It is run by the lady who started the Bloggers' Tots100, Sally Wonder Woman Whittle, a fellow single mum.
It was a truly awesome event, which I very nearly didn't attend, because it didn't seem I really had a right to be there.
I felt like an imposter. Having been nominated in the early rounds in the 'Inspiring' category, my little blog never made it to the finals.
Tickets for this top notch, fancy 'do' are much coveted and not for sale, but there are some available to win.
Which is how I ended up going. By fluke.
I was dreading it though. It was tempting to repeatedly watch my own 'Nobody is a Nobody' Vlog, recorded for those feeling nervous about going to the BritmumsLive conference in June. Yet, there, at least we'd all bought our tickets and our places were paid for.
Here, if my fabulous boyfriend hadn't insisted on me going, bought me THAT dress and paid for the plush Hotel room, with me not having 'earned' my place, it would definitely have been too daunting.
Not being a Social Media
It all adds to the intimidation, although you have to feel sorry for the poor 'Travel' category ones for having to endure a prior sunny evening's party aboard one of those posh yachts, don't you just?!
The best I could manage was tweeting a half hearted joke in a taxi on my way there about possibly winning an Award for the 'Best Boots,' because I'd bagged some great ones at the end of last year and had them on.
Then there was a breakthrough: ''u do realise we all feel the same - now come show us your fabby boots xx''
A reply from Elaine Colliar Mortgage Free in Three.
And I knew I'd be OK.
Our paths hadn't ever crossed before - and they haven't since. We never actually met, but I was grateful for that teensy bit of encouragement.
It's difficult walking into a room full of strangers, but before I'd even got that far, I'd forgotten that it's possible to feel you know people that you truly don't and I committed the fatal faux-pas of rubbing the very pregnant belly of Susan K Mann in the lift on my way to change.
I'm sorry, Susan. I looked for you to apologise to you personally, but you managed to elude me, deliberately or not! I was horrified when I remembered that all our contact has been impersonal. So here's my apology now. It won't happen again. Er, it haunts me.
She was very gracious, by the way. And was stunning. Everybody looked unbelievably beautiful. All had gone to town with their appearance and I was proud to be among such crazy, friendly and outgoing, (mostly) warm, wonderful folk.
Ruth from Dorky Mum took me under her wing and Sarah from Grenglish was the most enlightening company for the entire evening, which eventually ended with these two at the bar around 2am. That's not bad for an outsider.
|Sarah - a perfectly 'bad' influence.
But, most importantly, I had something to contribute after all. Having had the privilege to meet the scrumptious Myleene Klass - who made a point of saying Hello to each and every table and the famously fabulous Sue Atkins, also a TV regular, who happened to be sat on ours, I was able to offer them some stuff no-one else did.
Both have recently been shocked to find themselves single mums and, despite being clever, capable, gorgeous women, they are unsurprisingly and accordingly devastated. Their eyes widened when they'd routinely, politely and innocently inquired about the name of my blog and their transparently genuine interest was touching.
I told them about the groundbreaking Single Mums' Stories series I ran and soon hope to continue, so as well as sympathy, gave them solace and solidarity and, among the giggles, hope.
Perhaps, it was impossible not to have a good time. Perhaps there's a time and a place for everyone.
So just because you feel like a saddo, it doesn't necessarily make you one.
A very big thank you to Sally Wonder Woman Whittle for an #incredible occasion - you see there's simply no stopping some single mums - and many massive, heartfelt Congratulations to all the winners (and (no) losers) of the MADS.
There's a ''Storify' HERE the morning after the night before, with highlights, photos and quotes.