OH HI EVERYONE.
That’s me trying to fake some Monday enthusiasm. Y’know when you’ve just had a really good weekend, jam-packed with superb food, drink and even more superb people and the reality of a Monday morning is just a bit harrowing?
So, last week I jetted off (I mean, there was no air travel involved, but there was a train, so erm yeah) with a group of bloggers and Team Etsy for a two-day stay in Brighton to meet some sellers, drink cocktails and take Instagram snaps of The Artist Residence from every angle possible.
Last Tuesday started off with me basically having an asthma attack in the first class carriage from Ipswich to London Liverpool Street because omg Ipswich traffic when it rains feels a bit like in one of those disaster movies when everyone packs up their car with all their belongings to escape a hurricane/flood/fake monster, and yeah, I nearly missed my train.
There was back sweat galore tbh.
I was really overly aware of the fact I didn’t look business-y enough to be sitting in first class so kept playing on my phone, which probably made me look more like a gangster teenager who was bunking, but whatevs. (It was cheaper to buy first class when booked in advance, for realz).
We met the rest of team #EtsyBloggerSleepover and then proceeded to annoy every other person on the 11.09 train to Brighton with our whirlwind of coffee, chocolate croissants, vlogging and chatter about all things blogging.
I have a real ugly habit of meeting a fellow blogger and then two minutes later being knee-deep in gossips about affiliates, haters, agencies and sponsored posts.
It’s like I save it up inside my soul and try not to penetrate Rudey and Chris with all my business chat and then word vomit it all over a fellow blogger. I treat them like my work therapist. It’s cute. I like to think it bonds us together. Right, RIGHT?
We swung by SILO for lunch which is a short walk from the station and stopped to pose by every pastel coloured door on the way down like blogger clichés, because Instagram, before getting down to an afternoon of crafts, froyo and pink lemonade.
We got started with a workshop on producing flower dresses on paper run by Georgie St Clair and then we made cute little pieces of jewellery with laser cut dinosaurs on with another workshop run by Designosaur. I made a bracelet with cute pastel little babies on and added it to my wrist collection of £1 Turkish beaded bracelet, Monica Vinader friendship bracelet and Daniel Wellington watch because that’s just how Hannah Gale rolls. Yeah huh.
Etsy had organised for lots of Etsy sellers to all come down and recreate their desks in a space for us so we could see how they worked and also ask them a bazillion questions – naturally I honed in on the cat desk of dreams which belonged to Toby from I Like Cats. BEST. SHOP. NAME. EVER.
He basically produces 7834563478 different cat illustrated pieces – from cute postcards (I’ve got a couple that 100% will be framed and propped up on shelves around the house whether Chris likes it or not – tbh it’ll probs be Rudey who’s clawing them down with jealousy, the little pest), to brooches and t-shirts and tote bags.
I just had a little scroll through Toby’s shop after putting in the link there and omg, it’s better than my ASOS saved items page. And breathe. And breathe.
(BRB that just reminded me to check my ASOS saved items for any new sale items…)
After an afternoon of crafting and feeling a bit like I was back at school (in the best way possible – kinda like I was in activity week again, with less flirting) we headed on to our seriously sassy boutique hotel.
I just played that game where I rolled around my bed and listened to the radio for ages before I actually moved on to the whole showering/curling my hair/taking 37 different selfies game.
But seriously, having an excuse to do my make-up heavily enough for peak selfie game was a real delight. Y’know when you like use 4 different eye shadows, foundation, concealer, powder, contour powder, bronzer, blusher and 387674 different products and you’re like fuck I look like Kim Kardashian right now, my selfie game is well on point? Yeah, that.
I met the rest of the gals for cocktails in the hotel bar and we took turns arranging our drinks for bird’s-eye snaps for our Insta grid. Oh wait, what, you didn’t realise how much painstaking time and effort goes into getting the right snap? You is well wrong, babes.
Then we headed on round the corner for the most divine dinner I’ve had in ages. Let me just throw a few food groups at you. Macaroni cheese. Chips. Fried chicken. Bread. Seafood. Chocolate cake. Like come to mumma. Every day. All day.
We ate at The New Club, and despite arriving a teeny tiny bit late because cocktails, the chef was amazing and made tailored meals for the girls with allergies and food preferences. Next time I’m back in sunny ol’ Sussex to see my family and pals, I am 100% heading back. It was like, really good quality comfort food and that’s my favourite every damn time.
P.S. I’m soz I keep saying 100%. It’s my new favourite word if it even counts as a word and I know it’s incredibly dull, I wish I was saying wizard or magic or something clever instead :(:(:(
I was really annoyed at myself because I wanted to be fun and cool and hip and happening but I had the worst headache, it like, took over my brain. I get them sometimes on full on days, or days where my adrenaline levels are up and down, and once they hit me they won’t go away until I’ve slept them off. The absolute ogres.
So yeah, I wasn’t as hip as I’d hoped. Although I was wearing pyjamas with foxes on, so swings and roundabouts.
I think I fell asleep at about 1am, after Sarah had to call the night staff up to help me turn my lights off like a small child on holiday without her parents, FFS. I’m such an embarrassment, no-one take me away again.
We woke up to sunshine, coffee and some seriously good homemade baked beans before a morning of exploring local shops that stocked Etsy produce (including Snooper’s Paradise where we crammed into a photo booth and took some hideous photos that only proved I should wear my full on Kim K make-up all day every day, and that maybe I shoulda washed my hair, but whatcha gonna do).
Before finishing off our trip with lunch boxes from Eat Naked crammed with vegan goodness (not vegan, just FYI in case anyone was concerned for my well being) on the beach.
And then I had to drag my stupidly heavy overnight bag back to London for meetings and evening events and omg my back hurt and my bag’s handle snapped as I ran for the train back to Victoria and I swore loudly and it was a hideous moment for all involved.
So yeah, that was the Etsy Blogger Sleepover summarised in a sweet 1300 words, no biggie.
I feel on a bit of a come down writing this. It’s hard to get my mojo back with the cat crying at me every couple of seconds because she’s bored af and because of the ridiculous loneliness that engulfs you when you work from home.
When you’re surrounded by people just like you that get what you do and then you’re taken away from them, even if you’ve never met them in real life before, there’s this real feeling of maybe missing a few toes. It doesn’t feel quite right and it’s hideous to get used to again.
So yeah that. Here’s a little high five to new online friends I’m already despo to have sleepovers with again. You is all aces.
And another high five to Etsy, for giving me two days away that have resulted in a comdown, they were THAT good.