What’s Your Story?

Image via Unsplash

How many people do you think live under these rooftops? Hundreds? Possibly thousands? More than 10,000 maybe? 

I could look at this photo for ages, studying the buildings and trying to work out the city, country and continent I’m looking at. 

It got me thinking about how many people live side by side, above and below each other, and what each of those people thinks about the lives they’re living. 

How many residents of each building belive that they’re interesting? 

Which building houses those who consider themselves to be doing important work in the world? 

How many are nursing heartache? How many are struggling financially? 

Are there more introverts in particular sections of the city? 

Where is the nearest green space? 

Who harbours a secret desire to move to another city or town? Who has a plan in motion to make that change? 

So. May. Questions. 

SO. Many. Stories. 

Each life I imagine, each home, from the top floor apartments to the basements, from the outskirts of this city to the best and worst areas, each of those people has a story. Each has been through common joys and sorrows, and each has faced completely unique situations. 

Just like you. 

Just like me. 



Everyone has a story. 

Some are keen to tell their stories, some long for just one person to ask them about their day. 

Too many think they’re nobody special. 


As a blogger, you’d think that I would have the “I have interesting stories to share” thing nailed, wouldn’t you? 

Well…. I have a confession; I fallen into the habit of thinking only about my doing rather than my being/thinking/believing as far as blogging goes. 

The doing is pretty repetitive – I go to work, I watch Netflix, I avoid the vacuuming for epic stretches of time, I cook things, I sleep, I buy groceries, repeat. 

That’s not super inspiring stuff, so I made the mistake of thinking I have nothing to blog about. 


The thing is, while I’m working, cooking, watching Netflix, buying groceries and living my life, I’m thinking about big stuff. 

I wonder why women haven’t become so bloody sick of misogyny that we are rioting in the streets. 

I ponder how living in a society that centres whiteness has blinded me to my privilege. 

I grapple with caring deeply about things I know are unjust. 

Lately, I’ve added thinking about secure housing as I age, what I want my funeral to be like and wanting to spend more time creating to my ruminations.


Everyone has a story to tell, even me. 

Hopefully I can find my way back to my stories. 


What’s your story? 



Annette xx


The power of storytelling

Whether it’s the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, the Brownlow or the Emmys, awards shows are notoriously l-o-o-o-n-g and they often have lots (and lots) of boring stuff in between the few awesome moments. This is less true when Tina and Amy are hosting.

Today, I fast-forwarded my way through a great deal of the Emmys, hoping for one memorable moment, and Frances McDormand delivered.

Thank you Frances.

I adored her in Something’s Gotta Give, and was mesmerised by her in the tv show she won an Emmy for today, Olive Kitteridge.

And I definitely loved her acceptance speech, for her outstanding performance in Olive Kitteridge.

She walked on to the stage (in a sensationally understated dress), and simply said this:

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I couldn’t agree more.

Stories well told, in my opinion, are always enough.

I just deleted a long, rambly chunk of this post.

What I want to say about what Frances said is this.

If you happen to be hanging in there with The Verbs, I’m grateful. I know I haven’t written much lately.

You and I are a team in this thing, I write the words, but you make this thing what it is. I write for you.

I think what Frances said this afternoon resonated and drew me to the keyboard, because blogging, for me, is all about telling stories.

If I could, oh how I wish I could… I’d write just one post that would once and for all show you how magnificent you are, right in this moment, and just re-post the shit out of it. Forever.

I don’t think The Verbs will ever be pinging into your inboxes on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, with a sweet newsletter for subscribers once a month. That’s just not me. To the people who it is, you are frickin’ rock stars… that shit takes a lot of work!

I have to write when I’ve got something to say. I want to write about things that matter to me, as well as about silly things that I see or feel or hear, or things I create or photograph.

I have to wait for the muse. At least, I do for now.

I am utterly committed to doing this in my own voice, to my own rhythms.



