My Britmums Live!

Well, I’ve just come back from Britmums Live and despite it not being exactly as I had thought it would be I have a sense of holiday blues about my morning. I always feel this way when I’ve had a really good time with friends and for me, because I’m lucky I guess, I got to spend the conference with some really good ones.

Sudocrem were my sponsors for the event and I was there to represent them and their new product. Care and Protect is an innovative new nappy rash ointment; a first for Sudocrem in over 80 years! It has been designed specifically for babies and
offers TRIPLE PROTECTION against the causes of nappy rash by 1. Creating a protective barrier 2. Conditioning the skin 3. Guarding against infection. It also comes in a handy squeezey tube! We’ve been using it and found it to work fabulously and I think I now know a few other bloggers who’ll be giving the cream a little whirl!

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This is me ready for the second day of Britmums Live in my Sudocrem T. Shirt!

I don’t really know what I expected but it wasn’t what it was. I suspect it’s like when someone tells you all about a film and you go thinking it’s going to be one way then it’s entirely different. But I got to network lots, learned some and most certainly had a giggle with my girls!

Carolynne from Mummy Endeavours, Alice from An Essex Wife and Katy from Modern Mummy and I had long planned to be partners in crime (what’s new?!) and then when we arrived we just kind of gravitated towards the gorgeous Natalie from Style Me Sunday, Bonita from Mama’s VIB and Carissa from Little Likely Lads. Seven of us then… Hmmm. How many days in a week are there?!

The conference kicked off with the keynote from Emma Freud, wife of Richard Curtis and charity campaigner. With her celebrity contacts she has managed to achieve a tremendous amount and make a huge difference. She helped to found Comic Relief and continues to badger, cajole and sometimes tell the odd porky pie to her celeb pals in order to get them to do stuff for charidee! She had a wonderful way with words and a tinkling voice which made me want to hear more. No wonder the countries greatest love story director has been happily unmarried to her for 25 years! And I could see so many characters from his films in her just in the few minutes that she spoke.

And then it was hours of networking, laughing, trying to convince Butlins they want me to be an ambassador for them, eating, drinking, attending sessions which if I’m honest I didn’t find terribly helpful and so popping back out and having another natter to someone else before looking at my choice of pin point on the Mark Warner holiday competition map and wondering if I should move it continents… I didn’t get much ‘blogging help’ out of the conference really, I found that side of it, well, a bit boring really… I was never very good at sitting and listening in school so perhaps it’s just not my thang but the social networking aspect was just up my street!

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Natalie, Carolynne, Katy and me getting our specs appeal on for Boots the Opticians.

I also got to catch up with other friends of mine. Too many to list really and I got to meet new people too which was lovely.

The evening came and it was time for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards ceremony presented by an ever so muchly hyperactive Katy Hill. She irritated me if I’m honest. I mean, I’m sure she’s a great person to hang out with but watching her one woman love affair with herself on the stage and her more than a nod to a Gwyneth Paltrow style of accepting her own award left me cold and when she shouted at the audience to stop talking or leave I was more than a touch tempted to stand up and go – it was NOT delivered in a way I found agreeable. I thought it was a shame they hadn’t got Emma Freud to stay a bit longer and do the honours instead, she’d have been far more interesting in her way of commanding the audience who probably wouldn’t have been talking over her in the first place!

The evening was far from over when the awards finished and the dream team of seven descended on the pub but as our numbers dwindled towards the end of the night and beginning of the next day I wandered, barefoot, back to my hotel. The Hoxton, which at one point in my life was right in the heart of my party playground would have seen me blend right into the crowd back then but is now far too cool for skool for the likes of moi. I pushed myself through the hipster throng, went up to my (quiet) room, washed my London feet and dove into my comfy bed to eat a shish kebab (classy) in front of the end of a film. I might not be as Rock ‘n’ Roll as I think I am but I’m pretty sure 1am is my latest night in years and I’m proud I lasted as long as I did!

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The bed that I slept in at The Hoxton was super comfy but it could have been a brick, I haven’t slept in a bed without a little pair of feet (or two) kicking me for donkeys so it was just amazing to have it to myself!

Day two and back to the keynote. This time Benjamin Brookes-Dutton, author of the blog Life As A Widower and the book It’s Not Raining Daddy, It’s Happy, who tragically became a widower when his wife was knocked down by an out of control driver in November 2012. She left behind also her two year old son Jackson.

Ben talked about his blog, his life, how he copes and doesn’t, looks after his little boy and the book he has written. He was incredibly touching with his words and possesses an incredible way of talking to people be it a room full or one woman, standing up in the room to address him, her own heart breaking. He replied to a lady who has also suffered unimaginable loss with a way I feel certain is not born just of his own pain but because he is really, really good at being human.

