It has been quiet on the Welly front for a bit as a result of catching the lurgy. We went away last Thursday for a long weekend to visit family and drop off Christmas presents. On the way up north Wellyman started to feel under the weather and on arrival retreated to bed. Ha ha! A cunning ploy to avoid the mother-in-law you’re thinking. Unfortunately not, as it wasn’t just a touch of the sniffles, or what is otherwise known as ‘manflu’, but some virus that kept him in bed all weekend only for him to emerge in time for us to leave on the Sunday. By which point I was now feeling unwell. I wouldn’t recommend a 5 hour car journey when you’re having hot flu-like flushes and your muscles and joints are aching so much you just want to be lying down in bed. And, of course, Sod’s law meant just as home was nearly in sight a sign said the junction we needed was shut and that we would have to take a detour. When we finally rejoined the motorway we were then greeted by a profusion of traffic cones and 40mph restrictions for mile upon mile.
We did finally get home where I pretty much went straight to bed and that is where I have remained all week. I caught a few glimpses of the garden covered in a beautiful hard frost but the closest I’ve got to any sort of plants this week has been the flowers on my duvet. I’m up and about now and hopefully, in a few more days, I’ll feel back to my normal energetic self. I’ve lost my sense of smell though which I’m really hoping is only a temporary situation as my dad had something similar last year and completely lost his sense of smell and hasn’t regained it. I picked some winter flowering honeysuckle from the garden today in the hope I’d be able to smell its powerful scent but no, not a thing.
I did get something through the post yesterday however that made me smile. A couple of weeks ago there was a glittering awards dinner at a swanky London hotel to honour those working in garden media. Very much the preserve of those earning a living as journalists, photographers, presenters and writers, there is one category however, that is also open to amateurs, that of the Best Blog. Back in September I thought I’d give it a go and entered Wellywoman. I knew the competition would be stiff as the majority of entries are blogs written by professional writers but if you don’t enter you’ll never be in with a shot.
On the day of the awards ceremony I was at home, working, but I was following the proceedings on twitter. I had hummed and hawed about going but in the end finances wouldn’t allow. I was a little envious on the day reading everyone’s tweets about what they were wearing and the excitement building. I was even more gutted not to be there when I discovered Chris Packham, a teenage crush of mine, was hosting the event.
The winner of the Best Blog 2012 went to the Guardian’s garden blog and with the great array of writers they have on board this was well deserved. But then, and I can’t quite believe it, Wellywoman was a finalist. I didn’t find out until several hours after the ceremony had finished and Wellyman had a look on the website and there it was. I was pretty gobsmacked and then I treated Wellyman to some impromptu dancing around the kitchen. The other 3 finalists were Michelle Chapman for Vegplotting, James Alexander Sinclair for his blog for Crocus and Kate Bradbury for her Gardener’s World blog.
Of course, as I wasn’t there, I didn’t get my certificate on the day but it cheered me and my Rudolph-like nose up when I got the envelope yesterday and opened it up to find the certificate inside.
If you’d like to give it a go next year, take a look at the Garden Media Guild Awards website.
Very well done and certainly well deserved.
Thanks Sue 🙂
Helen Gazeley said:
Many congratulations. Well deserved. You had some stiff competition there. Hope the sense of smell comes back soon.
Do you belong to the GMG? The dinner is so expensive that’s it’s put me off joining.
Thank you, Helen. It was always going to be hard to beat the Guardian and their great writers but I was just pleased to be a finalist.
No I don’t belong to the GMG. I’m not actually sure what I’d get for the money and as for the cost of the dinner, it was rather eye-watering. It’s OK if you can get it paid for but it’s a lot to ask if you’re freelance or not earning any money from garden media.
I’ve been surprised to discover quite a few people who won awards weren’t members so not being a member isn’t a barrier to entering and, ultimately winning.
