This weekend I attended BritMums Live! at the Brewery in London. On Friday morning I took my boys to school then I went to the train station. D was going on a school trip to Cornwall, Jen was going to stay at his Nan’s this weekend and the blokey was already in Calgary, Canada working.
I had been a single mother all week and almost coped, if you ignore the day Jen was an hour late to school, and that I was exhausted as I hate sleeping without my blokey, he makes me feel safe. I need him.
Anyhow, the journey. I had managed to get on to the right bus, then the correct train from the correct platform. Sat my bum down, happy. I looked to twitter to waste some journey time. One of the first things I read? “Once in a lifetime flooding, Calgary is declared a national emergency Zone. People being evacuated.” it was then I lost signal!!! Panic!!!!
Signal was patchy, I tweeted for help, for information. My signal was just enough to do twitter by text. A few of you helped me, and I am grateful. Turns out he was very near but not in danger. (After he returned to England, he told me the truth. He deliberately drove into flooded down town, knowing it was the last open road and the water was still rising. But he had to make sure colleagues were safe, so borrowed a TRUCK and drove into down town, against common sense advice to avoid the area, because he’s a good (but daft) blokey.)
I got to Bristol to change trains. The train was late but the driver announced “For those of you transferring to the Paddington train, it will be waiting on platform x, go straight there.” several passengers ran, including myself, up stairs and over the bridge, just for station staff to blow the whistle and screw up our day. I now must wait half an hour, nervously waiting for Information from Canada. Ironically the next train was nearly ten minutes late to arrive. This to replace a train they refused to hold by a single minute. The train I wanted, so close I could almost touch, breathed in its diesel fumes and stared as the passengers on board left on an almost empty train, one I had reserved seating on! We are honestly talking seconds. It whistled at 11:32 and I anxiously watch it leave, from the last step of the stairs at 11:33. Why tell us to run?
Eventually I get to London Paddington and successfully find the tube station. I took the tube to Moorgate then realised I didn’t know the address of Brit Mums Live! venue. What a thing to not write down. I stood outside the station, nervous and feeling lost. I looked around and guess a direction. I walked hoping to find a Starbucks, as several nice Mummies were meeting at Starbucks pre BML! I saw a Starbucks, looked through the window but did not recognise one face. Feeling disoriented and alone, I leant against the stone walls of an office building and searched the google map app for street names I recognise, in case it jogged my memory. Then some brilliant timing by Claire as I saw her crossing the street with her sisters and runnn after her hoping she knew the way to BML!
Thankfully she did have a better idea than me! Phew!!
Also inside Starbucks were about 10 or 15 bloggers, but I still did not recognise them. Turns out one of them was Liska which was great as I knew she was involved in an organised walk to BML! so we followed her. 😉
There was quite a queue at the Brewery, but I had made it there – which was amazing. It was a very posh venue. I immediately felt a little under-dressed, but no matter! I had my make up on, so in I went with ClaireyFairey.
Getting in was a bit of fun, as I didn’t have a ticket myself, lovely MummyB had bought it for me. I love you for this Mrs Barrow, honest! Four queues later, and feeling a bit awkward I get in. I tried my Blog name, twitter name, REAL name and even Barrow! The queue was organised by the letter of your surname you see. I get in, first stop, cuppa STAT. Then said hi to a few people, and made a bee-line for the Butlin’s stand because I’d love to be a Butlins ambassador.
I wasn’t really sure what I was meant to do, so I mouched about in the hub for a bit, chatting to bloggers and brands. Then I realised I missed a few of the talks I wanted to be in! Whoopsy. Never mind, I can watch online later on the Ustream Thingamybob. When I eventually made my way to a talk I was stuffed on cakes. There were things I couldn’t get elsewhere like personalised coke for my sons.
I settled at the “Team Honk” table for the BiB awards, and I was at the right table, it was not a shy group! The penis shaped straws were “classy” hehe. Annie and Tanya got lots of awards, and I am so proud of them, but let me tell you next year “Team Matilda Mae” will be in the lead.
After the Bibs award ceremony I went out for dinner with several bloggers, not all of who I can remember the names of (sorry) but I was sat with Clara and Kirsty. I adore these two, funny, kind, pretty……
Also there was TheBoyAndMe and Jenny. I’ve spoken to these ladies for years, but never met them. I had left the BiBs late as a friend was upset, so I was hugging, chatting and being there for them. Sadly when I left the Brewery the rest of the “fire and stone” dinner group had left. Blonde and Lizzie were a little worried I would get there ok, but I refuse to do taxi’s alone (a safety thing) so I walked and tubed it. I was not certain where I was going, so I GoggleMap App’ed it there. It took me 40 minutes, but I managed and I am very pleased with myself for that, even asking a horsebacked police woman for directional help.
It was a long night, I checked in to the Thistle Barbican at MIDNIGHT and saw Hayley very briefly in the hotel lobby. I was still worrying about my blokey in Canada so went on the free wifi with my kindle in bed. Was reassured and able to sleep when I had seen him “tag” himself in to the Airport on facebook.
Saturday, day 2. It started unusually, a random lady, not room service either, walked in to my room and said hello! Well that woke me up! I got dressed, put my face on, and was so grateful I remembered to pack my GHD’s as I had awoken looking like a poodle! I went down stairs, said bye to the hotel staff, and they kindly pointed me in the right direction for The Brewery for day 2. Sadly being me, I got a bit lost, so opened up my much loved GoogleMap app again. Turns out I hadn’t got lost, I was unnecessarily doubting myself.
I attended a few more talks today, and met Karen and Paul and again many, many others! I got talking to lots more brands and tried very hard to rehome Panasonics kettle, but they wouldn’t let me have it!
Around lunch I was put in charge of that bucket for Team Matilda Mae skydive, so I was temporarily like a market seller, loud voice on and going to the businesses stalls not just the bloggers. “Pay me, and I’ll go away” but it worked. TeamMatildaMae have now reached the minimum amount we needed, which is great, but we are not done yet.
At the end of the day was the Key note speeches, where some bloggers read out posts others had nominated them to read. It was emotional for sure, and during Kylie’s speech I ran out, tears streaming down my face. I jumped several steps at a time, I just ran, I had to escape. I was a frightened child again, and I was hysterical. Huge thanks to the folk that came running after me, Fiona was first on the scene I think, but as I was having a proper panic attack I am not sure of who came after me. I could barely breathe, shaking and hyper-alert. Hurting physically and mentally.
Eliza, Claire, Rachel, Paul, Lurve ya! You know what you did. x
I’m proud of me, my psychotherapist is proud of me, and despite feeling really low and freaking out, I was in one of the safest places I could be to meltdown. I might not have met many of these people before, but I was truly with FRIENDS.