SoftThistle Life

The MAD Blog Awards 2013

Life, PhotographyMarylin16 Comments

Kensington Gardens.jpgIt's hard to believe a whole week has gone by already since the MADs.

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A week since I was having breakfast in my gorgeous room at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.

Mani while my hair is getting coloured! #spoiled #madblogawards

A week ago since I got my hair done and popped my manicure-cherry at Cobella Akqa where I was thoroughly spoiled by the lovely people there.

After having my hair suitably prett-fied I met up with one of my favourite bloggy people, Ruth from Geekmummy, who was my getting-ready buddy for the evening ahead (I desperately needed help from someone to do up the back of the Gok Wan shapewear I had bought to stop my wobbly bits wobbling you see!). As we were walking up, I saw some random woman waving madly at Ruth. Naturally I assumed she was another blogger. It was Angie from Cakes, Photos, Life, who I have chattered to on twitter on and off! So great to finally put a face to the name!

My room was being used and abused by Sally and Lindy who were busy at work getting everything in order for the event (I know, I know, I'm *so* kind to let them use my room, right? ha!). Honestly, you two, bloody brilliant job all round! You're awesome!!

Then it was off to lunch which was... well, lets just say it was yet another blow to the London Spanish tapas for me... however it was lovely to get to meet Β Penny, Merry, Becky, Filipa and Michelle!

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After lunch, I got to go for a wander around Kensington with my camera ooh-ing and ah-ing at the architecture.

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And take photos like a proper tourist...

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And then there was Kensington Gardens, where I was escorted around by the lovely Merry.

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Of course we would randomly see someone modelling on such a beautiful day. I see it *all* the time back home. No really. Honest. *cough*

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Merry was on the hunt for Peter Pan, a favourite of hers, and I was happy to come along and be shown around. What a beautiful statue, and I could tell just how much he meant to Merry. THANK YOU for taking me with you on your walk. I really enjoyed getting to know you!

Then there was yet more walking as we had to attempt to find out way *out* of the gardens and back to the hotel for the do!

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Oh, and I may have completely channeled my inner Dug-from-Up with my constant delight at seeing squirrels everywhere!

And then there was the random cow:

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As we got back, we bumped into one of my absolute all time favourite bloggers, Lexi from Mammywoo! Massive hugs all round and excited chatter began. It was almost time for getting my make up done by Oriflame! Thanks for the false eyelashes Lexi! Saved me a trip to Boots!

{It was about this time that I left my camera where it was and started soaking up the excitement and moments rather than seeking them out through my lens, so I only have a couple of photos from the event to share from here on out.}

It was pretty easy to find the room that was set up for our make-up as I could hear lots of excited chatter and laughter!

And that's where I met Rhian from The Only Way is Melbourne! I must confess, Rhian's blog was one that I hadn't read before (along with many others I'm rather loathed to admit... it's just so time consuming to keep up with blogs as well as writing my own, which, well... ha, I don't exactly write often do I?), but I'm SO glad I got to meet you Rhian! You're a sweetheart! And yes ok, you definitely win the award for person who travelled furthest to get to the MADs! *grins*

Then it was upstairs to get ready. Ruth dutifully helped me do up the back of the shapewear (oh so comfy, fyi!) and we got our dresses on and were ready to go!

I had the most beautiful heels I've ever owned.

However I couldn't really walk in them.

I'm so *not* a heel person! In fact, I think anyone who met me at the actual awards evening would remember me as the one who was in agony from her shoes!

It was during the agony-of-walking-in-pretty-shoes that I got to finally meetΒ Steph!Β It was SO lovely to finally get to meet you face to face!! I only wish we could have chattered for longer, but my god I needed to sit down! hehe!

The meal was a sit-down affair, all very fancy and silver service.

Luckily I was sat between Kip and Laura who were an absolute blast to chatter with all evening and made the meal really fly by! (Kip, I know, I know you want to be Scottish with drinking everything in sight and trying to do the accent, but it's never gonna happen mate... sorry, I know, it sucks... you just can't be that awesome! *pats head*).

The way the servers were timed to all set our meals down at the same time was ever so slightly disconcerting, but hey, I guess that's just normal if you're in a 5 star hotel...?

I was a wee bit worried about it with my whole "oh good god why am I so fussy" problems, but it was delicious!

Beefore I knew it Dr Ranj was introducing himself up on stage and the awards ceremony started!

He was hilarious, heartwarming, and rather adorable to watch all at the same time.

I felt so proud to be there, sitting with so many inspiring people in one room, being a part of something so big and yet somehow intimate really tugged at my heart strings. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house by the end. Well done to EVERYONE who won! Though to me we were all winners just by being there, and I'm pretty sure that was a sentiment that every person there had.

Then the after-party started!

I must admit I didn't even get to have one drink as I had quite a headache from all the travelling and excitement of being in London, so I didn't quite get to let go, but I still had a fantastic evening all round!

It was hilarious watching people on the surf-board simulator, and oh my good god that thing was scary! Someone has a photo of me mid-jump but I have no idea who! I may have pleaded with them not to put it online, ha!

I ended up having to head off up to my room relatively early , as that damned headache wasn't going anywhere, and I had to be up super early (for me!) to catch the train home. Which took ELEVEN HOURS from me leaving the hotel to walking in my front door, fyi!

I am totally getting my passport renewed for next year!

I hope there's a next year anyway!

To everyone who set up the event, who voted for my wee blog, who helped me get to London, thank you SO much for giving me the opportunity to go. I had an amazing time and I wouldn't have been able to go if it weren't for you!

The whole reason I love blogging is the community that surrounds it, and that's what the MAD Blog Awards is all about.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for making it possible! ]

Lindy, me, Dr Ranj, Angie

{note: if I haven't mentioned you it's not because I've forgotten, I promise! It's just that there are SO MANY lovely people I got to meet and I just don't know who I've put down on here and who I haven't! It was so lovely to meet you!}