comments 22

Twitter me this, my lovelies

Twitter! Everyone’s raving about it or moaning about it, and like all of the best things that this world has to offer, it polarises opinion. Love it or hate it, pointless or not, everyone has something to say.

What do you think? Love it? Hate it?

Me? I love it.

I was loathe to join the crowd and write about it, but it’s been an interesting place lately and deserves a mention. And only with regard to food, don’t worry. I care not about mrs kutcher’s bum or insert-random-celebrity’s-random-very-mini-adventure. At least not here.

Like most things I love, it drives me crazy. Crazy! It demands immediacy, and this I can’t provide. Like most bloggers, I work for a living, so twitter is not a space I frequent 9-5, save the occasional lunchtime for a browse. This means that I miss things. Lots of things. Events, gossip, you name it, if it’s interesting, it’s probably on twitter. I don’t like that.

It does demand separating the wheat from the chaff, as there’s lots of crap on twitter too, I’m no twitter evangelist and I see it for what it is, a useful space with manageable chaos full of interesting people and random scary ones. But, hey, that’s ok! It’s worth it, the good uns are keepers and the scary ones can disappear.

The good ones you say? Who are they? For me, lots of interesting food bloggers, producers, wine bloggers and suppliers. Lots of interesting folk with lots of knowledge, available within seconds of a tweet. It’s better than google, you’ve already done your  quality control, and just wait for the answers.

So, if you read my last post you will have read about my wild garlic adventures, where I met fellow food blogger, food urchin, in Borough to collect a plant that he’d dug up from his garden. Fantastic! How did that happen? All through twitter.

If you follow me on twitter or read the Times Online, you might have read about my rhubarb escapades with Celia Brooks Brown. Now, this is a funny one, as I’ve been aware of Celia’s cookbooks for years. Recently she started tweeting, and mentioned that she had lots of allotment rhubarb, would anyone like some?

Why, yes!

The best thing was it was only 20 minutes walk from my new house, how could I not pay a visit? A lovely visit it was too, Celia generously supplied me with lots of rhubarb and other treasures: rocket flowers, cavolo nero, purple sprouting broccoli and lots more. I got to try some asparagus, fresh from the ground and deliciously sweet. We also had a beer as it was cocktail hour at the allotment. Nice! A few days later Celia sent me a link detailing my adventures on Times Online, unexpected and a treat! You can read more about alloments and vegetarian food on her blog, and view more photos here if you’re interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/niamheen/sets/72157617358540500/

It doesn’t stop there. Friendships are forged, like minded people discovered, seedlings and  restaurant recommendations shared and blogs followed. It’s a fantastic space, with a throbbing food community. If you’re reading this, I think you should be on there with us. Follow me at http://twitter.com/eatlikeagirl and come join the fun!




  1. Hey Niamh

    Like so many things on the net, Twitter is both a blessing and a curse. A lot of nonsense has already been written about it (as was written variously about blogging, social networks and even, way back when, email) but in truth its value resides entirely in who you’re communicating with and what you’re communicating. I’m not remotely interested in the pronouncements of celebs, particularly the famed Twitter-celebs, but I’ve made a a lot of good netfriends through Twitter (yourself included of course), and got to know quite a few writers and journalists a lot better.

    So it makes life – the netlife at least – richer – but it has its downside too. You’re right to home in on the real-time nature of it – it makes it a compelling medium, but it also makes it the social notworking site, the time-vampire, if you will, nonpareil. I do find it addictive, and like all addictions, it can start to control your life – like being a smoker, or a heavy drinker, if you’re not actually doing it, you’re probably thinking about doing it, and that starts to blur your focus on anything else

    And the 140 character limitation – in some ways a fascinating discipline, but am I the only one to feel his attention span has slipped another couple of notches over the last few weeks. My blog, where I used to write in a more considered way has certainly suffered from lack of attention recently and I don’t think it’s co-incidental.

    So love it or hate it? Well I sure love doing it… but I’m fearful of it too. I’ve considered cutting it altogether and may do so yet…


    • Hi Bob! I do agree with you. I love how it democratises things (as blogging also does) but it can be hard to manage, and in truth, takes time that I might have used to blog something. So, I’ve cut back a bit, but I still dip in, because it’s too hard to resist it!

