We intended to leave at 7am. At 8:50am, off we went. Good going that.
With BritMums Live! starting at 3pm, we should land about right.
Parked up in London/Beirut at 2:15pm. £18 for two days parking. In a dog rough area. Sold. To the woman with a receipt for two flat tyres, one headlight and no steering wheel.
We trekked across the heart of the city; pushing the pram, carrying Boo's travel cot, bedding, changing bag, my overnight bag, Dave's overnight bag, an assortment of waterproofs and a whole bloody bottle steriliser under my arm, past roadworks and over busy crossings and down crowded pavements. At 2:54pm we rocked up, rained on yet sweating profusely, at the Travelodge. We could afford the Ritz, but we just seem to fit in better in the more 'lived in' establishments. I don't know why.
I splashed water about my person and changed in a blurred three minutes, before jogging the short distance from the hotel to the conference just in the nick of time to hear Ruby Wax open the event with an uplifting speech about dealing with mental illness. Some people were ACTUALLY MAKING NOTES. These guys sure know how to part-ay. Must be a London thing.
Halfway through a more upbeat seminar about self harm, I felt it. It just went. You know it's a bad one when that happens. Sometimes they just creep up. But not this one. This one would be H-E-A-V-Y. Plentiful. Flowing.
And I was wearing white jeans.
I jumped up and ran to the loo, knowing full well I had not packed the appropriate provisions what with this cheeky little swine having turned up about two days early. I scrambled into the cubicle to assess the damage. Minimal.
And to keep it that way? I rooted round in my bag and discovered a clean nappy of Boo's. The Girl Guide in me kicked in, and I left the bathroom with an a super absorbent, well dressed, if ever so slightly bulging crotch, safe in the knowledge that I had averted disaster. And it'll come in handy when I feel the need to wee myself amid the excitement of winning.
And so to the Awards.
The tension was palpable. At the pre award party, nominees made the obligatory comments about how it was so nice to be acknowledged, and how they had no chance. I don't think I made many friends when I requested an audience on whom to rehearse my acceptance speech. Still, at least I'd be organised come THE MOMENT.
I sat uncomfortably through the other categories, my packed undercarriage giving me a surprising amount of jip on such an uncushioned chair. Then, after trying to covertly adjust myself under the table while sitting through three million years of other smiling, delighted women accepting awards and thanking God for making them be born, it was my time.
The Laugh! Category.
Some spiel about the award; talk about the winning blogger; a few words about the favoured blog. But no real clue. Then.
A leak? Yep. A bloody leak.
Just as the winner was announced, I felt a spill. A drip. In white jeans. I rose from my seat, just as the actual winner left hers. With her proudly walking towards the stage, and me seemingly marching tantrumingly towards the door, it would appear I had succumbed to such a massive strop on about the decision that I decided to walk out. Knowing this is how it would appear, I toyed with flashing my crotch to the audience, but this may have been viewed as a further gesture of defiance. So I shuffled out, trying to look completely un-angry and un-upset. Which is difficult when you are livid with Mother Nature and are ranting hysterically about the preposterousness of the whole bloody situation.
I stood in the cubicle, cursing the lack of a sticky back on a nappy, as I heard the mumblings of her acceptance through the wall and the roar of her rapturous applause.
So I didn't win. Folded like a cheap suit. Was seen off. Cheated. Swindled. Robbed.
I stood in the loo alone, pants round my ankles, nappy in hand, and started laughing my head off.
Thank God I've got the notes from that Ruby Wax speech to fall back on.