I am not going to latch, I think, or allow anyone to latch onto me. That’s rule number one of going to a conference where you don’t know a soul. And this is exactly where I am, let loose at the Mumsnet Blogfest on a Saturday morning at Altitude Millbank where key speakers include Miriam Gondalez Durantez, Zoe Williams and Tim Dowling and, wait for it, I can hardly believe it myself because this means I will actually be in the same room as this sexy, clever, witty woman, Caitlin Moran.
So I’m going to be cool. I’m going to observe "in manner of hot shot journalist," as Bridget Jones might say. Which is why when nice, blonde, slightly older lady, sitting next to me near the front row of the auditorium, strikes up a conversation, I am friendly but not too much.
This is like freshers' at uni. She might seem lovely but any minute she might attach herself like she’s my NBF and follow me to the toilets, saying thing like, “Shall we go grab lunch now?” before stalking me on Twitter.
I therefore answer her polite enquiries rather smugly with: “I’m a journalist,” (ha!) and then, “my blog is I Don’t Know How She Doesn’t Do It,” and then I ignore her.
I bet she’s impressed, I think, when I raise my hand and ask, in tremulous tones, what I later realise is a stupid, half-arsed question. If I’d read the programme properly I would have known they were going to cover the issue of blogging, privacy and children later.
Nice, blonde, slightly older lady, leans in to tell me her twelve year old daughter doesn’t mind being blogged about but that she is anonymous, which helps, and she changes the child’s name anyway. I read her lanyard, Eliza Gray, it says. I smile, patronisingly.
For the rest of the conference when I am not happily engaged either eating - there is loads of food and it’s all fabulous - or peeing, or pretending to need to pee so I can go in the loo and sit down and have a quiet five minutes to myself away from all the oestrogen, (actually, there’s probably rather more oestrogen in the loos), or staring out of the window at the view, I fiddle with my iPhone a LOT and constantly update my status on Facebook.
In this way I hope to look like an unflappable swan gliding serenely around, albeit in skin-tight tartan leggings, making clever notes, while beneath the surface my yellow gangly swan’s legs flap madly (stick with the metaphor here, I know it’s ropey), as I make hysterical comments on FB: “Miriam Gonzalez Durantez! Wow!” “Suzanne Moore!” “Eleanor Mills!” And my pièce de resistance: “Caitlin Moran!!!!!!!!!”
So I feel a bit of a prat when nice, blonde, slightly older lady turns out to be successful mum-blogger of '50 is the new black', and is up there under the lights on stage flirting with Tim Dowling during the closing session. Just think of the tips I could have got from nice, blonde slightly older lady.
Never mind. There’s a great goody bag which includes Caitlin Moran’s new book and a Boden umbrella. Neither to be sniffed at. And now I can stalk her on Twitter.
P.S. If you’re wondering why I’ve called this, The Best Chicken Recipe it’s because it's one of the most googled phrases ever, according to blog clinic man. So here’s mine: brown onions, add garlic, bit of chili, whack in your chicken, brown it, add chopped peppers, lots of chicken stock, herbs, S&P, leave the lid off, add crème fraiche later if you want it to thicken.