I’m back (and a little deflated) after the most amazing, hilarious, emotional, and certainly friendliest weekend I’ve had this year.
On Friday morning, I jumped on a train with Annie and Helen, got stuck in to the gin (and what?) and hard and nutty chocs and high tailed it to the Big Smoke for Britmums Live, an event I’ve been looking forward to since before Christmas (not even kidding). We all dropped bags off at our hotel, by which point Bryony and Alice had arrived, so whilst the others nipped off to the pub, we stayed behind for a sneaky margarita. And that was the beginning of a very boozy weekend. I am not entirely sure we were completely compos mentis again until Sunday morning.
1) You should know that I went to Britmums mainly for the social aspect of it. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some truly beautiful people through blogging, people who I consider real friends, people who I care a lot about and who enrich my life. People I look forward to catching up with over a bite to eat or a glass of wine. Catching up with all those wonderful ladies was definitely the best bit of the weekend for me. And you can imagine how happy I was when so many of them won BiB awards.
2) Meeting new people. As much as I loved catching up with old friends, I also loved meeting the people behind the blogs who I hadn’t met before. I was so chuffed to meet Amanda from The Family Patch, Cas from Mummy Never Sleeps, Kirsty and Clara from My Two Mums, Charlotte from Write Like No One’s Watching, and Bianca from Richmond Mummy (by the way, thanks for the toothpaste). There are loads of others, too many to list, and I loved hugging you all!
3) The Blogger’s Keynote. For me, by far the loveliest and supportive part of the event. Eleven bloggers bravely stood up and read out a post to hundreds of delegates. I have utmost respect for anyone who gets up and reads something so personal to a roomful of people. Some were funny, all were honest, and some were deeply moving. To each and every one of you, I doff my cap.
4) The way the blogging community supports each other. Our community has been tinged with sadness over the last year. One blogger passed away, another lost her precious baby. Two terrible events that left ripples of devastation across the length and breadth of the country and beyond. A group of people from all walks of life reached out, fundraised, got things trending, wrote posts, and cried for grieving families they’d never met but felt like they knew so well. If that isn’t community as it should be, I don’t know what is. Those two lives were celebrated and remembered at Britmums, and we all cried and supported each other again. It was just beautiful.
5) I couldn’t write up Britmums Live without mentioning all the speakers. We were fortunate enough to listen to the likes of Kirstie Allsopp (who, by the way, is one of my top five people I’d like to share a bottle of wine with), be entertained by Katy Hill’s wild oversharing, and be inspired by Katie Piper. As well as that, the event was jam packed with advice and seminars from brands and bloggers alike.
And so, a huge huge thanks is in order to Jennifer and Susanna for putting on such an amazing conference, as well as finding the time to nip round and talk to us all, to Siblu, for kindly sponsoring me to be there, and to everyone who put up with my drunken hugs, kisses, chatter and general shenanigans. See you next year, oui?