This is a bit of a rushed post. With Maman Goes Pop! starting tomorrow things are crazy and I very honestly did not expect to win the UK Blog Award for Best Individual Parenting Blog at the Park Plaza Hotel in Westminster on Friday night so I did not allow any time to write a blog about it!
I was nominated back in December by one of you lovely lot which made me really really happy but seriously… I’d only been up and running for a few months and couldn’t possibly be a contender. The process for whittling the 40 or so nominated blogs down to a shortlisted seven was to rally voters from your audience which again I had a go at… but again my audience was tiny compared to some of the other nominees.
Then on a very cold day in January I got the email to say I’d been shortlisted to the final seven… what the…….? I was pretty blown away and my have had a little snivel (it doesn’t take much.) Then I took a look at the competition which included my great mate Cara Sutherland of Within These Walls Blog, the one and only Father of Daughters (only 500k Instagram followers!) and Part Time Working Mummy, Rachaele Hambledon (350k Facebook likes!)
The Papa and I made the decision to make a weekend of the award ceremony and asked some people who know these things for a great recommendation for a hotel not too far away. We plumped for The Orange on the Pimlico Road in Chelsea. Definitely recommend! It was in a lovely, quiet (by London standards) road with a Farmer’s Market across the way on the Saturday morning.
I planned an outfit that would be perfect in my head. As usual the problem with my head is that it thinks I am 5ft 8 and size 10 which in reality I am of course not so the end result was a little disappointing and the poor Papa had to take ten thousand photos before I was half happy with one.
Another classic Mum fail… I thought there was a sit down meal at the event which there was not and the food they served (mini burgers, pizza and fish and chips) didn’t really lend itself to swanning around in a ball gown sipping champers so I didn’t eat. Had I thought about that I might not have had the mahoosive cocktail at the hotel before we even left.
At the event it was great to finally meet FOD and to catch up with the awesome (and wonderfully prego) Mother Pukka who can take a good chunk of the credit for the success so far of CheltenhamMaman. When I was wondering whether to launch or not I decided to invite her to speak at a my inaugural event. If she said yes it was meant to be and I’d have to get on with it – of course she said yes. I think Anna has probably got where she is today by being a yes person. Everyone should try saying nothing but yes for a year! It’s amazing what might happen. I also caught up with the lovely Kelly from Love Yourself Lean (apologies for bad, drunken picture) who was nominated for an award in the health and wellbeing category.
I also spent a lot of time and sat through the awards with Rachaele and her husband Josh. Josh and the Papa talked all things ornithology and I enjoyed spending some time with someone who is a) one of the most genuinely warm and lovely people I’ve ever met and b) who gets what a weird little bubble the world of blogging is. She agreed to come to Cheltenham for an event and I’ll do my best to make it happen later in the year so watch this space!
There were a lot of awards to get through but towards the end of the evening they got around to our category. If I’m honest I had been a little distracted during the whole ceremony. Cara hadn’t been able to attend so I’d been texting her live updates throughout the night! I was really surprised to hear FOD announced as highly commended and then they moved on to the winner and I heard the words CheltenhamMaman. The Papa was jumping around like a baboon so I realised it was indeed my blog! I managed to totter up on to the stage and stumble through the movements of kisses, hand shakes, photos and smiles (I think – haven’t seen those photos yet!!)
The rest of the night to be honest is a bit of a blur. More fizzy pop. Very very expensive gin and tonics in Sloane Square and then the morning came. And that bit hurt. A lot.
The point of this blog though, aside from taking you through a minute by minute account of how I came to be dragging my green faced behind through central London on Saturday morning is to say THANK YOU.
Thank you for reading. For subscribing. For engaging. For liking. For disliking. Sharing.Laughing. Commenting. Attending events. Reviewing events and perhaps most importantly in respect of this award thanks to all the people who have ever written a blog for the site. This award is our award. I was judged on content and though I write a lot of it you also write a lot of it so I share the award with you all entirely.
I really really didn’t expect it but I am very happy that it happened.