Happy New Year!
I’ve had a wonderful year of blogging and an adventure that started as a bit of fun last year has grown into something that is an important, fun and enriching part of my life. So thank you to all my followers – especially to those who have clicked the ‘follow’ button or Liked my Facebook page; to every chef and restaurateur who has let me interview them – these interviews have been a real highlight in my year; to every restaurant that hasn’t thrown me out at the sight of my (very discreet!) camera and especially the friends who have been willing to be embarrassed when I start snapping their food and won’t allow them to eat until I’ve got a good photo!; and to everyone who has made comments and Liked posts. I really feel I have made friends with some of you.
I received an Annual Report from WordPress today full of statistics and thought I would share the key ones: I’ve had 34,000 views of the blog this year from 128 countries; I’ve published 165 posts and my busiest day was 20 November with 255 views, when I reviewed the TV programme, Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast. The most ‘searched’ subject that brought readers to my blog was – to my immense surprise! – ‘harlequin squash‘, after I published a recipe for a stuffed one. Apart from Facebook and Twitter, the two top referring sites to my blog were A Cena and Joe Allen restaurants, who, apart from being two of my very favourite restaurants kindly mention me on their websites. My top post of the year was my review of the restaurant, Al Boccon di’Vino.
I received a kind of ‘gift’ the other day; a perfect gift for The Single Gourmet Traveller. Just before Christmas I received an email from British Airways reminding me that I had until only 31 December to transfer any air miles I had with BMI to them. I knew I had a few … looked out my details and did the transfer. I was then told I had 74,000 Avios points. I had no idea what that meant! However, when I met two friends at A Cena that evening – friends who are much more au fait with air miles than me – I was assured that these points would take me very far indeed. In fact, they can take me on a few short trips, and so I plan to tick off some of the Bucket List New Destinations with them. I have to confess though that my first booking with them is to an old favourite – Venice to stay at Al Ponte Mocenigo just after my birthday in April, because I can rarely resist a little trip to my favourite hotel most years and the warm welcome of Sandro and Walter. But I’ve been looking at Vienna as my next booking … though first there is Switzerland in just a few hours time – early morning of 2 January – to stay with my friends Annie and Jerry in their apartment there. So I’m looking forward to some nice snowy photos to light up my first posts of 2013!
Meanwhile – a very happy, healthy and successful year to you all!!!!!