Britmums Live 2014

After a journey in which my friend Nikki aka Stressy Mummy and I repeatedly got lost and confused on the tube, we arrived at Britmums Live. We were late, so there was no time to join a queue or be nervous. It was straight into the keynote speech with Emma Freud – what a likeable and funny lady! Am I allowed to say she’s a much more entertaining speaker than last year’s, Kirstie Allsopp (who also happens to be her next door neighbour)? Emma has done some really ground-breaking stuff like be responsible for the first ever celebrity reality show (was there even life before them?!) and persuade mobile phone companies not to charge for text donations to charity. Oh, and she swears a lot, tells a few lies and wears a tiara (as did the entire audience).

I enjoyed listening to success stories from high-profile bloggers, including Fashion Foie Gras, who I’d never heard of because fashion isn’t my thing, but her blog is HUGE! The session on the power blogging can bring to your life was another inspirational one. The message I took from both of these sessions was I’m it right – I have my own voice and I do my own thing. My blog isn’t over-run with sponsored posts and reviews, because that’s not what I want it to be, although I do have a few of them. I’m happy that I’ve got the right balance for my blog. And can I just say that when Her Melness Speaks speaks she makes so much sense? For me, she was the best speaker of the entire weekend.

I was so pleased I wrote a post about what I was wearing to Britmums Live  because so many people just looked at me and I knew he I was. I guess my look is fairly unique in the blogging community. I met so many lovely people that it’s impossible to name them all, but I was particularly pleased to meet Judith from Secrets of the Sandpit. Her blog is so well-written, it is one of my absolute favourites. We always joke that I’m Judith’s stalker.

Then it was time for the BiBs party, in the beautiful courtyard of The Brewery, followed by the award ceremony. There were some fantastic winners, although I was disappointed to see one of my very best blogging friends, Suzanne from 3 Children and It not pick up the family award.

I hadn’t made any dinner arrangements, other than I was going with Nikki, as well as Sonya aka Rock ‘n’ Roll Mum and a couple of her friends. We dragged our heavy bags and tired feet through the dirty streets of London to get to our Premier Inn, then tried to find a restaurant. But we were in completely the wrong part of town. There was nothing and it was getting late and we were getting hungry, so we ended up eating at the Premier Inn! But the company matters a lot more than the food and the surroundings, right? It was nice to be able to just sit and have a conversation.

There were a few fragile people on Saturday morning (thanks in part to wine sponsor Lindeman’s), but, being a teetotaller, I wasn’t one of them. A few of them skipped the keynote due to their fragile state, but also because they were were worried about listening. It’s really not easy to hear a man in his 30s, a dad, talking about the death of his wife, but I was so glad I went to hear Life as a Widower speak. Of course there were tears, but his talk was also uplifting and inspiring.

I skipped the next session to hang out with friends, particularly the lovely Tas from Not My Year Off. We’ve been friends for a long time, but it was the first time I’d had the pleasure of meeting her in real life. Tas and I had been talking on Twitter about collecting World Cup stickers (her husband collects them and my daughter does too), so I was so touched when she gave me a bundle of unopened packets for my daughter. With Suzanne and Judith too, the Loud ‘n’ Proud posse was together! (That’s the linky we share on a Thursday, if you don’t know what I’m talking about!). This dodgy photo was the best of five taken by Charly from Podcast. Charly takes the most beautiful photos ever, so I was kind of pleased even she couldn’t take a decent photo with an iPhone in a dark room!

PicMonkey britmumsCollage

The SEO session was useful for my career more than my blog. I’m never going to be an expert, but it’s useful to have a bit of extra knowledge to advise clients on SEO. I wanted to go to the Google + session as I still haven’t mastered it after all this time, but the queue was miles out of the door, so I went to travel blogging. It was interesting and entertaining, but I’m never going to be a travel blogger.

Lunch was a bit small and not that nice. I think I’m not alone in thinking that. It looked beautiful and had lots of interesting ingredients, but it just didn’t work. Generally, there was a lack of savoury food over the weekend, and a big lack of vegetarian food too (I spotted one plate of vegetarian canapés at the BiBs party, but I couldn’t get to them). There wasn’t any vegetarian food in the Morrison’s lounge either (unless you count cake, but there was cake everywhere!). But at least I got to spend some time with my friend Emma aka Crazy with Twins over lunch.

After lunch, I heard more about monetising my blog and got some tech advice from Geek Mummy. As the world’s biggest technophobe, I was relieved to find that I knew more than I thought I did. That was another session where people were crammed in and I was sat very uncomfortably on the floor.

