It was lovely reconnecting with old friends and making new ones too.
Unfortunately, as with all bashes there is always that moment when you realise that you haven’t had a chance to speak to everyone. So apologies to those I missed and to those I only chatted to briefly.
I took very few photos. Getting lazy…
But here are some, below myself, with Willow and Ritu.
Congratulations to Ritu for winning best book blog and to Sam Smith at Loving The Fifty Something Blog for winning the writing competition this year. I really enjoyed chatting to Sam and wish her every success and happiness with her writing and inspirational lifestyle.
I particularly enjoyed listening to guest author Gemma Todd talking about her writing journey.
From working class girl with no books in the house, or readers in her family, to librarian and Headline author! That shows determination, tenacity and a love of the written word! Gemma flitted across the stage in an exuberant but down-to-earth way making me smile. She shared some touching anecdotes about her father and her genuine authenticity shone through.
It was such an unexpected but lovely surprise. To say I was gobsmacked is an understatement! I’m sure I blubbered a whole lot of nonsense when I went up on stage to accept my award… talk about unprepared! OOPS!
The bash is such a fun and informative event. I have been lucky to be able to attend every single bash (all four in total.) It’s a way to connect beyond the virtual world with like-minded authors and book bloggers.
If you haven’t been to one before, I urge you to do so – you won’t regret it.
This year I noticed a new trend. Many book bloggers won awards. Book bloggers work so hard to promote a love of reading and to promote authors who might otherwise not be so successful. So keep up the hard work.
I took a few photos… Here are three lovely lasses – Esther, Ritu and Willow. Ritu did an awesome job with her speech. I truly believe she is wonder woman! Her energy and enthusiasm for blogging needs to be patented.
A special treat went to Little Miss Bad – Sacha Black – Organiser of the Bloggers Bash…
But, I’m a bit alarmed by an odd sprinkle of fairy dust floating into Sherri’s specs…
Then came the panellist questions, one came from Lucy At Blonde Write More’s readership who asked a very dodgy question – Do you write your blog posts in the nude? Graeme Cumming’s expression, and the laughter from the panellists says it all. But, Geoff is looking very thoughtful… His body language and that blue beard Smurf look speak volumes…
After teasing his beard again and again Geoff Le Pard admitted that he’d indulged in writing blog posts in the bath! In the nude, (well you can’t have a bath fully clothed can you?) Of course you can’t.
I wonder whether there were bubbles? Blue ones perhaps, to cover up the necessary!!!
Moving on from Geoff’s confession Suzie Speaks strange expression below suggests an ability to see Sacha’s weird martial art movement behind her…
What a day to remember! In typical Marje fashion I had a bit of an accident when I got home. I fell on the stairs. Total Miss Clumsy! Pleased to report that no harm done just a touch of bruising…
Getting back to Geoff’s confession about his habit of blog posting in the bath. Do you think this could be a new blogging trend? Or, is this a unique characteristic that only a blue-bearded Geoff could master?
Pull up a cosy chair and get comfortable – I have so much to tell you. It has been quite a week of colourful excitement, fun and frolics. It’s been my birthday week so let me suggest a mug of hot chocolate topped with chocolate drizzled marshmallows…. Why not? Or if you fancy a Martini Espresso do join me in a moment…
In the meantime what about a journey back in time in my special phone booth… I am getting older by the minute… on the bright side I’m not as ancient as these dinosaurs
We have a tradition in my family – my mum and dad decided that birthdays should last longer than a day. So when it’s anyone’s birthday we celebrate for a whole darn week! Not just a single day, we like to make it last, and last and last, …. ad infinitum.
So my fun week started off last Sunday with a trip to London with my two daughters. We made quite a day of it visiting Camden food market, (eating yummy Beef Rendang – which is a spicy Malaysian dish,) walking along the river from Camden food market, and then taking a bus to Covent garden, as the tube station was shut. My poor wee legs.
Here’s some photos that I’d like to share with you.
My keen photographer daughter Georgina is on the right clutching her camera, Natasha is to the left of her, our model for the day!
What about a little oriental charm along the way? A beautiful Chinese restaurant that we discovered floating on the water!http://www.fengshang.co.uk/
We were in search of graffiti to photograph and we found plenty.
