Fate Meets London’s Bloggers Bash

Boxes packed and ready to goSometimes fate is created with a hint of timing, a splash of coincidence, and a whole gallon of serendipity.

When our ceiling caved in from our demon washing machine, contractors and workers descended on our home. At first, I thought water damaged three rooms. Then we discovered ALL of the wood floors would have to be refinished. We would have to move out. Danny mentioned going on a vacation, but I couldn’t imagine where. East coast? West coast? The south somewhere?

“Lets go to Europe,” he said.

How could we throw a European vacation together that fast. I was still reeling from my brother’s death.

One week out of the house became two. When we learned we would have to move out for three and a half weeks, starting June 2nd, I had to sit down. That’s a humongous trip to plan and we didn’t have a lot of time.

A hint of timing walked into the room.

While sitting down, I calmed myself by reading a few blogs. I found Sacha Blacks’ post about the Bloggers Bash being held in London. It would be held on June 10th. Whoa!

Danny read the paper next to me.

“There’s a bloggers bash in London on the 10th. Maybe we could start in Scotland and then hit the Bash.”

Danny was all in.

London became our first pin on the map. The plan to travel Europe was born. I paid the $20 for the two of us online and we grew our trip from there, forward and backward. We traveled all around Scotland, stayed for a long weekend in London, hung out in Paris for eight days, then drove to Antwerp, Amsterdam and Bruges.

Then coincidence arrived:

After an adventurous week in Scotland including living in a castle and touring several others, we met a blogger on an island who showed us standing rocks. Then I was contacted by another blogger.

To say I was excited to meet Vanessa-Jane Chapman would be an understatement. Vanessa read my blog post about preparing for the UK, so she contacted me through Facebook. After giving her the deets, we couldn’t believe our good luck! She only makes an appearance once a month in London blocks away from our hotel. We could meet for dinner!

Hanging out with Vanessa-Jane in London

Just like so many other blogger meetups, Vanessa-Jane was just as lovely in person. Bubbly and full of energy, especially for someone who had worked all day and then taken the train into London, we recognized each other immediately!

We shared writing stories while Danny patiently nursed a beer happy to relax after a hectic day of travel. We discovered we knew each other through bloggers like Darla of She’s a Maineiac, Peg from Pegoleg’s Ramblings, Jules from Go Jules Go, and Paul from The Good Greatsby. We recalled the good old days when our first circle of friends posted a few times a week.

We caught up over happy hour and nibbles at one noisy bar then found a quieter spot across the way.

Vanessa is multi-talented, wild riders. She not only writes cookbooks and is working on her memoir, she has performed standup, is a mum to two fine children, and also sings with a band! Unfortunately, she didn’t have a gig that weekend. Dang! Danny and I would have been in the front row as super fans.

Like I say to all of my blogging friends, “Look us up if you ever come to Colorado!”

Saturated by Serendipity at the Bloggers Bash:

The next morning my heart beat wildly in my chest. Nope, it wasn’t a heart attack. It was excitement and maybe just a wee bit of anxiety over the original reason why we came to Europe. The London Bloggers Bash! I would meet icons like Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News, the famous organizer Sacha Black from the blog of the same name, (Go buy her new book on how to write superbad villains, here) and several of my blogging favorites, like Suzie from Suzie Speaks!

Danny and I stayed at the Grange Wellington where the bash was held; a beautiful hotel not far from Victoria’s Station. After a fabulous English breakfast (I miss those epic feasts in Scotland and England. Granola just isn’t cutting it), we took the “lift” upstairs and poked our heads inside the conference room. I recognized Hugh from his dashing profile picture.

Being the subtle Colorado girl that I am, I fan-girled out and shouted, “It’s Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News!” Once I calmed myself, I introduced myself to the blogging icon, Sacha Black. Then I dismissed myself since they were still setting up. Ahem.

Matt, looking on, and our hosts Sacha, Hugh and Ali from Ali Isaac Storyteller.

Matt, Sacha, Hugh, Allie look on

An hour later, Danny went for a tour of London while I met Graeme Cumming who signed me in to the Bloggers Bash. Then I came face to face with the fabulous Suzie from Suzie81Speaks and Elena Peters of Pinterest fame. Very sweet Helen Jones from Journey to Ambeth (a doppelganger for Uma Thurman) and the Lively Miss Lucy from Blonde Write More. That girl emanates energy and positivity like a beacon! Through reading their blogs, I felt like we’d already met. Then I had the pleasure of meeting Ritu from But I Smile Anyway, who won the well-deserved top Bloggers Bash award (none of us can imagine how she finds the time to blog and promote others while raising kids!), and Matt from Gay Stepdad who took second in the humor category.