Hi Welly, Hope you feel better soon,
Congratulations on the award its thoroughly well deserved I always look forward to reading your posts.
Thanks Annie, That’s very kind. 🙂
Caro (urbanvegpatch) said:
Ooh, jolly well done! As thrilling as it is for you, it seems to me that the award is a well deserved accolade for all the entertaining and well-researched articles which you write for us (and over on Garlic & Sapphire). Maybe one day I’ll be reading your words in Gardens Illustrated or Hortus … ? PS Hope you’re soon feeling better and regain your sense of smell – wouldn’t that be awful to never smell herbs and flowers again! (Over here in London, my teenage boy has just been diagnosed with tonsillitis – the lurgy goes on … ) xx
Thanks Caro, 🙂 Gardens Illustrated would be nice. 😉 I’m feeling much better thanks. It has been a long time since something has felled me like that. If someone had said there was a million pounds in the garden up for grabs I wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed. I know the idea of not regaining my sense of smell would be awful, roses, sweet peas, citrus blossom . . . lets hope that’s not the case.
I don’t think I’ve known a year where so many people have been sick before Christmas. I wonder if it’s because we had such an awful summer and just didn’t get enough sunshine to give us a boost. I hope your son feels better soon. Hopefully he’ll feel better in time for Christmas. Best wishes WW xx
I had the lurgy a few weeks ago, though I soldiered on with work through all but a day of it – which probably dragged it out longer, as I still seem to have lingering after-effects. My husband has been lingering on the precipice of succumbing since – and it sounds like man flu is about to descend this weekend :(.
Hope you recover soon – and congrats on your almost-award; in with some other lovely company. I guess we bloggers have to sing our own praises when we can, as few people do it for us!
Thanks, The Guardian were deserved winners, it was always going to be hard to compete against them. I didn’t even think my type of blog would be considered so I was so pleased to be a finalist.
Hope your husband manages to shake off the cold.
Congratulations WW, well deserved recognition. I always enjoy your posts but I was surprised when I read your post for Sarah Raven that you are so young, I have to admit (please don’t be offended) to thinking of you as a sort of Clair Balding character. Sorry you were unwell seems that these bugs are difficult to avoid now, I just hope the one I had was the one and only for the winter (unlikely). I do hope you and WM are feeling 100% for Christmas. Christina
Thanks Christina. We’re both feeling a lot better thanks although food doesn’t taste of much. I’m hoping this improves before Christmas. I haven’t had a chance to catch up on any blogs yet, have you been sick too? It’s pretty impossible to avoid getting something at the moment. Most of WM’s colleagues have been off with one thing or another. Lets hope for a lurgy free Christmas. WW
Many congratulation on being a finalist, that’s an award in itself. Hope you feel better soon, we’ve been hit with the lurgy here too. I’ve had a chest infection since a week last Monday and my son has had time off school this week too. It’s his first time off in three years so he must feel bad.
Thanks Jo. I don’t think I’ve known a time when so many people have been sick before Christmas. I hope you all feel better in time for Christmas.
Diana of Elephant's Eye said:
Congratulations! A well deserved feather in your cap.
Thanks Diana, Not the top prize but I’m still really pleased. 🙂
Many congratulations, it is well deserved. I know how much effort you put in to your blog, so I am not surprised you made it as a finalist. Well done! xxx
Thank you 🙂 I’m really chuffed. xxx
Congratulations! Very well deserved! And I hope you’re feeling better soon and your sense of smell returns. 😀
Thanks Cathy. I’m feeling much better today. I’m going to get some scented Narcissi for Christmas so lets hope I can smell by then 😉
Congratulations on your award, your blog is always a good read so I’m not surprised it was chosen. Hope you soon feel better and are able to really enjoy Christmas.
Thanks Pauline, We’re both feeling much better today. Just hoping we can avoid all the other stuff going around at the moment. 😉
Flâneur Gardener said:
Well, congrats seem in order! (And quite frankly, a single amateur competing with a professionel team at The Guardian, well… Fair enough!)
