What, No Photo? #BloggersBash 2016

Bloggers Bash 16Call yourself a blogger, Jools?  

I’m a rubbish blogger.  A properly rubbish blogger.

I mean, what was I thinking of, going to the 2016 Bloggers Bash yesterday in London, and not even once, not one single time, getting out my phone and snapping a photo or two of the assembled gathering. Other bloggers – the proper bloggers, the real ones, the ones with their readership’s interests and thirst for information on this unique event in the blogging calendar at heart – other bloggers managed it, but not me. What in the world was I thinking of, showing up to a Bloggers Bash and not taking any photos?

Face it, Jools, you’re not a real blogger at all, are you? You’re a fraud.

In my defence, I’m a fraud with just two hands. And on a sticky day, moisture clinging to the warm air, those hands of mine were preoccupied in the critical task of keeping my core temperature under control.

Ha! I bet you thought you were over all that menopausal flushy business, didn’t you?  

I thought, with dropping almost 60 pounds in the last 9 months, that rushes of steaming hot blood to the head would be history. Not so much, so it seems.  So… one hand gripping my life-saving pound-shop battery-operated fan, and the other hand clutching a glass filled to the brim with crushed ice and a drop or two of neat… water… and that was it. No spare hand for that phone.  And being an oldie, I haven’t quite grasped the techniques required to both hold a phone and take a picture simultaneously with one hand only – I’d have needed both hands anyway. And abandoning both cool-aids at once, I simply could not do.

Until, that is, I was pointed in the direction of Geoff Le Pard’s spectacular sugar-free Banana and Almond cakes.

Yes, cake.  Sugar free.

Oh my goodness, they were tasty! Having gone added-sugar-free several months ago, my taste-buds have acclimatised to less ‘sweet’ in everything, but to taste a snack that has every characteristic of a real, actual… cake… but has absolutely no sugar, is, quite frankly, a moment of bliss.  I confess, I dropped the fan in my bag, abandoned my crushed ice, and fell upon said delicacies.  [With Geoff’s permission, I will shortly – as soon as he provides it – reproduce the recipe here for all interested parties.  Trust me, it’s a good one.]

Calm down, Jools, enough with the cake. What about the bloggy part of all this, Jools. What about the actual Bash itself?

You know what, it was great. It was an absolute joy to take a small corner of the blogosphere and make it ‘real life’.  A room full of people who normally communicate from behind their PC screens, but managed to get on trains, boats and even planes, to show up in London for the day, turned out to be a room full of friendships waiting to happen. Yes, bloggers do actually talk, and listen, and laugh, and share face-to-face like real people. We do!

There was the joy of putting new faces to names and URL’s, and the pleasure of reconnecting with bloggers who’d come to the inaugural event last year [ahem…]. There was recognition (Awards!) for some really great bloggers, and a provocative presentation from Luca Sartoni (Growthketeer at Automattic/Wordpress). There was access to alcohol, food, cake, chocolate and for some reason I didn’t fully appreciate, a mountain of Maltesers (one of my favourite impossible-to-stop-munching sweet-treats until I gave up on chocolate). There was above all a joyous sense, simultaneously, of diversity and commonality – all sorts of bloggers, from all sorts of backgrounds, blogging all sorts of stuff, united for the afternoon in their enthusiasm for the strange world of blogging about whatever pops into your head.

So… just in case you’re a blogger thinking you missed something good (you did), and just in case you’re thinking you might attend next year (10th June, get it in your diary), here are my top take-aways from the 2016 Bloggers Bash:

  • The simple, delightful pleasure of a sociable afternoon with blogging at its heart
  • Lovely, lovely people – new friendships, hopefully not just in the Facebook kind of way
  • Pointers to great blogs I haven’t come across before
  • A recipe (don’t let me down, Geoff) for a truly delicious sugar-free naughty
  • A valuable lesson on what’s really important about blogging (see below…)

Am I a little bit jealous of those bloggers with tens of thousands of followers? Every now and again, yes, I am. But am I blogging for any goal which is met through acquiring followers in vast volume.  Actually no, I’m not. At the moment (until I get back into writing my second novel at least) the purpose of my blog is to make myself accountable for my newly adopted healthy, weight-lossy lifestyle. If in the course of that, I can spread some inspiration, positivity and general feelgood, that makes me very happy indeed.  But none of that has a great deal to do with numbers.

So that last take-away from this year’s fabulous Bloggers Bash comes courtesy of Luca Sartoni – and it lets me off the hook, big time: If your goals for blogging do not depend on acquisition of a huge readership, stop chasing volume. It’s okay not to get hung up on the numbers.  It’s ok to just have fun blogging. 

And it’s definitely okay to have fun at the Bloggers Bash.  It’s even, possibly, I venture to suggest, just about okay… to not take pictures.

47 thoughts on “What, No Photo? #BloggersBash 2016

  1. It’s absolutely ok, what’s more important is your enjoyment of the event, and the cake of course. Which cakes were the sugar free variety? I munched away but didn’t realise which were the lesser calorie laden ones.

