The MADS: The one in which I encounter living breathing people and run away and hide

17 Sep

First of all let me say congratulatulations to all the MADS 2010 winners and my fellow finalists, thoroughly well deserved even if I say so myself.

And of course big kudos kicks to Sally for not only surviving to the end of it all without a stroke but for pulling a quite diverse, need I say often divisive, community together for what was a wonderful, friendly and surprisingly laid back event. If there were any hitches in the proceedings I sure as shit didn’t spot them.

Butlins, well Butlins does what it says on the tin doesn’t it? The staff are insanely friendly and helpful, the accommodation clean, spacious and well equipped and the bar prices are fucking phenomenal – Β£6.70 for two large glasses of wine – ya dancer! I stayed in the older Shoreline Hotel and having had a look round the brand new Ocean Hotel I think I preferred the ambience at the older one. More British seaside iykwim?

Though I do wonder what seventh level of hell spewed forth that abomination on the left?

And I must also thankΒ Phillips/Avent for helping make it possible for me to attend – it’s a bloody long way from here to Bognor Regis and trains, planes and automobiles fair add up.

But was it easy? Fuck no. I actually found the whole experience excruciatingly difficult. Really really hard. In fact I still feel a bit nauseous thinking about it now and want nothing more than to curl up and pretend it didn’t happen. I am not a gregarious person. I am not a “get in there” girl. I never have been. Adrift in a room full of people I don’t know is my idea of hell. If I hadn’t met with the amazing Heather on the train and the lovely Vix beforehand I doubt I would have left my room. Never in a million years could I have walked into the Coffee and Cake Reception on my own, my tummy is flipping even thinking about it. Β I managed to get through the evening awards ceremony by nipping out and having a cigarette every time an opportunity to talk and mix was thrown at us – me and Dawn!

Oh how happy was I to be sat at a table with Dawn! I don’t even SMOKE…. haven’t done for years apart from the odd drunken puff. I’m one of those really “lucky” people who can smoke 10 on a night out then nothing for the next 6 or 12 months, whenever the next few and far between night out is. They’re my excuse for getting the hell away from people.

I made it to the end of the ceremony then popped back to my room for a couple of paracetamol and didn’t come out til breakfast.

I don’t think anyone noticed.

And to be honest I don’t think I could do anything like this again.

I can’t small talk or shmooze. I find the very act of introducing myself to someone quite daunting. This social ineptitude is probably why I blog in the first place. I don’t pretend to be outgoing or sociable… I just moan a bit and take photos, neither of which are necessarily welcome in a room full of new people.

Before I left I had the privilege of shooting Mini & Maxi, with a camera of course. I’d like to thank Jen for giving me the opportunity for some much needed practice!

How seriously cute are these two?

Finally…. thank you to anyone who did vote for me, and a heartfelt thank you to those who didn’t, because you guys saved me from the personal horror of having to stand up in front of a room full of strangers and speak out loud.

When I finally got home after a cancelled train, a pink double-decker and a shared taxi dash with a stranger to Gatwick I felt like I’d been away for a week, not one night. It was several days before I started rummaging through bags trying to find camera bits and any spare change. Only then did I stumble on this.

And then all the pent up nerves got the better of me.


I’m just going to slope off into the wallpaper now if that’s OK?

Bye bye.


27 Responses to “The MADS: The one in which I encounter living breathing people and run away and hide”

  1. Tim (aka Dotterel) September 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    I noticed…

    (Great pics of Mini and Maxi… bet Jen’s delighted!)

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:11 am #

      Thank you πŸ™‚


      Thank you πŸ™‚ I hope they print well – I’m new to all this printing stuff.

  2. Dawn September 17, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    a big MASSIVE thank you to you too! if it wasnt for smoking company i would have been out there on my own, with everyone thinking i was unsociable (even though i am) and the prospect of this ‘do’ scared the shit out of me. looking back at it, it still does and i cant believe i wa part of it!

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:12 am #

      Isn’t it funny how the OMG feeling doesn’t actually pass once the event is over – I’m still a bit OMG even now.

      I thought we were very sociable – in our own way πŸ˜‰

  3. Marylin September 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Mini and Maxi are GORGEOUS!
    I reckon that’s one of the good things about being a photoshopographer (or is that Photolightographer now?) πŸ˜‰ is that you can hide behind the camera to a certain extent.

