Weeks don't get much busier than this. Well, not for me, anyway. I have calculated that I spent about 15 hours of it networking and mingling with people I don't know all that well, and this is why:
I went to my first ever Writing Salon at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden. I'm not a member of the club, but a friend of mine kindly took me along. The format of the evening was to discuss two pieces of creative writing, but what I stupidly failed to realise is that the authors of the pieces were members of the group and sat around the table! Fortunately I cottoned on pretty quickly, and had only positive things to say anyway, but it looks like that if I want to continue going (fantastic surroundings, good discussion; why wouldn't I?!) then I'm going to have to submit my own short story for the group to critique. Scary stuff, but I like challenging myself to do new things, so watch this space for my fictional debut.
The London Bloggers Meet-ups seem to get bigger (and sweatier!) every month, and September's gathering was no exception. This time we hung out in the basement bar at Ember in Farringdon, and the event was sponsored by eBay who told us all about their new Daily Deals feature. I ended up being the lucky winner of a netbook, which was the main prize of eBay's raffle. I will put my hands up and admit now that I won another netbook a couple of months ago, so my brother is going to have the new one and donate a nice chunk of cash to St Peter's Hospice, so thanks eBay! Here's a marvellous write-up of the event - and some amazingly geeky graphs - from fellow blogger (and Witness To The Beard fan) Chris Gilmour.
I attended the beautiful RSA building just off the Strand for the judging lunch of the Guardian Public Services Awards 2009. These awards do a fantastic job of rewarding people and services that might not normally receive such recognition, and it was a privilege to learn about the fantastic work so many people are doing around the country as the judges were debating who should make the shortlist (which will be announced at the end of this month).
TWESTIVAL. Having met some Twitter people 'IRL' the previous weekend, luckily I didn't have to turn up to this gathering of the London Twitterati on my lonesome. But once I got there, it was incredible how many people I bumped into; people I already knew in person, but many who I'd only ever interacted with on Twitter. For those who don't know, Twestifals are charity events for Twitterers which take place all over the world, so they can meet up in person and raise lots of £££s. I met loads of new people and fully took advantage of free drinks, and a good night was had by all.
It was the infamous office beauty sale, where the squillions of free samples that get sent to the editorial department get sold to us minions for a tiny fraction of their high street value, with all money raised going to charity. I'd heard rumours that getting to the good stuff involves the use of elbows and excessive shoving, but I can quite happily report that I actually found it quite civilised. Or maybe that's because I was the first in the queue....Anyway, I was extremely happy with my purchases as I managed to get about £300 worth of stuff for about a tenth of the price! Just realised that my fun week also resulted in about £100 going to various charities - bonus!
I commissioned a piece of art last weekend and I collected it today. It's by John Lynch, who you can find in Greenwich Market every weekend. Look how lovely it is (poor quality photo but best I can do for now):
And finally...a shameless plug
My next gig with Witness To the Beard is on Friday 25th September in Stockwell. PLEASE COME!