Thursday, 26 June 2014

I went to Britmums Live!

It might not seem a lot to some people, but getting on a train and going to London is a big deal for me. Leaving my partner and kids for a whole weekend is a big deal for me. I was pretty terrified.

I cheated and got my partner to drop me off early Friday morning at Pippa RedRoseMummy's house, so I wasn't on my own panicking about missing my train or leaving my bags. We met up with Jen from MyMummy'sPennies and 2 1/2 hours later we were in London and meeting up with the rest in our group of 9 who were staying together. It was lovely to see everyone.

Bags dropped at the hotel, off to The Brewery and we joined the queue to get in. And I was accosted by a BBC reporter. My friends can all move quicker than me - darn them!

Thanks to Jen from MyMummy'sPennies for the photo
I've been to BlogOn twice, and I knew this was 5 times the size, so I was prepared for what was coming. Going in I just couldn't believe how many faces I recognised - bloggers who I've read and admired all standing there in real life 3D!



The welcome and keynote speech from Emma Freud were fantastic. I've never been a fan of tiara's before, but I'll totally be wearing one now. As @claireyfairey so succinctly pointed out via Twitter during the following discussion about Women's Voices And The Media - "Women can be intelligent even when wearing tiaras". I've always told my children they can be whatever they want to be, seems I never really considered it for myself before.

The gorgeous Eileen from ET Speaks From Home in her Chinese Tiara
After coffee I went to a session entitled 'How To Make A Recipe Your Own' - which was a good introduction to the style of presenting I was going to see all weekend and really interesting. I spent the next couple of hours wandering around the main halls speaking with the brands and getting some hilarious and awesome photo's taken.

Thanks to Tami from MummyOfTwo for the photo
Then it was outside to the gorgeous garden area for a glass of wine and a chinwag before the Brilliance In Blogging Awards.


The awards ceremony was lovely. It was so nice to see so many brilliant bloggers given the recognition they deserve. Not all of those I voted for won, but that's okay because I really do feel they could have handed out 50 awards that night and it wouldn't have been enough. I did vote for winner Wally Mummy - who I'd been looking for all day and finally spotted in her bright orange palm trees, but only because she was on stage....sheesh.


I had a lovely meal out with our group, and I was able to take a moment to enjoy our Hotel. It was a bit posh. It had an Aston Martin in the foyer!


And the location was excellent...



Day 2 and breakfast was at 8.30am. No kids and still no lie in!

For me it was all about photography and emotion. I started the day going to see the keynote which was presented by Benjamin Dutton-Brooks. I'd realised it was going to make me cry, I hadn't realised how much. Listening to him talk so eloquently about the loss of his partner, when I came so close to losing mine last year, was very hard. I have so much respect for him and I know his son has a truly fantastic and incredibly strong Dad.

I went straight from the keynote to Nigel Camp's  smartphone video session. He was incredibly interesting, and along with Julia Boggio's Photography, and the food styling session presented by MsMarmiteLover and CookSister, I really feel I've picked up a wealth of information and tips. I have no excuse for not taking far better photo's and video in future.


Session of the day for me was after lunch. Lunch being the one thing I didn't enjoy about Britmums Live. Potatoes are not a vegetarian meal. Potatoes in a rich oily slime are not really palatable to vegetarians. Thank goodness for the handful of Feta salad or I'd have had to run over to Parragon Books and eat some cakes.

My favourite session was with Greg  Brand of Travizeo talking about You Tube. I recently scored a You Tube hit and it's given me impetus to do more. I learnt so much, I'm definitely going to go and annotate all of my films as soon as I get some time.


The Bloggers Keynote was amazing. So many fabulously written posts and in the main read by the authors. Their own words in their voices. I cried at every one, and looking around the room I wasn't alone. Celebrations of siblings, friends, children and partners and life. It was an hour of my life I won't ever forget, and I'm richer for it.


We ended on a light-hearted note. The Good Enough Mums Club. I've been a parent now for 20 years, and long ago I became able to accept that I was never going to be perfect, and that was okay. I will wear my badge with pride.

Goodie bags collected we went back to the Hotel, and one last meal out with the ex-Izziwizzi lot - without whom I definitely wouldn't be typing this now.


I took home loads of treasure, mainly for my children - but my very special Coke bottle will have pride of place on my bedroom dresser....it's not going in the recycling by accident!


I can't go without saying a huge Thank You to my sponsor Drumond Park - the UK's leading independent games company. It's an expensive do going to London - even with early bird tickets, group deals and cheap train tickets, so I'm really grateful to them for their support.


And everyone survived just fine at home without me, so I've already bought my ticket for next year!

What's Happened? What's Happening?

16 comments:

  1. It was a great event and so glad to see you there!
    Love the youtube session and only if i have time, i will to go and annotate all of my video!

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    1. Its finding the blinking time that's going to be the hard bit - it was such a useful session! :)

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  2. Glad you got what you wanted out of the sessions- gutted I missed you xx

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    1. Awww - I didn't even see you. It's insane how many people I didn't even spot. Maybe next year I'll just stand at the top of the stairs with the butterflies, then at least you get to say 'hiya' as people come in! :) x

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  3. It was so nice spending some proper time with you! I am so pleased you had a great time and it is daunting setting off to London and leaving your family behind - that was what bothered me more than going to the conference! I am so pleased you are coming again next year, I'll have to follow you to your sessions as it sounds like you definitely got more out of them than I did - can't wait!

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    1. I was lucky! You never know before you turn up just how useful it'll be for you.
      It was lovely to spend so much time with you too :) x

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  4. I can't wait for next year now.

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    1. Aww absolutely - you really have to come! :) x

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  5. It was fab to spend the weekend with you Roomie! I really enjoyed the whole event, glad you did too, agree with you about the veggie food though! I seem to be looking rather confused at my phone in every photo of m you've taken! Looking forward to next year!

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    1. Aww, thanks Jen - it was good rooming with you :D
      You WERE looking at your phone in confusion in every picture I took! :D

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  6. It was lovely to see you again, it was an amazing experience to be there together with our group.

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    1. It was lovely. It's a lovely group and I think we really were at a massive advantage in such a big, strange place :)

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  7. I'm compelled to read all these posts about blog camps even though I've still not managed to get to one - but I plan to one day, they just sound so amazing!

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    1. Well last year I read all the posts and this year it was me - so I'm sure it'll be you soon enough :)

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  8. It really was a fantastic weekend, I was so glad I could share it with such an amazing group of friends, and here's to next year. Thanks for linking up to #WHWH

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    1. Definitely! I can't wait, it was fantastic. Thank you for hosting :)

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