When Panda & Crumpet first started, back in 2010, we never saw ourselves as ‘Sex & Relationships’ bloggers. Our idea, essentially, was to publish the advice and stories two friends were sending each other as they flailed clumsily through life.
The blog grew and changed just as we did, and before long we had been at it for well over a year. Being shortlisted as finalists in the Cosmo Blog Awards came not only as a massive shock, but also at an awkward time. With both of us busy with other work, Panda & Crumpet sat neglected throughout the voting period. I’d convinced myself there was nothing new enough on there for us to be in with a chance.
By last Thursday, and the actual Cosmo Awards Party, the blog had been around for two years. That’s two years of bad dates, embarrassing food stories, stick-figure drawings and comical romantic failure.
As my writing partner wasn’t able to come to the party, I buddied up with some other nominated ladies and off we set in our glad-rags, determined to make the most of the free bar and fancy nightclub, at peace with the fact we were unlikely to win.
Because Cosmo is, well… Cosmo, they started proceedings by announcing the Sex & Relationships category first. All Sweetness & Life (which I am sad to say I had hardly read until this weekend, but Katy is candid, funny and filthy) was announced as Highly Commended, and I was so busy joking that we all might as well head off home that I have no idea what was read out before the words “Panda and Crumpet”.
In fact, I had so little comprehension of what was going on that my only response was to freeze and shout “Whaaaaaaaat?” in my most estuary-twinged voice.
In my big bright Get Cutie frock and handmade floral crown, I stumbled through crowds of tiny sequin-adorned student-aged nominees who appeared to have been constructed entirely out of photos from the pages of past editions of Cosmo itself (damn you, fashion & beauty bloggers) to accept our award.
I sent a hurried text to my writing buddy to let her know we’d won, after spilling Claire’s cocktail over my own handbag and dropping the award on a lady’s foot (sorry, lady).
Once the rest of the awards had been presented, I got to meet some other super ladies – friends of friends, twitter buddies, people I had bumped in to online via other bits of blogging here and there – and also lovely Katy who was the Highly Commended writer in our category.
In a video interview with Cosmo’s web editor, I was asked how long I spent getting ready for the evening. “Err, ten minutes in the office bog, and then I changed my shoes at the bus stop outside Selfridges”.
I know. I’m ‘so Cosmo’.
I had this vision that a glitzy nightclub full of women all essentially competing against each other would be a bitchy affair and not my bag at all – but it was completely lovely to meet the other nominees, and to see little pockets of friends meeting up who only really know each other because of our mutual love of writing and constant over-sharing. Being shortlisted from 35,000 entries put everyone in a pretty great mood, I suppose, regardless of whether they got to take an award home or not.
But we did!