I’ve wanted to write about a few things that I’ve experienced lately, but I think they might still be percolating, so I haven’t pushed.

But even when I’m not writing, I think about you guys all the time.

I hope you’re well, and happy, and that if you’re not, that you have people around you who are standing in solidarity with you while times are a bit shit. I hope they’re only a bit shit.

If life is epically, gut wrenchingly shit, as it can sometimes be, perhaps my unexpected tears as I type this are for you.

The things that I believe truly matter in life are reflected in what Frances said today. I think we are here to tell our stories, and to take every opportunity we can to stand in solidarity with someone whose current chapter might be breaking their hearts.

We can’t possibly stand with everyone, but we can each stand with someone.

Stand by being there, stand by calling, stand by sending a card or dropping in a meal, stand in your prayers if you’re into divine communion, stand with them literally, or across the miles, but most of all, stand with open arms and hearts.



Frances is not only a great actress, I reckon she’s a pretty wise human too. Must be all that storytelling she’s done.


I’m still here. I may not be writing much, but I’m listening.

Tell me your story.


Annette x





Guest Post by Rachel Cox: Grace Lessons

I’m thrilled to share the first ever guest post on I Give You The Verbs with you today, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to kick it off than my good friend Rachel of The Chronic-ills of Rach.

I met Rachel through Blog With Pip and we struck up an instant friendship.

Rachel writes from a room with a gorgeous view in Auckland, New Zealand. She is a generous friend, a  great conversationalist, a teacher by trade, a burgeoning supermodel, and a loving mum and wife. Rachel has a neurological condition called Dysautonomia, and her blog helps me understand the impact an invisible illness can have on a person’s life. Rach is, of course, more than all the labels we apply upon introducing a friend, and you can get to know her in all her multifaceted glory on her blog, The Chronic-ills of Rach. I urge you to check out her skilful, soulful blogging style.

I gave Rachel the keys to I Give You The Verbs, and asked her to write whatever she wanted to, and I’m delighted and touched by her words.

I’m sure you will be too. Let us know what you think in the comments. 


I was a student teacher, embarking on my first ever classroom placement. For three weeks I’d be at a little school not far from my home, nestled among the gumtrees in a genteel corner of Sydney.

The class was Year One and from the moment I sat in the story chair and felt all their gazes turn to me, I knew I had found a career I could love. I stared back into each of their faces; hopeful, open, curious faces. I was about to introduce myself and settle into a story when I saw her, over to the side, mousey hair falling over her scowl. A tiny thing, unlike all the others. Troubled. I made a mental note to find out more about her at morning tea time.

Her name was Grace.

Her teacher kept it simple. She explained that Grace had endured traumas in her young life that made her decide not to talk anymore. It is a powerful psychological response to trauma that is rooted in a deep seated need to protect oneself. It’s called elective mutism.

As Grace went most afternoons to be with an art therapist over in the atelier, I only saw her in the mornings. In just the short time I had with her, I learnt a lot about communicating with non-verbal students – lessons I have used often over my years of teaching.

I enjoyed being with her and I recognised that it wasn’t ideal for her to have a student teacher disrupting her routine. Trust is not easy to come by when your little life has already held too much for you to bear. But her little face on that first day had pulled me in. I didn’t want to stress her with my presence, but I did want her to feel my heart for her.

Every chance I got, I drew pictures with Grace. Pictures to make her smile. Pictures only half finished, that she would finish for me. Funny faces and pretty flowers, progressive pictures, built up, turn by turn, by both of us. A squiggle from me and once, a little giggle from her. It was our quiet and tentative connection. I didn’t know how else to connect, but I knew she loved going to art therapy. So that is what we did.

On my last day we had a shared farewell lunch. All the sausage rolls and chocolate crackles had been demolished. The plastic cups were stacked by the sink. We had some music playing and the kids were dancing and singing as they helped clear up the classroom. I was standing off to the side talking to the teacher when I felt it. A little flutter at my elbow. It was Grace. Eyes down, she held up her little hand. There was a piece of paper in it.

