So yesterday, there I was, sharing with you the fabulous video that all five of us finalists in the MAD Blog Awards “Most innovative” category had put together (with the help of the geekdaddy’s fabulous video editing skills), and telling you all how I wasn’t going to win. Which I genuinely, genuinely believed. My money was on Nickie winning, if I’m completely honest with you…
Yesterday was all about logistics for me. I had to get up, pack the bags for both kids who were having overnight stays away from home, and deliver them to my Mum. Then I had to come back and pack my own things into a bag, and help the geekdaddy get all his video equipment into the car, as he was engaged as the official videographer for the awards ceremony. Then there was the small matter of the 3-hour drive to London – thankfully we could share the driving, so I took us as far as London gateway services on the M1, and the geekdaddy took over at that point, as I don’t do London driving. Then there was the small matter of finding the venue, the fabulous talktalk Customer Experience Centre in the centre of Soho – made even more complex by a critical road on our route being closed which necessitated about a 20 minute diversion when we were already running late.
When we arrived it was all about getting the geekdaddy set up, and I went into “helper” mode – fetching and carrying, standing in the right spot so he could balance his lights and check his audio feed from the PA system. I also had to go into slightly “devious” mode to make arrangements for a surprise that my fellow finalists and I were hoping to pull – we had all agreed that whoever won the award in our category would use our video as their acceptance speech. Seeing as how I was sure I wasn’t going to win, I (with the geekdaddy’s help) worked with one of the technical guys behind the scenes to get the video loaded onto the MacBook that was driving the main presentation, and had emergency training on how to switch out of Sally’s swish slideshow to play the video.
It was only when Jen (from the Madhouse) prodded me and told me I really ought to get changed that I realised the ceremony was almost upon us! So I had the very glamerous experience of changing into my fabulous outfit from TK Maxx in the toilets, fastened my hair into something I hoped looked dressy, and staggered downstairs in my heels.
There was a whirl of meeting people as everyone arrived. It’s so nice having been to a few blogging events already, because at every event I can both meet some new people and also reaffirm existing friendships. To all those for whom last night was their first exposure to a room full of bloggers – it really does get easier each time – having a few familiar faces in the crowd really does help. Someone asked me if I was nervous – I replied honestly that I wasn’t, that I was just there to enjoy the experience of being a finalist, and expected nothing more than that!
The ceremony started, Muireann from Bangs and a Bun was a great compère (I expected nothing less having very much enjoyed her speech at BlogCamp Manchester), Sally kept everyone under control, and the first few awards were handed out. Great, well-deserving winners. Then, a short break, and before I knew it we were all back, and my category was up.
Even as they announced it was my category, I was tracking down the techie guy to make sure I’d remembered the buttons to press (I still hate Macs!), and to make sure he’d be lurking around just in case I did anything wrong – I really didn’t want to wreck Sally’s presentation! When the nominees were announced, I was lurking just off to one side, ready to nip in and do my thing with the MacBook whilst the winner collected their award. In fact I think I was actually looking across the room at Nickie to see what her reaction to winning was!
So I think the first words of my acceptance speech were something along the lines of “this wasn’t supposed to happen!”. I had no words prepared, was still desperately trying to remember a Mac key-sequence (Escape / double click on icon / Command+F / spacebar). I forgot to thank everyone, I forgot to say how fantastic my fellow finalists all are. I probably didn’t smile, I don’t know if I said thank you to the lovely Tim (one of last year’s winners) who presented me with the award. BUT I did remember the key sequence, and got the video started. And it got a great reaction from the room.
Sadly the night was over all too soon, and as other people were hugging their goodbyes, I was back into “helper” mode – fetching and carrying video equipment, trying to get the car out of the car park and back to the venue before it was locked up (we were late but the team hung around for us thank goodness!), and then another 3-hour drive home. We stumbled in through the door at about 3am, tired but very, very happy.
Today my thoughts are with the geekdaddy as he’s off out on another job – this time he’s an official wedding photographer. I think he’s earned himself a lie-in tomorrow!
My highlights of the last 24 hours, in no particular order:
Tom from Diary of the Dad announcing that his wife is expecting again as part of his thank-you speech. Way to get us all emotional right at the start of the ceremony!
Being joined at the front of the room by my fellow finalists for a dance whilst our video played, and a brilliant group hug. You guys are THE BEST!
Standing next to Sally (clutching my award) at the bar afterwards, and genuinely not knowing whether to punch her for giving me NO IDEA AT ALL that this was going to happen or to hug her. I went for the hugging option, I think in retrospect that was probably the right choice, no matter how much she protests that she doesn’t do hugs!
The geekdaddy telling me he was proud of me.
Marilyn racing across the room to finally meet me.
Sally’s “this could go either way” as she passed the microphone to the lovely Sandy Calico to present an award after having had a few glasses of wine…
Stopping off at a service station on the way home because we were both starving, and sitting in Burger King, eating a whopper with cheese in my full TK Maxx glam.
Driving up the M6 singing along to the Glee soundtrack at the top of my voice whilst the geekdaddy tried to sleep in the passenger seat!
Waking up this morning and looking at this:
My thanks to everyone involved in the awards, particularly to Sally and Jen of course who both work so hard on this stuff and make the whole experience of being a finalist absolutely fantastic! To parentdish and talktalk for making the awards possible through their sponsorship,and to ebuzzing for sponsoring my category. A special thank you to my fellow finalists – Nickie, Heather, Claire and Liz for their support, encouragement, hugs, and willingness to film themselves lip synching (a genius idea by Nickie!). Also to the Citigate team of Phil, Kat and @GugsS for providing great support, and last but by no means least to everyone who attended and made it such a fantastic night!
Special thanks to my Mum and our good friends Chris and Justine for looking after the geekdaughter and geekson last night and making it possible for the geekdaddy and I to do what we did! I’m now setting off to collect both kids and give them some very big hugs indeed!
One last note: I know you’re all asking for photos, and I apologise that I took so few, and don’t currently have any of me in my outfit! I will be contacting people who had cameras to get something to share with you all, so watch out for a future post showing off my TK Maxx glam!