May I present to thee Mr Matthew Pike of Buckets and Spades, this week's edition of 'An Interview With...'
I'm not entirely sure how Mat and I met through the blogosphere - I believe he may have tweeted something at me at some point, as most of my affairs begin, and then somehow we became firm online pals.
Well, I say firm, we often fire completely random emails at each other but they're always full of merriment and joyful intent- like that time we sent A Daisy Chain Dream a shit load of sweets.
Mat likes to blog about sexy man stuff, like design, fashion and lifestyle (it's in the title) but his pictures are always squeaky clean and he has a persistent thing for British-made items.
His blog is a visual feast for the eyes and the boy is a really good egg - you can read more about him below.
Where are you from and why do you love where you live?
Well I'm from the North West of England, sunny seaside-styling from Blackpool to be more precise. Why do I love it? I'm not sure I really do. I mean there are aspects of the town I do love but to actually live here isn't so great. It wasn't my plan to live here this long but it's just how it's worked out up to now. Sorry to start off with on a downer though. One thing which is amazing about Blackpool is its historical relevance and the fact you can be in the open countryside in about 15 minutes.
When did you start your blog and why?
I started Buckets & Spades in March 2008, if I remember rightly and I'm now coming close to my 900th post. I actually started it because my girlfriend, Hollie, kind of betted me that I'd never be able to keep it up. Well ha, look who's laughing now. Hollie does work on the blog now though, mostly techy stuff. The other reason I started was as a way to store images, as I had no space on my computer. People started to read and respond, and the rest is history.
I went full time with the blog in July 2013, I was sick of looking for work and just decided to give it a bash. There's only so much rejection you can take from interview after interview, it was doing me no good. I was encouraged to try it and it seems to be working out pretty well. I'm really passionate about menswear, design and advertising so these are the subjects I stick to, but I do include a lot of personal stuff too. Basically I like to feature visually interesting and fun stuff. If it doesn't have either of those then it's a no go.
I support it with a part time job at a clothes shop and run Northern Goods Co. with Hollie.
Describe your blog in three words
Colourful, lighthearted and engaging.
How did we meet?
On the cyber-net like right geeks! As most people do these days, the powerful tool that is Twitter. Remember life before Twitter? Yeah it was well hard to meet people and get responses from big companies, Twits made that easy.
He's also on Instagram and that place he works with Hollie? It has a Northern Goods Co. Etsy shop, too!
Be sure to tell him I said hi and that he owes me some chocolate.