Some people you could listen to for hours and Ben is one of them. Not only did he make me cry but he made me laugh and I left his talk wanting to hear and read more from him. He is dealing with losing his beloved wife in a way which works for him, keeps his wife’s memory alive for them as a family and ensures his son will never forget his Mummy. I would imagine his whole family are immeasurably proud of him and what a legacy he is building for his son to remember! If you haven’t heard of Ben then look him up. And buy his book. He is quite something.

I didn’t want to do too much after that for a bit, it left me feeling not sad but in need of a bit of quiet and while I waited for the dream team of seven to arrive (there were only two of us present that early in the day) I took a bit of time out and had a wander.

And then it was time for the ‘Collaboration’ workshop which I attended with a few members of the secret seven! We have some collaboration plans which will come along soon and hit you right between your fashionable eyes you see. So keep them peeled ok!

And as the day went on and I kept giving my best smiles to Butlins and MW, chatting with my pals and ‘tasting’ wine… I realised my itchy feet and not quite being able to relax was because I really just wanted to go home to my babies. So I did. At 3pm I decided to give the rest of the day a miss and head back to East London. It was the best feeling in the world as they came to meet me with my Mum at our tube station, arms flung out wide shouting MUMMY!

Jonny’s been away on a stag do in Barcelona (men!) and my Mum was looking after them overnight for us. I knew she’d be exhausted so as compensation for putting up with my non sleeping boy all night I gave her the Joules silk scarf from my Britmums Goodie bag. She was thrilled and of course I took a selfie of us together!

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My Britmums was not as I had imagined it would be but it was hugely beneficial nevertheless. If I hadn’t gone to Britmums then a new project with new friends (and some old ducks I’ve been hanging with for ages) wouldn’t have been in the pipeline! I’m glad I went and have to thank my sponsors Sudocrem for sending me, the two keynote speakers who topped each day for all they said, Katy Hill for her acceptance speech (sniggers), Britmums for organising it, Tu at Sainsbury’s for sending me some lovely bits to wear, the ever so remembered Midge Ure and my pals for making it! You girls rock and I am so excited about what’s to come – I feel a bit blue for not seeing you all again today, I’m a geek like that!

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Carolynne, Katy, Alice and me!

Last night before bed I asked Florence, as Ben asked us to do in his keynote, what her favourite part of the day was. She said ‘It was big and blown up.’ and when I couldn’t guess ‘A bouncy castle Mummy!’ It was her school fete yesterday and my Mum had taken them. I love Ben’s advice to ask this question of our children daily as he says (and it’s true) that it will just give us a small glimpse into what makes them happy and how they see the world. I didn’t ask Jimmy as he probably would have just said RAAAAAAAA – he was very excited to have me back and a bit boingy last night! But tonight I will ask them both and I will keep asking because I want to know their #BestMoment of every day!. Thanks for the advice Ben!

18 thoughts on “My Britmums Live!

  1. Ahhh it was so so lovely to see you again Ruth, you were part of a great group of girls! Tia had waited up for my return and I was over the moon to see her little smiley face.

  2. I am glad you had a good time with friends and found some of the sessions great. I am sorry that Katy wasn’t your cup of tea but I do feel this post is unnecessarily offensive towards her tbh. She is a person just like anyone else, with feelings and it is incredibly nerve wracking waiting to see if you have won or not. She explained how much it meant to her and I just do not feel that you would have written this about any other bloggers speech.

    1. Thanks for your comment and sorry didn’t see you. I have to say that I absolutely would make the same comment in the same circumstances whoever they were! I find acceptance speeches of this nature, with a few exceptions of course, for any award be it a Bib or an Oscar, embarassingly excessive. Almost as if the recipient is unable to place themselves in the wider context. Plus she’d irritated me to distraction within five minutes of starting to speak. Perhaps this is why she barely pops up on television anymore. Thankfully in my opinion!

      1. or maybe Katy “isnt popping on TV anymore” as she has decided to concentrate on being a mum.

        I know Katy well. She is one of my best friends and I think she will be devastated if she sees this post.

        Katy is a person. With feelings. And whilst we are all entitled to our opinions I think sometimes we do need to remember that our opinions can be viewed as bullying and hurtful.

        And I dont like that at all.

        1. Well, bullying is a concerted act of repetitive behaviour over a period of time targeting one or more people. Me expressing my feelings of excruciating embarrassment at her ‘performance’ is certainly not that. To use an emotive term like ‘bullying’ in response to my blog post is an irresponsible use of such language and is obviously being used quite loosely for emotive reasons. I don’t understand why if you put yourself in the public eye you would be devastated at someone’s opinion. Surely you can’t expect everyone to like you and whatever the reason she isn’t on TV very often I am just pleased as her skills appear to be very thin on the ground in my opinion.