Elena, Suzie and me!

Elena, Suzie and Susie meet up in London

I found my peoples! Yes, peoples with an s.

London's Bloggers Bash

Although short, the conference was well organized and kept a brisk pace of thirty minutes per topic. Geoff from Tangental, a natural to the stage, emceed. The guy should have his own show! Then Sacha kicked things off with a brilliant and inspiring speech to around forty of us in attendance. Awards were given out while Hugh recorded on Facebook Live. After a break for lunch we got down to blogging business, literally, with an eye opener from Suzie about monetizing your blog, followed up by an informative lecture about how to become a master at Pinterest by Elena Peters. After a few more short sessions it was time for the best part, blogging happy hour.

Lucy, Graeme, Helen and Geoff.

Lucy, Graham, Helen and Geoff

Then a nice lady walked up to me and said, “I tweeted you this morning.” It was the red-headed horoscope blogger and poet, Sue Vincent!!! (Bottom left corner)

Top row- The very lovely Marge from MJ Mallon Author, Ritu, and Willow from Willow Dot 21.

Bottom right – The very enthusiastic and force of positivity, Eloise De Sousa and Alexina Golding from BookStormer.

Bloggers Bash friends

These are only a few photos of the wonderful bloggers who attended. For the complete list, click to Hugh’s complete list here.

How a fateful water leak led to serendipitous blogger meetups and the Bloggers Bash in London.I ran up to get my jacket and missed the gang who went out for dinner. Danny and I dined nearby, then walked back and found Hugh, Ali and Helen chatting on a couch in the lobby. “Geoff ran back to find you, but you had already gone!”

“What?” Wow. They had walked to Victoria’s Station and realized we weren’t there. How cool is this group of bloggers? Although I’ve been blogging for six years, I was a completely new face to most of them. We made instant connections!

Friendships can develop through all means, but they all start with a conversation. Bloggers are penpals. We write about our lives and share them with others. Words can bridge thousands of miles. I’m thankful for my demon washing machine and the twist of fate which brought all of us together starting in Scotland with Barb Taub.

Nervous about meeting bloggers in real life? Come with a smile and an open heart. It doesn’t take too much to bond. We are similar creatures and always have a story to tell!

Related posts:

My Demon Washing Machine is Haunted

I Celebrated a Birthday, But Failed to Save a Life

When Destiny Packs Your Bags

Scotland – So Far, So Very Good – Photo Essay

Crossing Paths with Mary, Queen of Scots in Scotland

Scotland’s Culloden House, Loch Ness, and Barb Taub’s Arran Island

70 thoughts on “Fate Meets London’s Bloggers Bash

    • It was fantastic to meet all of you! I wished it would have lasted longer. I didn’t get a chance to meet everyone!
      The house is quiet for now, but there’s a lot more to be done. GAH! How is your summer going?
      Thanks for stopping by, Willow! Always great to “see” you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sounds like quite an adventure – I’ve met only one blogger before – Patricia from JansenSchmidt when I was in Mississippi the past January. It was fun to meet and talk. I came close with you a few years back when you were in Michigan for a wedding. I hope your home is in order after your vacation – our AC is out at home and our son (who’s at home) is taking care of the repair via a contractor – I can’t imagine being gone for 3 weeks. After the conference, your head must be swimming! Have a great week.

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    • I would love to meet Patricia! She’s on my list and I’ve never been to Mississippi.
      I can’t imagine living without AC in the Midwest with this hot weather. Hope it’s fixed soon.
      I could’ve stayed another month. That was the biggest surprise of all. I guess I’m a wild travel adventurer at heart.
      Thanks Clay!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How wonderful everything sounds! I can’t believe you met all those fabulous bloggers, especially Vanessa-Jane who is such a sweetie. I know we’d all be besties if we met in real life.

    I’m extending the same invite as you did, but to Illinois. If you’re ever in the Chicago area, Susie, let me know and I’ll road-trip up to meet you. It would be epic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow – that’s quite a list of happenstances. I’m so glad it all worked out. You truly are adventurous. I hope things went okay on the homefront while you were away. Contractors are not always the most reliable people so leaving them alone to complete a project was a huge risk alone.

    Looking forward to more fabulous blogs.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    • I’m so glad the house was painted the proper colors, but they still have the original rooms to finish. Isn’t that ironic? The trim had to be remilled since they discontinued it. Took for freaking ever!
      It was great meeting everyone! From there we stepped into a nightmare in Paris. More to come!

