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|
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|
|Thanks to Tami from MummyOfTwo for the photo|
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!