Monday, March 21, 2011

ABSENCE AND THE HEART. AND ALL THAT.








Where to start?

Let’s start at the very beginning.  Because we all know, that’s a very good place to start.  Or so Maria once said.  Sorry to all those people who have never watched the Sound of Music, you must be wondering if I’ve been eating the mushrooms that grow in the front lawn again.  Let me start again. 


 

So I’ve been in Sydney at the Aussie Bloggers Conference. 

 

But what is a bloggers conference?  Well, put simply, it’s a place where all bloggers, amateur and professional, get together to discuss, well, their blogs.   There were panel discussions about the sense of community you find when you find like minded people through blogs, when you find your tribe.  And I know there are a lot of people who undermine a blog.  They believe a lot of us are simply wanna be writers or creative types.  Sure, say what you want but the fact is, to find a passion for blogging is as exhilarating as finding a penchant for adrenalin sports.  Starting one certainly doesn’t mean you aren’t going to fall flat on your face, but at least you’ve found something that gets you going.  Makes you feel alive again.  So yeah, say what you want, but this is my little piece of the cyber world and because of it, I got to meet, drink, eat and inappropriately dance with 180 people I never would have gotten to with otherwise.  And it was tops.

 

To be honest, when the idea of an Australian based Bloggers conference was in its infancy, I was a little bit meh, yeah, probably won’t be for me.  But then I got thinking about the added bonus of crisp white sheets and sleep-ins in a hotel and my attitude shifted.    Ironically, as it turns out, I spent so little time between those crisp white sheets and so MUCH more time getting to know the other bloggers and learning that I feel ashamed to say I didn’t initially give it the credit it deserved.

 

Not being a massive traveller, I did learn a few things this time around though -
  • If you talk when the Air Hostess is giving her Emergency Evacuation Procedures Demonstration, you will get shushed.  Note:  I wasn’t the one talking. For once.


  • After watching a full hour of Channel V on the flight, I can safely say that Taylor Swift looks exactly like a young Nancy Sinatra.


  • A 187ml bottle of white wine purchased on an aircraft will cost the same as a decent 750ml one.

  • Control Tower issues are code for settle in baby, you are about to be majorly delayed.


  • Last but not least, I have learnt that wearing thongs gives the cab driver the heads up that you are total tourist and will take you the longest and most expensive way possible to your hotel room.

The most delightful thing I found was how much I adored Sydney.  I’ve precious little to do with the city and found having it to myself, to wander around with no plan, was quite wonderful.  I went running on the second morning in the drizzle and stumbled across the harbour bridge and Opera House completely by accident  I’m surprised you didn’t see the neon flashing light shouting TOURIST from wherever you are stationed in Australia.  You are invisible in a big city.  I kind of like it.

 

We were lucky enough to be invited to pre-conference drinks with GKS  the night before the conference. They had sponsored Kristen Brumm to come out to Australia for the event.  They also provided male masseuses (tick) Ribena jelly cups (tick) and free cocktails and champagne (tick and tick). This is where I made my mistake.  Instead of hooking into the copious amounts of food that were on offer, I ate two deep fried rice and cheese balls and then had a thousand champagnes.   That could be the reason I went on, later in the night to spray shampoo under my armpits and apparently propose to a DJ that is Gay.  Hey at least I wasn’t wearing undies on my head, like some *cough* Kerri Sackville.  Adam, Kent, Rick Lana and Kerri, I had a ball.  Thanks Rick, for escorting me and my rather large Yoga Mat home.  You are a total gentleman.

Me, Mrs Woog and Kristen

Things are about to get messy.  Lana, Rick, Kerri and I

 

I believe 5 hours of sleep were had and by some absolute miracle, I woke in time to shove 15 hash browns into me and be ready, as I’d volunteered for, to sign in the bloggers as they arrived.  Clearly I hadn’t thought this through.  I mean who in their right mind goes out on a Friday night and thinks they will legitimately be able to back up and be awake by 6:30am?   I struggled and to my credit, did not curl up in a ball in the corner half way through the day, no matter how tempted I was.  I read out my blog post as had been arranged and then hightailed it to Maccas to grab the biggest, fattest, greasiest cheeseburger I could find. 

 

The highlight for me was the “My Blog, My Story” readings by some spectacular bloggers.  They were heartfelt, raw and so amazing to see in action.  Carly Findlay who you can find here at Tune Into Radio Carly was wonderful and such a pleasure to meet in real life.  Special mention of course has to go to Mark McCann who, being one of only 5 men in the room, managed to leave in one piece after at one stage, it appeared that the ladies were going to pin him to the nearest wall and have their way with him.  Married or no.    