  2. Funny, I’m also thinking of blogging about my wild garlic adventures through twitterland, it’s been great meeting fellow foodies like your good self.

    And I’ve got used to the strange looks on the train.

  3. I think twitter is a great place to meet lots of like minded people (I too have a wild garlic from Dan) especially it seems on the foodie stuff – but you are right its also a bit weird (as are some of the people who randomly follow you!).

    Saw this today about attention spans and character # limits and thought it was funny:


    • hello! Dan is a wild garlic hero! I like the random nature of it although sometimes it is just mad! Thanks for the link – I’ll take a look later.

  4. When I first signed up, I didn’t really understand the need to share my inbetween activities with the rest of the world – and in 140 chars – but in time, as I twitted, followed more twitters, and got the follow-back and twitted some more, I began to feel an attachment to twitter and not just the service – but the people on it, and it really does feel like I am completely connected to a mass social world out there – and somehow, I think people on tweet know more about me than my immediate family.

    Today, if something big (or tiny, or naff all) happens in my life, the first people I tell are the peeps on twitter… and that includes twitpic-ing my dinners.

    I suppose that’s where twitter fits into my life: I feel like I’m part of this big family now, say something and people do care and reply and comment on the inbetween events that happen in my life. The technology, I guess, has brought more friends into my life and for that, I love it.

    • Lol! I agree Kang. There’s a lovely intimate community on there now, a shared space for us obsessives. I’ve certainly made friends and met many people, and it’s been a great experience.

  5. Hi! I just found your blog and have been browsing for ages. I haven’t bowed to twitter yet, but love the idea that a tweet can produce not only a new friend, but a trip to an allotment and a stack of produce!

    It’s so great to know there’s a strong London blogging community.

    Hurrah for the London Bloggers!

    • Thanks Rebecca! We have a great community, it’s lots of fun :) If you’re London based, come join us!

  6. I agree – you have to be quick on the uptake (update?) on twitter or you lose out on a lot of things, but isn’t that the whole point of it? Real time and all that?

    I too have met a few like-minded individuals through twitter, a couple not even to do with food but that’s the great thing about it; it’s a sociable community and you can butt into people’s conversations and nose into people’s lives.

    • Yeah, immediacy is great if you’re always available, unfortunately I am not. So, it’s not a natural fit for me.

      I agree with the community aspect. So good! :)

  7. I resisted Facebook… I resisted myspace… I resisted Twitter… and then I gave in. To Twitter. I think it’s great. I have just signed up and it’s actually something I can use and enjoy.

  8. Very impressed with Celia’s allotment, and *llove* that shot of asparagus poking out of the ground!

    As for Twitter, nah, it’s not for me. As it is, I feel I already spend far too much time on the net (blogging, Flickr, Redbubble, Google Reader, e-mail) as opposed to living “real life” and seeing my offline friends, and I certainly don’t want to feel as if I have to interrupt real-world social events to Tweet. But I realise that in this respect, I am probably in the minority among my fellow-bloggers ;-)

  9. I feel much the same way as Jeanne. The internet is great in so many ways but some days I feel that everything in my life is being mediated through a twelve inch screen and a keyboard. Does the internet help me write better (than when I just had a word processor)? Take better photos (than when I used film and had to wait whole days for the results of my efforts). Cook better (than when I had to rely on a hundred or so cookbooks and whatever was in season/ in the butchers…). Not convinced that it does, but it sure helps me spend a lot more time typing.

    When I was growing up, my My Mum told me that watching TV would give me square eyes. She didn’t know the half of it…

    Great blog, Jeanne. (what’s Redbubble? I fear to look…).

  10. I was slow getting on Twitter, but I must say I love the immediacy of it. As a food blogger, I find loads of people will contact you via twitter who would never leave a comment on the blog. It’s a great community, good for keeping up with what’s going on, and there is inspiration from people like you on it :)

  11. Pingback: In praise of asparagus and Twitter - Front Page News - NewsSpotz

  12. Pingback: klauninger.net » Blog Archive » In praise of asparagus and twitter

  13. Pingback: Farewell to 2009! Another year over [Part 1] « eat like a girl

Over to you! Your comments - I would love to hear from you :)