Sunday 21 September 2014

Mad Blog Awards 2014: MAD secret thing

Around this time last year, I attended my first ever Mad Blog Awards Dinner in London, and you can read all about that on my post Bloggers are Brill (it involved a floaty skirt and a mechanical surfboard. Oh and Dr.Ranj from CBeebies). Let's just skirt over the fact that I had to pose dressed up as a carrot to win a ticket, shall we? 

Fast forward 12 months and I've just attended my second Mad Blog Awards Dinner. I'm still on a high; bear with me as I explain why. Let's get started with a pic of me and the best compere ever, Dr.Ranj from CBeebies. He has to be the smiliest man I know (yes, he kept it up all night, oo-errr) and he's a little bit naughty and giggly too...
Me and Dr.Ranj in the colourful dance floor lights. He's a mover too ;)
A few months back, a call was put out for some people to do a secret MAD thing, and I thought 'hell, why not, what can be worse than dressing as a carrot?' 

So I toddled off to a not-so-local school hall in Surrey on one very hot afternoon in summer, to be greeted by a handful of other nervous-looking bloggers, along with Sally from Tots 100 who had organised the torture session.... and some very enthusiastic Stagecoach employees. 

The secret MAD thing was not at all what I expected. We were being forced into given the opportunity to take part in a dance routine. The tune was an Olly Murs song (Dance With Me Tonight), which I'd quite liked up until that point. Have you realised how fast the beat in that song is?

After we spent a hot and sweaty couple of hours learning a few hundred steps, we returned to our individual homes and wondered what on earth had possessed us to sign up. Well, that's how it was for me, I'm just guessing on behalf of the others, but I reckon I'm not too far off.

We discovered that there was also a separate Northern group of bloggers who had rehearsed; around 30 bloggers were originally signed up to take part. As the holidays went on, and that initial rehearsal became a distant memory, the panic intensified, and so during a holiday visit to my parents up North, I took myself off to an extra rehearsal with a handful of the Northern bloggers.

A Google Hangout and one final rehearsal later and we were ready... as we would ever be. As I got ready to iron my gorgeous posh Boden frock pre-event, a big white wiggly vein suddenly bulged out on my leg (TMI? Sorry!). I could hardly believe my luck but was determined to do the dance whatever - and thanks to a little bit of medical advice from the fabulously talented Sally (I was looking for Dr.Ranj, but sadly he hadn't arrived at that point) I spent an hour with my leg up and ice pack on, chanting 'the show must go on'. Something like that anyhow. Huge thanks to my wonderful fellow flash-mobber Ruth from Geek Mummy who stayed calm and looked after me the whole time.
Me and Ruth from Geek Mummy
The drinks reception kicked off at 645pm and the nerves had well and truly kicked in at that point. I managed to whisper something terrible into Dr.Ranj's ear* before introducing myself to some lovely friendly bloggers (thanks Jennifer and Rachel) and then playing a giant size Operation game. That was followed up by a hug with Pikachu before we all filed into the hall where my flat shoes were waiting on a chair for me. We still had to get through a sumptuous three course meal before the secret would be revealed, and to say tummies were churning would be an understatement.

All of a sudden, it was time. Dr.Ranj had begun his speech, and then the lovely Clara from My Two Mums interrupted him to invite us to the dancefloor at the front of the room. I didn't stop to think or look at what all the other bloggers left at the tables behind us were doing, but I'm guessing there were a few surprised faces amongst them. 
The crazy MAD secret thing flashmobbers - photo credit @VicWelton
We flash-mobbed our hearts out, and it was an amazing feeling to be part of something special that I'll probably not get to do again ever (Sally?!). There will be full-on video evidence coming soon, so if you don't believe me you'll just have to check back in the next couple of days. For now, I'm going to leave you with all the pictures I took during the rest of the fantastic evening. 
MAD Blog Awards 2014
MAD Blog Awards 2014

MAD Blog Awards 2014

MAD Blog Awards 2014

MAD Blog Awards 2014

I'm slightly in awe of all the amazing bloggers who won awards, but a special mention goes from me to Helen of Actually Mummy who was brave on an emotional evening. All the Outstanding Bloggers are winners in my eyes - the pinnacle of this community and I'm so honoured to know Hayley from Downs Side Up, Emma from Emma And 3, Maddie from Gammon and Chips, Emma from Crazy With Twins, Jenny from Edspire (missed you this year!) and the Team Honk gals. Love you ladies! 

I chatted with too many gorgeous people to mention them all, and there were so many more I would have liked to spend time with but there just wasn't the chance. Next year... hopefully. Wondering if it can get any crazier than this... knowing Sally, I'd say yes. Thanks Sally for another brilliant event, and the chance to take part. Hugs to you.

Finally, to my fellow fab flash-mobber Colette I just have to say thanks for providing the best moment of the event. *I will never forget #fistandflick. Poor old Dr.Ranj. 

 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg