An Interesting Week

Every week is interesting. The fact that I wake up each day is worth celebrating. Elly may not want to celebrate, but I do. So what was different about this week?

9th May

Ruth from Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments and from Ruth E blog emailed me

I got an email from a man who works for a marketing company who was involved in the Enjoy the Taste of Scotland event I was recently at in Glasgow. He is wanting to meet with some food bloggers in the general area of Ulster or beyond this Thursday evening (somewhere in Belfast I assume). I know you aren’t stricly a food blogger but I thought you may be interested. Are you free to come and meet up? Or just interested in hearing more? Get in touch and let me know. Free drinks included!

Hi Ruth,
Thanks for thinking of me. That meet up sounds interesting and I would love to tag along. All my trips to Belfast are planned nowadays and depend on my energy levels so all invitation acceptances have an ‘if’ factor!
Can you tell me where the gathering will be, ease of parking is a must as some days pain levels prevent me walking any distance. You really can’t judge a book by its cover! Inside my head I am 30, only wish the body would agree!

I look forward to more details.


Hi thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

I’ve still to confirm the details with the guy (Craig) but as soon as I do I’ll be in touch. However he’ll probably ask for suggestions of places to meet – is there somewhere in particular you would prefer for parking etc?


I replied suggesting 4 possible venues all with plenty of space and free parking, then sat back to await developments!

13th May

Hi Ruth,
Any update on the meet-up this Thursday?

Hi Grannymar, Proposed location and time:

Kitchen Bar, Belfast at 7pm on Thursday

That suit ok? There’s parking nearby in Victoria Square.


Ruth you are rather light on details for the Foodie gathering…

  • Are there many going
  • Are there bloggers that I know
  • What format will the evening take
  • How will we find each other
  • Will we be having a meal

At this stage I only know to look for a lady called Ruth and a Man called Craig. They are both common names in these parts. That might be fine for 20 somethings but I like to know what I’m doing and where I’m going.
Most of the Bloggie meet-ups that I have attended down south, have had a spacific area pre-selected or marker e.g. Helium Balloons to make the link up easier.
I am not familiar with the new Victoria Square or how to reach the car parking, but will try to find out before Thursday. Any further details would be appreciated.

Sorry Grannymar.

People who are going are yourself, myself, Craig McGill (the marketing guy) and Niall Harbison from iFoods. It’s just a meet up for drinks, no meal unfortunately. Not sure what “format” will be other than a few drinks and a chat about whatever Craig is wanting to talk about, sorry.

As for a sign of where we are (good idea by the way) I’m not sure what to do… if I was to say I’ll be wearing a green/blue t shirt with a white cardigan would that help? Or if there was a paper bouquet of flowers on the table would that be better?

My mobile number is 07XXXXXXXXX if you’re lost or can’t find us.

Also I meant to say if you’re wanting to bring Elly (or anyone else for that matter) along by all means do!

14th May

Hi Ruth,
Thanks for getting back to me last night. I have taken note of your number. The idea of a paper bouquet on the table is a good idea or a Helium Balloon or two – visible from across the room. Is the bar on ground floor only or is there more than one floor, if so which will we be on?
Are there no other Foodie Bloggers in NI, or are they just not available? It will be disappointing for Craig if so few turn up.
Elly would certainly love to come But she is living and working in Dublin. You know the routine long hours at work, newly married and preparing for a move to her new home in the next few weeks. Her spare time right now is spent packing boxes, boxes and even more boxes! I only hope she doesn’t fall into one.
At this point I look forward to meeting you tomorrow night.


To Craig, Grannymar, Niall Harbison

Hi excuse this brief email (I’m sending this from my phone) but I’ll
email with more details later tonight.
I’ve had to change the location of tomorrows meeting to Brownes on
Boucher Road. Same time -7.30pm.
I’ll email again tonight with more details but please reply to let me
know you got this email.


Hi Grannymar…. just wanted to reply to some of the things you said here too.

The bar is on the ground floor, with lots of parking just outside the door. And as I said in the other email I sent a few minutes ago that I’ll have a red helium balloon to mark the table.

I had emailed about 8 or 9 people, a few food journalists based in Dublin too, most of whom either had something on, have kids that they couldn’t get a babysitter for, or just live too far from Belfast to travel on a weeknight. All of them were very interested to hear what it is about so I will be following up and emailing them on Friday. Craig isn’t too worried though, he’s just pleased to meet with some people about it and get the ball rolling.

I didn’t realise Elly was Dublin based. I take it she’s moving within Dublin?

I also am looking forward to the meet up tomorrow night and meeting some fellow bloggers

Craig McGill to Ruth, Grannymar, Niall Harbison

Cool. See you then on Thursday night. I’m on mobile 07XXX-XXX-XXX as well.

Grannymar to Ruth

So we have a change of time as well as venue.

