In just a couple of hours from now, I will be at the MAD Blog Awards with loads of amazing bloggers. It’s been a long time since I heard I was a finalist way back in March. Shocked just wasn’t the word. Even sat here in my hotel room, I still find it hard to believe people would nominate and vote for little old me and my little old blog. I am so grateful to all of them.
But here I am in London. So it must be real.
I’m not nervous about the ceremony. I’m just excited. I don’t expect to win. The thought hasn’t even crossed my mind. I’m just so happy to be a finalist and I will have that badge on my blog forever, whatever happens in the future.
I was nervous about the travelling though. I’m claustrophobic and I worry about the tube. None of my friends seemed to be staying at the Premier Inn (even though I’m sat in it right now, I still think it’s a Travelodge). I had visions of myself walking through London on my own, lonely and stressed.
But that’s not how it happened. I’m on my own now, but I am neither lonely nor stressed. I’m the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time.
I bumped into my old friend UleyGirl on the train. We haven’t seen each other in so long. We talked and laughed and swore. Only as we got close to London did we remember we were on the quiet carriage. Whoops! But we weren’t on our phones and we weren’t drunk. So that’s OK, right?
I am so grateful to my lovely friend Emma aka Crazywithtwins for meeting me off the train. The tube journey really was short and it was quiet (thank goodness).
I loved the walk down High Street Kensington to the Royal Garden Hotel. I used to live in Shepherds Bush way back in the mists of time and we used to walk all the way to High Street Kensington and back on a Saturday. I would never have thought I would remember it so well, but I do.
We went into Wagamama for lunch. Even though I’d had my homemade little lunch on the train. I can’t resist Wagamama and we don’t have one at home. We met Vicky of Verily Victoria Vocalises and Maddie from Gammon and Chips there too. The drinkers were lining their stomachs and I was preparing myself for the possibility of a meal I either wouldn’t like or (most likely) would be way too small in the evening. It’s a little known fact that vegetarian meals are always a quarter of the size of ‘normal’ meals. We’re not sparrows! We’re just vegetarians! We like food too!
Emma and the others had some serious pampering to do, so I headed off for my Premier Inn (NOT Travelodge – I nearly wrote it again).
My room is across a road bridge like a motorway services (oh, the glamour!). It’s pretty comfy, but way too hot. I had three hours to kill.
So I went a walk in all the fumes and traffic and bright sunshine of Earls Court. So much busier, hotter and smellier than home. It reminded me of my two years in Shepherds Bush in the late 90s. Without really intending to, I managed to walk in a circle. I quite enjoyed it, so I did it again. Really I was just warming up, so I did it a final time.
And now I’m ‘getting ready’. I know most people have been planning/ worrying about dresses, shoes, hair and make-up for days or weeks. Not me. My preparation has involved having a shower, brushing my teeth and brushing my hair.
My dress was bought from
the Next sale on the basis that it was half price, suitable for evening and came in my size. By the time it arrived a week later I’d forgotten what I’d even ordered. By coincidence rather than any planning on my part it emphasises my best feature (my shoulders) and covers my bony chest and spotty back.
While lots of people are having their make-up done, I’m sat in my jeans reading my book. I don’t wear make-up. Ever. Making an exception for tonight would just make me feel uncomfortable and awkward. I don’t straighten my hair, curl it or put it up, either.
I might not look the most glamorous tonight (I’ll probably look the least glamorous), but I’ve enjoyed my day relaxing and chilling out in London.
See you on the other side!