Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Are you still watching this space? My night at the MADs and THAT dress!

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's four whole days since the MAD Blog Awards ceremony in London and I've neglected to show you my dress and tell you about my big night out.

So I arrived in London at lunchtime and checked into our hotel before going for a group tapas late lunch. It was a bit rushed as they didn't seem able to cope with large numbers and then Nickie told me that the hairdresser was due to arrive back at the hotel. We found the hairdresser hanging around outside and I went off to have a quick shower whilst he did the hair of my roommate, Lindy. The hairdresser,  Adam from Electric Hairdressing, dried and straightened my hair and generally made me look presentable once I was dressed in my lovely dress. When he was done, I barely had time to do anything because it was time to get cabs to the awards ceremony at Talk Talk's Customer Experience Centre in Soho.

There was a red carpet to greet us and a photographer to pose for, Oscars stylee. I was regretting not having more time to put make up on as my face was very pale! Then, it was a whirl of catching up with bloggers I'd met before and meeting new ones I'd been dying to meet with a spot of drinking and eating thrown in for good measure until the ceremony started. It was ably compered by the force that is Muireann from Bangs and a Bun who did a fantastic job trying to be heard over some very lively and chatty bloggers (volume directly proportional to alcohol consumption). I won't break down the ceremony award by award but here are some of my favourite moments, events, or things.

  • The winner of the Best Baby Blog category, Tom, announcing that he's going to be a Dad again. 
  • Lisa's absolutely amazing dress, and such a bargain too. 
  • The sheer joy and happy disbelief of all the winners. Lots of happy tears.
  • The fantastically good nature of everyone there. There wasn't a bad word said all night. Everyone was genuinely pleased for the winners. 
  • Sandy's announcement that Mammy Wooooooooooo was winner of the Best New Blog category. Funniest moment of the night, followed by most emotional for me as I was so delighted for Lexy that I was in tears by this point. 
  • The video made by the Most Innovative Blog finalists as a joint acceptance speech. You can see it on Nickie's post here. I had that earworm in my head for at least 3 days. 
  • Cackling with the late crowd in a hotel room, drinking tea and putting the world to rights, until nearly 3am. As you do.
I had far too much to drink, but not in a falling down comatose kind of way. I had a fantastic time, but I skipped the karaoke so there are no embarrassing videos to show you. Phew. 

Thanks to Lindy for letting me use this photo
Oh, and the dress. Here it is. I completely loved wearing it. I can tell you a bit more about it now. It's by Chesca Now and is 100% silk. ONE HUNDRED PER CENT SILK. I don't think I've ever owned a dress like it. I loved the colours and what I loved even more is that when I tried it on, we decided that the smaller size made me look smaller. It was fantastic to wear, and so comfortable. I cannot wait to wear it again. John Lewis also gave me the bag and the necklace. I love them!

And that was it. I didn't win my category, but it really didn't matter. Let's face it, most of the people at the ceremony weren't going to win as there were 6 people in each category so the odds were never good. I was just proud to be a finalist - to get that far against all the blogs out there was an achievement, especially alongside some really great bloggers. As the cliché goes, we're all winners - but it's true! And huge congratulations to Carol for winning Blog Post of the Year.

I was sad that some finalists couldn't make it because I would have loved to have met them all. I was particularly sad that Garry couldn't make it due to work commitments because it is because of him that I started blogging. Without him, none of all the fantastic things that have happened to me over the last 18 months, let alone becoming a MADs finalist, would have been possible. If nothing else, I owe him a large drink (or was it Tangfastics? I forget!) to say thank you. 

And talking of thank yous, I'm finishing this mammoth post by expressing gratitude to a number of people who made the night possible:
  • Sally, aka the Evil Overlord, who managed to pull off a fantastic night and retain her equanimity and sense of humour in the process. Thanks for that and for all the opportunities she created for the finalists. 
  • The good folk of Citigate PR - Phil, Kate and Gugs - for all their input too.
  • A huge, huge thank you to John Lewis for dressing me. I felt a million dollars!
  • All the sponsors of The MADS and the individual categories, especially Talk Talk and ParentDish.
  • The many volunteers who helped to make the night run smoothly.
  • My husband, for holding the fort with the children back home yet again which meant I could be there. 
  • Anyone who donated items to go into the most amazing goody bags.*
  • Anyone that voted for me in either stage of the voting.
  • And anyone else that knows me. This is a cop out because my mind has gone blank but seriously, if you contributed anything at all, thank you. If you were expecting a special mention by name, just slap me the next time you see me at a blog event. 
*Click Health and Beauty put a code in our goody bags, which can be used by finalists and readers alike. Simply enter MADBLOG10 at checkout. Enjoy!
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