        2. and Emma talked about how hurt she was by comments in the Daily Mail naming her as worst dressed at the Glamour Awards. How she hated that sidebar of shame element to newspapers.

          We had a panel about women in the media putting other women down and it just feels that thiis post and your subsequent comment is now doing exactly those things.

          But your blog, your rules, so i shall shut up. But I just needed to say my thing about a friend

  3. I guess everyone can’t like everyone.
    Yes sorry I didn’t see you – my own fault for messing up the morning and not being there half the time.

  4. Amazing at how quick people are to jump down your throat for your own personal opinion which you’re sharing on your personal blog. Guess they don’t quite know how blogs work. I also find it funny how people themselves who have said many bullying comments themselves can call out others for it.

    I’m gutted I didn’t get to hunt you out to chat, was going to ask Kip to point you out for me. But the craziness of it all got caught up with me and I fear in Kips state he would of sent me in the direction of some randomer. Maybe if I ever appear at any events in the future we can catch up? 🙂

    1. And by ‘people’ you obviously mean Mummy Barrow. Why don’t you just say that?

      1. Thats not Emma’s style. She’ll just anonymously troll them for years to come. 🙂

        Katy may grate on some people- I like her, I chatted with her and she was really overwhelmed at being accepted to our community, I think after being in the public eye you may feel you have something more to prove. I can see why some may find her OTT, but she was of course a Kids TV presenter and its hard to switch that off. She’s actually lovely when you chat to her off a stage. However, its your feelings and that’s cool. 🙂

        1. Oh I don’t doubt she’s a good person. I actually know someone who knows her quite well and is very good friends with her. I love that person so I’m sure Katy is a delight. I just found her unbearable to watch on stage and she made me cringe with embarrassment for her when accepting her speech. I am almost certainly just as irritating a person as I found her (I can be quite OTT and I expect that’s what drama school does to a person) but I’m allowed to moan!

    2. Well hello Emma, and thank you for your comment but I am a little confuzzled. I agree with you entirely, on this occasion, but I seem to remember a time when we didn’t necessarily agree on something and you were rather unkind, without thoughtful argument, to me on Twitter; we had never met and you knew nothing about me. You subsequently blocked me on Twitter and demanded that I unfollow you – I don’t usually do ‘as I am told’ but I didn’t have the inclination to argue so I dutifully followed your advice. I think you knew exactly who I was at Britmums as I did you and I assumed you had chosen not to talk to me because you had taken that instant dislike for the unknown strange reason. I chose not to talk to you in return because why would I want to converse with someone who had been so terribly rude to me for no apparent reason? Saying that I’d be more than happy to talk to you should you wish to seek me out on another occasion; an apology wouldn’t go amiss but I could easily forgive without one. Thank you for your support on this post regardless, it is just an opinion piece and one which I neither feel strongly nor lightly about, just that it’s the way I saw things. So… Like I said, I did see you and knew who you were and I had serious buggy envy, had you not balled me out on Twitter some months ago I probably would have told you how much I like your little foxy set of wheels and what a gorgeous little girl you have to fill it – perhaps next time I will, I am not one to bear a grudge when not necessary! 🙂

  5. Gutted I didn’t make it this year. The 7 would have been 8!
    Need a catch up with you and Emily soon 🙂
    Oh, you totally rock that top BTW! Far too glam for the likes of little old me 😉 xxxx

    1. You are such a peach Chelsea! Thank you. I certainly did NOT rock a T. Shirt but I feel strongly that Sudocrem are a fab brand who have provided me with much help with their products over the years (see my Infacol post a few months ago and you will know why I pledge to them my love). Thank you for saying it though! PLUS, don’t put yourself down, not too many people who can stop a room in their tracks with their tinkly laugh like you! x

      1. Thank you! And you so did! We are sudocrem fans too 🙂 not a red bum in sight with that stuff!
        I will make sure we are in London together soon. I also need to know why I am watching this space. I don’t do waiting very well xxx

        1. Aw! Ha! See you for some Christmas in July events I suspect? we must converse properly and find out when we are going to be in the same place at the same time! x

  6. Ah Ruth, well I absolutely LOVE you for saying it like you see it and if Katy wasn’t your cup of tea, so what? It’s not offensive… it made me chuckle but I did think it might ruffle some feathers! had a great time with you and the fab seven these past couple of days and having known you for ages now I can honestly say you really are one of the nicest people I’ve met and your words should defeintiely not be taken out of context xx

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