Carly and I
 

 

I also want to point out that I got to meet the TheNDM from blog, Not Drowning Mothering.  Hers was the very first blog I ever started reading and still read religiously.  She is one of the funniest people I have ever read, and now, after this weekend, can safely say, ever known.  Please check her out  HERE if you already don't; she’s kind of my blogging idol.


The NDM and I.  So Hot Right Now.
  
 

After the serious stuff was over, came the dinner dance which again, at first I wasn’t too sure of.  Dinner Dance always reminds me of the accounting ones I’ve been a part of.  Bunch of old guys sitting around talking capital gains tax and propositioning the hot waitresses.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Someone literally lost their undies from dancing too hard.   And I learnt more than I ever thought I would about strap on dildos.  Oh yeah, this was no accounting convention.  That really does sum it up for me.  Sadly I was too piss poor to back it up and drink hard core and I did miss The NDM and Rick get married (later annulled due to his refusal to consummate the marriage due to you know, him being gay and all) 

 

The next day, we woke to a lot of sore heads, a lot of great anecdotes and a bit of sadness that the whole thing was over.  To be dead honest, even though we learnt a lot about the technical part of blogging, it was the "social" part of the social media that we all seemed to nail. 

 

The Good news is, it will return again in 2012. Bigger, better and in Melbourne.  The Not Drowning Mother has kindly offered those struggling to find accommodation her trampoline in her backyard.  I Shotgun the mat that covers the springs.

 

I guess though, on returning late last night to the Coolangatta airport where my three children ran and kissed and hugged me while my husband lingered in the background holding onto a bunch of flowers was the best moment.  There is no place like home.

 

I genuinely had a ball. Thanks everyone for making it so. 


There were so, so many I want to mention and when I get the chance, will update with links to them.  Dic, Jo, Sarah, Jayne, Annie, Chris, Bronwyn, Benison, Kim, Mrs Woog, Lori, Brenda, Veronica, Dorothy, Bianca, Yvette, Alison, Meaghan are just some to start with.   I did this on the fly, I'll make sure it's updated later.

39 comments:

Wanderlust said...

Ah Bern, it was spectacular. I loved meeting you and I can't wait for next year either.

P.S. I pilfered some of your photos for my blog post, but admitted my sin at the same time. xoxo

Carly Findlay said...

Awwwww Bern thanks so much. I LOVED meeting you - you are the nicest. And so pretty and stylish. xx
This is a great post :)

no-one said...

Sounds like it was a great time for all involved.

Dorothy said...

Great summary, Bern. The social stuff did rock and I wish we had more opportunities to all get to know each other better. As it was, I was way in too much awe to say hello to everyone I wanted to.

And on a final note, the NDM is Melbourne based?? How exciting! I shall stalk her....

Sarah said...

The love in was as you know, mutual. Sorry for staring at you so much at brunch the next day. I was a) exhausted b) you're very pretty. See you in a few weeks for round 2.

4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle said...

So, looks like I'm set for the 2012 conference as long as I have a clean pair of knickers, deodorant and a strap on dildo. Hmmm, could make the trip through airport security interesting. Loved all the pics, everyone looking very glam. Kirstyxx

Maxabella said...

God love ya, Bern. I must've read a dozen posts about the confirm but NOW I feel like I was actually there. I will see you on the NDM's trampo next year, lovely you. I will be the one with my undies on my head passing the gay deej. xxx

Maxabella said...

Bloody iPhone - "confirm" = "conf" x

Maxabella said...

Der, "passing" = "pashing" ... Oh, I give up. x

So Now What? said...

I actually asked about you Maxa - only sister not in the village. Next year!!

~~Kallie~~ said...

Great post (as always) Bern. I was sad I couldn't go but daughters birthday had to come first. Next year in Melbourne is eminently doable for me as long as it's not on daughters birthday :) or sons...

BTW - How awesome that your hubby had flowers for you... way to make you feel loved :)

Dovic said...

Speaking of idols...I have one of my own. And she is indeed tall, pretty and utterly delightful.

And her name starts with b :).

Berns, you're the acest xxxxx

Ms Styling You said...

Oh, Bern, it was such a great weekend. Just want to keep reading all the posts ... to keep it alive. That undies incident sure was surreal. Having witnessed it, did a mental check about which undies I had on and held on to them tightly. They were no where near as pretty as the ones that got shoved under the stage.

Denyse said...

