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MAD about the night – Mad Blog Awards 2014


Here I am outside the Kensington Gardens Hotel last Friday before the Mad (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards, one hot and slightly sweaty third of Team Honk. I persuaded the lady at the make up counter in Boots to do my make up, only to feel it melting off in the late September heat. I should have booked a make up slot, with the amazing Powder Puff Girls!

I had spent the day eating my way round East London on an incredible food tour, which combined with pre ceremony nerves and getting changed in the basement disabled toilet of the hotel, which was sweltering, meant I turned up to the bar hot and bothered, in shoes I could barely move in. They are so fabulously glamorous, but quite frankly I feel like a man in drag walking in them, if that makes any sense?

Any way, after a few virgin mojiotos in the bar with Team Honk buddies and Jen, I soon cooled off.



And we realised we better attempt some full length outfit shots before we got to involved in the night and forgot. Suffice to say they won’t make the cover of Vogue, but they did make me giggle.


My dress is from TOAST, I bought it for my brother’s wedding, knowing I would wear it again and again.  The utterly impractical shoes are Carvella, let’s just say I spent a lot of the wedding in stockinged feet and that the minute I left the MADs, I put on my trainers!

I made a friend. I decided Picachu (sp?) was less risky to have ones photo taken with than the award presenter, children’s television’s Dr Ranj, who was hysterical and risqué in equal measure. After all that food, Mr Picachu and I had that round, slightly dazed thing in common.

mad blog awards pikachu

Credit – Tom Arber Photography

And Team Honk won the Outstanding Contribution Category, though quite frankly all the women in that category are absolute winners in my book. We were gobsmacked. We lifted our chins off the ground and somehow something came out of my mouth about dedicating it to all of you who took part in Team Honk events and applauding the other amazing finalists. Thank you to Suzanne and Kara for the really moving video tribute.

Its always felt strange winning an award as Team Honk –  Annie, Tanya and I are brought together for one dazzling moment, after months of talking through the computer, and there is never enough time to celebrate or reflect together. Friday was no exception, I had to leave before the awards finished to get the last train home.  It would be amazing to fill a room with all the people who got involved in Team Honk and have a great BIG party. Maybe in 2015 we can make that happen?

I will leave you with the one where Liz and Jen joined Tanya, Annie and me for an arrival pic. Look, it goes from silly (but utterly perfect picture of T) to faux serious down the line (oh so Annie!)

mad blog awards

Tanya, Liz, Jen, Me, Annie Credit – Tom Arber Photography

I’ve been reflecting a lot on blogging too after the night, after finding some new blogs I couldn’t put down.  My other blog, A Residence is part of Wayfair.co.uk, which is really exciting, I’m enjoying writing more about food, homes and gardens – all topics I always enjoyed. That blog had grown and blossomed into something new and I’m thrilled for it.

I came away from the night realising it was time to go a bit retro, to write about my feelings a bit more. To get back to telling my stories with words and pictures, to my writing, to diarising my life, which is where I began four years ago.

So I’m going to do it here. And make some new blog friends. Just as I did when I first started A Residence. And keep up with some old friends too. I hope you will join me.

Thanks Sally and MADs team for an amazing night. To the Royal Kensington Gardens for a glittering venue and lovely food. To all the sponsors, especially Thorntons who sponsored the Outstanding Contribution category.  A wonderful Mad Blog Awards 2014.



PS I registered this blog with the TOTS at last hurrah! (now that my other blog is no longer eligible).

PPS. The flash mob was inspired and if only my brother hadn’t chosen the rehearsal date as his wedding day hey!



  1. 25/09/2014 / 2:47 pm

    Congratulations on the MADs win, Team Honk certainly deserved the win after everything you three have done to help raise awareness of Comic Relief.

  2. susanna
    25/09/2014 / 3:52 pm

    I love it when you find a dress you can wear over and over again. Congrats on (another) award!

  3. 25/09/2014 / 4:09 pm

    Massive congrats on the award – totally deserved.
    I spend my life in ridiculously high shoes that my feet will never thank me for. You looked gorgeous and I love that outfit xx

  4. 25/09/2014 / 9:17 pm

    congrats on the win, and I wish I was there to see all the festivities at the MADS. Next year, even if it’s just to be silly 😀

  5. 25/09/2014 / 9:52 pm

    I love your photos – especially the one with the five of you lovely ladies!

    I’m so sad that I missed it but it looks like a fab night x x

  6. 26/09/2014 / 5:49 am

    Well done Penny! Well deserved. I’m trying to incorporate my personal posts into my new blog and making recipes into a story telling exercise.I’ve never been a writer despite have so much to say.

  7. Carolin
    26/09/2014 / 10:31 am

    I love your dress, you looked beautiful in it. Congrats again on winning. It looks like you all had a fantastic night x

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