To Craig, Grannymar, Niall Harbison

its just been pointed out that the time is different from the original
time. Sorry had a ‘blonde’ moment and thought original time was 7.30.
So the time has changed too then
Meeting at 7.30 at Brownes on Boucher Road.
I’ll still email tonight with more details. Ruth

14th May 11:46 PM,

OK to fill you in on the details now…. sorry it’s so late, got home from work an hour ago and just finished dinner.

Well to explain the change in location – I had discovered our original location was having a bit of a gig and thought that may not be the best location for having a conversation etc. So I ended up being in Brownes today and thought it may be good as a new location, close to the motorway, quite central to Belfast and has parking outside.

I’ve also been able to book a table there (under my own name – Ruth Elkin) for 7.30pm. Seeing as most of us have never met I will have a red helium balloon with me to mark our table and help you all work out where we will be.

I’m hoping to be there from about 7/7.15pm in case anyone wants to be early etc.

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone! It’s great to be able to meet some fellow bloggers.

Sorry for all the changes and last minute information.

If you need anymore information or have any other questions please send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer them.


Thanks Ruth,
That is all very clear now. I look forward to seeing you this evening. I have a note of your and Craig’s mobiles in my phone in case I have any problems, hopefully I won’t need to use them.

Craig McGill to Ruth, Grannymar, Niall Harbison

Ruth I think you’ve done a fantastic job in pulling this off – and good thinking on the venue change! See you then!


HI Guys

Very sorry but have just been asked to record interview with RTE this evening so will have to cancel! Feel bad about that!

Make sure to let me know when the next one of these is and perhaps we could even make it a monthly thing where all bloggers meet up for food/drinks?

Apologies again for the short notice.



Craig McGill to Niall, Ruth, Grannymar

Niall, not a worry. If I had *cough* something to send you regarding an event in Northern Ireland coming soon, I take it would go to the address below yes?

Ruth to Craig, Grannymar, Niall

Sounds very exciting niall! Oh the celebrity life! Lol
We’ll make sure you’re clued into whats going on.
Also may have another blogger joining us tonight: coursework depending.

Well I made it to Brownes and met Craig and Ruth, Just the three of us.

Craig & Ruth

We chatted easily with plenty of references to ‘A Taste of Scotland’ in Glasgow, that Craig’s company organised and Ruth attended a few weeks ago. The reason for the meeting was to talk about holding a similar event promoting ‘A Taste of Ulster’ here in Belfast. Balmoral Showgrounds, Tescos, Bloggers, Journalists and Ulster Tatler were all mentioned. Craig treated us to drinks (non-alcoholic since we were driving) and finger food.


Craig gave Ruth and I a DVD of ‘The Taste of Scotland’ so we would have an idea of what it was all about….

My DVD was blank.

I did manage with the help of a magnifying glass to work out the website address:

Have a look and tell me what you think, I’m not sure if Tesco is a client of Denvir, or Denvir is a client of Tescos.

I am not sure why I was invited; I am not really a Food Blogger or a native of Ulster. I did ask Ruth who she had contacted and apart from Alan in Belfast the names were not known to me. I did ask Ruth if she contacted Deborah, she said yes but had no reply. Deborah please take a look at your junk mail and let me know.

I was also surprised that Ruth had not Twittered or blogged on either of her blogs about the meeting tonight! I never found out what the *cough* was all about in Craig’s email to Niall “If I had *cough* something to send you regarding an event in Northern Ireland coming soon, I take it would go to the address below yes?” Hardly a blank DVD!


32 thoughts on “An Interesting Week

  1. Very strange! Grannymar

    Did you feel like a gooseberry last night then?

    Ah well! Who knows, your career may blossom after this 😆

  2. Steph ~ I am not sure what I felt like last night.

    In conversation Craig said he wanted bloggers on board because ‘they say what they think’! He was aware that I had won a Blog award (I didn’t bring the topic up!) perhaps he/they thought I would have a large following to spread their gospel to.

    Darragh ~ I followed all the excitement on Twitterland yesterday and read the press release as well as Donncha’s post. That made me more determined to go along and see for myself what last night was all about.

  3. Hehe! Fun Grannymar! 😀

    Despite the rather tragic organisation, I think it’s an excellent idea. There’s a Taste of Cork and Dublin now, so why not Ulster? I’ve been meaning to head up to Belfast for ages now and what better opportunity. (Last time I was there was in the 80’s and I was terrified) I’m surprised Manuel wasn’t involved as from all the blogs I read in the North I would have to say he would be the foremost authority on Belfast restaurants! 🙂

    Personally I would really like to see something similar in the Midlands. We are always overlooked despite most of the country’s organic produce coming from our back garden, nevermind the award winning cheeses! 🙂

    Nothing in my spam folders, although I am apparently a millionaire in need of some penis enlargement! 😀

  4. Eek, that’s all very odd and confusing. Glad your evening went ok in the end though, even if it was a little sparse on peoples.

    (And you are something of a food blogger!)