‘Is this for me?’ I asked.

A barely perceptible nod. ‘Thank you so much ‘, I breathed as I accepted the folded paper from her hand.

It seemed an extraordinary gift from a little girl who didn’t like to connect. As I opened it, she ran away.


Inside the folds of paper was a tiny picture of a little bird. The bird had a speech bubble stretching out from its mouth, and inside it, Grace had carefully written, thank you. I looked for her, but she was studiously avoiding any eye contact. She sat curled up, knees to her chest, plucking at the threads on the carpet. Then the bell went and all the children ran off home, to the rest of their lives. Before I left for the rest of mine, I drew her a little picture reply. tucking it into her desk for her to find the next day.

I caught up with her teacher years later. She told me that Grace had become verbal before that year was out, due to the wonderful work of her art therapist. I was so pleased to know that little bird had found her voice again. And not at all surprised that the key to finding it was through art.


Art has a kind of magic to it. You need to indulge yourself in the artistic process to truly understand what I mean. If you have, you’ll be nodding. If you haven’t, I warmly suggest you give it a go. No matter what your circumstances, art will meet you at your own level of experience and draw you into something beyond yourself. Something beautiful.

I have adored watching Annette’s passion for painting and creating grow on this blog. Have you? The joy of her work speaks volumes to me. It is a beautiful expression of her enthusiasm for life, the colour and warmth of her nature and her capacity for embracing the now. I can’t wait to see each new piece hanging up for display. To feel the enthusiasm in her words as she describes her perfect day. Have you noticed how often that includes paint?

My mother was a painter. She used to say to me that everyone could be an artist if they wanted to be. Anyone. It’s just about practise and technique.

When I was a small girl we’d go adventuring into the foothills around Christchurch in her tiny Morris Minor. I loved the smell of the linseed oil and paints in her paintbox. The rituals of setting up the easel, squirting out those magnificent colours, named as though they themselves were kings and queens of the spectrum – burnt umber, vermillion, cerise, chartreuse. And then, the hours of seeing her art become something on the canvas board, my own sketchbook and crayons frequently abandoned so I could just gaze at the palette knife in her confident slender fingers. Scraping and moving the colours into blended images of clouds and rocks, trees and sky.


Art making was our meditation. Our silent connection. Our therapy and our reward.

Recently I thought it might be time to pick up a paintbrush again. My mum is no longer with us, but I know she would approve of this timeless way to find solace and meaning in the midst of swirling colours. I might even find her again, in the art of making. Or maybe, I’ll find a little bird. Some Grace.

Recently I read this article about the seven psychological functions of art. It’s a good read and a timely justification for giving art a go again.

What’s your therapy?

To read more of Rachel’s beautiful writings, follow her blog, her Facebook page or check her out on Instagram.

A Day With My Tribe – Voices2015

Yesterday I got to spend the day with some of my favourite folks. Most of them are, technically-speaking, strangers to me, yet we are a tribe, a gang, a diverse, talented, amazing bunch of people who have one super cool thing in common. 

We are bloggers. 

Each year Kidspot runs a great blogging competition, which brings creative people from all around Australia together. 

I’m still feeling a bit punch-drunk from all the energy of the day, and I know I can’t remember all the amazing people I got the chance to chat with, but to all of them (to you!) I have a common message – thank you. Thank you for being who you are, for your words, your images, your positivity, your passions. Some of the ladies I chatted to yesterday even knew this blog, and told me they liked what I do… that makes me a #Voices2015 winner! 

Delicious food!


Pip signed my book!

I had a GREAT day. The best thing wasn’t the range of speakers, or the goodie bags or even the gorgeous venue and food, it was the people I got to laugh and talk with. I came away from the day feeling so FULL and so encouraged. 

