What To Say At BritMums Live?

I never thought I’d have to revise for a social event. Knowing faces without names is bad enough – but names without faces? Hellfire. Such is the conundrum faced by the newbie BritMums Live attendee. As astronomically excited as I am to be going, I am getting a little anxious. I suffer from a condition, you see. It’s called Social Amnesia.

A Tweep By Any Other Name…
I blabber with tweeps regularly. I feel like I’m getting to know them as people – their humour, their passions, their taste in booze. When I see their twitter handle, I know what to expect. But I’m not 100% on everyone’s realname. And it’s not just the first name you need to know, it’s their surname too, as just to confuse things, some people have the same first name! Honestly, there should be a law about it. If someone says, “Hi, I’m Jo”, my mind will be scrambling through all the Jo blogs (if you’ll pardon the pun!) and will leave me none the wiser. To make matters even worse, many blog names are not the same as their twitter names or their real names. Yelp! Yes, yes I know we’ll all be wearing badges, but my eyes are weak and I will have left my glasses on the train with the empty gin tins. I don’t want your first impression of me to be of someone with an unnerving interest in your bosom.
What About All The Photos, You Dunce?
Yep, I know most people have pictures of themselves on their blogs. I have one. It is me, wearing make-up, after I’ve been to the hairdresser, on a night out. Not a representative sample. Also taken at the only angle that hides the size of my nose. My point is, in real life, it is sometimes hard to recognise people…in time to convince them that you really have recognised them, and haven’t just read their badge by some eagle-eye-ish mastery.
The Murder Board
To help me attach names to twitter handles, I have started constructing a Murder Board. You know, like in Homeland, and most detective series. Where I attach pictures of bloggers I know / want to know (how creepy does that sound?), their blog names, twitter handles, real names, pertinent posts, bra sizes (JOKE!) and so on. It’s like revising for A-Levels, but without the record cards or lofty hopes of a career.
The Curse of Social Amnesia

There’s only one flaw with my otherwise excellent Murder Board plan. And it’s pretty major.

My memory.

My memory, which, like the lost island of Atlantis, has slipped further and further below the surface with each child. The admin and angst induced by three kids has compounded into a visceral ball in my head, shoving out any semblance of a memory. It isn’t personal. I forget to make a doctor’s appointment in the morning for the thing I was awake most of the night worrying about. I have to scroll through Facebook on my way to visit friends to check not only what their kids are called, but how many they have. A tiny voice inside me says, “Maybe it’s the wine?” And I say to you, tiny voice: “Hush! Be still.” For the wine at least allows me to charm my way out of a social amnesia crisis. Surely you’d rather chat to a fun, bubbly lady who’s a bit sketchy on the details than to a sober dullard who remembers every post you’ve written? My Murder Board will hopefully enable me to combine the Jekyll and Hyde within myself, but please go easy with me if I slip.
Social Recall
So, if I accuse you of being from London with three under three, whereas in fact you have just flown down from Edinburgh after having your ninth, please bear with me. If I say things like, “I loved your post, you know, that one, where you…?”, and then trail off, please forgive me. Please give me three key facts about yourself: your real name, your blog and what you’d like to drink, and we’ll be away. You’ll have activated my “Social Recall”.
I’m so looking forward to meeting you all, and deep down I know that all I really need to say at BritMums Live is this:
More #BritMumsLive banter:
What To Wear To BritMums Live? – Caught between a tart and a frump.
What To Drink At BritMums Live? – Where I come out as a gin-refuser. (The “gin tin” reference above was a trick. Will be screwtop wine all the way.)
More baby brain burbling:
How Old Is Your Child? A Quiz – I help you identify your kid’s age by how you feel.
If you liked this post, you could make my BritMums Live even better (if that is possible), by voting for me here in the Laugh category, where I’ve been shortlisted, I’m delighted to say.


