Last Friday, my evening got off to an inauspicious start. I did the school run, said goodbye to the kids and then bolted off to Central London where I was meeting Mrs Adams ahead of the Vuelio Blog Awards. It was a big night as I was a finalist in the Best Dad Blog category.
My mother had offered to travel over from Oxfordshire to stay over and look after Helen and Izzy, our eight and four year old daughters. We decided to make a night of it and booked ourselves into a nice hotel in Shoreditch, a short hop, skip and jump from The Brewery, where the awards were taking place.
Although a finalist, I was relaxed. There was no way the award was coming my way. Sure, I wanted to get there on time, but I needn’t stress, someone else was going to win so the pressure wasn’t really on me.
I was running slightly late and battling through the Underground during London’s rush hour. When I got to the hotel, we had 45 minutes to get ready. Mrs A wasn’t hugely impressed by this, but we both managed to pull it off.
To be honest, the rest of the evening is a massive blur. I met up with two other dad blogger finalists: Al Ferguson and his wife Jen of The Dad Network and Dave Hornby who writes The Dadventurer plus his wife Hayely (who we ended up sitting with during the ceremony). Alas, Karl, who writes The Yorkshire Dad was unable to attend.
Numerous other blogging reprobates were also present including Jo Middleton who writes Single Slummy Mummy (a Vuelio blog award winner herself in 2015 and this year a judge), Simon Ragoonanan, the man behind Man vs Pink and Alex Walsh of the Daddacool blog.
The ceremony got underway, hosted by comedian Mark Dolan. Awesome blogger after awesome blogger took home awards. A full list of winners is on the Vuelio website.
With what seemed liked surprising speed, the dad blogger category was announced. Sure, I was listening intently, ready to congratulate whoever won.
Instead my name was read out. It was an exceedingly odd feeling hearing it.
Photos were taken, words were swapped with the host and other bloggers. Thing is, you can probably imagine all that for yourself. You don’t need me to tell you this stuff. You want to know the interesting bits. Here are a few highlights.
I was, very amusingly, handed the wrong award. I believe I have Hayley to thank for noticing this. Turns out I’d been handed the best travel blog trophy! It was soon ironed out.
Just as well, as 20 minutes later I banged my award down on a table and the top half broke off the base! I went home with the award in two pieces but, thankfully, a little bit of Aroldite has remedied the situation and the award is once again in one piece.
For some reason, I also have backstage photographs of Mark Dolan and two friends on my phone. I can’t really explain how they got there. It’s all very odd.
Following the event I made a short video. You’ll find it below. Please hit play if you ‘d like to watch it.
Truth be told, it’s still sinking in. It means such a lot to have my blog recognised in this way and the judging panel was formidable. Come back to me in a week or so and I may have something coherent to say.
I must, however, say a few words of thanks. I have to thank my family for its support and all my readers and viewers. Thanks also to Vuelio for such an amazing night. I also want to say thanks to James and his team at the Show and Tell Company for technical support and Neil Dhot, an old boss of mine who once suggested I write a parenting book. This idea morphed to become Dadbloguk. I must also express my thanks to my old journalism lecturers at Barnsley College.
Thanks to anyone that has ever helped me with this blog or worked with me on Dadbloguk. I’m going to stop there or else this is going to start looking like a Tom Hanks acceptance speech.
Guys, I’m over the moon. I never thought I’d win. There were superb bloggers in all categories.
It was a brilliant night. I had lots of fun. Simply making it on to the shortlists was amazing enough, winning has just taken me completely by surprise.
However you have supported my blog, it is appreciated. I am now going to lie down and try to make sense of it all.
I’ve added this post to the frankly awesome Brilliant Blog Posts linky hosted by the awesome Honest Mum blog. Please do visit it if you can to see what other bloggers have been up to.