With Zoe from A Quirky Bird
  We are #creepybloggers
Blogging brings me joy


Blogging is beautful, because bloggers are beautiful. 

We do what we do for you, the people who take the time to read our words and join our conversations. You’re the only prize I need. 

Annette x 

Kidspot Voices of 2014 Gala Awards

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Kidspot Voices Of 2014 Gala Awards, which was held at Sketch on Central Pier in Melbourne’s beautiful Docklands precinct.

Melbourne was looking glorious yesterday, we’re having a fabulously warm, sunny weekend.

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Melbourne’s Docklands

I confess I am befuddled by Melbourne CBD’s growth in that direction… how can there be more city than there used to be? Sheesh, I feel old! I have childhood memories of going into the city for lunch at the Coles Cafeteria with my grandma, and going to the zoo on a red rattler train. I think I need a good lie down.

Anyway, I digress… nothing new there.

The first thing to do when responding to an invitation to a fancy affair is to find a great +1/date. I signed up my friend Sharon from Sharon’s Bigg Life before I even checked if she was free, and lucky for me, she ‘cleared her schedule for me’ (yes, she actually said that!).

So the day arrived, and I was in a lather – quite literally, I’m blaming menopause for that – as I tried on outfit after outfit yesterday. Wrong skirt, too much leg, not enough something, aarggh! Enough, I said. Just be yourself. After I’d piled up loads of options on my bed, I settled on some great pieces I recently snapped up at ts14plus, and teamed them with my favourite shoes, also from ts14plus. Quite the poster girl, nay brand ambassador, am I! Ha.

Off to Docklands Sharon and I went, and before you knew it, we were swanning past a talking Ford Territory and into the gorgeous event space. And what could be nicer than being greeted by Pip Lincolne? She’s so ace.

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Sharon and Pip and I. 

Hooray for bubbly on arrival. Name tags secured, we checked out the space.

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That’s my kind of welcome. Thanks Kidspot!

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Sunset by Ford!

There were maybe only three or four gents in the room – lucky them – but it was the diversity of lovely lady bloggers that really made me happy. There were tall bloggers and short bloggers, mums, non-mums (what’s the ‘correct’ term for us? Anyone?), professional bloggers, hobbyists, up-and-comers, legends, young bloggers and more *ahem* mature bloggers (I count myself in that demographic), lean bloggers and rounder bloggers (me again), extroverted bloggers who worked the room, and bloggers who you could tell were a bit more introverted (that’s me too).

The buzz in the room was great, phones were out, selfies galore were being taken and the food and wine was going down a treat.

Sharon and I had the pleasure of meeting and befriending the gorgeous Rita, who is a Canadian sweetheart/firecracker who followed true love all the way to Melbourne, via Rome. You can read about that here on Rita’s lovely blog. Hey Rita, great to meet you!

I also got talking to Quett, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Olympus booth at #pbevent earlier in the year, and faster than you could say shutter speed, he whipped out his phone and was showing me his new blog! Hooray, another convert to blogging!

Quett’s blog is called The Subconscious Manscape, and here’s his blog’s first post. I think his blog is super cool. I was telling Sharon (and anyone else who’d listen) that Quett doesn’t have blood coursing through his veins, he’s powered by liquid enthusiasm. I love that! People with light in their eyes and animation in their voices, they’re my kind of peeps (and by the way, those people can be introverts or extroverts, neither has a monopoly on passion).

It was great to meet bloggers who I’ve only communicated online with, I’m looking at you Josefa, to share squeezes and chats with some of the awesome chicks I’ve met at other events, or through Blog With Pip. I even got my smiling face on the KidspotSocial Instagram feed. Woo-hoo!

I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the venue, the DJ (Stefanovic-esque ‘awards’ music notwithstanding), the awards, the people, and being served by friendly staff, who proffered bottles of lovely libations, and carried tray after tray of delicious morsels my way all night long. That’s the way to this blogger’s heart.

