What started out at a bit of a rubbish week – a catalogue of events that I won’t bore you with, that was topped off by clipping another car and smashing my wing mirror to pieces, actually in hindsight, turned out to be a pretty amazing one. I truly can’t believe I’m writing this… But I won BEST NEW BLOG in The 2014 MAD Blog Awards. Totally crazy, totally unexpected and will go down in the history of my little life, as one of the best/happiest days ever.
I mean I know everyone says this, but I REALLY didn’t expect to win. At the time the voting closed, I’d only been blogging a few months. It really was only family, friends and friends of friends that were reading it.
My day started on Friday in its usual whirlwind style. Boys up at 6am, gave them breakfast, got them washed, dressed, off to a morning at Digbies (Oscar’s therapy group) lunch, then home to get ready.
I’d booked a hair appointment at my hairdressers as I knew that
- I’m really rather rubbish at doing hair and
- I knew that even if I could do my own hair, the chances of the boys letting me sit for any length of time and concentrate on channelling my inner Cheryl Cole, was slim to none. Thank you to my lovely friend Karen for watching the boys and afterwards my sister Nicola! Life savers!!!!
Chris had promised me faithfully he’d be home by 5pm as I was needing to leave the house by 5.20pm. He walked through the door at 5.40pm. I would have been cross, only it was thanks to the wonder that is British Rail, so couldn’t really blame Chris. My stress levels at this point were a little high to say the least. Having to feed the boys their tea, whilst worrying a bit of shepherds pie might land on my new dress or in said Cheryl hair, wasn’t helping. Thankfully it was a swift handover and I was off minutes after he arrived.
Gin in tin in hand (classy), I got the train into London Waterloo, conscious that I was dressed a tad “Strictly Come Dancing” for 6pm and a whole load of grumpy/unsparkly commuters. My younger, way cooler sister, likened my outfit to a Christmas tree, which again didn’t fill me with the confidence one needs to walk into a room of complete strangers. You see, unbeknownst to me, this event was a solo invite. There was no plus one. It was just me, entering a room full of people that I had never met before. No biggy you say? I mean I’d consider myself a pretty confident person but the thought of walking into a crowded room and having to “introduce myself” made me go all hot/cold flushy!
After my gin in a tin though I was feeling decidedly better (Thank You Marks and Spencer’s) and on arriving at High Street Kensington Tube Station, I was ready.
Google maps programmed to find The Royal Garden Hotel I set off, only to realise a lady was doing exactly the same, a few steps in front of me
”You’re not going to the MAD Blog Awards are you?” I asked
“Yes, are you too?”
Sorted. Friend/person to walk into crowded room full of strangers, made!
Mrs ATWWAH (Around the world in a Highchair blog lady) was lovely. I detected fairly early into the conversation that she was northern. Northerners, in my experience are just a friendlier breed (I can say that as I’m Southern and I am in fact, insulting myself here) but she was. It’s lovely how you can meet someone and instantly feel at ease because you have something in common (Blogging obviously).
We walked in together so it was nowhere near as awkward/scary as I had played out in my mind earlier. We met the lovely Crouqe-Mamam and shared a welcome drink with her too.
It was then time to sit down for the meal and the awards.
The 3 course meal was delicious. The company on the table delightful and as the awards started, I can honestly say I was completely at ease. I didn’t think for a minute that I was going to be getting up on stage and accepting an award. Being Best New Blog, meant that my category was one of the first. I had done a little research on the others up for the same award and the competition was tough. Skint Dad, Croque-Mamam, Hurrah for Gin (I feel we”d get on well) and Lets Talk Mummy. All incredible blogs.
When they read my name out, I couldn’t have been more shocked. Hayley from Down Side Up gave me a hug as I was on my way up to the stage and who knows what I actually said in my acceptance speech??? Its all a bit of a haze (more from shock than the gin/flowing wine i’d quaffed)
The night itself was everything and more I could have wished for. People were so friendly. The venue, The Royal Garden Hotel, was stunning. The food amazing. The drink flowed. Amongst other bloggers, I got to meet and talk to two people whose blogs I’ve been reading for a while now. Both have been inspirations to me. Hayley from Down Side Up and Tom from The Futures Rosie. They share the same passion for writing, the same goal about spreading positive awareness about Down Syndrome and clearly we share the same love for our gorgeous children. Talking to them made my night.
A taxi ride back to Waterloo, a train ride home and met at the top of the stairs by my Chris, who had waited up to see me. A night that will go down in my memory, as one of the best.
So, what started out as a rubbish week, turned out to be pretty brilliant. I’ve literally just found out that the sponsors of my category, Rollersworld are sending us a Roller Scooter to trail AND are sending me £500 worth of vouchers for Center Parcs! How amazing is that!!!! Thank you so much to all at Rollersworld and hey to top off a great week, I even got the wing mirror fixed on the car without telling Chris and having to deal with his “You were driving too fast” comments. You may think it odd I write this in here but he’s about 10 blogs behind (He reads really slowly) so by the time he gets round to reading this, the moment will have passed and it’ll be too late to have an argument.
I really do wish I could remember what the blimmin heck I said in my speech. And if I had my time again? Here’s what I would have said…
“First of all Thank You so much to all the readers of “Don’t Be Sorry”. Your support, since the beginning, has been incredible and means the world to me. Your comments, your feedback and your love for Oscar, have encouraged me to keep writing.
To my family and friends, you always have had and always will have my back. I love you all.
To Chris, Thank you for putting up with me tapping away on my laptop most evenings. I AM listening to what you’re saying, I really am… even if it doesn’t always look like it.
To Alfie, who I’m sure everyone thinks I forget about. I promise I don’t. He’s my baby and I love him with all my heart.
To The MAD Blog Awards Team and the sponsors of the event, Parentdish. I just had the best time and thank you for inviting me.
Finally, to Oscar. The only reason I’m writing at all. He has not only provided me with a new passion in my writing, he has also taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible. He’s a beautiful, determined, strong willed, cheeky, loveable, little boy, who has taught me that I had nothing to fear. Together, we are helping diminish any misconceptions others may have about Down Syndrome and showing them that life isn’t sad at all, its amazing… so Thank You Oscar. I will love you forever.”
I mean I’m pretty sure they would have grabbed the microphone off me before the end of this wannabe “Oscar” winning (See what i did there :0) speech but you get the gist. I’m completely and utterly over the moon.