|Carol Smillie presenting the #BiBs 2015|
Congratuations to Northern Dad for picking up the prize in the Best Writer Category and to all the other winners of all theirs too. It was a wonderful night and amazing to see my name in lights, but the best bit was holding hands with my friend and fellow finalist Sarah from Grenglish, while we willed the other one to triumph almost as much as we wished ourselves to!
We were joined by the present title holder, Sarah from Older Mum who gripped us tight as well and other chums cheered us on, encapsulating quite unequivocally how privileged we were to even be in the running, helping us to appreciate the accolades we'd already been given by so many people taking the trouble to vote us through and I thank you all again from the bottom of my heart for doing so!
Daring to harbour hope, I wondered if winning would, perhaps, give me the happy ending I've craved for my story about leaving a six figure salary in the city because a) I kept losing my voice and b) the more time I had off as a result of that (because no-one can close deals worth £millions very effectively with the inability to speak), the more I became aware that all the trappings didn't fill a void I couldn't quite identify or justify.
Tonight, it wasn't meant to be, but, having found my voice and it being honoured in this way feels really rewarding. Perhaps, I would go so far as to say it is enough and that it is priceless!
It has been a very difficult journey since walking away from financial security and I haven't felt much like the inspiration to others I intended to be. The (much neglected and much editing required) book is about being true to yourself, listening to that inner voice and flying your own colours. There have been many, many mistakes - marrying the wrong bloke, my kids coming along later in life than ideal, but better that than never and, kind of arguably, not having gone down the legal route to have claimed what would have been rightful loss of earnings.
It's about faith, believing in ourselves and staying spritually intact no matter our trials and tribulations - something far easier said than done. I've been broken and broke, faltered often and even failed at being a failure ( a common way divorced people can view themselves), according to another special mate of mine Superlucky Di - she says I'm the most successful one she's ever known!
But as Sonny insists in a favourite film that's been mentioned on here before - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel everything will be all right in the end, and if it isn't all right, then it isn't the end!
Loads of love, you gorgeous people,