Monday, 22 June 2015

Popping my #Britmumslive cherry: my (humble) review

Months ago I had seen 'Britmumslive' being promoted on Twitter. I had no idea what this was. A few clicks and a little research later I realised that as a new blogger and even newer Tweeter it would probably be best to buy a ticket, dust off some of my non-muma clothes (where did I stash them?!), prepare myself for some serious brain usage, and hopefully find out what this blogger business was really all about.

The fact that this event was being held in London made me feel instantly at ease; I know London - well, I lived there for 12 months 8 years ago. How hard can it be to dive back into the city...?
Well for a start I got stuck, actually stuck in between those unnecessarily lethal ticket barriers at Victoria. The machine ate my ticket, I walked through, I got trapped! Great; this was not quite the look of effortless sophistication that I was going for. After some negotiation with the ticket Bull Dog I was freed and sent on my way. No one saw that right?! Only about 200 other commuters... it’s fine.
The rest of the weekend was sure to go smoothly, the karma gods would see to that.
This might sound a little delayed but as I approached the impressive Brewery building I realised that I was all alone. I had assumed bloggers were kind of lone rangers, all sat at laptops scattered over the country tweeting links to their latest posts and uploading countless piccies to Instagram. How wrong could I be? This community was looking pretty tight knit- and a lot of fun. Let me in, let me in- I want to play too!
I pasted on my best 'please come and talk to me' smile and made eyes at countless ladies, basically I looked like a raving perv working the bar at 2am. I knocked back my Lindemans taster and silently convinced myself that the thimble of Chards was all the confidence I needed.
My nerves and unease slipped away as Deliciously Ella took to the stage; I let her inspiring words wash over me and fill me with a teeny bit of ambition. This blogging Belle has it all going on: a successful blog, a book deal, and a huge HUGE following of loyal fans. But, for the first six months of her blog life only Ella and her Muma read it, so even the likes of this Superwoman started at the beginning too.
We then broke a Guinness world record by wrapping our peers in loo roll and headed off to start the sessions... y'know how it is.
As the afternoon progressed I had just about managed to navigate myself around this big building and had attended all of my classes- what a good student (better late than never!) I think I was learning, my eyes were definitely growing wider at the opportunities out there for us bloggers. I was blown away by the success that @englishmum, @knackeredmutha & @honestmummy have had, at the perfectly entitled 'How successful bloggers do it' session. A Sainsbury's ad? London Fashion week invitation? Wow, ok blogging is a far more influential medium than I had imagined.
Classes over, now came the fun part - the bit everyone was looking forward to. Sipping wine and eating canapés with ALL.THEIR FRIENDS - I was bricking it. I spotted a few faces in the crowd that I had (literally in some cases, must work on my spatial awareness) bumped into during the afternoon, but they all seemed otherwise engaged. I was just beginning to consider downing my wine in one and running for the hills, or Barbican tube, when the very gorgeous Hayley of @downssideup flashed me her bright smile and made me feel so at ease. This was much better, I was at last having a conversation with a blogger - and an award winning one at that!
Karma must have been back on side, I met the rather scrumptious Cash of @comebackmum, a newbie just like me. Yippee.
Day 2 dawned, and ‘new girl’ butterflies were back. Selfridges was only how far away? No, no, get your butt to the Barbican Muma.
Carol Smiley's talk of Period Pants, I mean Diary Doll, was insightful... My order is in with John Lewis!
The sessions were packed, good packed. A buzzing energy filled that Brewery, voices grew louder and I really began to realise just how much blogging means to all of us. The line that epitomised this came from a fellow blogger sat in the audience next to me:
We had just been warned by one of the esteemed bloggers hosting this particular session, that we should buy our own domain name, and to basically spread our risk over as many social media platforms as possible. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, youtube etc…) Because, at any time any one of those platforms could be shut down and we would lose that particular account.
well, on hearing this, the Muma next to me turned to her friend (lucky bitch), and said:
"That actually makes me feel a bit sick."
 And I suppose it would; I was beginning to understand that livelihoods are at stake, and huge amounts of dedication is involved in blogging. It’s personal.

Guess what? I did make friends! Rina of @anglonip and Cash @comebackmum are my new blogging buds; I couldn't be happier to have a couple of chicas to call upon over the old interweb, to swap ideas, support blogs and do whatever modern day penpals do...
My review wouldn't be complete without a nod to the real stars of the weekend: the Britmums Co-founders; the gorgeously breezy Susanna Scott @amodernmother and Jennifer Howze @jhowze. Their soft Californian accents, enviable outfit choices and natural charm shone through, not just their presentations, but the sessions they hosted. I have no doubt it was a case of swans gliding across the surface while legs furiously kicked around sorting problems or issues to ensure the whole event ran without a hitch. These Mumas did it with style. Hats off, and thank you for inspiring me to carry on pouring out my random mumblings.
I'll be first in line to book my ticket next year.


  1. So glad that you enjoyed your first BritMums! This was my third year, but I remember how I felt the first time, it was so overwhelming. Even last year I spent most of the lunch break wandering around a bit lost, not able to find anyone to talk to, in the end I huddled in the corner and called my husband so that I wouldn't look so lonely! Hope to see you back again next year, it was an amazing couple of days!

  2. Love this round-up, you write like a dream girl and definitely go self hosted, that way you can monetise if you choose to. Really lovely meeting you and the girls x

  3. Thanks for the comments Jennifer and Honest Mum! Really lovely of you to take the time to have a butchers here. As soon as I got home I bought my own domain name and am currently building my wordpress website! If it turns out to look like my 4 year old set it up then I'll have to get outside help but so far it is going ok...eeeek, exciting.

  4. Oh bless you. Meeting you was a real highlight and I very much appreciated you coming to my Support Table Talk which actually made me very nervous. And Vicki is right, you write like a dream... keep going, reading your words is just like talking to you and that is why people will keep coming back. H x