The ultimate highlight of the night was that it was about celebrating blogging in all its forms. I found it so inspiring to be in a room filled with people who share a common passion.That passion, whether we blog about style, motherhood, technology, photography, our lives or love of craft, is to get our words out there into cyberspace, hoping to find people who we can connect with, befriend, learn from, be useful to, share our observations about life with and inform and entertain. That’s the heart of blogging, plain and simple.

Well done Kidspot team! Thank you so, so much. I’m so glad that I got to be there last night.

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The goodie bag was so good!

Tell me a blog you love in the comments (not your own!). Why do you love it? How did you find it? Spill!

Annette xx


My Thanksgiving Top 27

I’m confident my American friends won’t mind if I share a little of what’s making me smile and feel happy on this Thanksgiving Thursday, while they’re busily passing the steamed, candied, or roasted yams around.

It is a beautiful spring day here in Melbourne, so there’s that to be thankful for.

Here, in no particular order are 27 other things I’m thankful for, giddy over, tickled pink by or chuffed about:

1. Sunshine. Something about a sunny (but not hot) day, makes me so happy.

2. Blue skies with fluffy clouds. So uplifting and beautiful, don’t you think? Blue skies equal possibility and positivity.

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3. Chocolate. I just scoffed a few squares and they’re working their magic on my tastebuds and mood!

4. Slow roasted roma tomatoes. The oven is doing a job on a tray of them right now. I bought a 1.7 kilogram bag of juicy tomatoes for $1.99 today. Come on, that’s something to be thankful for. Which leads me to…

5. Access to very affordable, super fresh fruit and vegetables. That made me so happy I nearly danced back to the car with my box of bargains this morning.

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6. My job. I’m enjoying having something to do, and even the tiredness that comes after a day of trying to fill my brain with new facts, processes, procedures and names.

7. Paying my rent today, with money I earned. First time I’ve been able to do that in nine months. Felt so good. Thank you!

8. Bono.

9. Let me explain that one for you, I say Bono, not because he’s a rock-god, which he is, but because when I see him now, as I just did on a documentary about a photographer named Anton Corbijn, he reminds me of someone else I’m thankful to know.

10. That person is Eden Riley. Eden is a blogger, a poet, a mother, a wife, a legend and a barnacle. Eden’s blog is called Edenland and you can find it at www.edenriley.com. You should most definitely be following her if you aren’t already. Eden is in Uganda at the moment, for World Vision Australia, and her photos and posts about what she’s seeing and the people she’s meeting are something quite magical. That she’s there doing that makes me all kinds of thankful and happy. Go Eden!

11. My messy bedroom. A strange thing to be thankful for? Perhaps. But I know how good I’ll feel once I get in there and sort it out later, so it’s on the list.

12. This year of struggle and challenge. I wrote about a particular low point here yet I’m so damn thankful that this year panned out the way it did. All of it, the ups and the downs. I’m grateful.

13. This year of joy, reflection, quiet time and goodness. I have experienced so much kindness and goodness from people. I’ll always be thankful for that. You guys rock! Yes you, especially you, the ones I’ve never laid eyes on, who have been such vessels of kindness and encouragement to me. I’m not going to stop saying thank you.

14. Ms Pip Lincolne, bloggy cheery lass from Meet Me At Mike’s makes the list, because this year I’ve been her willing student, in Blog With Pip, Inspiration Information and Inspiration Information For Bloggers. Each course has taught me more than I anticipated and her tutelage has made this very blogging caper happen. Thanks Pip! Aside from being a great teacher, and a super talented lady, Pip is just happy being herself. Authentic, nothing more, nothing less. I like that about her.

15. My home. It’s my sanctuary, refuge and refueling station and I love it. I love it’s creaky floorboards and the way the breeze picks up the lace curtains in my hallway. I love having a place that is all mine, even if I don’t own it.

