I was going to add this to the blog onto the week so far but as there is so much to say it deserves a page of its own! It was truly in awesome event in the original meaning of the word as you hopefully will see.
Now, my mother (oh,that phrase!) would always get me to places early so as not to be late…we used to turn up for the train back to school at least an hour before it was due to go! I now hate Paddington Station! So not wanting to be late to such an important event, and needing to raid John Lewis perfume counter I emerged from Bond Street tube station at 8.35… Event kick off was at 9.30! Nothing was open but coffee shops…so I scouted out the Carphone Warehouse and 02 shops for later attempt to upgrade my phone, and then saw what I thought was the right Starbucks. I popped in and was going to check it out when out of the corner of my eye I spotted Jayne …see The Breakfast Club link at top of page for further details! Screams of delight followed by huge hugs with her and Dinah, polite handshake with a husband, and kisses for Jay, another Twitter friend and techie, and we all adjourned downstairs to start the mad chatting. I have to say these ladies are more beautiful in RL than those small avatars on Twitter can ever show!
Pics were shown, coffees ordered, lots and lots of extra hugs and giggles…lord knows what the other customers thought but who cared? Not me, for a change!Nor Jay!
Slowly but surely others turned up to almost the same greetings. It was very interesting to see those who threw themselves into the hugs, and those with just firm handshakes on offer. I’m a great hugger! But I’m not going to force someone to feel my flesh if they don’t want to! After all we were there to meet new friends not scare them all witless…which was mildly what I was feeling at this point!
Very quickly after 9.30 we were full, trying to guess who was who (not my strong point) and straining to hear what folks were saying against the din and laughter(am also partially deaf in one ear!) Folks, I learned loads about my fellow tweeters – they are amazing networkers, no one seemed afraid of going up to almost-strangers and chatting, and this threw into relief a natural divide in my mind of the group….
- Those there to meet their new friends in Real Life
- Those there to network for their Businesses
Now I am definitely in the former group as I still can’t bring myself to think of my one holiday cottage making me a business woman. I suppose i had gone to the event with quite a nieve approach -I was there as me, Liz, no more no less. Please don’t ge time wrong..there is nothing wrong with being there to network and promote your business… I used to work in telesales (stop booing!) and I certainly know as an amateur actress how to sell something, but in my innocence I had thought this was going to be friends meeting friends…it was, but more so. Oh lord, am I making sense? probably not!
What I am trying to say, yes I will get to it, is that I had to try very hard not to fade into my usual stance of being in the background until someone came up to say hello…some great exceptions those who I tweet with outside the club, some who had come so far to be there! Yes you, J! There was no stopping me coming up to you!!
I have realised how much I rely on my Old Man at social functions where I don’t know everyone. I cling, sometimes literally, to him and then when I’m stuck I can always chat to him! I was totally in awe of these people and the ease with which they spoke to eachother. They all made me feel welcome and interesting (thanks for that folks!) and I learned so much there! In fact next week will be spent checking out everyone’s web sites! So be warned!!
I also learned how much I rely on lip reading in noisy situations, and am worried I might have upset one or two by not replying correctly or not being able to hear what they said! If you read this and think it was you, I am really sorry! It was me, not you!! You were amazing!!
I learned of new sites being set up, of how businesses run, of how I could maximise my little cottage, and how hard these guys business, and how important their business are!
I couldn’t believe that 12.30 came around so quickly and the general riffraff were allowed into our special enclosure, slowly people said their goodbyes, more hugs…whole point for me, not that I’m a perve, you understand! No, really, im not! Just v v tactile!! Pics were taken, videos done (am dreading mine!) and I realised I would have to leave otherwise I would never get home to relieve the dog sitter! J, I wish we could have gone out for lunch! Next time I will plan better….that includes so many of those there!
I left, giving a huge, embarrassingly over the top wave to everyone,(but so me!) and emerged onto Oxford Street…mixed feelings then of elevation that I had done it; regreat that I couldn’t stay longer; panic that I’d be late home; but mainly exhaustion!
I took refuge in 02, as you do, and a very sweet child gave me an upgrade for my iPhone, did not patronise me, and sent me on my way a tired happy bunny! Always a pleasure!
Now, before I proof read this to see if I have managed to make sense…stop yelling no!…I want to emphasise how I feel about it all…. I am so grateful to Jayne and Dinah for organising it, to Jayne for getting me to this mental place where I was part of the event, and to everyone there for being wonderful to me and making me feel i belonged there! I feel I must now start looking at myself again…yes, I know, boring, but this is MY blog, remember! I find that I have been hiding behind the labels of wife, mother, career for rather too long. At this event I was not able to do that, although I am a trollyfolly…no, dolly (stupid spell check) although… I was there as me. Was that good enough? And does it really matter?? I enjoyed myself and by the time I got back to the country felt it had gone well. What do I feel this morning?..something has changed! Not too sure what! Do I feel more confident in me? In who I project to the world? Not sure folks….but I definitely feel something….
Ahem! Polite cough, embarrised face, enough introspection, Gal! I will just say that that was one of the most amazing events I have ever been to, and suddenly I think I want to go to more…but as who???
Hm! Proof reading time, and new iPhone play time now!
If you are still here and awake, let me know what you think…politely please!! Am a delicate ego, no really!
Have a wonderful day, be good!