The Past.The Present.The Future
In the not so distant past, I knew nothing about blogging and we were just a normal family eating ‘normal’ food. It was 11 July 2012 when my youngest son KJ was officially given a diagnosis of coeliac disease and his lifestyle and dietary patterns changed with those words, “You have coeliac disease and you must eat gluten free for the rest of your life”.
This blog has been my ‘present’ to my son and to mothers of children, especially teenagers, who are diagnosed with coeliac disease. I have referred to it as my ‘Box Full of…” all things gluten free: thoughts, emotions, recipes, products, coping, adjusting, likes and lots more. I have kept true to my original intentions and feel a sense of pride in this achievement. It has also been a gift for me because not only have I taught myself a little about blogging and upskilled my computer competencies, my blog has also been my way of coping with the trials and tribulations of a gluten free lifestyle, accepting change, guiding my son along his journey and then learning to let go as KJ continues on his gluten free journey. If this was a book or a publication, I would have put the finishing touches on it a long time ago. I am not a patient person, I like to have a project and then allow it to come to a conclusion. But a blog is not a book and I have had to learn patience and learn to pace myself.
I am not sure about the average life expectancy of a blog, but unless your blog is earning you an income and you take it on professionally, one can end up losing impetus, blogging top 5 or top 10 lists, posting irregularly and losing direction.
Today my KJ turns 20 and therefore he is no longer a teenager. The life expectancy of this blog “Gluten Free and the Australian Teenager” has been 3 1/2 years and what a wonderful 3 1/2 years I have had.
On the gluten free front, I will never be bored, I look forward to making 10 different versions of Hummus, Fig Cake, Flourless Olive Oil Caprese Cake, a number of recipes using polenta and working through and/or culling my pile of recipes in my file. I will continue to dabble in gluten free because gluten free is our new ‘normal’. With the exception of sweets and desserts and biscuits and cakes, gluten free has taken us back to products which are naturally gluten free: fruit, vegetables, meats, seafood, salads, nuts, pulses. I have revived some of my mum’s old fashioned family favourites and will commit to paper a number of these recipes before they are lost.
My blog is my ‘pay it forward’ gesture because it will continue to be a resource for families with newly diagnosed children. So in a way, it is like a book: it has had a beginning, a middle and an end. It has currency and relevancy.
The Future also promises treatment options for coeliac disease sufferers. With a number of trial treatments underway, the future will deliver for my son alternatives to his strict gluten free diet. And in the not so distant future, fingers crossed.
Many thanks to those who have shared this blog journey with me and I do look forward to your future blog posts. Many thanks to those of you who have given me feedback or made comments which gave me encouragement to continue the blog.
And so my final words are “Happy Birthday Kieran”.
Some months ago Deliciously Nell from I Need a Feed nominated my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award for which I am truly honoured. My readership is small but I thank Deliciously Nell for thinking of me as one deserving of this award.
Have a look at I Need a Feed as Nell’s blog as it is honest and sincere and her photography captures the beauty in food. I am particularly taken by her baking. Thank you Nell for your blog and inspiration.
There are a few rules attached with an award and this reinforces why blogging is great: the sharing, the referrals and opening our minds to new things. So here are the rules!
- Thank the person that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- List seven facts about yourself.
- Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award and comment on one of their posts to let them know you have nominated them.
And now for the nominees! Thank you for your recipes and inspirations AND for your love of food.
And something about myself!
I enjoy the sleuthing and puzzling that comes with Family History Research and my family can attest to my obsessive compulsive nature.
I am lucky to have three sisters who are also my best friends.
I have undertaken six dinosaur digs out Winton way with Australian Age of Dinosaurs and yes Australia does have dinosaurs and lots of new to science ones such as Australovenator wintonensis and Diamantinasaurus matildae.
I have inherited my love of food and cooking from my mum who is such a great standard to be influenced and cook by.
I am currently researching the history of Italian Prisoners of War in Queensland Australia 1943 to 1946. Interestingly, Italians captured in theatres of war in north and east Africa during World War 2 were transported to Australian for the duration of the war with many working for and being billeted with farmers.
I belong to an Italian Folk Dancing group in Townsville
Most days I wear many different hats: blogger, gluten free baker, daughter, sister, friend, business owner but most importantly….
“Always a Mum”
When I began my blog, I knew that I had a relatively limited audience. I was targetting people with coeliac disease, more specifically I was blogging information for teenagers and more narrowly for parents supporting their teenagers who had a recent diagnosis and even more restrictive was that my blog had an Australian focus specifically when it came to available products.
So it is interesting to think about a blog’s audience. WordPress comes with many tools to assist the blogger in understanding your audience and I am amazed that Gluten Free and the Australian Teenager is read by people across the world. And if you set up your blog properly your audience can reveal themself in other ways. Sometimes your audience will sign up and ‘follow’ you. Sometimes your audience will make comments. Sometimes your audience will ‘like’ one of your blogs. Sometimes a blogger’s audience is anonymous. And sometimes the blogger wonders if anyone really reads the posted blogs.
So it came as a surprise that my blog has been mentioned in Feedspot’s Best 100 Gluten Free Blogs on the Web. My motivation for my blog is not for fame nor fortune, but my expectation is that it is primarily a resource for my gf son and secondly a resource to parents who are struggling with a teenager’s coeliac disease diagnosis. And more widely a resource for people who must follow a gluten free diet and are looking for good family meals and product ideas.
Thank you to Feedspot for my inclusion in your Best 100 Gluten Free Blogs on the Planet.