Blogosphere is a published magazine labelled “For Bloggers, By Bloggers”, and is by far the most first and unique of its kind to hit the shelves of some of the most top stores in the UK right now (W.H.Smiths and Selfridges, to name but two). The content is purely, and beautifully polished exposure and guidance for both veterans and well established bloggers, as well as those very new to the tribe, like myself.
So one day, I had a little tweet pop up advertising a ‘Blogosphere Tea Party’ that was to be held in London, at the French eatery Aubaine, just off Baker Street.
Through all my years admiring bloggers and vloggers, I was no stranger to hearing about events like this, and often enjoyed and marvelled over the ‘post-party write ups’ from all of the attendees.
I was quite convinced that this was just a case of “Just Another Networking Event”, with specific guest list “entry requirements”.
Many Blogger and Vlogger networking circles require you to have an RSVP to act upon, because after all, you were asked to attend based on the size of your blog/vlog reach, therefore you then benefiting the brand with your incredible coverage on all of the goings-on, and so on and so forth. But nope, this was an open invite ticket. Even me, ME – I could go.
So I blooming well went ahead and bought a ticket.
I mean, I was terrified. Some of the men and women attending this event had thousands more followers than me, thousands more posts than me, and much prettier pictures. They even had famous friends, you know, and I’m Sally from ‘saysallymay’! I would be walking up to these men and women, introducing myself AS a blogger (and vlogger) for the very first time in my life!
I wouldn’t be hiding behind my little faithful wall of 70 something Instagrammers anymore. I would be feeding into the main vein of…well…champions in my eyes!
I should also add that all of these overwhelming thoughts and actions occurred literally 48 or so hours before the actual Tea Party Event…I literally decided all of this, and went through this entire process, a literal few days before the event was due to start. I “Just Went For It!”, you know? Something was absolutely telling me to get off my butt and BE A SALLY!
So Sunday came, and my journey to London started at around 9:50am as I boarded the Ryde Pier Head Catamaran to Portsmouth Harbor Train Station. As some of you may well know, this was an adventure of epic proportion (not really. It just sounds it. It’s actually a really easy and relaxing journey), because I live on the Isle of Wight. It was a beautiful journey though, and I was nervously scrolling twitter for the #blogosphereteaparty tweets from people as excited as me to be going. Then…One tweet popped up at the top, from a blogger named ‘Becky Bedbug’.
I had another “what the heck” moment, and decided to respond to her ask of who she might be seeing later, in a reply tweet back to her. I also though it necessary to include a picture of a very cute, four month old puppy who was sat on the chair opposite to me on the train.
She replied, and we both exchanged candid tweets and photographs of our fun little journey “together” all the way up until my Waterloo entry.
I arrived earlier than needed, and decided to join an old friend for lunch to steady my nerves. I experienced by first Chipotle, and shuffled my way eventually to Aubaine on the other side of the Baker Street Park.
Well, the place looked exactly like the Instagram photos you see about these things. It was rustic, twee, perfectly pristine, and covered in flowers and old crates. There were exposed floor boards, white washed everything, empty bottles (pretty ones), basically a photographer’s paradise (or a ‘blogographer’s’ paradise. I like to call bloggers who take fancy photos of such things, ‘blogographers’, you know).
I was directed upstairs after mentioning ‘Blogosphere’ to the gentle waitress balancing a whole load of amazing cakes under my nose, and was greeted at the top by the sweetest lady with a laptop I’ve ever met. She spoke to me as if I was her friend! I kid you not, I thought I already knew her somehow! I expressed how nervous I was getting, and mentioned how I was alone and unknowing of anyone in the room. She soon comforted me of the fact that actually, many of the people in the room who were there at this time were in the same boat, and I should just march on over to the top right hand corner, hand in my coat, and work it. Obviously, that was excellent advice, and off I went.
Head was high, legs were strong, sweat was pouring (oops), I looked sharp, poised, ready, stone like rigidity…until I heard a voice – “You’re Sally aren’t you?!”, at which point my legs went to jelly, I lost control of my arms, my coat was half off and about to strangle me, and the biggest squee of “BECKY?!!?” came out of my face, as I ended up hanging affectionately wound “Becky Bedbug’s” neck.
I had found my ‘travel buddy’! She knew who I was! She caught me in a little warm welcome, safety net, after the last few moments of me walking on a tightrope of socialising terror toward the group. I lost all masked composure from that point, and just became ‘me’.
There was literally no point in me trying to hide behind a wall of “Hi I’m Sally, I’m a blogger, nice to meet you. Let’s talk business?”. These women were here as like minded friends. There was no pretence, there was no air of ‘formal’, it was simply a group of people, who all love blogging, in a beautiful setting, being themselves and discussing their passions. It was everything I hoped it would be.
I mean then it just ramped up full throttle, right? Because out came the most beautiful, dainty cakes and treats I’ve ever flipping seen.
There was tea “on tap” served by absolute gentlemen, and more cake that you could call ‘edible ornaments’ than ever imaginable. I mean these cakes, right, had more attention from the lens than Laetitia Casta after that GUESS girl explosion! I think you could hear my tummy rumbling from behind my humble Sony A5000 for at least 45 minutes.
With all of the ice broken, anyway, I tethered myself to Becky once again, and we sat for some cosy chatter in the corner of the room. The rest gets a little gushy, I’m afraid.
Blogosphere gave me my first experience of parallel universe sisterhood. Becky and I could have absolutely been starring in an episode of Fringe, I tell you.
We were the same person, just with little differences. I’m going to list a few for fun:
You see, we had simply only met with an exchange of a few tweets on the journey to the event, on the actual day. No forward planning on this, and we had only spoken and met in person on my entry into the event room, and since that moment we were even completely able to share our silences together.
So as the event drew to a close, and we were given our goody bags by the super event coordinator, Albertine (who was equally as welcoming, and approving, and familiar as the rest!), Becky and I decided to walk each other back to Waterloo Station, where our trains would once again follow each other to their final destinations. That wasn’t before a couple of hours chomping through delicious Sushi, however.
So, to Blogosphere Magazine – Thank you so much for giving us all the opportunity to celebrate and affirm your success in the form of such a wonderful, beautiful tea party. What you did, with welcoming all of us under one roof to mingle and exist in this hobby we love, whatever our level, was just the best thing to do. Seriously. Thank you. No matter where you go with any more in the future, I’ll just keep on stalking you.
And to Becky – I made a friend. Not a ‘fellow blogger’, but a really, super friend. I forgot I was even there as a blogger, by the end of it. Thank you for “being me”, somehow. Please let’s not leave it forever until we chatter our faces off again. Please, please, please.
Motto of this post? If you have a passion, be it a dream of a blogger, vlogger, painter, photographer, whatever – if you have a window of opportunity open, please drag your butt through it. I urge you. It feels scary maybe, but don’t let any kind of “But I’m really not that good” voice creep into your head. You ARE that good, and can only get better with experiences that drive you forward, and hey, even if you find you don’t like whatever it is you try, you never know, you might even find another path leading from it. You seriously will never know unless you ‘go, go, go’.
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