And then the weekend was nearly over. The bloggers’ keynote is a real highlight – the posts are so moving. It’s incredible the challenges that people have to deal with, yet they write so beautifully about them. And to stop anyone going home feeling choked up and emotional, The Good Enough Mums Club rounded things off with a good laugh and a lot of swearing.

Heads, shoulders, knees and boobs, knees and boobs, heads, shoulders, knees and boobs, knees and boobs, and lips and arse and thighs and pubes, heads, shoulders, knees and boobs, knees and boobs.

With that, it was back to reality. I’d had a brilliant weekend. I’d learned a few things and I’d spent time with a lot of people who I am proud to call my friends, even though I have never met some of them before. I had a lot of hugs from a lot of people who seemed genuinely excited to meet me, which seems quite strange. But, then again, I was excited to meet them.

Time to book my ticket for next year!

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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17 Comments

  1. It was so exciting to meet you in the flesh! You are definitely unique: a Superdry, vegetarian, teetotal blogger who feels indifferent towards cake. 🙂 Lovely post, I felt like I was back at Britmums Live. Hope to see you again soon, preferably before another year goes by!

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    • So good to meet you too! The whole weekend was just so exciting. Hope to see you again soon!

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  2. I am a huge cake lover, but I must say, I didn’t see a single cake that looked appealing enough to eat! You’re right, the food was vile, but the company was great. I personally found last years Britmums Live more enjoyable than this year, but it was still a good weekend. Just wish i had found the Morrisons lounge when I was hungry! Xx

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    • I enjoyed this year more! I think it was because it wasn’t strange any more like it was last year. The cupcakes at the Parragon stall were delicious!

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  3. So nice to get to chat properly this year. Quite with you on the lunch, barely touched mine and even I had had enough of sweet food – next year let’s bunk out for lunch somewhere eh?! I too went to the Tech talk and was pleasantly surprised that it turns out I do know how to do stuff…..I guess we have both learnt without noticing – next year I need one on themes – the visual side of WordPress is still utterly baffling to me! Mostly I loved the social side, so nice to hang out with the people who live in my computer for real! Xx

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    • It really is nice to hang out with real life people. I’m not that bothered about learning stuff and I guess the longer we blog the less will be mysterious, unless we get stuck in a rut! Definitely up for eating lunch out next year! x

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  4. It was so good to finally meet you after so so long and so good to find a proper friend there. It was an absolute blur wasn’t it? There were so many people I didn’t find or only found out later that they were there.

    You’re right they definitely could have done a lot better with lunch. A lot of people were wandering about and then back to the Morrisons lounge. I am going to try to plan it better next year and come for the weekend!

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    • Thanks, it was really brilliant to meet you. It would be great if you could go all weekend next year, but that would mean you will have to resist holidays, which might not be easy!

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  5. I saw a video that Ginger Warrior did and thought then “Blimey, I’d be starving!”. I think it was probably nice if you are a “clean” eater and whilst I eat pretty healthily I certainly don’t eat like that. Interesting to hear mixed reactions about the event actually. I always knew that had I gone it would be more about the social side for me and that’s generally the theme I have got from all the posts. x

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    • It’s definitely more about the social side for me, but I really enjoyed it more than I did last year. I eat pretty healthily, but I do also have a large appetite. I’ll be nipping out to get my food elsewhere next year! x

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  6. I didn’t mind lunch, although I have to say we waited ages for the main meals to come out, and then there was still no chicken dish, so I had the beef – which was quite nice. I found there was a lot of mango – which I’m not meant to eat with my medication bizarrely – on cakes, on yoghurt topping, on pastries, on dessert. Obviously a glut.

    I didn’t see much cake, just a lot of weird pastry things. But there did seem to be a lot of people not keen on the food.

    I thought it was a good event, and better than last year – much friendlier (although maybe that’s because I ‘knew’ more people.

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    • There was a lot of mango! Did you have one of those strange trifles with sweetcorn on the top? It was really nice, but I found the sweetcorn quite disturbing! I found it better and more friendly than last year too, I think it is easier when you know more people.

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  7. It really was a great couple of days! Glad I managed to bump into you a couple of times at least 😉 xx

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    • It was good to see you even though only briefly and congratulations again on your award! x

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  8. Just thinking about our journey on the tube makes me laugh. It was certainly a great weekend and no the food wasn’t a highlight at all, was it? A great round up of the weekend

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    • Thanks very much 🙂 We will definitely NOT make that mistake with the tube against next year. Definitely Hammersmith & City all the way!

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