I was really glad to be at the Irish Blog Awards on Saturday night. It was exciting to be involved considering that I had put a lot of time and energy into the blog in the past year. It was more exciting because I was nominated for an award and I would get to meet real people who I could then picture hunched over laptops all over this great land of ours. There is something kind of strange about meeting people in the flesh who you believed were merely cyphers for irrational rantings and random abuse. It was also kind of humbling, but more of that later.
The photobloggers meet up earlier in the day in Dublin city centre was a bit of a thrill too because there’s a cohesion there and they’re people who keep in touch professionally and personally and it was like crashing a party. The results are on the flickr page and can also be seen from other angles here, here and here. In the great tradition of Facebook, I also gained a number of new flickr contacts. You know what they say: the more contacts you have, the better a person you are, morally, intellectually and in all other conceivable ways. Thanks Redmum and Elly for taking me under your collective wing and showing a newbie how to switch his new camera to P instead of just defaulting to Auto.
The awards themselves were really well run – despite the snafu with the DVD pieces – and Damien needs more praise heaped upon him for all of the effort he makes on our behalf. The man is a powerhouse and now deserves a good rest. Because this was my first time, and foolishly had not arranged to meet people I am in regular touch with over this medium, I felt a little out of sorts but Redmum again came to the rescue, along with the Dublin blog people. It was a little like the first day of school, without the grazed knee and the squashed banana at the bottom of the bag. I was also happy to meet some new bloggers, especially the delightful Sharon from Belfast’s Family Voyage. She won Best Specialist Blog which makes her sound like a secret agent but she was very friendly and kind to me when my own nomination was called. Looking Twenty in the eye (you didn’t think I was going to link him?, like he needs it tonight?) and shaking the hand of Ken Stott, I mean Bock the Robber, was equally exciting because it means I’ll have to be nice to them from now on. There’s something about making eye contact….oh wait, that’s right, they’re human too.
My heart was pounding as they called the nominations for the Best Newcomer and I have no shame in saying that I was excited about it. I didn’t win (like, duh) but congratulations John. Delighted for Shane Hegarty too because he is actually accountable, in a very real way, to his editor. If I’d make one comment about the organisation: perhaps first time attendees could be given a different colour badge or something because it can be hard to get talking to other people and groups if you don’t know faces, names and monickers. I slipped off about 10.30 because I needed to iron my socks. I missed not meeting up with English Mum, JLP, Thriftcriminal, Conan and Is It Just Me? but I guess, like I said, we didn’t make any arrangements beforehand. Some of these people actually have children and stuff. I mean what’s with the priorities. Hello? WTF? It seems blogging in Ireland has its circles who meet off their blogs as well as in person. I had not thought about this before going – this community thing.