    1. That’s the trick with the cake – Geoffle managed to create a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free cake that was both delicious and deceptively like ‘real’ cake. It was the banana and almond one. If you didn’t know, you’d never have guessed!

  2. The cake was GOOD but the company was even better! Glad you had a great time, Jools, and it was lovely to see you again. Yes, Lucas made me think twice about what was important to me about blogging. See you next year!

  3. You were marvellous with your fan! Very well planned. And can you believe, I didn’t try the cake? Will have to make up for it next year. Lovely seeing you, look forward to next time x

    1. My fan is a little life-saver! I keep hoping, with the weight loss, that I won’t always need it. But there are always those ‘radiator days’, always!

        1. I also have a mini paper fan – which I got from a Christmas cracker about 7 years ago. It’s tiny and really practical, and I look after this precious little freebie very carefully!

  4. Funnily enough, I posted a blog a few weeks ago about why I don’t take pictures (A Picture Paints a Thousand Words – because I know you’re dying to start reading my stuff again). Other than the comments I made in that, I have no excuse. No fan, no menopause, no piece of Geoff’s cake (clearly, I missed out there). I just don’t do it. Fortunately, everyone else was doing it, so we didn’t have to. I think we’re the winners here, Julie! No need to castigate yourself. Celebrate the fact that you just got on and enjoyed it

    1. Good point – and we spoke about ploughing our own furrows in blogging, not putting ourselves under pressure to conform. I certainly enjoyed the day and whilst I did intend to take a couple of snaps, when the time came, it was just nice to relax and not try to ‘be the blogger’. As for reading your blog, I realised in going back through your recent posts this morning that I’ve seen most of them in my Reader over the months. I think I missed the ones about sailing, but that’s all. Turns out I’m better than I thought at keeping up – I just need to pay more attention to joining in a bit. 😊

  5. It was indeed a great event! So wonderful to meet these REAL people behind the blogs!
    And let me shed light on the Malteasers… they were from me, as I am a tad obsessed by them! I’ve posted about them a few times and High mentioned me bringing some…
    It would have been a box for him… then I thought I’d share the Malteaser love with all my Blogily!

    1. What a great idea! I don’t eat chocolate any more, but back in the day, those would have been a big temptation to me! Easy to obsess about a Malteser! 🙃

  6. You are one of the most legit blogs I read. Numbers arent everything. I have read your toils with writing and weight loss. And cheered every sucess . You and your blog gave me the courage to keep after my own writing and take up blogging. So you are too legit to quit now.

    1. James, that’s so lovely of you to say – thank you! I’m really touched by your comment. The most important thing of all, in blogging and in writing in general, is to never forget why you’re doing it – for fun, for pleasure, to fulfil a dream, to learn and grow, to be accountable, or just because the writer in you just *has* to be exercised … Whatever the reasons, they are *your* reasons – so keep at it!

      And I’m not quitting either! It’s a pity crossing the Atlantic for a day out is a bit of a stretch, as you’d probably have drawn as much positivity and feelgood from yesterday’s Bloggers Bash as I did… even though I was a total ‘fail’ in the photography department!

        1. I understand. I guess if you were ever planning a visit for other reasons, it would be nice to blend in a day with your bloggy-buddies. Perhaps hard to justify a transatlantic return flight for our little annual Bash alone!

  7. It was lovely to see you again, Jools. You were looking great. Camera or no camera, it was all about having a great time and that’s what you did. Thank you so much for coming along to the event. It was great to catch up with you between my video duties. I’m loving the book. It’s got me gripped. 😃

    1. Thanks Hugh! It was a real pleasure to see you again and enjoy another Bloggers Bash. You did a sterling job with the videos and I’m looking forward to seeing how they turned out too. And I’m SO delighted that you’re enjoying Singled Out. It’s always so very exciting when someone I know reads my story. x

  8. You could always take a picture of a glass of ice water and your hand-fan and post that. It would accurately represent what you spent most of your time staring at or through at the conference. (Note to self, a dollar store in England is called a pound shop.) And the bit about ‘just have fun blogging’ is a precious jewel of juicy goodness. I’m keeping that one.

    1. That’s a good idea. I might update the post tomorrow!

      I love that you called our anarchic Bloggers Bash a ‘conference’ too. That would make the committee very proud. Still, that’s where the now annual social gathering – which began last year on the steps of The British Library and graduated this weekend to a room above a pub – might end up in a few years time. Who knows?

      Yes… it does us all well to remember, we’re in this blogging thing… for fun!

  9. Loved your write up Jools…great to have the chance to chat properly with you this year, I’m already looking forward to next year so much. I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already…did it all really happen? Perhaps we can form a new blog just for all the amazing photos we’ll be taking next year lol! Great to connect with you…have a wonderful week! 🙂 ❤

    1. I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already either… but that’s because I have too much work to do and I’m still playing around on WordPress and FaceBook!! Great to connect with you too Sherri 🙂 x

      1. Thanks Jools! And oh yes, I hear you…ever since the BB, I’ve done more than my fair share of playing around! Time to get down to work…deep breath 🙂 xx

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