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…
Pro bloggers Emma from Brummy Mummy of 2 and Steph from Sisterhood (and all that) AKA my wing women for the day
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….
Enjoying gin and fizz with Jude from Make Me An Earth Mother, Jo from Heir Raisng and Steph
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.
The fabulous thirteen including Sarah, Steph, Elaine, Aileen, Amy, Jude, Sam, Kirsty, Sian, Elfa, Jess and Emma phew!
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.
**************P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)
Sounds like an awesome day! I was very jealous following the hashtag. All blog events should end with a free gin bar. X
Wow! Looks like a lot of fun, and what great people you got to drink with! :)
Love your account! Was a fabulous day- lovely to see you and have a teeny tiny chat at the end! x
Lovely to see you again! Sorry if I bored the tits off you guys about not drinking- I’m sure I’ll be back on the gin soon and will be up for partying more! x
I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND. xxx
Hilarious. Free gin? SOLD! x
Oh that sounds like it was a great day – I wish I could have been there to see everyone but alas, not this year – I’m living vicariously through everyone’s blog posts instead!
I so so agree. I have always preferred Coke over Diet Coke but don’t like the sugar content so I was thrilled when Coca Cola Life was launched and even more so when I discovered it tastes more like full fat coke despite its mere 89 calories.
Great post by the way x
Oh it was a great day! Thanks for the recap – my memory is hazy…. I’m blaming red wine though x
Sounds like you had a great time – apart from the Sliding Doors ending! I will be there next time. Maybe! x
LOVE the pic of you on the stage. Next year Katie. You’d be great. Hear that Mumsnet?
LOVE the pic of my identical twin sister, Anaglypta, who was allowed out on a very long lanyard that day only to disgrace herself.
LOVE the fact you were in a top hotel while I was trapped in a ‘just’ 3* hotel shower again. Tough shit you had to get up so early, but for one of those green cans and some decent plumbing, I’d do the same.
I have hardly any photos as my phone was on charge, two escalators down, and the gin told me not to bother, but have about 6 photos of you which I took from the gallery in one of the sessions. Was going to text the pic to you in the stalls and make a cheesy comment to go up on the screen, but at the last moment realised it wasn’t you at all but another blondie a few rows in front.
Great post as ever,
Ha! Didn’t realise you actually made onto a tube train. Oops!
Fab day and evening, and fab to meet you!
Sounds like it was a brilliant day!! I really definitely am going to make an effort next year!
I think I was much more tipsy than I thought, snippets of dinner conversation keep coming back to me. Hilarious. Was lovely to see you as ever xx
I’m moving into your house this afternoon. Get the gin in x
Sounds like a fun day! Gutted I couldn’t come but as I couldn’t drink the gin anyway . . .!
Oh, happy day! I had such a fun time hanging out with you and our blog squad. That photo of you, Steph and Brummy is brill! Love it! xxx
Aren’t the Coca Cola people smashing? Oh how I would loved to have been there with you ladies. Oh and for what it’s worth, I have no doubt that all 3 of you funny chickens will be on that stage one day hosting a panel all of your own. And if that happens, I will even miss my daughter’s birthday to see it. Sounds aces x x
I so wish I’d had the chance to talk to you properly Katie! I feel like, what with hiding behind Kirsty in the group shot I was actually channelling Lucy Porter’s invisible middle-aged ninja : – ) Can’t believe you got on a tube before realising all your stuff was still back at the table – nuts! Kudos on the Coke thing too – I really feel I could have represented for Coke after consuming my body weight in the stuff every week of my teenage years… I never got on with vodka either – hurrah for gin ( ; – ) ) becoming the cool girl’s drink post birth! Oh and go you rebels for raiding the (admittedly empty) stage! Nice pic X
FFS now I feel even worse about missing it after reading that! Lol x #freegin *sulks* I shall be there with giant fucking gin fuelled bells on nxt year :)
Looks like an awesome time was had by all. Sorry to have missed it this time.
Ha – you left twice and had to go back for stuff. That is very funny (bet you were fuming!). Looks like an ace day and gutted I missed it xx
Oh you guys!! Looks amazing,wish I’d been there,really want to start putting some voices to words/names to faces whatever correct saying is for meeting fellow bloggers x
YAY I’m famous! Thanks for name-checking me alongside Coke. I have now totally made it forevs! Let’s do it again next Saturday yah? Great post, lady! xxx
It was a great day but I was gutted that a) I had to get back to Liverpool to babysit (my own children ssssh) and b) it was so busy that I didn’t get a chance to chat to you and c) I didn’t get to have after-do drinks :( I was shattered on the way home, and alcohol-less. I hope to meet you again sweet!! :) xxx
Ahhh sounds like you had a fantastic time. I wish we could have been roomies I didn’t get to see you much and had to leave early darn it so I missed all the drinks and fun afterwards which sounds very much the best part. I was too sick so I hid in the back of the sessions for most of them. But always great to grab a hug and a quick chat with you though darling. Glad you had a brilliant time. I will have to try this new coke light. I hate diet pop so might be next best thing. lol
am a bit grumpy to have missed it, last year it made me grumpy and I decided I wouldn’t go again (take than Mumsnet! – as you can imagine it almost brought the thing to it’s knees – not).
Anyhow, looks like it was fun – bit of it were fun last year, I found them very generous with the booze and there are always point for that and the goodie bag was ace. Do you have your goody bag or if I pop into Prezzo will i find it behind a table? anyhow, what i meant to say in the comment was that last year I got Tim to give me a tea towel – he really will agree to anything via twitter, in fact he gave me two tea towels. He is magnificent. So really, maybe you should have taken the domestic appliance. Although, having read his column it might be better to approach his wife about getting things actually fixed.
Sounds like a funny night :-) I may have lol at the thought of you dashing back for a second time to get your phone.
I really enjoyed the funny session, I didn’t go to try and learn how to be funny as I don’t think anything could teach me but like you said it was like a stand up comedy show and made me laugh lots and laughing is always good. Must speak to you next time, I did wave at you at one point! x
Pretty sure no-one could teach you much about being funny ;) sorry I missed this year’s Fest but have earmarked big spot in my diary for gin drinking next year!