I’d made a mistake. A standard night out replaced a potential evening of meeting people who I admire, respect and have a lot in common with. The fear of meeting new people had stopped me from attending the Blog Awards. I was kicking myself in the weeks after and made a conscious decision to fix that, in part at least, during the intervening year. In March of ’08 I met up with a group of Irish Twitter users at Elly’s Tweetup in O’Neills on Suffolk Street. That evening introduced me to Darren, Darragh, Ben, Elly, Alexia and a host of others. It was a great night but one that I consciously cut short early to head home to the safety of my mates in local. Why had I done that? The fear had struck again.
Another mini-Tweetup a month or so later and I stayed for the duration. I throughly enjoyed it. Fast forward to the Kilkenny Cat Laughs festival at the end of May. I only knew Darragh and Darren a matter of weeks but we’d decided to travel to Kilkenny. I’d met Liz at Elly’s birthday and was introduced to Niamh via Darragh around the same time. This circle of friends was widening at an alarming rate but, ignoring the fear, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. We stayed in Darragh’s parents place and had an amazing weekend. At the end of June we were back in Kilkenny, the Devious Theatre’s production of Trainspotting marked another great weekend and my introduction to Ken McGuire and Ross Costigan. Legends both. Seriously creative people.
Over the intervening months I attended Burlesque nights, house parties, Tweetups, Halloween nights and Twestivals. Along the way I met:
– Rick: if you cut him he bleeds geek. Tremendous guy. He’s also my nemesis when it comes to naming a song from the first couple of seconds. *shakes fist*
– RPs: She’s got a random sense of humour and we tend to laugh a lot. **injoke: The Clappers **
– David Maybury: Literary dude extraordinaire. 🙂
– The Internet’s Ben Kenealy: I dubbed him with that title a while after I met him and it’s stuck. He’s taken it with good grace and how could he not? He’s a hilarious guy, often claiming he isn’t, and a bloke anyone would be blessed to know.
– Peter Donegan: We met at the Web Awards last year. He’s a ball of energy and the brains behind ‘Do you know Anto?’. Incidentally he’s also a perfect comedic partner to Ben.
….and countless others. You know who you are. 🙂
So all roads led to last weekend. On Saturday, particularly early I may add, we flew down to Cork with Ryanair. After dropping our bags off in the hotel and grabbing breakfast, we headed for the city centre to do some rambling. After meeting up with Ben and Peter we grabbed a few pints, dinner and a taxi back to the hotel. It was time to get changed and ready. The project we were working on was about to be unveiled.
I’d been working with Darragh, Darren, Niamh, Lottie and Maxi Cane on that project, intro videos for each category, on and off for a few months. We’d jotted down ideas but there were a hell of a lot of categories to be done (full list of the videos here). Darren and Darragh had both invested hugely in it over the last few weeks and got their just rewards on the night. I now know that there’s no better feeling in the world than people laughing at something you’ve created. John also did an excellent job with the presentation screengrabs and category titles. They complemented each other really well.
Kudos to all the winners on the night but I was especially delighted to see RPs pick up the award for ‘Best Popculture’. Unfortunately Lottie lost out but the quality of her writing means she’ll be back. I now have a few new blogs to start reading. After the awards, a giant inflatible Twister game was installed in the main room and the shenanigans went on till the wee hours. Mulley was a rock star as always. I don’t know how the guy manages to hold him himself to such a high standard and hit it consistently.
The morning after the night before was a slow one. Myself and Peter D took a much needed walk to clear the heads, stopping over to the airport for coffee to discuss business and life. People slowly left the Cork International Airport hotel (it was so good most people wanted to permanently live there, tell your mates) that afternoon. I flew back to Dublin with four of my closest friends last night. I hadn’t known them a year ago but I now knew that anything I had to face in life would be easier for knowing them. Screw the fear.