Well, hello New Jersey. I am so very, very pleased to be here. Colts Neck and specifically, the house wherein my boys and Bassets reside, is one of my all time happy places.
In 2009, when I was on sabbatical from my life as a fashion editor, after a particularly ghastly previous year in New York, where I lost my professional mojo, and was made miserable each working day by my inability to live up to (unreachable) expectations, I took to the road, heading first to California for a spectacular road trip adventure, sleeping in my rental car, hostels, friends’ homes and, occasionally, shiny hotels.
I blogged it all here, from Coachella with Chloe, and dinners in Laurel Canyon with Bumble, through warehouse parties in Potrero Hill and farmers’ markets in Santa Monica, to band practice in LA’s Koreatown and breaking down on the PCH, and, with no agenda other than writing and photography because I loved it, and with no thought to anything career-wise, I re-discovered — after a year’s hiatus in editor-land, how much I loved blogging, the identity it gave me, and the online community of which I was now part.
I guess CA was also when I realised that it didn’t matter what I blogged about, so long as I kept my content genuine and just reported on what I did and the things that interested me.
When I finally returned to the East Coast, I spent a month in a Chelsea apartment, acquiring (with hindsight) a verging on psychotic roommate, and was finally rescued by boys and Bassets, who drove into the city, scooped me up, and installed me in their clapboard house of dreams in a spectacularly beautiful and very wooded part of New Jersey.
It was there in Colts Neck, over four months or so, that I laid the foundations of LLG as a business, ensconced with the Bassets on the huge grey sofa in one of the living rooms (you can see it in the photo in the headline collage up above), I started building a new site, signed up for affiliates and Flickr and moved my digital life onwards.
I can say truthfully that without the support of the boys during those months in 2009, when I was both broke and homeless, there would be no blog. My New Jersey friends gave me the space to do my stuff, refused point blank to let me pay for anything, and were never less than generous, kind, thoughtful, funny and wonderful to me. And that’s just the Bassets.
Today four years later, I’m writing this propped up in bed, in my room overlooking the beautiful tree-filled yard, and having major waves of déjà vu, for back in 2009 I wrote at least one blog post a day in exactly the same position, and nothing seems to have changed, bar some jazzy new bedlinen.
Finchley is lying across my knees, acting as a furry laptop rest, YoYo is bustling around doing house stuff, and I can hear nothing but the cawcaw of birds in the tall trees in the back yard.
When I arrived last night at 230 in the morning, after a disastrous day of travelling, I laughed when YoYo told me that the plans for the weekend involved shopping for food, cooking food and, basically, talking about food. (He left me this care package by my bed)
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose…
On that note: Finchley is still trying to steal my shoes. He’s deluded if he thinks he has a hope in hell of nicking my Valentinos…