Well, I did it! I made the Annual Bloggers Bash 2015 in London by the skin of my teeth.
Hubby and I caught the train to Waterloo Station on Saturday morning, then the Underground to Euston Station; a short walk and three hours later, there I was.
Not outside the British Library as planned (family commitments meant I missed that bit unfortunately), but outside the Pizza Express across the road.
I said goodbye to hubby as he left to spend the afternoon bimbling here and there around London as he likes to do, while I took a deep breath and entered the restaurant.
Busy and noisy, I scanned the room for my fellow bloggers. I noticed a group seated at a long table hoping to recognise someone, not having met any of them in the flesh, so to speak. Was I at the right place? Were they still at the library? Had I got the wrong day?
But all was not lost. The next thing I knew, someone called out my name and I was greeted with a wonderful hug from blogging friends Hugh Roberts, and then Geoff Le Pard (sporting a dyed-red beard and forevermore now known as ‘Geoffle’).
With a spare seat for me at the end of the table, it was great to meet long-standing blogging pal Dylan Hearn. He lives in Suffolk so it was great to reminisce with him about my old stomping ground.
Dylan gave me some great advice about Twitter (I’m still resisting), Geoff and I talked about our writing backgrounds and they both said some lovely things about my blog. Wow. Humbled doesn’t even cut it. Thanks so much guys!
Both our daughters live with disabilities and I was proud to tell her about my Irish grandmother and of my hopes of travelling to Ireland one of these days.
Sacha did such an amazing job of organising the entire event and announcing the Annual Bloggers Bash Award winners with the help of her wonderful committee members, Hugh, Geoff and Ali, all of whom gave warm and humorous speeches. Thank you so much Sacha!
Many congratulations to all the Award winners, and thank you again dear friends for your kind votes and also for the nominations.
After the meal, we made the natural progression to an Irish Pub just down the road where the Bash continued until late into the afternoon. It was great to see blogging friend Esther Newton and meet Ellie Marinova (who grew up in Morocco and has lived in London for five years) and chat with them both about writing and blogging and myriad other things.
I wish I could have talked to everyone, but time ran out and Hubby and I had to think about getting our train back to Somerset. But not before he turned up at the pub and Hugh so kindly bought a round of drinks. So we had to stay a bit longer, naturally.
Not to mention, Hugh and I had some catching up to do with a promise for hubby and I to meet him for coffee next time we are down in the Brighton/Hove area.
After saying my goodbyes and sharing loads more lovely, warm hugs with one and all, hubby and I left the pub and headed out on the Underground back to Waterloo. After a delicious meal at a Thames-side grill along the South Bank, we caught our train, arriving home just before midnight. The end of a wonderful day.
Blogging friends met, new ones made, and I’m already looking forward to the next Annual Bloggers Bash. Bring it on!