  5. Sorry we didn’t make it along last night. Sounds interesting. But with the car key saga and a need to get packed …

    At least you got a free blank DVD! Even if you didn’t enjoy the whole experience.

  6. Very confusing. I am happy that my meet-up with Farrago and some other bloggers was less so! Let us know what happens.

  7. You are a foodie blogger. Every Monday.
    By the way, I tried your bolognaise sauce and it came out great. I just used the last of it last night.

  8. Right, the sun has gone for the day so I have returned indoors. I am not ignoring my commenters, just giving you the freedom to have your say.

    Brian ~ Glad the bolognaise sauce worked out well for you.

  9. They sound like a bunch of time-wasters to me, what with the constant changing of time and venue, blank DVD etc. I can’t believe anything positive will come out of it, but you never know. Nothing venture nothing gain I suppose.

  10. Gotta love a bit of intrigue and I agree with Brianf (not that often) that you are a foodie so well qualified to be involved. I hope you get the event off the ground. A friend of mine has a similar ‘festival’ up on the North Coast of NSW, it started very small as a Food and Wine thing but now it’s HUGE and people travel from all over to take part. Get into it Grannymar . . sounds like fun! (although if there’s a committee to be established, perhaps you should be on it to organise the meetings!)

  11. @Nick – I take offence at being called a time waster, if you don’t mind.

    For a start, I had nothing to do with any of the venue changes. Not being that familiar with Belfast, I asked others to pick the venue and I’d be there. Yes, the venue changed, but that was outwith my control – and as Ruth said, she changed it because the original venue had a band on and she didn’t think loud music would be conducive to conversation.

  12. @Marie, surprised to see private emails popping up on a blog, especially after we had a big chat on the night about taking private material and posting it without permission and how we both agreed about how it was quite uncivilised behaviour!

    (no biggie, just surprised)

  13. @Nick, meant to add: the DVD thing is a mystery. They were burnt using iDVD on an Intel MacBook and worked fine on a lot of machines and DVD players, but one or two people have said they did have a problem. Strange and something that will be looked at – but as I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s impossible to test a DVD on everything.
    (Having said that, I’m still going to look into it as I’d like to try and get them working on everything.)

    @All: Reason I wanted to meet Ruth, Marie and others was very simple: just as I did with the event in Scotland – – I wanted to engage people who are enthusiastic about cooking and food.

    Also, Ruth had been kind enough to come over to Glasgow for the ‘Enjoy the Taste of Scotland’ event and I wanted to catch up to say hello as I never had much of a chance to talk to her at the event.

    Unlike what was stated above, it’s not about people having ‘followings’ or anything about that, it’s about meeting people who are enthusiastic as there’s nothing better than meeting people who are a) friendly, b) passionate or both! And as Marie pointed out on Thursday night, the blogger community is very friendly.

    (sorry it’s taken me so long to respond here. Was in Belfast until very late last night and then was away from all forms of communication today so I could catch up with my little one.)

  14. Craig

    Welcome to my blog.

    The emails were NOT private as they were addressed to all of us each time. I know there were only four names mentioned but Ruth gave my email address to you and Niall WITHOUT my permission. IF there were twenty people going I imagine that all the addresses would have been listed.

    As for Venue, Ruth asked me for suggestions and I gave her 4, three of which turned out to be only 5 miles for the airport and Hotel you were staying at.

    I notice that Ruth has now posted about Mini blogger meet up and it can be found here:

  15. Marie, thanks for the welcome (and as I said on the night, good to meet you). I was unaware that you and Ruth (and Niall) didn’t know each other pre-event, but I’m also sure you’d agree that four people can have a conversation without it being public. As I say, I was just surprised to see the emails public, but no biggie.

    As for venue, I wasn’t overly fussed about where it was. I was more than happy to just see as much of Belfast as possible.

    And besides, if we hadn’t picked Browne’s, there would never have been the fantastic picture of the fork. 🙂

  16. Alan

    Apologies, I have only discovered you trapped in with all that dreadful porn. This is the first time that genuine comments landed there.

    It was a pity that you could not make the evening on Thursday.

    As I said above the emails were addressed to all of those mentioned in my post above and my email address was passed on without my permission to people that I never heard of. If there were twenty or more people interested then they would have received my address also.

    I have experience in organising meetings both professional and voluntary since before some of you were born and indeed before modern technology overtook snail mail and fixed line telephones. I always furnished prospective attendees with the reason for the meeting, who would be leading it and some idea of what format it would take, plus the time and place and approximate duration in the first communication.

  17. Craig

    That is a great idea for the DVD I’ll use it under a plant pot! 😀

  18. Niall

    I just found your comment in among the spam. I clicked on it but by the time I reached the end of the rubbish I automatically hit delete, forgetting for the instant that your comment was there.

  19. Oh the excitement that happens to you GM when I toddle off for a spell, some mini-flames and anon-breakers and EVERYTHING! I can hardly stand the palpitations!

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