    I wish I could have gone! I *love* situations like that! lol πŸ™‚

    It takes all sorts to make the world go round, and I’m glad you don’t live too far away so we can be ladies who lunch (even though it will be with a Max in tow till he *hopefully* gets his full time nursery place). *hugs*

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:13 am #

      Yes – you me lunch soon πŸ™‚

  4. Sally September 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Nikki

    Well, I noticed you weren’t there in the bar (though I didn’t stay long myself), and I was so pleased you made it all the way down to Bognor. Thanks for coming.

    And good grief – HOW cute are those boys? Do you think Jen will let me steal them?

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:13 am #

      You’d have to catch them first!

  5. PippaD September 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Can I send you my kids so you can shoot them too? The shots of Maxi and Mini are fab! Oh and it was nice meeting you!

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:14 am #

      You too my dear – I’ll shoot your kids anytime – if you live near a theme park even better πŸ™‚

  6. TheMadHouse September 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Tim – I love the photo’s they are so cool and the boys wouldnt sit or stand still.

    Saklly – you want them, I will do a BOGOF just for you, but I am happy to wait until you have had your teeth sorted.

    Nikki – You know I love you and you are amazing, It was a joy and a pleasure to meet you.

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:15 am #

      Oh stop – now I’m feeling bad for being a bit pathetic! It was a pleasure to meet you and yours too – will get that CD done and off to you this week πŸ™‚

  7. Spudballoo September 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    OOOOoh HUGE congratulations and much deserved gorgeous woman. Gosh the photoshoot piccies are STUNNING, fabulous stuff Camera Woman.

    mwha xx

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:16 am #

      Thank you my dear – I feel like I’ve just jumped on a very huge learning curve – shooting non-relatives is fun – I might get to like it πŸ™‚

  8. Jinedin September 17, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    Aw, I’d’ve had a rare fag with you, also being blessed with the take-it-or-leave it gene. Mind, how can you organise the whole BMB Edinburgh photo walk if you’re so nervous? I’ve been studiously ignoring all the banter about it as I’m too feckin’ scared meself to say “I’ll come!” as I’d have to meet folks in the flesh. I’m with you on that one.
    Congrats in that case just for making it down to the MADS. Go on yersel’. x

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:17 am #

      Yay! You’re coming – I think there’s a fab wee bunch of bloggers coming to Edinburgh – can’t wait πŸ™‚

  9. Heather - Notes From Lapland September 19, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    it was brilliant to meet you, you have an open invite to visit me in Lapland any time you like. Seriously. Thank you for being my train buddy. Those pictures have come out really well, love the ones of the two little tinkers Max and Mini.

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:18 am #

      I wanna come to Lapland and take long exposure shots of the Northern Lights!!!! I’ll get saving up πŸ™‚

  10. Hayley September 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    SOoooooo sorry I didnt get a chance to say hello, was running around like a mad woman half the time so wasnt able to catch many people! Its great that you managed to come. And I would have probably felt exactly the same if it wasnt for the fact that I know some of them. I wanted to get to bed at 10, sadly I was noticed so got dragged back down 😦

    Hope to see you agian at something soon!

    The pics of maxi and mini are gorgeous! x

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:19 am #

      Cheers my dear πŸ™‚

  11. Kerry September 20, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    What amazing pictures you have taken, the ones of the boys are gorgeous. What a lovely note to find as well, bless that would set me off for sure if I found that when I was away xx

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:19 am #

      It did – bastard!

  12. Plan B September 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    I’m astonished! There’s me thinking you’re the social blogging get together queen of Scotland, and I find out you’re all wobbly and woolly and scared about it like me… Even more gutted now, not only that you didn’t win (because you did get my vote, although I get why you’re not quite so sad!) but that I won’t be in Edinburgh next month. Looking forward to Christmas though – we can sit on opposite sides of the pub and look at each other nervously…

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 11:21 am #

      Yeah I am ALL talk – well not talk – I’m all typing πŸ˜‰ Getting to the Edinburgh Christmas Festival do-dah without kids I am SO looking forward to – we’ll be fine – the pubs are busy so we’ll have to sit close by πŸ˜‰

  13. Helen McGinn September 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    *L* How do I not even KNOW about these things??

    • mrsw September 21, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

      I’m just a crowd flitter me πŸ˜‰

      Seriously tho – I know very very little about the Scottish blogging community – I do plan to correct this πŸ™‚


  1. Tweets that mention The MADS: The one in which I encounter living breathing people and run away and hide | clinically fed up -- - September 17, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sally Whittle and Jen Walshaw, NikkiiH. NikkiiH said: Finally my #theMADS post – yes there are photos πŸ™‚ […]

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