Well hello gorgeous people and welcome to my little website and my very first blog post! Hooray and hoorah! It’s finally here. I have battled with this wretched WordPress malarkey and I have triumphed! I now know what a widget is and what plug-ins I need! I can customise my menu using my dashboard and play about with my FooGallery. I’m so down with the kids. “Yo! Check my FooGallery, bitches!” – never too old to learn darling!
My name is Jp and I’ve always loved to write. Ive always loved to create. However, I’ve never really been overly comfortable with writing about myself. Since I started my page on Instagram however, I’ve realised you really just have to get on with it and stop caring what everyone thinks, they’re going to think it anyway. All I can do is love what I love, write about what makes me tick, what makes me giggle, what makes me swoon. So here goes:
First of all, you’re probably wondering why I called my blog “My Gay Best Friend”? Well, it really comes from my day job as a hairdresser. A client once said to me: “You know, I love coming here. I get my hair done, I get interior and garden advice, book, play and restaurant recommendations, help with my man problems and a whole lot of laughs. It’s like having my very own gay best friend.” – and that’s where the little acorn of an idea germinated.
All I do all day is chat, snip, help, snip, style, snip and recommend. I should so be on commission for some of my recommendations. The sale of Alan Titchmarsh’s book “My Secret Garden” must have skyrocketed after I bought it. I told the world as I do like to natter, particularly if it’s something I’m passionate about.
So, the idea is that I’m going to write about the things I love, the things that make me smile and that inspire me. I’m going to write about my travels, my interior projects and disasters, my garden know-how, the food I’m loving, the books I’ve read, my shopping sprees, my struggles with weight and my obsession with blue and white, all parcelled up with, hopefully a good dose of humour and some insights into life as I see it.
It’s been a whirlwind of delights in the last ten months. Back in September last year, my lovely friend Amanda Cobbett (check out her instagram page – she’s an incredible artist @amandacobbett) started talking to me about Instagram. She said it might be a great way for me to have some kind of online presence for my hairdressing business. I don’t advertise my little hair salon, its all word of mouth and has done just fine for fifteen years. However, with the possibility of things being a bit tough for a while after Brexit, she thought perhaps it might be a good idea to have at least one way of getting some new clients. I really wasn’t up for it at first. I already had an Instagram account. I started it in 2011, but I never used it and there was only a photo of my sweet dog Missy on it.
Reluctantly I started to post. I had no clue what to do or why I was really doing it. I didn’t even know what a hashtag was! I photographed the backs of ladies hair and talked about the colours I’d used. It wasn’t the most exciting of pages. So, I started photographing my home, faffing about with throws and using silver birch logs as footstools. I absolutely loved it! I very quickly changed my Insta handle, removed all hair content and started posting what I loved. As far as I was concerned, if my clients were interested in the things I enjoyed doing, then why shouldn’t people out there on the interweb? I lost just about all my followers overnight, but I didn’t care. I was going to re-start as I meant to go on. So, late September 2018 after a little holiday in Marrakech, where I played with posts, I started my journey. A flame had been sparked from the embers of a man who had kind of resigned himself to an endless stream of hot air and hair mousse. Perhaps there was more in store for this career chameleon?
Not content with a vibrant singing career in my early days, I veered toward public relations and found myself eventually creating weird and wonderful campaigns and events. I even ran a fortnightly 24-page newspaper for BUPA!
Mr C, my hubby had been made redundant by his company. In his new role he would be working from home. This meant, in theory, we didn’t need to live in London. We had both been working very long hours and barely saw each other. Something had to give. I decided to look into what else I could do to earn a living, something where I could be my own boss, be relocatable and have a bit more freedom. I cant remember the name of the website, but it was something like: whatshouldidowithmylife.com – I typed in all my skills and qualifications and up popped “hairdresser” as an option. That September I enrolled at the Vidal Sassoon Academy just off Bond Street – The rest is history.
If you’re not bored of my life history already and you fancy finding out some more fun facts about Mr. Jp – always Jp, never Jon – then why not pop onto the “About Me” section in the menu.
Fast forward fifteen years and here I am writing my first blog post! Ten months ago I never dreamt I would have over 10,000 followers on Instagram – that’s insane! All I do is write what’s on my mind and post a pretty photo. Somehow though, I’ve connected with people. The interiors and gardens community on there is so incredibly friendly and caring. A few of the bigger accounts followed me from early on and mentored me, showing me the ropes and guiding me along. There were also a lot of smaller accounts who have been so incredibly loyal and supportive and I really am truly grateful to them.
Recently I was asked to join two fabulous ladies and become cohost of the fastest growing interiors hashtag challenge in the country @myhousethismonth and its sister challenges @mygardenthismonth and @mywardrobethismonth. I have to pinch myself every time I do a share on any of those accounts!
I also run my own fabulously fun hashtag called @postitandsmile – which is all about posting what you love, posting what makes you smile and giggle! One of the best moments so far for me though was being invited to my first Instagram influencer ( hate that phrase) events. It was the hottest day ever recorded in the U.K and I was going to London to see “Christmas in July” for both Homesense and TKMaxx and also one of my favourite brands of all time, Cox & Cox. I was so nervous! I met two of the loveliest ladies from Instagram underneath the clock at Waterloo Station. We joked about wearing a red rose. Both events were wonderful, but I have to say one of the most special, yet scary as hell moments was being surrounded by seven of the biggest interior and lifestyle influencers in the country in front of a shiny red Mini Cooper with a Christmas tree strapped to the roof rack, while I lay on the floor, Burt Reynolds Playgirl centrefold stylee! I am so not that person.
I’m a funny old soul really. Part of me is semi-extrovert trying to break free, the other half of me is very shy and reclusive, hence living in the middle of nowhere! Obvs I love interiors and gardening in equal measure, but I’m also hugely into travel and I love all things creative. I’m quite fond of a “how to” video and you can expect a few of those from me. I love a good giggle, I love a bargain and I’m fond of a good handy home tip.
I live with my hubby Mr C and our sweet cairn terrier Missy. I believe in trying to always be kind, but without being dull. Life is way to short not to laugh a lot!
I really hope you like reading my little stories. On Instagram I am known for my daily little stories in the captions below my photo of the day. Do pop over and take a look @jonpaulclark. Thank you for reading this. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, then why not sign up to receive new blog posts direct to your email? Thanks again, bye for now peeps!