Cake was eaten, wine was drunk, there we discussions about women’s fluidity and plenty of hugs. That can only mean that BritMums is over for another year.
This year I did feel like something was missing. With the event being shorter than previous years and many long standing bloggers who I have met throughout the years, absent, there was an aspect of the event, though fun and welcoming, it did not feel the same. Maybe that’s a good thing, as if it was the same every year it would be rather stagnant after a while.
My weekend started with a drive to London, which was 6 hours long, but actually was not that bad at all. I enjoyed the drive and found driving round central London not as daunting as I expected. I thought it would be cars, taxis and buses everywhere, but actually I was contending with scooters, cyclists and people walking aimlessly across the street drinking posh, overpriced coffee. Not much of a change to Lancaster then as it being a student town, that’s about average.
I arrived at the hotel not too late and managed to have a decent nights sleep before an early start the following morning. I will link my hotel review with Ibis Styles Southwark Rose HERE and below. After an early morning breakfast on Saturday, I took my first Uber to The Brewery to get set up for the day.
Hugs were dished out over handing out of name badges and I was swept away with all the excitement I missed out on the exciting breakfast served up by The Brewery. I did however manage a couple of crepes later on in the morning.
After heartwarming opening stories and games of pass the parcel to celebrate BritMums 5th Birthday, it was time for a quick mingle in the hub to visit brands. I stopped by Coke a Cola and took the taste test challenge with their new no sugar coke – and passed! I have a refined pallet for these sorts of things it seems. After a few business cards being dished out and more tea being poured, it was time for my room monitoring to begin.
Nervous as I was I actually enjoyed hosting the rooms and got into it very quickly. I have not done public speaking for a few years but it soon came back to me. Room 2 hosted talks on Telling a Story Through Photography with Charly Dove, The Dark Net with Jamie Bartlett, Sketchbook Club with Jennie Maizels and Pinterest with Emily Leary.
It was fantastic meeting such an inspiring group of speakers who have such a passion for their work. I greatly enjoyed talking to Jennie after her talk as I am undertaking a sketch along challenge myself at the moment with Marie Bits and Clips. Jamie was also insightful into his look into the world beyond the norm online. I will be looking to pick up a copy of his book about the dark net soon, and his new book which is published next year.
After moving keynotes, we moved onto the Bib Awards. I was pleased to see so many new bloggers nominated and winning this year as well as a few familiar faces too. The night finished with a huge thunderstorm which caused most of central London to come to a standstill. On returning to the hotel I found the electronic door and phone lines broken with people bailing water from the reception area. Took me back to Lancaster and the floods of December 2015, but we had rain like that solid for 5 days!
The evening was concluded wit dinner, drinks and laughter with Aly from Bug Bird and Bee and one of my old students. I have been told that I need to write a “confessions of a university administrator” style book – like secret diary, but less sex and bondage!
Sunday I met with my friend Kal again for a drive in London and more chatting before the 7 hour drive home, goodie bag in the boot, along with bottles of left over wine from the awards.
It is easy to say I was pooped by the time I got home. But BritMums is not something I can miss, now roll on September when BlogOn MSI Xmas arrives so I can get my elf hat on and do it all again!