I was born on a military base on the west coast of Canada where my father was stationed in the 70s. I grew up on Cape Breton Island, on the east coast of Canada, falling out of trees in the summer, building igloos in the winter and generally being as tomboyish as I possibly could.
In 1999 I moved across the big pond. I was working at an awesome health foods shop on the corner of Young and Agricola in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the fella I was dating at the time had just dumped me for his ex-girlfriend. I was gutted. I lay there, on the couch, blanket up to my chin, telly remote in hand, feeling well and truly sorry for myself while flicking through the channels on the box. I caught the last 20 minutes of the film Rob Roy and I fell asleep.
The next morning I went to work as usual and made a decision which changed my life forever. I wanted to move to Scotland; the home of my MacIntosh ancestors. I searched the internet and made a list of the names and addresses of every health shop in Scotland (except for the Holland & Barrett’s because they were a big chain and I didn’t want to work for a big chain). I posted out 50 resumes (henceforth known as CV). I heard back from three places – one shop in Oban said I was overqualified but there was a woman opening a vegetarian restaurant they could pass my details on to. A shop in Dundee also offered me employment, but it was a woman in Shetland, with an accent I could barely discern, who offered me the part-time employment I accepted. She was into dowsing, that whole hanging of the pendulum and asking a question yes-no thing. She hung her pendulum over my CV and it said yes. She hired me based on that.
So I sold almost everything I owned at the Canadian equivalent of a car boot sale and obtained the appropriate visa (UK Ancestry Entry Clearance since my grandmother was from England). My family thought I was nuts. Four months after I made the decision to move I landed in Glasgow, via a stopover in Iceland, with just shy of £200 in my pocket. On my back was an army surplus rucksack containing all my worldly possessions.
That was 22 years ago.
I completely bypassed Scotland and ended up in Shetland, a remote archipelago in the North Sea, midway between the mainland of Scotland, Faroe and Norway. The Arctic circle is closer to Shetland than London is.
In 2005 I signed up for my first Open University science course with the aim of working towards a BSc (Hons) Life Sciences. Meanwhile, I worked at the health food shop and wrote for publications including The Shetland Post and i’i Shetland. As procrastination from studying, I baked, a lot. In December 2011 I set up my own private blog over on Blogger. I’d been encouraged by friends to set up my own website since I’d been sharing so many foodie photos and recipes on Facebook.
When I started blogging it was a strictly private affair, you could only access it if you had the private link, but then I joined Twitter and found a whole welcoming community of food bloggers. I then, with great trepidation, opened my blog up to the public.
I graduated from the Open University in 2013 with a First Class Honours degree. In the meantime, my blog blossomed. I learnt loads about food and photography, discovered a wonderful online community and found a writing voice I never knew I had. In May 2013 I registered as self-employed.
In April 2014 I moved from Blogger to WordPress.
In 2018 I won best food & drink blog in the UK.
In 2019 I shook hands with the 39th US President before having breakfast together.
The rest of the story remains to be told…