Photo: Mike T
Samuel Pepys (23rd February 1633-26th May 1703) was an English naval administrator and famous diarist. He kept a diary for nine years and five months in which he described life changing events such as the plague and the great fire of London. Without his diaries, Pepys would have been completely forgotten, however his eye witness accounts of life during the English Restoration have allowed his story and the stories of many others linked to Pepys, to be retold throughout history.
It is in these diaries that we discover Walthamstow as being an area of fantastic wine production. On Wednesday, July 17th 1667, Pepys reported visiting the country house of his friend Sir William Batten, surveyor of the Navy, where he was served wine produced in the Walthamstow region. He claimed that “the whole company said they never drank better foreign wine [than this one] in their lives”. Although, it is hard to say the exact location of Sir William Batten’s house, historians have worked out that it was possibly located on Marsh Street (now the High Street). Today, it is hard to imagine a luscious vineyard producing fine wines behind Walthamstow Market, but thanks to Pepys’ diary, next time we are browsing the many stalls selling £1 a bowl fruit and veg, we can pretend we are walking to Batten’s house to also sample some of the fine wine.
If the idea of having your diary read years and even centuries later appeals, then why not start to put pen to paper. Document those crazy nights at The Bell, your inner feelings about Mini Holland and your desires for Walthamstow to become the cultural capital of the UK – who knows, there may be someone out there interested in what you have to say. Even better, why not start a blog?
Blogging has become such a phenomenon that 6 posts are posted on wordpress.com every second. This makes it even quicker to post your rants and deepest darkest secrets to the world of cyberspace. The best places to begin are Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr, all of which offer a variety of user friendly, options for customising your blog.
Here are some tips for absolute beginners:
1) Go to your chosen platform and create an account
2) Choose a name for your blog, remember this is what you will be known as from now on so make it relevant
3) Decide which template you will use, these can be customised using the options provided or more advanced users can experiment with HTML and CSS coding.
The big question to answer before you begin blogging is, what is the purpose of your blog? What do you want to use your blog for? Once you have decided this, the host platform you have chosen will take care of the rest.
The content is your main concern. Knowing what type of content you will post will really help you in the long run. Nowadays, there are so many options to include in your posts, from photos taken on a smart phone to funny videos recorded on apps such as Vine but remember, grasp the basics first and then you can experiment later.
Words: Grace Molan