Just as you had TheNDM as your blogging idol..I was impressed by the whole notion of blogging when I found yours!
I am sure now, that after Mamamia became a place for me to visit & comment, I found you at So Now What?
So thanks for all you've done to encourage & assist me in bloggy land.
AusBlogCon was an all-round awesome experience for you as a tourist, a friend to many and companion in social pursuits with some pretty fun friends .. Good on you
Thanks for saying 'hi' .. Denyse

Leanne said...

I guess when Mum always told me to wear my best undies in case I'm in an accident, she could actually have meant is case they came off on a dance floor? Holy shit. What did I miss out on?

Lucy said...

Ah Bern, you rock. It was lovely, so lovely to meet you at last. xxx

Being Me said...

Bern, it was an absolute delight meeting you on Friday night. So sorry we couldn't continue our convo. It was interesting!

Benison said...

Love how your family all came to the airport, with flowers, too. You're a lucky girl!

ruddygood said...

Aside from having an absolutely delightful evening with the other #NonAusBlogCon'ers (you know who you are, you crazy-beautiful slipper-wearers!), Saturday was notable for reading the tweets coming out of the blogger's conference, and feeling the warmth of love, admiration and respect rising from them. gorgeous stuff.

Thanks for sharing your laugh-out-loud insider's view, Bern. I'm busy working out which of my undies look best on my head, and packing and re-packing for next year's conference. Then I might start work on a new blog... :P

Aussie-waffler said...

I do so wish I had been there, but as the lovely Ruddygood mentioned, we were busy kinda rocking slippers and wine at #NonAusBlogCon, so all was not lost :)Thanks for sharing all the stories and pics gals and bring on the Aussie Bloggers Conference for 2012. Woot.

MaidInAustralia said...

How the hell did I miss out on the strap-on dildo talk? Same way I missed Rick and the NDM getting married, and meeting An Idle Dad I guess. I'm blaming the Naughty Table and being slightly dazzled that I got to sit next to the two Daves from Nuffnang, and Lori, and Emma's Brain and Glowless and Holly, aand I'm missing someone I know! Oh and I have quite a few crushes now, you are one of them. xo

The NDM said...

Bern, tall as you are, you rock my world. I find it hard to believe someone as short and unassuming as me could be your blogging idol, but I'm gonna put it on my CV anyway.

PS. Best bring some of the cleaning products from the give-away bag to wipe down the trampoline. It's covered in bird shit.

KJ said...

I didn't attend the Aus Blog Con thingy, and I only made a fleeting visit to the Non-AusConBlog thingy. I think you need more than 12 followers to your blog to attend either. :-)

But, thrilled that you had a wonderful time and were welcomed back in style.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I had NO idea so many undies were lost in the making of this blog conference. Great work Bern.

Madmother said...

So, we all co-ordinating flights from the Goldie next year? If not on Big Boy's birthday like this year?

bigwords is... said...

I so wish I was there to witness the shampoo under the armpit trick - ha ha ha ha!!!

Can't wait for Melbourne next year, it's going to be so much fun. Loved meeting you - you are divine xx

Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

When I got back from the GSK drinks I thought the same thing - how the hell am I gonna be up so early tmw? Which was 3.30am Perth time! Don't know how but somehow managed.
Was fabulous to meet you :)

River said...

Someone lost their undies? Gee, I missed that, sitting in a corner as I was.
Wasn't it a great night?

anidledad said...

Groovus. 2012, Melbourne.

Super Sarah said...

It was a pleasure meeting you at the crack o'dawn on the registration table! You are fabulous! I can't wait till the next #AusBlogCon

Kelly said...

Bern, you look like you do in your avatar. But prettier! I loved meeting you. We totally rocked th registration tables...

Donna said...

How I wish we'd actually gotten to meet; so many blogger, so little time (especially when you stupidly only buy a day ticket like me...)

Loved your blog reading on stage - GREAT story and I am still thinking of you every time I brush my teeth :-)

Torkona said...

I liked your post! anyone that can get a laugh from me is alright in my books :-)

but I just though, a 187ml bottle of alkyhol? what a weird number that is.. hmm, nevermind :-)

look forward to your nest posts! following you now.

- tork
Adelaide and South Australia blog

Veronica said...

I had so much fun meeting you - you're so lovely! Thankyou so much for helping with the registration, I truly didn't realise how hung over you were, so you hid that rather well!

Brenda said...

You are hawt. The end.=)

Faybian said...

God, the only conferences I've gone to in the last 2 decades have been serious nursing ones....no fair.

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