Last year I decided that I didn't want to go to CyberMummy as, on the surface, it seemed too much like an INSET day for me. When it came to a month beforehand, I suddenly realised what I would be missing out on and decided that 2012 was the year that I would be going. And so on Friday morning with my husband and son in tow, along with our suitcase and bedguard (!), we set off on the train to London.
I had an amazing weekend; meeting new and old friends, learning ways to improve my blog (mainly thanks to Julie Hall's sessions) and remembering how to be me again. Way too many things happened for me to blog it all but I will give a run-down of the things that were most relevant, informative and interesting for me. Basically, what I learnt:
- It didn't matter I was wearing because no-one cared. Honestly. I think most people went with the philosophy of not having baby sick, toddler snot or ground-in Weetabix on them, and by and large it worked.
- According to the TK Maxx woman, I need to wear dresses. I did try and let her down gently that it was never going to happen, but she refused to believe me. Poor deluded fool.
- I didn't win the BiB Snap! award, but for the first time ever I didn't beat myself up about it. The celebratory atmosphere of all involved was so lovely that I genuinely didn't mind. Having got to the finals was reward enough for me.
- Twitter avatars are deceptive. People you think will be tall (Her Melness, From Fun to Mum, and Kate Takes 5) are actually petite and perfectly formed. Completely took me by surprise. Likewise those that I thought would be smaller in stature were in fact joining me in the lofty heights (The Ana Mum Diary).
- Jenny from Mummy Mishaps is a fantastic friend that I am lucky to have.
- You need to take twice as big a clothing recepticle as you initially need. The quantity of goodies that you will leave with, will far surpass the available space in your luggage.
- I have the attention span of a gnat and was only able to see out the end of two sessions (Accountancy & Design, and Crossing the Chasm). I ducked out halfway through others as they were either of no interest to me or I wanted to catch up with people.
- Don't sigh out loud when the long-winded stage discussion is opened up to the floor. Especially when so many bloggers (about twenty-thirty in this case) can turn around and smile at you knowingly. And if you tweet about it, be prepared to be retweeted. Quite a bit.
- I do want another baby. I blame Matilda from Edspire for this; she's too damned gorgeous. In fact, I cried when I held her. Who knew that would happen?
- I need to label my pictures on my blog with keywords in order to increase my SEO chances. I should also use subheadings with the keyword.
- Bloggers are genuinely nice people who care about each other and are supportive and friendly. I was especially pleased to get to meet bloggers who I've been chatting with for over a year, some for eighteen months (RedTedArt, Christine Mosler, Michelle TwinMum, Seasider Clare, Two Point Four Children, Missie Lizzie B, Mum On The Brink).
- You can never have enough wetwipes (goody bag contents).
- The Hoxton Hotel is not child-friendly and is an extremely expensive breakfast options (£32 for the three of us).
- When Ruby Wax isn't trying to be funny, she's actually quite funny.
- Sarah Brown is funny. And honest and humble, courageous and an amazing woman in her own right.
- The man from Google+ is a very nice chap, but when he says that your personal Google+ profile will not be linked to your anonymous blog page in anyway, he is in fact, talking absolute bollocks. To clarify, Mr. TBaM did a search on me and the profile picture that came up was TheBoyandMe's. Not good for an anonymous blogger. I knew Google+ was evil.
- London is a very nice place to visit occasionally, but there's no way I could live there.
I could talk about what I didn't enjoy but well, what would be the point in that? Enjoy the pictures!
Many thanks to Toyjeanius who sponsored my ticket to attend.