This was the scene outside Britmums Live on Friday. Well, pretty much anyway. It was just like being at Willy Wonka’s factory when the big gates opened. All we needed was for Susanna Scott and Jennifer Howse to do roly polies down towards the crowd.
The atmosphere was BUZZING. We knew just beyond those doors were the writers of the blogs we followed. That inside was a room full of bloggers who inspired us, and bloggers we aspired to be like. That the room was full of practical advice and tips and information. And chocolate. Inside was full of chocolate. We had heard rumours of chocolate.
Imagine a room full of superheroes… Or schizophrenics. In summary the room was full of people with multiple personalities. We all had at least two identities – our blogging name and our real name. And we all had an Avi (a profile picture) on twitter that did not really match what we all really looked like in real life *cough*. And it was because of these facts that there was an awful lot of “tit appreciation” going on in that building. Our name badges were on our knockers. Luckily I had thought ahead. I had worn a nice bra. And gel inserts.
“Oh hi!” says a stranger, coming up to me all friendly like and smiley
*Strange person stares at my breast*
“You are…Mama Bear With Me!” (shrill voice. Obviously never heard of my blog. Ever)
“Yep, I am! Hello! And I am also…”
*pushes breast out and into face of new person*
The night before I left for the conference, I was checking over some tweets of people I was going to meet. My husband rolled his eyes, groaned and said
“Oh God! So, tomorrow, you *points at phone and therefore twitter* are all going to be in the same room, but tweeting each other on your phones?! Tweeting the people IN THAT ROOM. Arn’t you?”.
I called him a git and sulked a bit. But well, yes, that is exactly what would be happening. Because a blogging conference is pretty much the only place in the world where you are learning something new, being taught by someone brave enough to stand up in front of 500 people, and you can tap away on your mobile phone openly. No one took our phones off us and told us to BLOODY WELL PAY ATTENTION AND STOP SURFING THE NET! Tweeting and FB-ing and internet-ing was actively encouraged. I was amongst like minded people. I was on board my mothership.
And well, it did actually happen. I was sat tweeting someone to come and meet me and say hello, only to press send and seconds later a little head turned around, sat next by one to me, and said “HANNAH?!””.
And my mothership, turns out, was full of half naked men, in tiny hot pants, serving me prosecco. Seriously. However much of it I wanted. ET (short and a bit wrinkly…me) was “home”. Thank you Radcliffe’s Wines . You sent angels. Half naked, prosecco serving angels.
I can not say how much I learnt this weekend. I would not know where to start. My mind was so full of information and ideas and amazingly honest tips (the stuff you so desperately want to know from other bloggers like, how many blog hits makes you attractive to sponsors, and how do you get something published – the stuff you think might be awkward and previously might be likened to “so, how often do you bonk your husband?”) that I came home physically aching. From the knowledge and the concentration I put in to listening. And from carrying all around London my goody bags. Oh. My. God. I was spoilt. Check this out.
I am not the kind of person who wins stuff. Until Saturday. I found the little orange man in the picture collage above, took him home to his boss and got given a pair of wellies. Thank you Crocs UK! I rock in my crocs. In my excitement I tweet my husband
“I just won a pair of willies!!”
“Eh?” he says.
Yeah, well, maybe considering last night I had been telling him about all the half naked men serving me booze, he may have wondered what the hell kinda “conference” I had gone to for the weekend.
I met a lot of people in real life who I had met online and the majority were AMAZING. But more than that, I met NEW people! I met people who I clicked with instantly and who I know will stay connected with. My life has been richer in a lot of ways since I found this network and community of bloggers, since I found Britmums. These are people are like me. I really have found my mothership. Thank you.
A little bit of fun for the end. I have 2 identities. Do you? Take this super hero quiz and find out. And please let me know who you were!