16. That I’m free to vote on Saturday in our state election. Even if I think there are only turds to choose between, the freedom and responsibility of making my voice heard is a privilege I am grateful for.

17. Painting. I am loving exploring the worlds of colour and effect that you can achieve with a brush, a palette, a sheet of paper and a cup of water.

18. Coffee. I love coffee. I’m thankful that in the not-too-distant future I should have enough money to get my beloved Nespresso machine fixed. Huzzah!

19. Gosh, this is getting a bit harder now – I’m thankful that I have so many things to be thankful for, and this list is making me ponder lots of them. Ha!

20. This quote. I totally agree. Do you? How’s your quest going?

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21. My friends, those who had the patience to let me be evasive, insular, mistrustful and plain weird, as I worked my way to being loving and open with them. Thank you for biding your time and putting so much into wanting to be my friend. I love you for it.

22. The internet – specifically a few social media sites where I’ve found really great and inspiring people and perspectives. Thank you Instagram. Thank you Twitter, thank you often maligned Facebook. I still love you, whatever your wacky algorithms are doing to us and our demand to reach thousands of people for FREE.

23. My brain. It’s a crowded place, but I’m so thankful for the way I think, the ways I’ve come to think the way I do, for the mysteries and marvellous things it does for me everyday. Walking, seeing, my sense of smell, all that under the hood stuff. For instance – touch typing, I mean, wow, I can type so fast and don’t have to think about it at all now. Well done brain!

24. I love you Number 24. You’re my favourite one. I like your numberliness, your lines and curves, your evenness, your sequentiality. Mwah. I love it when I see you around the place. Street numbers, signs, menu items.

25. Music. I love, love, LOVE music. I love pop music, I love The Love Boat theme, I even love lipsyncing to Whitney Houston (watch it, you’ll LOVE it!). I adore Our Kylie, early Madonna, U2, The Doobie Brothers, Sting, The Beatles, I love so many different singers. Thank you musicians of the world for providing the soundtrack to my life.

26. Oh, I’m sad that I’m running out of numbers. I am thankful that I know how to be exceedingly SILLY. It is so good to just be a FOOL sometimes. See above lipsync for an example. Don’t take yourself so seriously okay? Pull a face, dance at the supermarket, nobody cares, and if anyone really gets upset by a bit of tomfoolery, you’re better off without them.

I’m really super grateful that I can think of way more than 27 things to be thankful for. How good is that?

27. Lastly, for today, I am thankful to you for reading my blog. It means so much to me. I am so happy to be a blogger. Truly. It’s so ace here. I don’t care about the talk about competitiveness and nastiness and the ‘popular’ kids – I just don’t buy into it. I don’t need to. I love my blog, I love the blogs I follow. Live and let blog, I say!

So, there are 27 things that make me say THANKS. I hope that you can think of 27 things that make you happy and grateful.

Feel free to share a few in the comments. I’d love to know what is making you joyful.


Annette xx




Reflections from ProBlogger 2014 – Part 1, The Tears

Last week I attended my first blogging conference.


Wait, I did what?

My blog is only six months old, I don’t write ‘consistently’, and I do not have any kind of editorial calendar or strategy. I’ve only looked at my stats two or three times (stats leave me feeling queasy) – and yet off I trotted to the Gold Coast last week, to attend the ProBlogger Training Event 2014.

It was a fantastic event, and yet on some level, I found it quite an overwhelming event to attend. Not that people weren’t lovely, they all were. Queensland put on gorgeous weather, the QT Hotel was lovely, the food was AMAZING, it looked set to be a great weekend.


But before I went to bed on Thursday night, having spent a few hours with some RAD ladies from my Blog With Pip course, I recognised that I felt, well, a bit jangly. Unnerved. Anxious. Like tears were in my immediate future. I was so right!

Darren Rowse’s Friday morning keynote was sensational – he reminded me that bloggers are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Phew, I fit in the ordinary part of that equation, maybe extraordinary is in my future. And I definitely need to see the LEGO movie, stat!

