June 2013: Never ever underestimate the power of friends made online, here’s why.
For some silly reason I forgot to post this last year, so here is my account of Britmums 2012. It’s amazing looking back, I can see how over 3 years of blogging I have cemented some wonderful friendships. When I started I had no idea where blogging would take me, it was nerve wracking meeting new people and sometimes, as we all do, I felt very out of my depth.
But…lots of the people I mentioned here went on to play a huge part of my life over the last year. I went to Ghana with Mummy Barrow and Mammasaurus, climbed Snowdon with Gemma, Kate and Mari, camped and festivaled with Gemma, hung out locally with Amanda. I launched a business, Mothers and Shakers with Jacqui, Uju, Laura and Vicki. I saw lots more of Mari and Ruth at Panasonic as an ambassador:
June 2012: Lots has changed since this time last year when I went to Cybermummy conference, my blog was 8 months old then, it was all daunting. It’s still daunting now, but one year on and I have cemented some really special friendships and had lots more opportunities to put names to faces. The more you cross paths offline the stronger those friendships become. I’ve been trying to explain to people who don’t blog how real those friendships are.
First class travel from Nottingham to London with Amanda of Ana Mum Diary, if you haven’t met the bloggers who live nearby to you, do it, it’s changed my whole perception of blogging.
Amanda, aka @gidders1
Reuniting with Kate Takes 5 after a year, sharing a hotel room for 2 nights this year meant we properly caught up on the last year, in general and not just blogging terms.
Me and Kate
Seeing This Mid 30s Life before she heads back to Oz, we sat together in e Books and cheered each other on with our literary ambitions, through the medium of Doodles.
Mid 30s Life is so inspiring, she’s like my guru
Being a butterfly, although next year I think we need LOTS more of us. Realising through the Keynotes and by seeing her in action, what an awesome lady Alex from Doing it all for Aleyna who organised the whole concept is (Alex where has your site gone!) Getting to know (and laugh lots) with Claire from Seasider in the City. Talking non stop by the tea and cake with Gemma and lots of new and old faces who popped by to see how the butterflies were doing. Like Hayley from Downs Side Up who got a standing ovation reading an amazing post on Down’s Syndrome.
Hanging out and giggling with Leslie Sinoway, the PR person responsible for blogger outreach at Action Aid, a charity Gemma and I have chosen to work with as bloggers. Lots of people talked to Leslie about the Action Aid Blogger Party on Wednesday 15th August.
Me, Leslie and Gemma
Peggy, from The real life of a Narrowboat Wife always makes me smile and is always full of brilliant ideas for things I should be doing with my blog. I also smiled when I heard Rachel from Right from the Start ask a question in the Getting Published session, it was great to catch up in the bar after and to meet Jane from Practically Perfect Mums. I also got to meet Keith, Reluctant Housedad, it was great to see the Dad bloggers being such a force.
Keith Reluctant Housedad
Rachel from Right from the Start
Jane from Practically Perfect Mums
There were men in pants handing out fizz. I can’t get on my soap box for laughing here, sorry. Mr A attends enough games industry, motor sport and gadget conferences with scantily clad women roaming around. It’s about time we had a female gaze, although to be fair I was too busy chatting to all the amazing women in the room to spare a gaze for the waiters.
Winning the Brilliance in Blogging Award for Vlogging meant I got to meet a former Blue Peter presenter. Katy was lovely and really injected energy and humour into the award ceremony.
Helping out on the Give as You Live stand and attending the greater good session reminded me bloggers have such power to work together to make stuff happen. Annie, Mamasaurus’s words stuck with me, by being generous in our RTing and sharing of other’s posts, we can spread messages. Give as you Live is such clever concept, and I hope if I
persuaded press ganged you to sign up, you’ll take the next step and start shopping with it. Mari, Tanya and Kate the other ambassadors feel like old friends now.
Laughing with Uju from Babes about Town as she propped up the juice bar, seriously she needs Juicers Anonymous. Meeting Laura from London Baby at long last, who is hilarious. Reuniting with conference buddy and ray of sunshine Jacqui from Mummy’s Little Monkey. Saying a few more shy hellos to Peggy from Perfectly Happy Mum. Talking video and more with fellow vloggers and all round lovely people Geek Mummy, and Juggle Mum. Catching up with Honest Mum Vicki as she raced round making the Britmums film.
Listening to Sarah Brown, who always gets what it means to be a mother and a blogger, spot on for me.
You will never please everyone, and shouldn’t try to, but I felt Britmums worked so hard to build on suggestions from last year. What the conference was about for me was finding your voice, finding inspiration and finding your mates. Which is why I would happily pay £39.99 for next year, without seeing the schedule, to go and do it all over again. Even if it did take me a week to psyche up, and a week to recover.
I finished with a Greek feast with Peggy, Kate and Cari from The Secret Diary of a Secret diary.
I have by no means mentioned everyone, and for that I am very sorry. Thank you to Little Magic Beans and Kate from Wit Wit Woo for the smiles when I was flagging!