More friends; fewer notes. The two may be related.
It might also be something to do with a certain little young lady who came with me. Elma has always loved keeping an eye on what’s going on around her and collecting all the smiles she can entice in her direction; every time she wasn’t earnestly headbutting my chest in search of a little milky snack she was giggling at any other babies within reach, or looking adoringly at our neighbours. She had wonderful cuddles from Kylie and Rachel as well as both Kirsty and Clara from My Two Mums, and tickles and games of peepo from so many lovely others. I thank you all, it made Elma’s day, and in turn made it a real joy to have my littlest girl with me.
Despite the lack of notes, I seem to have come home with a bloggy to-do list as long as my arm. Disappointingly, by the time I got to the Warner Bros lounge to check out the Harry Potter film props someone else had already snagged the time turner (after all, why else wouldn’t it have been there), so I had to choose between a whole host of sessions I would have loved to have gone to.
But the ones I picked didn’t let me down.
Mammasaurus and Mummy Barrow filled BritMums 3 to standing room only with their session on social media, and with just cause; they had oodles of information shoehorned into their 45 minutes including their top tip to avoid that “not tweeting, but drowning” feeling by scheduling yourself little 10 minute blocks every now and then to keep on top it all. Lots of their bare facts were probably familiar to many of us, but with their enthusiasm and killer humour you could have listened to them all day.
I came out of the smartphone photography session with one undisputable realisation:
I’m going to have to delete Candy Crush from my phone.
I now have a wonderful list of new photo apps to add to my phone’s memory, and it’s already creaking at the seams. I had to delete four pictures and the ASDA app just to get Hipstamatic to reload. And that’s to say nothing of the new ones that I want to play with; Camera Noir, Coloursplash, Snapseed, Action Shots, Decim8, Slow Shutter, Quick Camera and Filterstorm, with Camera Noir and Filterstorm at the top of the list.
The Pinterest team of Maggie from Red Ted Art, Emma from Science Sparks and Kerry from Pin Addicts had me scribbling frantically with one hand while Elma chirruped and occasionally wailed in the other arm (sorry about that everyone else who was there). One of these days when I find those extra minutes in the day I’m going to have a stab at turning some of the jumble of pretty things that I’ve pinned on my phone when reading words is too much to keep my brain awake during night feeds into boards that I can actually use.
And Judith from Wife in the North earned all the gold stars I could possibly bestow in the “Finding your Voice” session by decidedly declaring that they were going to make sure we got some actual tips, not just anecdotes from people who’ve already done it. The panel’s comments provoked some interesting thoughts on the gender difference in the value of writing and how we protect our writing time that are going to rattle round my brain for a little while, and the tips themselves were great; focussing on clearing your mind and centring yourself before you write, and making sure that your writing conveys your thoughts without recourse to any form of telepathy.
I’m looking forward to starting Steven King’s “On Writing” which Judith recommended as a book that makes you actually want to go and write, as opposed to chucking in the towel, denying all knowledge of the written word and acquiring an unhealthy interest in amassing a collection of spoons, which I can neither admit nor deny has ever crossed my mind.
But of course there would always be the one that got away, in my case it was Baroness Greenfield on the neuroscience of internet addiction. I would have loved to be there; I’m just going to have to start a little light internet stalking to find someone who’s written about it.
All the time I’ve been writing I’ve tried to decide my absolute best moment, the real highlight, the one memory that will stick with me, and I can’t decide. I’ve got it down to a shortlist, perhaps you’ll be my jury?
It might have been the delightful discovery that Kirstie Allsop is just as chatty and entertaining in real life as she seems on the telly, I chuckled all through her talk, and it made my birthday.
It might be the standing ovations, given with love and support and utterly deserved.
Or it could be watching my tiny girl play peepo with the penguins from Madagascar as we (that’s two large penguins, one orange buggy, one tiny girl and one tall Mama) sank gracefully to the foyer floor in the buggy lift.
But I’ll leave you today with my favourite photo. A rare portrait of Elma and my alter egos – bunnies!
If you’ve written about BritMums please leave me a comment and let me know because (a) I’m shallow and getting a comment makes me happy and slightly excitable and (b) I’m loving reading everyone else’s different views, and hearing about the talks I couldn’t make.