I attended the Grafton Media Blog Awards Ireland as a finalist last Saturday night – I drove up to Dublin on my own on Saturday morning (always a bit of a treat to have free rein with the radio) and went along to the Osprey hotel in Naas with my parents that evening.
It was a great night and all down to the hard work of Lorna Sixsmith, Beatrice Whelan and Amanda Webb ( above ) and their team who put a lot in to this years awards and the event itself which was packed full of entertainment. We were directed to a beautifully decorated room – balloons aplenty and two giant screens at the front, with a live feed from twitter which was updated every few seconds. I was instructed to make my own name badge with the materials on the table – markers, glitzy stickers and stars while my Dad kindly went to the bar to furnish us with some alcoholic beverages to calm the nerves. A magician came to the table shortly afterwards to entertain us with some slight of hand tricks – this was a great icebreaker and really set the tone for the evening which was high spirits, celebration and fun! I met a couple of bloggers at our table and got chatting with Holly from Holly’s Pantry ( who kindly took this photo of me and my parents below ) and a very nice couple from The Movie Blog.
Kildare native Susan Boyle was MC for the evening and she got the ball rolling by announcing that we would get our starters after the first ten categories were read out, followed by the next ten and our dinner and so on until the whole thirty winners were awarded their prizes and everyone had been fed and watered. This turned out to be a very good arrangement and with just enough food to quell our appetites, a speedy succession of winners in between and some very speedy speeches. The arts and culture category was the first one to be awarded and I have to say that I was thrilled to be included with all of these finalists whose blogs are of a very high standard. All the names went up on a giant screen and were read out by Susan who then opened an envelope in Acadamy Awards style to announce the winner. I really was delighted that Built Dublin got this award, the best in the category in my opinion and truly deserved. The lifestyle category ( the second one my blog was included in as a finalist ) was read out later and went to A year in Redwood – again tough competition and although I was disappointed, it was a relief to be able to sit back and enjoy the rest of the evening.
So what now for this blogger? To be honest, I feel tired just at the moment as there has been a degree of pressure, knowing that my work has been under the eye of the judges since July this year. I need to take some time to find my feet again and perhaps at a slightly slower pace so that I can unwind over the winter and do some of the other things that I enjoy – knitting and sewing for example, meeting with friends and cooking. This stuff has been sorely neglected since the Summer along with my house which needs a good going over with the hoover and a duster!!
There’s no doubt that I have caught the bug however because blogging is now part of my life and something I genuinely enjoy. Onwards and upwards!
Cover photo taken by Damian Carroll of Cearbhuil Studios