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  4. Yep I echo the above; thank you for the kind compliment – my own show? Hmm, I think my family are screaming noooo at this point! And I felt so guilty that we left you behind, hence the dash back to see if you were still about. I’m glad you found the trio with Hugh later to explain what happened. And look forward to the next time. So lovely to read this reminder of a lovely day.

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  5. Lovely to see your post about the bloggers bash. They can’t come often enough, once you’ve been to one you get well and truly hooked. Hope to meet up again at the 2018 one, it was so wonderful meeting up with you in person Susie. Sounds like you have had quite some travelling adventures. I am so jealous! Until the next time. Xx

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    • Hey, Marje! So great to “see” you!
      I would love to come again. The day raced by too quickly and I wish I had at least a few more hours. The adventure continued. Enough blog fodder to last until Christmas. Ha! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You and Danny have amazing accents. I could have listened to you all day. It was so nice to meet you Susie. You are such an inspiration and talking about your writing process really got me fired up. Your book sounds amazing! When I am doing my American book tour (sigh) I will call in 🙂

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    • Hello Lucy! So great to “see” you!
      I really enjoyed meeting you. Loved your infectious energy! Thank you so much. I’m still working on my first, but I keep thinking about Pulitzer Prize winner, Donna Tartt who takes 10 years with each book. Ten years! Definitely let me know when you hit the circuit! Come find me in Colorado!

      Like

  7. It was great to read this post Suzie, I was one of the ones watching in from Facebook live. Love your descriptions and summary of the day. What a wonderful way to get out of the house!! Thanks for sharing with us who couldn’t get there, maybe next year, although it’s a long way from Australia, I’m going to try!!

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    • These people are amazing. Each one so inspiring, warm and open to making new friends. I wish I lived closer too! I’m glad you saw it through Hugh’s effort. I didn’t even meet everyone! I guess I’ll have to go back. Ha!
      Thanks so much, Debbie!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So glad you got to do this, Susie. As we recently talked about, my meet-up in London is definitely the highlight of my blogging life. But you were able to meet so many more! We are overdue on our trip to Denver to visit our good friends. When we get around to planning that, I’ll give you a heads up and Patty and I can come up to Boulder to meet you and Danny.

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  9. A lovely recap of a great day, Susie! It was such a pleasure meeting you – thanks to your demon washing machine 🙂 Hopefully we’ll see you at another Bash in the future xx

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  10. Dashing? Me? What a lovely compliment, Susie. Thank you so much for making the trip and including The Bloggers Bash on your tour of Europe. It was lovely to meet you and I’m so glad we had a chance to talk after the event. We’re already planning next year’s event and I hope you (and Danny) will be able to join us again. This blogging world of ours is a place of many frienships that are going to last lifetimes, even with the distance in locations between us.
    Give my thanks to demon washing machine who, without, we may have never met.

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    • I’ll be sure to share your gratitude with my demon washing machine. The trim in the rooms had to be remilled, so they’re still painting!
      Yes! That is what I love the most about blogging and didn’t expect. I have met people all over the world and will try to meet them in real life when possible. Personal bloggers like us, get to know each other better than some of our friends and acquaintances who don’t read our posts since we share all the crazy stuff that happens. I still think half my book club hasn’t stopped by the Wild Ride. Ha!
      With flight prices plummeting and the availability of Airbnb, you never know! Maybe we’ll make another appearance sooner than later. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It was so great to meet you both, and thank you for the lovely things you said about me here 🙂 I’ve been meaning to post about our meet up too but haven’t posted anything for ages! I must must must soon. Glad the blogger’s bash was fab too, maybe I’ll try to join that next year. Hope everything is good now in your house. I’ll look forward to hearing about Paris in another post soon?

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    • Yes! I’m so glad the stars aligned and we got to meet you! They still haven’t finished painting since the trim had to be remilled and it took forever. I’ve lost a lot of writing time while going through the pain of remodeling, but can’t complain because of the bonus of going to Europe! I can’t wait to go back to normal.
      I’m hoping to get ahead on posts this week. *fingers crossed*

      Like

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  13. Just catching up! This sounds so great! Part of the reason I joined the blogging world was to find some sort of community/support/writer’s group to feed off of and it sounds like you found everything in one wild rider trip to Europe. I’m so glad everything worked out and you met all these members of the community which left you inspired on different levels. Good post!

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