I do hope you feel better now.
Thank you 🙂 It is a little strange having amateurs competing in the same category. That’s why I nearly didn’t bother entering. It was always going to be pretty impossible to compete with the likes of Alys Fowler and the Guardian’s blog but I’m pleased with my finalist position.
I’m feeling much better today thanks. Hopefully I can start to feel in the Christmas spirit now. I’ve got damson gin to decant into bottles and spiced biscuits to make. 🙂
Oh so sorry to read that you’ve both been under the weather WW. If it is any consolation at least you should get back to full fettle for the festive season. Many, many congratulations on a well merited award – you are amongst esteemed company there. Hope that you are going to find a suitable frame and hang your certificate in pride of place. Take care and hope that you are able to smell that honeysuckle soon xxx
Hi Anna, Aw, thank you. We’re feeling much better today and I can get back to organising stuff for Christmas now. I spent most the time lying in bed thinking how much stuff I had to do.
I’m buying some scented narcissi for Christmas so I hope I can smell them by then. They can be quite potent so they might trigger something back into life in my nose. :0
I hope your feeling better by now.
And congratulations on your award.
Thank you, you’re very kind and yes I’m feeling much better now. 🙂
Sandra Jonas said:
Congratulations! Always enjoy your posts, keep up the good work! Hope you feel better soon.
Thanks Sandra. I’m feeling much better 🙂
Congratulations! Glad you has something to cheer you up, sounds as if you have been having a miserable time, though at least you got it out of the way before Christmas proper. I sympathise with the sense of smell thing, my nose has been running almost continuously for over a month now, and although everyone tells me that my viburnum smells glorious, I have yet to get even a hint…
Hi Janet, I sympathise with not being able to smell your viburnum. It seems my sense of smell and taste are slowly coming back. Although some things smell and taste very odd at the moment. Hopefully it’ll be restored in time for Christmas. A whole month with a runny nose isn’t good hopefully yours will clear up soon, too.
Sorry to read that you’ve not been well and hope that you’re now feeling better.
Well done on being a blog of the year finalist, it was a well deserved accolade and perhaps next year…!
I have a poor sense of smell and taste, and both got even worse after I had ‘proper’ flu some years ago. xx
Thanks Flighty. I’m feeling much better and my senses of smell and taste are slowly coming back I’m pleased to say. I’m sorry to hear your suffered too after flu. My dad had a lucky escape recently because he has no sense of smell he couldn’t smell a neighbour’s gas leak. Fortunately, some other neighbours did otherwise the house might have gone up.
Jane Harries said:
Congratulations! You deserve to be a finalist – even when you are ill or Googling, you find something interesting gardening-wise to write about!
Best of luck for next year.
Thanks Jane for your kind words. It can be a challenge to think of new things to write about but I like a challenge. It’s nice to know you enjoy reading what I write. 🙂
Anna B said:
Fantastic!! Well done wellywoman! Your blog is ACE and you definitely deserve it! 🙂
David Marsden said:
Sorry WW – I’m a little behind the times (I’ve been non-blogging for a while) but a belated big congrats. Yay! And I hope, by now at least, you are feeling better. Dave
Hi David, Life is so hectic sometimes. I miss your posts but I know how hard it can be to fit in all this social media sometimes. Sometimes you just need to get on with life rather than living it through blogs and twitter. 😉 Thank you for the congrats, I was really chuffed and yes I’m feeling much better now. Still a little tired but I just think that is the long dark nights and lack of sunshine. Roll on spring. Hope you have a great Christmas, best wishes WW x
Well done on being a finalist. This is a victory for you on behalf on the common people! It’s an excellent blog and you write really well, so you deserve it.
Thanks Claire, your kind words mean a lot. I’m glad you enjoy the blog. Happy New Year and fingers crossed for a great gardening season.