Ola! Well the MAD Blog Awards are over for another year *sigh* so I’m sharing my highlights of the day…
I was lucky enough to be loaned a Skoda CityGo for the weekend to drive across to the awards. Surprisingly nippy and roomy for a smaller car it was a joy to drive both around town and along the motorway. More to follow in a review post.
I rocked up with Actually Mummy and her gorgeous kids at tea-time and spent some time getting spruced up. The first thing we, as no doubt every blogger who arrived, noticed at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel was the giant red stag in the foyer. I looked at Helen, Helen looked at me, and we knew that that stag was going to be the focus of much attention as the evening went on and the champers flowed freely.
When we arrived at our room there was a brief ten minutes of Helen going mad at the fact that our twin room was in fact a room with a king-sized bed. I don’t understand why but for some reason she really, really doesn’t want to sleep in the same bed as me. This mini-rage soon subsided when Liz from Cambridge Mummy rocked up with two bottles of champagne, a bra crisis and the bubbliest personalty of the night.
There was a team from Arbonne on hand to give us make overs and a team from Regis styling our barnets. The Arbonne ladies were super, I must admit I was a tad nervous as I never wear foundation, blusher etc. however I was very happy with the result and the make-up stayed on wonderfully all evening – no boozy red cheeks for me! The Regis crew worked wonders on what I can only describe as ‘Captain Caveman-esque’ hair…I hadn’t even brushed my hair all day and I was chuffed with the result. It must have looked good because Actually Mummy told me so – and we all know how mean she is to me…
The pre-award drinks gave everyone a good chance to catch up and be introduced to bloggers who they didn’t know and it was really lovely to be able to chat to Emma from Adventures of an Unfit Mother. A few bloggers spotted Mylene Klass in the bar and scooted over to natter. I don’t really ‘do’ the whole celeb thingy but did ask Paul Hooker to Google the Hearsay back-catalogue so that I would have something to talk about should find myself in a position where I needed to talk to her – I half thought a sweeping muso statement about their third song being a missed athemic treasure of a lost generation would completely freak her out. Alas, my time did not come.
*Important Fact: Sally Whittle wore a skirt.
Next came the pre-awards dinner, three very tasty courses – alas I was too nervous to eat much of it. I found myself sat with Ruth from DorkyMum and Alice from More than Toast, two very funny ladies indeed. The waiting staff were very attentive, and there was much topping up of wine. I *may* have hugged to arm of Mommadou, one of the waiters at one point but where I come from that’s standard polite practice for any man that keeps pouring you vino. Honest guv. A really cool touch from Sally and the team was the Twitter Wall – where tweets hashtagged #madbogawards appeared for all to see, it was a real morale boost to see lots of positive messages for the bloggers in the room. I spied a few people asking to see a photo of my dress by alas I don’t think a photo of me and the dress was taken – this is the only one found so far…
*Random Fact: Kate from Wit Wit Woo and I must never, ever stand together as with our matching hair, lippy and glasses we look somewhat like The Two Ronnies.
The awards themselves were a mixture of funny, inspiring and moving. I looked at the list of finalists on the MADs website before dinner and noted that the categories I was a finalist in were at the end of the list so I figured I had some time to relax. Right? Wrong! For that Whittle is a sneaky madam and the ‘New Blog’ category was announced first. I won! I was chuffed (obviously) but at the same time gutted for Clara aka I Want My Mummy and Ruth aka DorkyMum who were fellow finalists and friends. Both Clara and Ruth are fantastic writers, both write about very different things but their blogs are a treat to read.
Ruth is however a DEMON as she announced to the room that is was my birthday and the room burst into a chorus of Happy Birthday whilst I cringed, head in hands. Kudos to HPMcQ for tweeting that she was sure that can’t be right as she went to my birthday drinks earlier in the year.
As the award announcements went on I was thrilled to see the long-suffering Actually Mummy win ‘Best Schooldays Blog’, Science Sparks win ‘Most Innovative’ and Coombe Mill win ‘Best Small Business Blog’. Of all the awards these were the ones that stood out for me personally as we all starting blogging around the same time and our blogs have ‘grown up’ together.
Hopefully newer bloggers will find encouragement in seeing that quite a few of the winners have blogs around the year old mark.
Multiple Mummy won ‘Best Family Fun’ blog and her husband was there to collect the award on her behalf as she is still in hospital following a brain aneurysm earlier in the year – this was a very moving moment and there was a standing ovation. Winning ‘Most Helpful’ was again, amazing and I was thrilled. Again, I’d like to give a huge shout out to I am Typecast who is the person who has helped me in the past year (and many, many others too).
After the awards were over things become a bit more blurry. That stag was ridden by many, there was drinking and merriment as eveyone’s nerves finally dissipated. It was a wonderful night and Sally and the team have my utter respect and gratitude for arranging such a huge event. Whittle, I bow before you…
Awards evening photos c/o Tots100
And of course – I nearly forgot – the Stag himself!
Stag photo courtesy of MakeShift Mummy