Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books of the eighties? What happened in the story was up to you. A fork in the road? Left or right? You’d turn to the page and the story would unfold based on your selection. I invariably made choices that saw me dead or imprisoned within three pages. Last weekend my life seemed more like a novel than my everyday existence. I must make better choices than I did in my teens though - I returned from the weekend alive and avoided incarceration!
If my Kidspot Voices of 2013 weekend were a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, it would look a little like this....
Your blog is named 1 of 25 best food and well being blogs in the country. You’re invited to a party in Sydney. Do you:
a) feel super chuffed, politely decline their invitation and stay at home snuggled up in your comfort zone, or
b) boldly (and uncharacteristically) book an airfare and turn to twitter for a hotel recommendation?
I chose B – but you knew that already – it wouldn’t have been much of a story otherwise.
You’re chatting to your Mum about the event, when it occurs to you that she could do with a night in a fancy hotel. Do you:
a) invite her to join you, or
b) zip it?
I gave Mum the call up.
While obsessing over monitoring the #voicesof2013 hashtag closely, you spot MrsDplus3’s request for a room to get ready in. Do you:
a) mind your own business
b) risk seeming weird and invite her back to your hotel?
Congratulations - you now have a fabulous partner-in-crime for the evening - waaaay less nerve-wracking arriving at the launch party when you already have a mate.
You wake up early Saturday morning with a foggy head and realise that the zip on your case doesn’t close. You beg your Brother-in-law to swap and jam your clothes in his bag so you can avoid checking a bag. Your husband drops you at the airport and you board a plane alone for the first time in seven (!) years. Upon landing in Sydney, you can exit the plane from the
a) forward or
b) rear door.
Well done Amanda. You’ve just glimpsed David’s good mate Lance, who’s commuting to work. You chat on the way to the baggage carosel, while he carries your too-heavy borrowed bag. You snap a selfie, give him a kiss and go find Mum.
You’ve checked into your hotel, dropped your bag, kissed your Mum and travelled by cab to the Masterclass. While wandering up and down Dunning Avenue you spy another girl who seems to be looking for something too. Do you:
a) say nothing, or
b) risk looking like an oddball, and ask if she’s also looking for something ‘bloggy’.
Nice work! You’ve just met the lovely Kate from Finger, Fork, Knife. Her lovely blog is later voted one of Australia’s top 5 food blogs.
Arriving with just a few moments to spare, you scan the crowd of faces, but don’t see anyone you immediately recognise. Do you:
a) continue desperately searching, or
b) plonk yourself down next to Kate at the closest table.
Closest table – didn’t want to draw unnecessary attention to myself.
Well done! You’ve just landed yourself at the table with Lydia from Pandora and Max, who feels like a long-lost friend and Mel from Coal Valley View, who iSophie told you to keep an eye out for. You spend the keynote address marvelling at Hayley Bartholomew’s drive and determination. During the break you get up and grab something tasty to eat. You chat briefly to Salwa from Salz Dummy Spit. Later, you recognise Ruth from Gourmet Girlfriend chatting with Maddie from Colour Me There. Are you:
a) cool and approach them like a normal person, or
b) blurt out something about recognising Ruth from her shoes and how Maddie’s baby makes you want to squish your own children.
CAPITAL B. I’ve never been cool. Why start now?
Continuing in that vein, when Stacey from Veggie Mama pops over to say hello; do you:
a) redeem yourself by being cool, or
b) lipstick her cheek five minutes before she’s part of the Brands and Blogs panel, because you are so ridiculously grateful to see a familiar face after making an arse with Maddie and Ruth?
You got it. b.
You can take some comfort that when you raise your hand to wipe it off, you realise you’re about to intrude on her personal space and retreat. smooth. Stacey takes it in good grace. The Masterclass wraps up all too quickly and Aleney from Boy Eats World offers you a ride back to the hotel, do you accept?
You, Aleney and Robyn chat all the way home. Back at the room, your Mum offers to skip the promised cocktail so you and Robyn can continue chatting. Do you:
a) weasel out of it, or
b) tell your Mum to get her jacket on and enjoy a glass of sparkling on the 34th floor of the Shangri la?
Cripes, even I know the right choice here.
You arrive at the launch party and drop your jacket behind a screen, you spin around and you’re standing next to Bron from Maxabella. No choice to be made there, miss. All of a sudden, you’re feeling welcome and worthy of being here. Every girl needs a Bron – perhaps we can look into producing miniature versions you can carry tucked in your bra strap for words of encouragement during moments of self doubt.
The party continues, you’re chatting and nibbling and (and need I say it) sipping. During the speeches you catch the eye of a beautiful face standing a few metres away. You smile at her and the beautiful face smiles back and shows you her name tag. Do you:
a) continue listening attentively to Katrina, or
b) quietly step sideways and give the beautiful face a hug?
b. how could I miss giving the lovely Seana Smith a long-time-coming hug?
The party wraps up and you have a choice:
a) mince down the street on feet that just aren’t used to heels, or
b) head home and call it a night.
a. of course! I was having way too much fun to head home now!
Aleney and you grimace down the hill to the pub, generous goodie bags in hand. You head downstairs to a dark bar, grab drinks and start chatting with Carly, Andrea, Christina, Lexi, Alley, Karen and Kate. Eventually you call it a night.
You wake at eight am (wait what?). While gazing out the window at the hundreds of runners taking part in the half marathon, you spot a dozen workmen looking back at you from the building across the street. You blush, you’re still in your jammies afterall, and
You and Mum pack up and wander down to Circular Quay. You're taking your sweet time, when you spot a coffee cruise departing in ten minutes, do you:
a) figure you’ll never make it
b) get your skates on, grab two bacon and egg toasties and bolt.
You’re in for a treat - one of those few perfect days in life. You sit on the roof, soak up Sydney on a Sunday. You admire the Darlinghurst properties, Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Your Mum point out her old haunts, the naval bases where she worked, and the spot Dad proposed. At this point you can:
a) ask her “which time?” or
b) let it slide.
You let it slide – winner! The tour continues , the commentary is so funny that it makes you laugh out loud at times. More naval bases, a cup of coffee and a lamington later and your Mother starts to point out all the nudist beaches - well before the lady with the microphone. It won’t make much difference to your day, but you can choose to be
Head to the airport, check your heavy borrowed bag because now you have a goody bag filled to brimming with yesterday’s loot as carry on. Fly home, squish your kids hands all the way home in the car.
Check emails, discover the local rag would like to take a pic of you and the girls cooking for the paper. You cast an eye over the kitchen and email a reply. There’s only one answer to that right? You drag your tired arse up and start putting things from the bench into washing baskets and hiding them in the spare room - it's one thing to share your messy kitchen on the interweb - it's an entirely different thing for the lady at the post office to know how you really live!
That, my friends, is how you choose your best blogging adventure so far. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read the Glasshouse Country News and sip coffee from a mug with my mug on it.
did you read choose your own adventures as a kid?
ever graced the pages of your local paper? what for?
would you have been amused or alarmed?