Last night the lovely people at OPR organised the very first North East Blogger Awards at Lane 7. I was delighted to find out I was a finalist in the 'Best Travel blog' category. Travel is one of my absolute favourite things to write about. On the night, Rachel from Life in Geordieland walked away with this trophy. I honestly did not mind at all as Rachel's blog is one of my favourite's. Her passion for Tyneside always shines through in her posts and she truly was a deserving winner.
At the end of the evening, the lovely Kari from OPR stepped onto the stage to announce the North East Blogger of the year. This could have been anybody and in no way did I think it could be me!
Kari started saying lots of lovely things about the winning blog including 'Our blog of the year showcases the best the the North East has to offer', 'supports other North East blogs' and 'is fantastic at utilising social media'. I did think - hmmmm I do all of these things but still did not believe it would be me! Then Kari finally announced, 'The winner is North East Family Fun'. OMG! This is one of the few times in my life I have been in shock (I think only other was after I'd unexpectedly given birth at home). Thank goodness I didn't have to make a speech as I could barely walk never mind talk! The photographer was trying to direct us for a photograph and I just couldn't take in what he was saying which was weird.
The rest of the evening was over in a whirl, I was photographed, interviewed, hugged and lots of lovely people popped over to congratulate me and say I really deserved it. This really means a lot so thank you all!
When I was at school I was a straight A student across the board and if you are capable, you are pushed into more academic subjects. I ended up taking Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths A Levels and then onto a degree in Genetics (which I subsequently dropped out of). This just wasn't me.
At school my favourite subjects were Media studies and English. I loved creative writing and have fond memories of pouring over classics such as 'To Kill and Mockingbird'. In Media studies my favourite ever project was creating our own magazine for our coursework and in fact it helped me win the 'best media studies' student prize. I really wish back then I had followed my heart and pursued a career in the media rather than wasting a good few years of my life!
Fast forward to now and I have been blogging for approximately two years. I do cringe when I read my first ever post (you can read it here) and will say I have come a long way since then. Blogging is my true vocation and it now actually consumes every part of my life. I am thankful for all of the wonderful opportunities I have been able to enjoy thanks to blogging, but it is a lot of hard work so it really means a lot to receive recognition.
I absolutely love blogging and think it is something I will probably do in some shape of form for the considerable future. It is my creative outlet, a place that challenges me, a place where I feel a strong sense of community, a place to record precious memories and photographs and definitely something I feel proud of. The North East plays a huge part in my blog and I will always shout loud and proud about our region. I'm pleased my blog gives me a platform in which to do this.
I feel in a constant state of having so much I want to see, do and write about - in the next year I hope to concentrate a little more on vlogging (find us on Youtube here) and I am launching a new #LoveNorthEast linky next month to share the best of the the North East from our talented local bloggers.
Thank you so much to everybody who reads my blog, to my family and friends who I drag along to countless blogging missions, my husband Steve who has to let me photograph his food before he can tuck in when we are eating out and who has to share custody of our beloved MacBook and to OPR, Lane 7 and all of the sponsors for such a wonderful evening.
I'll be blogging about the rest of the evening and all the gossip in a separate post but for now, you can check out North East family fun in The Journal and on Tyne Tees News.