Like, I’m guessing, neophyte bloggers the world over, when starting Consider The Sauce I simply bumbled along, learning as I went and – or so I thought – making things up as I went along.
As it turns out, almost all the bright ideas I came up with are simply routine fare for bloggers and entrepreneurial types everywhere.
(Aside: I can’t tell you how impressed I am that I was able to spell “entrepreneurial” first time and correctly!)
I came to know this from periodically checking out such sites as Problogger and the more foodie-specific Diane Jacob, Will Write For Food – and even taking in a few likeminded books along the way.
Mind you, I have also learnt there are definite limits to how much of this sort of pep-talking I can take in or even respect.
There comes a time when blogging becomes an end rather than a means, or even (it often seems) something of a self-help cult.
At that point, I yawn and switch off or on to something else.
After getting CTS established, one thing I instinctively pursued were collaborations – and collaborators to join hands with.
I’ve had a few misses along the way, but far more hits – and I’m continuing to find it exhilarating!
It’s simply something that dynamic, creative people – and creative, dynamic bloggers – do.
And now another such “something” – public speaking – has come to be.
Although, in this case, it seems so far that this has sought me out rather than the other way around.
I have been hosting the CTS Feasts – but in all cases to date the verbal aspect has been restricted to a few comments before eating.
The Westies reveal and FFB/CTS picnic was more of a public speaking gig, but even then of brief duration.
But it was at that celebration that CTS pal Pastor Cecil asked me: “Would you come and speak to my Rotary Club?”
My answer was immediate and emphatic: “Yes!”
In the meantime, thanks to the wonderful meet-and-greet oyster bar role assigned me during this year’s Rickshaw Run, I had ample opportunity to see how I felt about this sort of activity.
Chatting up a new group of eight people every 20 minutes for an entire weekend?
I loved every minute of it!
And so Bennie and I front Medway Golf Club in Maidstone to be guests (and, in my case, guest speaker) at a regular meeting of the West Footscray Rotary Club.
The golf club and its course is a revelation for Team CTS – so gorgeous! And yet more proof the west will never cease surprising – often with something, some place or somebody that has been right under our very noses all along.
We enjoy meeting the Rotary members, who I’m guessing number about 30.
There are some ceremonial aspects to the gathering – grace, the national anthem and so on.
And then lunch, as provided by the golf club kitchen staff.
It’s rather good, too. The delicately-crumbed and tender fish is outstanding. I later ask the kitchen staff about it – they tell me they don’t know the English name of the fish concerned but that our lunch specimens had been purchased this very day at Little Saigon Market.
And then it’s my turn, after being introduced by Pastor Cecil with words along the lines of “Kenny is someone different who really likes different things”!
Off I go, covering the whole CTS story – the death knell of newspapers, the need for a whole new world to be created, the multiple joys of food blogging and much more
Referring only a couple of times to the rough notes I had scribbled before leaving home, I easily fill my allocated 20 minutes – so much so that Pastor Cecil is forced to gently intervene and bring my spiel to a halt.
As far as I have been able to tell, no eyes glazed over and no guest or member has slumped to sleep.
I field several great questions as part of the formal gathering, and several more informally as the meeting winds down. Many CTS business cards are distributed.
Bennie and I are the last to leave.
Thanks for having me!
So there you go – Kenny Weir, public speaker, open for business …
How great, and yet another benefit that has come from blogging. We never know what we’re good at until we try it. I had to get over my fear of public speaking when I started lecturing at uni in 2008. Now the theatre, the lights, the lecturn with built-in computer, the technology and so on are my usual place of work that hold no fear for me, but I’m always trying to improve.
Ha! I will pick your brain about this next time we get to hang! And I’d be happy to be a guest speaker for you!
good on ya!
What a relief, haha… I panicked for a second when I read the title – I thought you were about to end your blog!
Well, though that may not be the case (phew!), I should take the opportunity to say that I’ve been a lurker for years on this blog and I’ve loved it. I’m a Footscray boy who’s benefited to no end from your reviews of Western suburbs places, and I love how much I’ve learned from you; but what I appreciate even more is how interested you are in the cultural context of the places you eat at, the story of the owners and how you try to understand what they’re aiming to achieve with their establishment.
So many food blogs are painfully artless… but there’s a bucket load of heart in what you write. Thank you for the years of good writing, and good meals!
Oh dear – unintended consequences of a headline! But let me reassure you we ain’t going nowhere. But thanks for the great comment, Bazoo!
Well said Bazoo. As a Footscray boy (Paisley St) born and bred, I have been lucky to enjoy a suburb full of cultural diversity all of my 52 years. Even though I have recently done the “seachange” to Anglesea, I still regard myself as a proud ‘Westie’ and never miss an opportunity to extoll the great experiences available our side of the river. I must confess though that the major downfall of moving to the surf coast is the distinct lack of interesting and diverse food.
I’m lucky that I discovered CTS a number of years ago and regard it as my food bible, avidly reading all posts and keeping a ‘to eat’ list for my regular trips back up the highway.
Its also been incredibly enjoyable reading about the relationship between you Kenny and your son and the journey towards adulthood you both are dealing with. I suspect that you are raising a future gastronome of the highest order as well as an all round good human being.
Keep up the fantastic job both as a blogger and a father, both roles are highly enjoyable and inspirational.
Thanks very much both of you for your kind words. For a writer to know people find his work useful is a wonderful thing. For the same writer to know people are touched and affected by it is even better. Very humbled!
Rod, I know there is quite a lot of good food down the coast. But good or great funky ethnic food? Not so much, eh? I know there is such in, say, rural India or Vietnam. But in the west, such transplanted food traditions seem to require an urban or even metropolitan setting.