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Homeland picture source: Fox 21

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  • Brilliant post. We’re new to BritMums Live too and like you, names and faces are often a stumbling block to me. I smile, dance around conversation until the light comes on in my mind and my face clearly says, YES, I’VE WORKED OUT WHO YOU ARE! Lol

  • Jo Nicholson says:

    Here, hee, so true. I went to Blog On in Manchester on Sunday and it’s really bizarre. Some people you recognise immediately and others you have to try and grab a sneaky look at their badge (yes, it does look like you’re staring at boobs for a large proportion of the time)
    I have hardly any pics of me on my blog so I was going up to people “hiya!” and they were looking at me trying to work out who the hell I was. Be prepared to flash your badge a lot, and always nice when they then recognise who you are.
    You’ll have a fab time, it was so lovely to meet people in “real life” and they were all so nice and friendly. Even more gutted now I can’t do Britmums xx

  • Yes it is sooo hard to find ppl and I have waved at people who then have no idea who I am. People say I look like my pics but I’m not sure if that’s good or not…You will probably find me by any cake stand and/or the bar x

  • Tom Briggs says:

    You’re spot on – it’s really tricky identifying everyone! As a bloke, I don’t dare stare at badges for fear of being mistaken for a breast-obsessed pervert, so I’ll be relying solely on my memory… that or hiding in All Bar One down the road. 😉

  • Best post ever! So much of what I am feeling now. I was really worked up until I went to Blog On in manchester which made me experience all this first hand. If it wasn’t bad enough our name tags were on ties around our necks that hung almost to your belly buttons so when meeting people i kept having to look at their bellies. AWKWARD doesn’t cut it. It was horrifiying. And then if they were playing with it and talking about something I should know I just smile and nodded like an idiot because they died their hair a different color and caught me off guard!!!! It was a great experience but never experienced anything like it and I have been told BritMums is worse! AHHH Can I come study your murder board please!!!!

  • ha ha love this Jess, and all of your britmums commentary 🙂
    I am really excited but also a bit scared, i really think we all will get on well though. Meeting for a drink first is definitely the best idea! xxx

  • You see, I think I’ve got this cracked, because there are only a few names that are anomalies…in the blogging world I reckon about 30% are called Emma, 25% Jo, and another 25% Sarah. So going with one of those might stand you in pretty good stead.

    I have to admit at BLog Camp I did have a bit of a moment when someone approached me and said hi, we’ve been chatting lots etc etc, I’m xyz, and I started going on thinking she was another person with a very similar name and twitter handle. Luckily I think I got away with it, as she was someone I chat with a bit, and did know the blog.

    I think you just have to bluff as the worst thing is saying your blog to someone and them looking blankly at you, as you shuffle off in embarrassment.

    But maybe, blog conferences should start including twitter photos on the name badges. That would certainly prove easier.

  • I’m hopeless at recognising people, and everyone says I look just like my profile picture so they all know who I am and I have no idea! Before my first conference I just assumed that everyone knew each other but I came to realise that wasn’t the case at all, and everyone is so friendly that you can easily chat for ages with someone when you’ve never heard of their blog before.

  • Sara Murray says:

    Being one of the many Sara(h)’s you’ve got quite a good chance of getting my name right, and I’m the one that’s flown from the US… 🙂 Great post, hope I get to meet you! #brillblogposts

  • Older Mum says:

    I so get social amnesia too….. but I will be hunting you done girl, hunting you down – I have a whole wall of pictures of you… mwah ha ha ha… X.

  • Jo Sandelson says:

    Just do what all the luvvies do and call everyone “Daaahhhling!” Sorry for being yet another Jo. May just change my name to Anaglypta or something more memorable. 🙂

  • Ha ha ha this is so funny, I love the murder board. Awesome #PoCoLo

  • Honest Mum says:

    So so funny, be brilliant to meet you-I’m told I look just like my pictures (previous Brit Mums) so hopefully you’ll recognise me. A fab, friendly atmosphere there you’ll find! Thanks for linking up to #brillianceinblogging-love your sense of humour x

  • Loving the murder board. Will be constructing mine in the coming weeks and making a revision plan. Petrified and am planning on calling everyone ‘lovely’ and buying them a gin. That should buy me sometime. Great post lovely x

  • I’m with you, new to blogging and going to britmums for the first time, will definitely be staring at badges all weekend and trying to rack my brains for familiarity! I’ll be the one smiling looking uncomfortable!

  • I love the murder board idea! I have to say that it is my second time at Britmums live. I am not nervous – like last year – but what I do have a problem is seeing faces I recognise but not able to put them to their name or blog or both! Nightmare! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo. Looking forward to meeting you 🙂 xx

  • I have never been to Brit mums, I would love to go but I can imagine I would be so shy. I bet it is amazing meeting everyone 🙂

  • Donna says:

    Great post! Do you really have a murder board in the making…!? x

  • Ha ha I’d missed this one. Murder board – great idea. I am actually a bit terrified coming all the way from Liverpool. I’ve never even been to London never mind Britmums!

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