What’s in a Name?

I’m jumping the gun a little here, but I’m not big on anniversaries, not disregarding them, it’s just “this exact day” doesn’t mean as much to me as the journey to that day and the journey of days ahead. I’m also a a loose end for a while and figured I should type this up so I can stop reminding myself to do it later. Surely I’ll still be here in a week or so, that’d be the height of irony, but you can’t get rid of me that easily. So what’s the big idea? Why it’s almost one year since I started the blog! I’m now cemented as one of those young, shush, hip, stiff hip, bloggers, rambler more like, that are in excess supply from what I’ve seen. They’re mostly better than I am. Seriously so many people younger than I am blowing away the free-from scene, not discounting the older crowd, but I like to pretend I can catch up to them one day. A man can dream, right? Everyone has something to share, what’s surprised me is that I did too. I never really thought about blogging, but I thought I’d take the plunge after a few suggestions and I’ve found that it added a new dimension to my life. There was a little extra reward for all my hard work. I mean, there were, and are, people looking at my recipes and even commenting on them. My recipes! That still causes me to sit here dumbfounded.

In  saying that when I started the blog I didn’t do it for any other reason than to share my recipes with people who may find them useful, I had no intention of getting caught up in the glamour of likes, comments and social media, or the feeling that I was something extra special. I’ve stayed true to that and I’m happier for it. I haven’t changed anything I do, I bake and cook the same way and for the same reasons. I’ve also never felt the need to be anything more than myself, that’s also partly thanks to the really wonderful free-from community, there are a lot of kind people out there. On the whole the blog has done well, my biggest achievement was being asked to write two, yes two!, guest posts for a much larger blog headed by a very experienced baker and cook (Here and here). I still find it strange that people like what I do. I mean I’m just me, you know? I don’t exactly fit the handsome-happy-go-lucky-healthy-gym -nut that seemed to dominate the scene. Though now I’ve been here a while I see it’s really made up of an assortment of people, some are just louder. I’ve stayed true to the idea of sharing these recipes for free, crediting when possible and helping other allergies/intolerances when I can. I don’t want to go “pro” and I don’t want to abandon what I feel is important. I just want to share these recipes, if possible I’d like to spread the site around more,  further guest posts would be incredible, I guess I just want things to carry on as they are. The traffic is decent, a dozen or so people a day and even a handful of comments and emails. All I can say is thank you very much, you may have no idea how much all your support means, but know I’ll never forget it even if I can never return it fully. Please continue to support Pep’s Free From Kitchen!

So, what is in a name? Well, it’s either fun story or a dull one. I’ll try to tell it as well as I can. Well, firstly, it began the day I was born, kidding! My nickname was actually Pep growing up, my Da (Father) always called me that. Sadly he passed away a few years ago. I was struggling with another issue before coeliac and everything else hit, I decided that I would overcome it for him, I cared for him for two years 24/7 along with my Mother and Brother and really stuck to that promise for him. Not that he ever knew it, but he didn’t need to. It’s an issue I won’t go into and one I’ll struggle with for the rest of my life, but it’s been nearly nine years and no relapses. So what’s that got to do with the name of the site? Well After about six years I decided to get a tattoo to commemorate the dedication to keeping to my promise, it probably pushed me to get healthier too that drive to be more than I was, and what could I get but Pep. Now what I had to decide was what font to use, so I decided to go with one similar to my Father’s handwriting.

 photo IMGP4117_e_zpsqv017kga.jpgExcuse the fuzzy arm, dog butt and blotchy arm. I’m really pale, just not pretty pale.

I will never forget that day. I etched it into my mind and heart, it means more to me than anyone can know. The half naked man joking about his huge chest tattoo, the stifling heat, the excitement and fear, a certainty that this was what I wanted, boring old me. The work to get there was the starting point of all this. I wanted this since I was sixteen and had no idea what I wanted but knew that I wanted a tattoo. There was one surprise to the tattoo that I never knew was there. I noticed something when I turned my arm.

 photo 121_zps7jyviqo4.jpg

Yup, it spells Dad upside down. I couldn’t have planned it better. I chose the name because it was his for me and I chose the font  because it was similar to his hand and then that happens. It still amazes to me to think a magical fluke like that occurred. So when it came time to name the blog, what could I do? It was just going to be Pep’s Kitchen but that was taken. The rest as they say is history. I just thought I’d share this silly little story. Think it of my way of saying thank you. Until next time and here’s to more years of blogging!

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