Sometimes you need someone special in the foreground to make it especially interesting….
What else did I do this week?
I went to a make up evening with my youngest daughter – the launch party for the new John Lewis beauty hall which was great fun. I nearly won the raffle prize but unfortunately I lost it by one number. My raffle ticket was something like 365, and the winning number was 364. A bit of a disappointment – but life isn’t all about winning, is it? It’s about experiences. Doing the things you love with the family and friends you love. That’s what truly counts.
I bought a couple of new books at Ruth Hatfield’s book launch. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do, I read the first in this series a while ago:
I went out for a lovely birthday lunch with my hubby, and youngest daughter.
So before this week ends I’d just like to raise a glass to you, my followers, to thank you for your continued support in this here blog. It means the world to me. In fact I’d love to raise a glass of Espresso Martini to you.
Cheers. Love ya..from the real me, no cartoon this time!
The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster There is a link up: Link Up Linky. Do click on the this link to see all the wonderful coffee share posts and perhaps join in too.
I have a few regrets which are inevitable with these events:
Not taking enough photos, I was too busy enjoying myself!
I didn’t quite manage to talk to as many people as I would have liked to… sigh. Shall have to remedy this next time.
There was a lot of cake but I only ate a few pieces…
I forgot to sign the comments book.. oops. So here’s my on-line comment: It was brilliant, I enjoyed it so much, even more than last year if that’s possible! Thank you to the committee. Keep up the hard work, crack that whip Sacha! ! The idea of having a speaker was spot on, perhaps a little dancing next time?
We had a prebash at O’Neills which was arranged by Graeme, and then the bash itself and the post bash afterwards for those who were still there until the bitter end!
It was great that a speaker came this year. Thanks to Luca, Growthketeer at @automattic for his interesting talk on all things blogging.. and for showing me his amazing photography later on, so inspiring. It makes me want to rush out and buy a professional camera!
The blogging tips from his talk that linger in my mind are:
‘Drive your numbers,’ rather than the other way round. ‘Numbers are sexy’ – we are obsessed with stats but be in control, show those numbers who’s boss.
‘Help other people and be positive.’ The value of the content that you share on your blog is key.
‘Water, shelter, food, and WordPress!’ These are the four things that you need as a blogger!!!! But test other platforms to see which might suit your goals. Different social media tend to attract different followers – Instagram and snap chat tend to be popular with young people. Facebook is for us oldies.
‘Connect to your goals/aims.’
‘Activate as many sharing options,’ as you can on your blog.
During the discussion Luca Sartoni was astonished to learn that people use the reblog option so much! Now he’s planning to convey this information to the powers that be so that they can make reblog even more snazzy… As well as this he touched upon the merits of the reblog option versus Press it… and his method of sharing others’ content via links, and twitter.
Keep a look out for Sacha’s detailed post about Luca’s talk soon. And keep the date in your diaries for next year’s bash June 10th 2017!
After all that excitement I hardly slept a wink last night, now I really need a coffee ….
If we were having coffee I’d say that my favourite has to be a Cappucino with lots of chocolate on top, perhaps shaped in a frothy heart. What’s yours? Do come and sit by me on this comfy sofa – I’ve got quite a story to tell you.. There are lots of photos of London that I want to show you – Camden, and Covent Garden too, so don’t gulp down your coffee and disappear, or you’ll miss out on all the fun. Oh, and there’s also a little something about NCS Live in London- my daughter won a couple of tickets.
So first things first, guess what, Diana’s Weekend Coffee Share post is now so popular it has been featured on The Daily Post. Wow, isn’t that fantastic! Well done to her. Here’s the link to her blog to see her post about that:
What have I been up to? I’ve made a decision this week – decision? Really? Whoa….. Yes, I did. I knocked that old procrastination into submission and put up my prologue and the first few chapters of my novel, The Curse of Time on Wattpad, so here’s the link to that if you’d like a nose.
