When Sacha, Hugh, Geoff (Geoffle) and Ali said this year’s Bloggers Bash was going to be bigger and better than ever, they weren’t kidding. Their hard work (and from what I hear some shenanigans too, but I know nothing…) paid off. What a truly wonderful day from start to finish.
My day started out on the train with hubby just after 8am to London. At Waterloo, we went our separate ways, he to wander around some of his old haunts (heading for a pint and some fish and chips) and me on the Underground to King’s Cross Station.
Thankfully, Graeme Cumming had put out a call for a pre-bash gathering at O’Neills pub for those wandering aimlessly with time to kill before the official Bash kick-off at 1pm sharp. I say sharp, because last year I arrived late and missed the meet and greet. Not this year!
Turning my little map upside down (I’m left-handed, my excuse), I headed to the pub, relieved to find Graeme there propping up the bar, even if with a glass of water. Me too. It was only 11.30 in the morning after all; we had to pace ourselves.
After some chips (a small bowl and expensive portion, but that’s London for you…), Graeme, being the gentleman he is (thank you…!) led our little group to the venue not far away.
And then…there we were, greeted with wonderful warm hugs from Sacha at the door (wearing killer heels), then Hugh and Geoffle and Ali who, as well as dispensing lovely hugs, was busy registering everyone and handing out name tags.
From then on, I didn’t stop talking. Yep, it’s true. Even for me, who can talk the hind leg off a donkey, by the end of the evening I thought I was going to lose my voice. A relief for some, no doubt.
It was wonderful to see Suzie Speaks again, and this time chat a little more, joined by Steve (Steve Says), who I remembered as a guest over at Hugh’s blog a while ago. Great at last to meet Judy Martin as well as Christoph Fischer who I’ve only recently started following thanks also to Hugh – book fair here I come! – and Barb Taub.
There were three things I was determined to achieve at this year’s Bash:
- Arrive early;
- Chat to as many people as I could;
- Take as many photos as I could.
Well, I managed the first, but the second and third I didn’t do so well. It wasn’t until later in the day (too distracted with hugging, talking, laughing…enjoying!), that I realised with horror I hadn’t taken a single photo other than at the Award’s Presentation. Last year I managed one only. Yikes!
Most of the photos shared here were taken in those last few moments which meant sadly I couldn’t get everyone as some had already left. I also didn’t manage to speak to everyone…
I enjoyed chatting to her and of course getting a few pics, including one of us together with Sacha and Geoff, the four of us ‘Rough Writers’. We’re sending a message to Charli in Northern Idaho of love and support in the face of a crisis which she explains in her latest post . Please read it if you can. When a fellow blogger and wonderful friend who gives to so many needs help, she knows we are here for her sending light and hope her way.
As the afternoon went on with a buffet served and drinks available at the bar, we took seats for the guest speaker Luca Sartoni, Growthketeer at Automattic . He gave a very interesting talk about, among other things:
- Stats (don’t stress, even though ‘numbers are sexy’… they should not be everything…)
- Reblogging (he never uses it and couldn’t believe how many of us bloggers do…’Press This’ is the way to go, he says…)
- Having fun (letting go of those platforms that give you the most stress)
- Following your own blogging path and don’t be distracted by what others are doing.
- Don’t stress (did I say that already? Must be the lesson I need to hear…).
Last, but definitely not least, the committe read out the Awards Presentation throughout the afternoon. Read all about it and see who won in Sacha’s post. Many congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
And so, what more can I say about such a lovely day with so many lovely people? New friendships made, ‘old’ ones deepened, and I even got to play with Geoffle’s magnificent purple beard.
And then it was time to say goodbye. Hugh kindly walked with me back to King’s Cross Station as I hadn’t paid attention earlier and couldn’t remember how to get back. Thank you Hugh! A couple of tube changes later, met hubby at Waterloo and we caught our train home. He had a lovely day too, although he was still bemused about finding himself in the path of a naked bicycle rally. No kidding.
Thank you so much Sacha, Ali, Geoff and Hugh for a truly memorable day; you made the Annual Bloggers Bash a great success, a day filled with warmth, friendship, fun and joy.
And guess what? The committee is already beginning work on next year’s Bash. So mark the date – June 10th 2017. See you there!