Best Business Blog 2010: SabrinaDent.com
I’m back from Galway and the Irish Blog Awards 2010 with absolutely no voice whatsoever, a lovely award, a girly swag bag of happiness, and a huge smile on my face.
The carefully made plan for this weekend was to travel up to Galway on Friday to be well-rested on Saturday, a plan that when horribly wrong when I woke up at 6:00 am with awful shoulder pain, two eyes glued shut by the conjunctivitis I picked up in hospital, and a suspicious croak in my throat. Six hours was the most sleep I’ve had since dislocating my shoulder but so, so far from enough. I entertained idle and exhausted fantasies of cancelling the Ladies Tea Party all morning, but instead opted to drink double espressos whilst desperately wishing I was 28 and still taking speed.
At 3 PM everything got massively better when Ciara Crossan and I stepped into the Linda Evangelista Suite at the g hotel to setup for the Tea Party and almost died. It is squeal-inducingly stunning and the staff did an amazing job setting up for us even as Ciara and I exploded the suite into a temporary workshop of bags, tissues paper and boxes. Des Byrne from L’Onglex dropped off 40 bottles of nail varnish remover, Ruth Crean dropped off 40 adorable pocket mirrors, Curious Wines dropped off two cases of gorgeous wine I selected especially for the pretty labels, and by 4 PM we were just about ready.
For the record, everything at the g is gorgeous, from the rooms to the views to the food to the manager. We actually had to convince GM Damien O’Riordan that every single attendee was very well versed in pouring her own wine and picking up her own brownies and that the hotel did not need to staff this party with a butler. The service is that good and that friendly and that amazing.
By 4:30 the suite was overrun with women oohing and ahhing over furniture, beds and bathtubs and enjoying an atmosphere that could best be described as frolicking. The DIY Nail Bar was a huge hit, with women dragging extra chairs into the world’s plushest bathroom to varnish their nails and posing for photos in the incredible bathtub. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of chatter, and a lot of glasses raised on the private deck overlooking the beautiful water view. Alas it was over all too soon, as it always is, and at exactly 7:01 PM we drained the very last bottle of wine, collected our swag bags and piled into 10 taxis to head to the Irish Blog Awards.
For the past three years my focus around the IBAs has been on the Tea Party, which is excellent as it keeps me from fretting over nominations. Normally when various award short lists come out and I am lucky enough to be on them, I look at everyone who is nominated in my category, figure that as I’m in it there’s at least a non-null chance I might win, and gather a few coherent thoughts about what I might say if that happened. This year, I looked at the list for Best Business Blog, looked at my sparse posts for the year, and promptly ignored the fact I’d been short listed because there was less than zero chance I’d win.
Which means I was genuinely shocked and literally speechless when I did. Traditionally, this is the point at which you say “nobody was more surprised than me” but in fact a great number of people were equally surprised; I’m the first to admit it is an odd and unlikely win. I think I said on stage that last year I only wrote 24 blog entries; the number was in fact a whopping 40, but I tend not to count the site release posts.
I’m as confused and baffled as the next nominee, but also delighted. I won my very first award in Ireland at the IBAs in 2008, when I took home the glassware for Best Designed Blog. Since then I’ve picked up other gongs from various other award events, but none mean as much to me as the two Irish Blog Awards on my shelf. This is the community I care most about; it’s the people I love to work with and who’s opinions and endorsement mean the most to me. The fact I’ve got one for making a well-designed blog and one for the content that goes into it means the world to me, so thanks to all of you for reading and commenting, to the judges for voting, to Red Cardinal for sponsoring, and to John Handelaar for holding me up in the moment when I actually thought I might pass out from shock.
I cheered at huge volume for Pat Phelan, Sinead Cochrane, Maman Poulet, Red Mum, Panti and Beaut.ie, all of whom are most worthy winners in their categories and very deserving of their gongs. Huge cheers also to Damien Mulley, Rick O’Shea, Rymus and the video team and volunteers who make the IBAs the class event they are each year. It is a huge undertaking to pull off an event of this scale and each of them deserve all of the kudos in the universe.
5 AM and my bed seemed to arrive very early indeed, although not as early as our 9:30 wake-up call on Sunday. I dragged myself into the shower, opened my mouth to sing a few lines of something, and… nothing. Literally no sound came out. The suspicious croak from Friday and failing voice from Saturday has descended to full-on laryngitis and I cannot speak at all, although I do a very fine imitation of a chihuahua that’s been stepped on when I try. Never in your life have you heard a more pathetic “arf” noise. Were I able to laugh, I’m sure I’d find it hilarious.
Weekend scorecard: one fractured shoulder, one lost voice, one chest infection, two red eyes, 24 empty bottles of wine, 9 hours of sleep, one award and one fantastic day.
I’d happily, happily do it all again.
29 Mar 2010 | In: Awards + Events + Ireland | Tags:Blog Awards, Ladies Tea Party