So a big thank you to all that have been so kind as to do a shout out for me: the twitter response has been fantastic. I’m really thankful to have so many blogging buddies. And a big thank you in particular to Graeme, (who I met last year at the Blogger’s Bash,) who has so kindly given me oodles of feedback on my Prologue. Apparently he’s a bit of a fan of prologues. So do pop over to Graeme’s blog and say hi. He’s a keen sailor and his blog theme at the moment is water based posts, which I’m a big fan off – : http://graemecumming.net/
Enough of my waffleitis, I promised you some photos and a commentary about my recent trip to London so here goes:
Take a look at these Camden shop fronts, aren’t they amazing?
When you get a bit hungry, and thirsty but money is a bit tight where better than Wetherspoons for a drink and a meal?
This beauty caught my eye, obscuring just about everything else!
A lovely view greeted us.:
So eye catching:
The International Food Market in Camden was something else but very crowded, and my eldest daughter isn’t too keen on crowds, though she did manage to get a quick mouthful of some free grub! Here’s a quick snap as we’re leaving….
Travel in style in Covent Garden, perhaps a horse and cart?
This is when things got a bit silvery…. watch in awe…
Silver man’s tipping his cap.
I don’t know how Silver man did that! He must have so much upper body strength to support himself on a spade. Maybe he’s magical.. But what amuses me is the reaction of the bystanders to the left of him – those two young men, their reactions particularly the one wearing the stripy top. His reaction when the silver man tips his cap before doing his twirl is classic – he does a whoa…. and backs off in shock! Did you see it in the previous photo?
It’s been such an exciting week. No kidding…. My youngest daughter won a ticket to NCS YES Live & the NCS Awards 2016, “a show that celebrates the NCS social action stars of today and the future! It’s time to honour the 58,000 inspiring NCS grads of 2015 who dedicated more than 1.8m hours towards social action, raising more than £1.3m for good causes across England and Northern Ireland. Bring on the music and the fun!”
She was so excited!! Boy did it show! She was buzzing…
My eldest daughter also did NCS but it was a fairly low key event then compared to now. It has become so much more of a big deal. Nevertheless she loved it too, and perhaps that encouraged my youngest to join in with the NCS program too.
If you’re 15 – 17 and would like to find out more about taking part in NCS. Here’s the link to this great opportunity: http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/
“National Citizen Service (NCS) is an experience you really don’t want to miss. If you’re 15 to 17 years-old, this is your chance to embark on exhilarating challenges, make your mark and build skills for work and life. More than 200,000 young people have already said YES to NCS. Don’t. Miss. Out.”
Isn’t my daughter such a lucky girl? Perhaps I should get her to choose some lottery numbers this week….. Who knows, could be an idea… She brought along her friend to NCS Live, and the two of them absolutely loved it. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend as I’m not sixteen! Instead I had the opportunity to go with my eldest daughter, (who is on holiday from Uni,) and have a fun packed day in London – It’s my holiday time too as I’m working term time at the moment. Lucky old me!
We had a fantastic time hopping on and off the tube to Camden, Covent Garden, Oxford Circus and rounded off the night with an Italian dinner at Prezzo’s. It was such a fun packed but exhausting day. We didn’t get home until nearly midnight!! The funniest part of our day out had to be after we met up with the two NCS ‘ers at you guessed it at Top Shop. We took the Tottenham Court Road to our intended restaurant, near the London Palladium. My eldest daughter was heading up the stairs in the tube and then screeched. We all stopped in our tracks wondering what had made her scream. When we saw the tiny culprit we all joined in screaming… it was a tiny rat, or was it a mouse? Who knows….. anyway this poor creature was running down the stairs to greet my daughter as she was going up. Perhaps the response it got in return made this creature more scared of us than we were of it!! So I reckon I could claim that rat or mouse was our headliner!!! Boy did we scream….We have all the luck! Tinie Tempah eat your heart out.
That was a lovely cuppa. Sorry for being such a chatterbox, that last Tinie Tempah joke was a bit crazy you know me… Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing coffee with me.
Hope you enjoyed my Weekend Coffee Share.
Do pop over and join in the fun at Part Time Monster:
This silver dude who I came across in Covent Garden seemed like the obvious choice for Hugh’s Challenge this week which was to – “take a photo of a gap. It could be a gap between two buildings or maybe that gap in your garden fence. Maybe there’s a gap that your pet dog squeezes through or a gap that a child has between two of their teeth.”
