To say I've never won anything would be a blatant lie.
Whilst at school, I won a cookery competition. Going on my skills now, you would never believe it. In addition to this, I came first in a race at school on at least one occasion. Other than that, the trophies have not been lining up on the shelves waiting to be dusted.
When the opportunity arose for me to ask for nominations for the BAPs (Bloody Awesome Parents) SEND Blog Awards, I was reluctant to take that step of putting myself out there. I mean seriously, who the fuck do I think I am? What would happen if nobody nominated (other than me and The Keeper)? I would look like a complete dick then, not just the partial one I am.
I had a committee meeting with myself and decided I was overthinking (as usual) and just to go for it. When I did, everyone seemed encouraging about it and a number of people posted that they had nominated and I wasn't sure whether -
a) they were just saying it out of politeness and didn't vote
b) they were saying it, had actually done it and thought I was the Dog's Bollocks and was deserving of a vote
The truth came months later, when I found that I had been nominated for most of the categories but was shortlisted in the Newcomer one.
What The Actual Fuck?
I'm gonna be perfectly honest here. When I say WTAF, I mean as in why was I not in the SEND with a Side Dish of Humour category? What went wrong?? Seriously, I was thrilled that I had made it that far and that either through the number of nominations or by way of a judging panel, I was in the final.
The next stage meant more
begging asking for votes which I certainly did. I bored my followers with requests to get me that coveted award and they did me proud by sharing my post appealing to their friends too.
At this point, I want to say hand on heart that although I was hopeful for a win, I doubted it would be possible. I had already read the other blogs in my category and although we are very different, they have been written with such finesse and something that I would never be able to compete with.
As the big day approached, I wondered what I would wear, what I would say if I won and what I would say if I didn't. Despite the over confident words that hide behind a blog post, such social situations turn me into a mess where my stomach plays games with my head. Even on the morning, I was wondering whether it would be easier to stop at home, but by this point I had already won five tickets and had my own squad attending (and what a squad they were). I actually thought that I had used up any winning credits I had by receiving those tickets and I wouldn't be as lucky to win an award too. Were the tickets given as a sweetener for not winning anything? The thoughts that run through my head are amazing, believe me!
About a month before, I had even won a Parent Award at Joseph's dance class so in my mind that was about it for the next twenty years. Win three things in one year? It's unheard of.
The Keeper, knowing I need a kick up the arse when it comes to glamming it, suggested that I could get my make up and hair done at the hotel. Either that or he was essentially trying to drop a massive hint about my current jeans and trainer look. I contacted the hotel to book an appointment, explained that I had short hair and they offered to tong it. Now had they said, GHD it I might have been more convinced, but I was wondering what kind of bread head I would end up with. I was also slightly nervous around the make up and panicked thinking I would look like a kick-ass clown/drag artist by the time they had finished.
I'd been faked tanned up the night before and didn't think too much about the potential effects of the hotel swimming pool until after I had dipped my body in it. Fortunately, I didn't turn green but the towels were a nice shade of beige by the time we had finished.
I ducked out of the tonging but still turned up for my face change/makeover. The results were quite good but I was ready far too early, which meant more time to shit my Bridget Jones'.
I'd decided I wasn't drinking until after the awards were presented. Two reasons; if I did win, I didn't want to spout off any old shit and I didn't want to fall. Unfortunately, everyone else had other ideas and I have no willpower, so I accepted a little welcome drink. To calm the nerves obviously.
As well as having my Yorkshire squad on our table, there was a Southerner, the lovely Sarah who writes Don't Be Sorry (check her out). She won the first award presented that night and was interviewed by the host, Sally Phillips after. She made it look so bloody easy and I was silently calling her names that can't be repeated (Sarah, not Sally).
My category was up next and they reeled off all our blog names and announced the winner... Joseph and his Amazing Spectrum Coat. It was all very much slow-mo and I thought they must be repeating the names of the finalists again. Everyone was clapping and I could see the blog name on the screen.
Joseph and His Amazing Spectrum Coat.
Me. I write that blog and I had only gone and won a bloody award.
I wobbled up the ramp, silently praying I wouldn't fall over and humiliate myself and let Sally give me a little hug. To be fair, she did ask me whether I was a hugger, but I didn't think then was the right time to say "No, get the fuck off me".
Keeping a safe non-hugging distance
The next few minutes were a little bit of a blur. I know my mouth felt dry, there were lots of ums and my voice quivered. I kept telling myself "Don't swear. Don't swear". The word swear must have been on the tip of the tongue as I recall her asking me what I liked to read in a blog.
I told her about how I had received a message from someone who read my blogs and amongst other reasons, she liked my swearing.
I told her that Joseph amazed me every day despite me calling him swear words (in my head).
She asked me how I coped with people saying I was inspiring: by swearing.
She asked me what my favourite swear word was and I told her that I couldn't say.
I excelled myself. Managed to mention swearing without swearing and that deserves an award in itself.
Getting my BAP out - look at these beauties
More awards followed, more drinking. More spinning The Keeper around the dance floor and lots of conversations with other bloggers. These people were absolutely amazing. They had more confidence than I do in these situations and were the ones to approach me to introduce themselves. I am thrilled they did as it was lovely to put blogs and faces together. I had even put my glasses on and took them off twenteen times before I turned up as I thought it would be better if nobody recognised me from my profile picture!
The night was bloody fantastic and so well organised and before I knew it, it was 2am and my bed was shouting out to me. I didn't account for The Keeper convincing me to have a couple more in the bar where I carried on the party with Hana who can be found at Mama Unexpected... and other people that I am not going to name and shame for their after-hours behaviour!
I knew it was time to dip out after the shot of Sambuca had been downed, in fact it probably was time to dip out three hours earlier. When I woke at 6am cursing my internal body clock, I instantly regretted the 3am finish. No Sleep Thief wandering in at ridiculous o'clock, just me, my aching head and the award at the side of me. After spending most of the day feeling sorry for myself and wishing that I would finally be the spewer I always hoped I could be, I managed to throw in an 8 mile run in the evening.
Fool or machine, I'll leave that for you to decide.
Thank you to everyone that nominated and voted (I did do a round of massive thanks on Facebook so won't bore you with it again although it's here if you want to take a round of applause).
Finally, I just wanted to mention the other fantastic blogs in my category as without doubt they are worth a read.
Had to let the star of the show hold it didn't I?