Knowing I was going to Geronimo Children's Festival on the Monday, I chose to avoid the Saturday night get together and I was bright-eyed when I arrived early with Sim, and Karen who was on the sign-in desk. She's having a baby...it's so exciting.
I also had a swollen wrist with various scratches and scabs after burning myself last week, and then slamming the sliding door of my own van, into my own arm, when I was helping deliver goody bags to the Museum on Saturday afternoon. As two of my previous trips to Blog On have involved Meningitis and a Hernia which was so bad I was unable to eat actual food, this is a complete win.
As with any blogging conference, if you want to speak to anyone, you must do it via the power of the internet. Extra points for bringing back up batteries and additional methods of communication should your primary device refuse to attach to the free wi-fi.
My first session was with John Arnold, and the second continued the photography theme. Charly Dove is one of my favourite bloggers, and it was lovely to hear her say that "each photo tells a story" because that is exactly why I like her work.
I also took a sneaky photo of her taking a photo...there's a story there...
Blogging conferences are also a fantastic way to catch up with people you might talk to every day, but wouldn't otherwise see, including Pippa, who lives 4 whole miles away from my house.
|Me, Pippa, Zoe, Jen, Tami|
I had a bit of a break at this point with lunch and a visit to the brands. I entered a couple of the competitions, but sadly didn't win. The Portland Street sign was clearly set up by someone in heels, I was on tiptoe...
I managed an impressive 72 items in the Canvas Holidays suitcase challenge, and held Jaime's son while she took the photo that won a holiday! I've not checked the t's and c's but I'm sure that means they have to take me with them...
I went to a session hosted by Di Coke in the afternoon. I've never actually seen her speak before and she delivered a really polished, no waffle, no gaps, fact-filled session which taught me a couple of things I have to add to my terms and conditions for giveaways. She clearly hasn't missed her vocation.
Then we had cake, or maybe not. I didn't take any notes and I can't remember the order, I'm making it up. Anyway, there was cake! Sponsored by Pom Pom Wow - which EVERYONE had attached to them somewhere by the end of the day.
The food bloggers and Cake Papparazi were in their element.
For the 4th year running I almost completely failed to take any photos of brands. I'm too busy talking. I did however manage two. The Anki Overdrive which is just amazing and would enthrall my partner, let alone my 6 and 7 year old boys, and a game called Poopyhead on the Sambro stand. It's what I call my partner when he annoys me, so I took that photo to send to him instead of having to type it.
I did however get time to meet some of the newer members of the blogging community - and have a cuddle or 3. Look at those smiling Mummys....that's because Echo Falls were just serving the wine and the marshmallows and cookies were on the table.
The merest sniff of a nice wine after a year's abstinence can make a new Mum giddy.
|The gorgeous Rachel and Dotty|
Then the finale, The Scummy Mummy's, I'd caught them earlier making a crown, and they'd asked me my name. Luckily I only had 2 glasses of wine all afternoon, so I'd said I was called Sim.
|The Scummy Mummys|
Laura ended the day with a few words, and I took my last photos of the conference. Just imagine the data transfer happening in that room, it's astounding we don't melt.
As we left was the part that Blog On is now infamous for, the goody bags. I'd helped pack some of these, so had an insight into what was going to be in them.
Along with donated tombola prizes it means I took an awful lot home and my children were very happy! We actually sat on my bed that evening and opened all the little toys* and played all the demo games** before bed....and maybe had a try of some of the snacks***...and just fondled everything else****
Favourites (claimed, begged for or already used up) so far from the goody bags and prizes:
* World Of Warriors, Dino Puzzle, Okido Magazine and the Factivity Space Activity Book. Foameez, the Brio Railway Ramp and the Infacare.
** BrainBox, Timeline
*** Swizzels-Matlow, Choc Shots and Real Handful
****Mia Tui Handbag, Stigu Planner, Pinterest Notebook, Aladdin Classic Mason Salad Jar and every one of the tombola nerd prizes...
Huge thanks to Laura for all of the organising, and for looking after your volunteers - I even got a hug!