1. The room in the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, Bloomsbury Street, with much tweeting going on.
2. My buddies on Table 12: Leanna (Diary of a Premmy Mum) and Lucy (Lulastic and the Hippyshake)
3. Emma (Adventures of an Unfit Mother) with her award for Best Family Life Blog
4. Me with Lisa (Mummy Whisperer) - thanks to Jen for the Instagram photo.
5. Emma with Myleene Klass who was at the ceremony representing Start-rite, one of the sponsors.
6. Lisa and Jen (Jenography) with blingy bag.
The 2012 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards was held on Friday night at a rather swanky ceremony at the Radisson hotel, Bloomsbury Street. I had decided to drive to Cockfosters station and tube it from there, rather than go by train, which meant I was a little more in control of timings and was able to stop off en route and visit my elderly Aunt in Hertfordshire. Brownie points gained, I arrived about 3.30pm and, because they couldn't seem to find, or have readily available, my booked standard double, I was upgraded to a rather lovely deluxe with king size bed. Having no husband with me to share this opulence, I settled on the next best thing: a bag of crisps, cup of tea and my feet up watching Countdown and Deal or No Deal. Classy.
More lazing about, a bubble bath, another cuppa, and it really was time I came out of my hidey-hole and meet up with the others at the reception. Thankfully I met Jen Howze in the lift so I had a pal to accompany me. I needn't have worried - there were plenty of familiar faces, some I'd met on the yacht party (how braggy does that sound!?) and some bloggers I'd never met but knew instantly from their Twitter avatars or from photos on their blogs. The noise level was pretty intense with the babble from dozens of excitable females and a few bemused chaps filling the lobby of the hotel. The standard of dress was at Oscar level: seriously gorgeous frocks, vertiginous heels and hair-dos (including Lucy's retro up-do, showing us what you can create with a loofah and plenty of hairspray - see photo top right).
Photographs were taken by the official photographer as groups of bloggers draped themselves willingly over the sofa, fizz was sipped or swigged, and nervous chatter continued until we were ushered into the main room for dinner. Tempura squid, chicken, warm pear and chocolate tart were on the menu, all beautifully cooked. Wine went down a treat, though I spilled mine over Phillipa, the Skoda Lady's, phone whilst speaking too much with my hands. She was remarkably relaxed about it and thankfully didn't set the yeti mascot onto me as punishment.
There was a lot of excitement when we discovered Myleene Klass was attending the event. She was very tiny, very beautiful and very friendly: she was more than happy to be photographed with everyone and I'd like to think she enjoyed our company as much as we did hers.
The award ceremony had plenty of whoops, laughs, tears and applause. The most poignant moment was the announcement that Kerry from Multiple Mummy, who is very ill at the moment, had won two awards: her husband was there to collect them on her behalf, to a standing ovation.
On our table, Table 12, (Emma, Leanna, Lucy, Heather, Helen, me and the two Skoda ladies) we had two winners: Emma and Heather winning their respective categories. I didn't win the Family Travel category but it went to a blogger I have always admired: Victoria at It's a Small World After All.
As the evening came to a close, I managed to get round lots of people for a chat before my contact lenses gave up the ghost and I sneaked off to my over-sized bed. On the way I picked up the goody bag which included make-up, baby toothpaste, energy pills, yoghurt bars, a cool bag ( a bag for keeping your sarnies cool, not the latest Mulberry, I hasten to add) and some lip balm. My favourite freebies were the Hello Kitty ear muffs and the rubber gloves for sensitive skin, which you can see me modelling here. They are meant to be worn together, surely?
A big thank you to the organisers of the MAD Blog Awards for a great evening at a superb venue. Congratulations to all the winners and all the finalists. There were 100,000 votes and 3000 blogs nominated so to reach the final was a pretty big deal for all of us.