nerves, hysterical laughter, more nerves and empowerment were all
feelings I was dealing with as I stepped onto the train to London on
Friday 20th September 2013. I was travelling by myself which for
someone who has a disability can be very daunting. Was I going to
fall over, would I be able to get on and off the train. Would
people just think I was drunk (which I wasn't). I have travelled
to St Pancras Station previously so I was familiar with the layout etc.
I knew I was going to have to get a taxi to the hotel because I was
unable to manage tube journeys with a case and I definitely needed to
keep my energy for the evening. Taxi journey was great. The
driver was chatty and was telling me bits and pieces. He even
showed me how to get to the Hotel where the awards were being held which
was a relief.
at the Kensington Close Hotel I was helped with my bags by a very smart
door man. I was feeling important already. I found our room
which luckily was close to the lifts so I didn't have far to walk.
The room itself was compact but serviceable. The bathroom was even
more compact. They boast having a bath in there but that meant
little room for much else. The toilet was peculiarly
sandwiched in a little alcove which basically meant it was bit awkward
using the loo.
After a hot drink I was able to
have a little rest which helped rejuvenate me for the evenings
Knock, Knock --- The reason why
I was nervous was at the door. My roomie. I needn't
have worried. Sarah from
A field Somewhere is
a lovely person. She too had won a Golden Ticket. Her
friend Maddie from Gammon and Chips
was a finalist for an award. Sarah and I had a chat and then
realised we really needed to get ready. Sarah made her appearance
(like something from stars in their eyes) in an amazingly striking
peacock coloured floor length dress and to use a word batted around by
-- she looked awesome. (v. jealous (in a nice way)) I was
even more in awe that she was just able to tousle her hair and it looked
perfect. I think Sarah will be remembered for her sensational
I, of course, needed a bit more
work but slapped on the make up, straightened the hair and slipped (can
you slip!) into the support tights and dress. I do however have to
point out - Do you know how hard it is to get into Support Tights/Spanks
when you have false nails on? Dressed in a long purple dress and
silver pumps Bingo we are ready.
There were some other mums
staying at the same hotel so we agreed to meet Fi from
appeared with her funky hair and doc martins with fluffy socks. On
our walk to the Kensington Garden Hotel we had a great chat, Fi was a
finalist in the Outstanding Contribution Category which is pretty
incredible and something to be immensely proud of. She looked fabulous
and is a beautiful person too.
main observation I think by Sarah was that this reminded her of The
Witches. I had to agree. Lots of women in a hotel,
chattering and mingling. It definitely could have been mistaken
for this.. But who was Angelica Houston's character??
Waiting to go into the award
ceremony we got chatting to other people, it was apparent you introduce
yourself and then your blog/site name which was fine but worrying as I
knew there wasn't much chance of me remembering people's names AND their
blog/site name too.
Drinks being carried around on
silver trays, music playing and even the chance to send a postcard home.
I was so pleased to bump into a lady from Startrite shoes - and she
remembered me too from my part in
mumshalfhour webtv show. It turned out the Fi had also been in
this series which was such a coincidence. I also had the pleasure
to meet Victoria Welton from vevivos
whom I have met on facebook through being a
markettiers4dc Parenting Broadcast Blogger Network member.
There was a prodigious
array of stunning dresses worn by these ladies. I learnt that some
of the finalists even managed to bag their dresses from the sponsor of
their category. That's a real beauty isn't it. I was talking
to the ladies from John Lewis who co-ordinated their ladies and it
sounded spectacular. Some finalists were also able to have their
hair and makeup done for them too. A well deserved pampering in my
for our meal. I wasn't at the same table as Sarah but I needn't
have worried. I was sat between Fi from
Childcareisfun and Vanessa
from Seven Year
Hitch plus the ladies from John Lewis and some other fabulous
ladies. Our meal was delicious. For some unknown reason I
only have a picture of the pudding... What a surprise.
Host for the evening was
Cbeebies Dr Ranj from Get Well Soon. It really didn't matter who
did it as long as they could cope with a room full of predominately
women. Oh and women that didn't get out much. I am pleased
to say. He coped. And he coped very well. He threw in some
naughty words and no-one can forget the time
he said breast instead of best. He dealt with autocue issues
impeccably and kept the evening flowing perfectly.
The awards were emotional and
every finalist deserved to be there. Their hard work honoured in
this way was a real mark of respect. I also loved that this
must have been the only place socially that it was perfectly acceptable
to have your mobile phone out and be using it throughout the evening.
Certainly inspiring. To find out all of the finalists and
winners head on over to the
MAD Awards site.
After the awards were given out
we were introduced to Mr Mozzarella from
Just-Eat WOW, an incredible
character with awesome stamina as he joked and entertained then danced
for ages with people. Brilliantly hilarious. We were
also given foil takeaway containers with some drinks coupons plus a
voucher to use when we got home. What woman can resist a free
drink and a free takeaway. Brill.
How competitive can a room of
women become over a surf board. Actually considerably so. A
surf board attached to a bouncy castle type base meant shoeless women
were attempting to stay on there the longest. 44 seconds was the
longest time shared between two courageous and masterful women.
Ranj even had a go even being persuaded to remove his socks -- which
strangely a lady took a sniff of but was actually hilarious to see the
look on his face.
So the room boogied and nattered
the night away, slowly but surely people went to rest their weary heads.
We collected our goody bags
which contained some really great bits. (I had the pleasure of nobbling
the chocolate on the train journey home.)
In the early hours we made our
way back to our hotel which for some reason took ages. Meeting
some rather strange people on the way it has to be said but that's
London for you isn't it.
Sleep arrived very quickly and
although it wasn't for very long we woke ready for breakfast and our
Looking back I realised I felt
at home with these people. We all shared the same passion.
We all understand how friendships become so strong on the internet and I
loved the family values that shone through every person in that room.
The MAD Awards are something to
be proud of and I was honoured to be able to take a seat in the room.
Read Dr Ranj's interview
from last year when Get Well Soon first arrived on our screens -
Read it here
By Yolanda Barker