Pat Flynn, a blogging guru I freely admit I’d never heard of before his name got attached to #pbevent, was also a great speaker to listen to – entertaining, informative, enthusiastic. I’ve had Backstreet Boys tunes running through my mind all week thanks to his illustrations about his wife’s obsession with those dance steppin’, love croonin’ lads. Pat told us that just like the Backstreet Boys have raving fans, bloggers can have raving fans too. I know this is true, because I am a raving fan of Styling You, Woogsworld, Meet Me At Mikes, BabyMac and quite a few more… so the morning’s teaching was excellent. Top notch.

Strange then, that not 10 minutes later I was crying into my fruit salad during the morning tea break. It could have been the sheer number of humans crammed around those tables trying to get themselves some juicy slices of watermelon, but I think it was more of an overwhelming moment of  ‘what the hell am I doing here?!’.

Luckily, I had just introduced myself to Kylie from Life, Love & Lattes, and she coped admirably with my little meltdown. Thank you so much Kylie. Seriously, #pbevent MVP right there!

I managed to pull myself together enough to attend the next session, which was again, fantastic. But at the end of that session, the tears returned, and I retreated upstairs to the bloggers’ lounge (thank you SO MUCH for providing that space for we intoverts, and for the correct apostrophe placement #pbevent team) where I sat crying for quite some time. I was feeling ALL OF THE THINGS and couldn’t quite work out which one was the eye of the storm. So, I did what any writer does, I put pen to paper to try and make some sense of my feelings.

I felt overwhelmed. I felt really confronted by having a few, JUST A FEW – maybe four, people recognise me and say they liked my blog or loved my Instagram feed… I don’t know if I can describe how surreal the feeling of being recognised live in person, in the real world, not from behind a computer screen, is. I felt vulnerable and like I didn’t know what to say to them, I felt unimpressive and awkward. I was so taken aback by that feeling, as I had expected to totally enjoy the face to face meet-ups and find them super uplifting and easy. (Let’s clarify that I DID enjoy meeting people, I had some fab conversations, I just had some issues acclimatising to face to face contact!)

That morning, I felt unsure of myself and out of my depth. I felt like a total wanker for having business cards in my bag. I won’t say I felt like a fraud, because I love blogging and want to get better and better at it, but I felt almost all the other things, and it was a really exhausting morning.

Later in the day, with my composure tenuously in place, I sidled over to Beth from BabyMac before a session, and we had a wee chat, where I CRIED AGAIN. Oh my gawd. Beth has been someone who probably without even realising it, has been a massive encouragement to me as I’ve started out on the blogging journey. So I was crying, again, and Beth was so kind to me (winning at being the same IRL/URL) and she assured me that it is indeed weird to be recognised for something we do in isolation, but that people are generally lovely. The fab Mrs Woog (why does it feel really overly intimate to call her Kayte??) also came and joined in our convo, and offered me a squirt of Rescue Remedy. Bless! I love those ladies. Seriously, you two, you’re AWESOME.

Thankfully, that was the end of the tears at ProBlogger, but it is only one aspect of the amazing weekend that we had together.

I want to really ponder the things I heard and reflect on the awesome people I got to meet, but if I try to do that all in one post, it will be too much.

Now that the tears have been mopped up, and I’m back at home, I’m going to read through my notes, ponder the beautiful people I got to meet and share stories and laughs with, and I’ll fill you in with Part 2, The People, really soon.

One thing before I sign off for today – I want you to know that I appreciate every single one of you that reads my blog – I truly do. I appreciate your comments (blogger oxygen), your encouragement, your ‘likes’ on my Instagram feed and Facebook page, your favourite & retweet button pressing on Twitter, your laughter, and your baking prowess. Without you, this is pointless.

And as fabulous as that QT Hotel bed was, there really is no place like home. Just me and my laptop, and all of you.


Annette xxx