Well he certainly can hold his own in a gap, no doubt about that one! Quite amazing perhaps he’s blessed with a silver sliver of magic….
Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Take or choose a photo that you’ve taken which shows a gap in it. 2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 19 – “Gap” 3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing. 4. Create a pingback to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section below so that other participants can view the post.
Sometimes it is good to reblog especially if you get a chance to go behind the scenes of a Bloggers Bash. Follow the antics of Ali, Geoff, Sacha and Hugh, otherwise known in Geoff’s words as the gang of Four – Ali ‘bog diver’ Isaac, Hugh ‘The Welsh’ Roberts, The Geoffle and their Supreme Commander de Blog, Sacha ‘Eyebrows’ Black, at the dastardly bash. You won’t regret it…..
A new term begins, a bit like the branches of this beautiful tree it proposes many opportunities but also separates too. We are now back to our little group of three and I expect it will take some getting used to again.
The journey to Brighton on Saturday luckily wasn’t fraught with too many issues. We arrived on the seafront, but found that we couldn’t locate the venue to pick up my daughter’s keys! We asked a local taxi driver but she didn’t seem to have a clue so we turned the car around and managed to work it out ourselves. The weather was so blustery, as I left the car, my hair was blown all over the place, and somehow the force of the wind managed to undo my necklace! Luckily I noticed and saved it from being stolen by the wind. I walked in with my daughter and she presented her form only to be told that she needed ID to pick up her keys! Back out into the wind again, no sign of my husband or our car, he’d gone to do a loop around as this area is strictly double yellow lines, no parking allowed. So we waited, and waited, and waited. By this time I was needing the toilet! At last he reappeared, we went back armed with her ID. Problem solved. Or was it? The door wouldn’t open. UGH. Luckily we spied one of the housing advisors and she opened it for us. At last my daughter was presented with a key! Success. Off we went.
Now this is when events became even more entertaining, remember we are in Brighton and in Brighton all sorts of funny things happen, I kid you not. On the way up the hill to her new abode, which by the way is a cute terraced house, with a garden, we saw a bunch of students pushing an enormous wheeled crate up the hill, full of a truck load of moving in stuff, there even happened to be a TV in there! This made me laugh, typical students! I remember once my other half and his then student pals lifted a cooker through the streets of Edinburgh up to their flat too! How times have changed, nowadays students are much more sophisticated, and inventive, none of this brawn, just brain, a wheeled crate is much more enterprising. Anyway, I do hope that they managed to get up the hill okay! After saying our goodbyes, wonder of wonders, an even stranger sight caught my eye. We were stuck at a junction waiting to turn right, the bus on the road ahead stopped, a man hobbled out on his crutches and popped into the off licence for his weekly supply of alcohol, the bus waited patiently and he hobbled back on with his stash at the ready! I’ve never seen that anywhere else in the world, that’s for sure. A Brighton speciality bus service, methinks….
So back to this tree, I sat underneath it in a pub in Blackheath, in London, with my youngest daughter and as I looked up I stared at its magnificent splendour. It must be one of the most striking trees I’ve ever seen. It was lit up with fairy lights, and its branches curved and twisted, in a dramatic fashion, as if it was saying look at me. If it could speak I’m sure it would say, “Aren’t I the most poetic tree you’ve ever seen?”
That tree summed up how I feel about my daughter going into her second year at University, and my youngest starting her GCSE’s. This is going to be some year! They will have so many opportunities, and diverse paths that they might follow which will lead them in many directions, and if they work hard the sky’s the limit for what they might achieve. I do hope my eldest daughter has a bundle of fun, makes lots of new friends, and embraces each and every opportunity with a happy heart, and that my youngest daughter will have a wonderful year with much success, happiness, and fun too. There is the prom to look forward to, I know she will love this! A new dress, shoes, makeup and hair, that will put a smile on her face after all that hard work. As for me, I may have a touch of the new term blues but I’ll be okay, the leaves of that wise old tree whispered and told me so!
Are you suffering from the new term blues too? Do you have a child who has just left the nest to go to University? Do feel free to comment and share I’d love to hear from you.