no longer inspired to make up stories. Write what you know, they say. Well, I know about food.
And that was that.
It's now exactly a year to the day since my very first blog post on that MasterChef final (my blog's first anniversary) and there's been a few changes. I originally tried to write every other day, but that way madness lies. I used to catalogue every post with an R word at the start like "Review", "Rant", "Recipe" but decided that was just dumb. I even asked a few people for reciprocal blogroll links before realising that's a stupid, stupid, newbie faux pas (apologies to anyone I did this to).
The biggest change is that I bought my own domain name - I don't know if anyone noticed but you're now looking at http://www.meemalee.com/ rather than http://meemalee.blogspot.com. This in itself is tremendously exciting for a nerd like me.
I feel a bit more settled now. I'm still not sure who reads this blog apart from charitable friends and family and the odd fellow blogger - it delights me that anyone bothers at all, and the other day I was left speechless when I read this:
Yep, that's from noodlepie, my favourite blogger ever. My mind is truly boggled.
Soooo, I guess I'll keep writing for now. I'd quite like to be paid for it one day if poss, but at any rate I enjoy being rude about food. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as me.
And I'm still writing that Burmese cookbook.
(pic of me at top copyright Kavita Favelle, composite created with Photofunia)