So I went to a blog conference at the weekend, what a geek! It was put on by the very lovely Mumsnet – a site I enjoy for the sweary bitchfest that it is.
I was looking forward to it for several reasons, of course the prospect to glean considerable bloggy knowldge but mostly because of:
1, No kids
2, Free gin
3, Tim Dowling promising to fix my broken washing machine
Another nice thing about the conference was that the wonderful people at Coca-Cola offered to take me as their guest and booked me into a lovely hotel the night before – what a treat! Not really wanting to share my room with a domestic appliance, and also because lugging it around all day would have been a bit of a bind, I sadly left the washing machine behind.
When I arrived I immediately got stuck into one of my favourite activities which is going through the mini bar and guessing the prices of each item. Sipsmith gin for a fiver – happy days.
The next day started bright and early for a meeting with the Coke ladies about their new product Coca-Cola Life. I’ll admit that on a rare night away from the kids having to be up and out by 7.50am wasn’t the most appealing prospect but hey ho, there ain’t no such thing as a free hotel room.
Anyway the team were absolutely lovely and they had organised coffee, croissants, fruit and gifts which made me feel a bit important and went a long way to right their wrongs ;) Plus I enjoyed being the class prefect as I am actually a big Coke Life fan. It’s healthier but in my opinion tastes just like full fat Coke so what’s not to like? I can’t stand Diet Coke as for some reason it reminds me of drinking way too strong vodka mixes in my teens.
Hurrah for Coca-Cola Light! Less calories and doesn’t taste of Vodka! #winning
Unfortunately I can’t lay claim to this very, very lovely hand which actually belongs to Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog. Thanks for the photo and having a lovely hand Alison!
Then it was time to head off to the conference and take important photos like the ones where you get up on stage after the speakers have finished and pretend you are hosting a session on how to be the best blogger in the world ever…
In short the conference was ace. Largely because the speakers and panellists were top notch and very engaging. I have a tendency to drift off and think about rabbits and gin whenever i’m bored and I hardly did that at all. Aside from my BFF Tim Dowling there was an amazing array of well known names on the agenda – Jon Ronson, Nick Hornby, Lucy Porter, Bryony Gordon, Arabella Weir and Rebecca Front to name a few were all great.
My favourite session overall was ‘How to find your funny’ – which although maybe less practical than some of the others was rather like going to a stand up gig. One of my very favourite bloggers (and friend!) Kirsty from Eeh Baa Mum was also on the panel, she did herself proud and was just hilarious on stage as she is in her brilliant writing. Do check out Elaine from Gusset Grippers too, the funniest physio you’ll ever meet and winner of ‘weirdest show’ at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Anyway I don’t like to go on so we had some lunch, bla bla bla, had some mulled wine (first this year!), bla bla bla, saw some other stuff bla bla bla, and then we reached the most important part of the day – THE GIN RECEPTION!
I’m not sure you need for me to tell you that it all went steadily downhill from here, what do you think happens when you put child-free parents in a big room with loads of free booze….
Me and Emma fangirling Lucy Porter who was so lovely and didn’t appear at all annoyed with us for interrupting her conversation for a photo
The three non-blonds. Emma again (can’t get rid!) and Jess who writes the fab Wry Mummy blog
And when we finally got booted out, our little gang of 13 made up of some of the funniest ladies around, sought a place to rest our weary legs, drink prosecco and swear a lot. The answer was Prezzo in Kings Cross station. Not the most glamorous of locations and you had to pay £0.30 to use the public loos but 13 half-cut mums with no reservation on a Saturday night can’t be picky.
We talked about… actually I’m not sure you need to know and to be honest my memory is all a bit hazy. At about 10.30pm I decided I should perhaps try and get home considering that I had to get all the way back to Brighton. So I made my way to the tube, sat down and then realised I had forgotten my suitcase. I managed to get off before the doors shut and pegged it back to the restaurant – luckily it was still there being looked after a couple of the girls.
Off I went on my merry way and then had to do the exact same thing again when I realised I had left my phone and train tickets on the table too. It was like the film Sliding Doors but with a really sh*t plot line.
I guess that’s one of the main downsides of free gin… still worth in though.
Thank you again to Coca Cola for paying for my hotel and expenses and to the super lovely Lucy from Red Consultancy who I wish I had got more time to chat too and admire her lovely long pinky/red hair.
You can find out more about Coca-Cola Life and hear more about the Coca-Cola Zero Park Lives – fun, free, family activities in local parks by clicking on the aforementioned links. They also have some cool tools on their site including a Work It Out Calculator which lets you see how you can burn off the calories from their various products and a Caffeine Counter to help you keep track of your intake.
Psssssst my new book is out NOW in all good bookshops and supermarkets or you can nab copies from Amazon here :)
If you like you can also come drink gin with me on my book tour! Dates and locations are here