Last year we threw a party.
Not just any party but an Any Other Party.
And it was good. In fact, it was better than good, it was bloody brilliant and I want to share my recollection of it with you. Yep, I’m good to you. Like most of the people who attended, I’d not met anyone else who was going to be there. I don’t mind admitting that I was a little nervous. After all, who in their right mind would want walk in to a room full of people they didn’t know, who were bound to be so eloquent, well read and funny? I was expecting it to look like a witty, stylish photo shoot for magazine. ‘Caitlin Moran does Vogue’ or something.
So I did what I do when I’m feeling nervous. I stuck on a pair of tottery high heels, took a deep breath and went for it. I’m so glad that I did.
Unlike some other internet weirdie meet ups I’ve been to, this was an absolute joy. No stress, no pretension, no hint of competitiveness or the feeling that people were looking over your shoulder to spot the next person coming along. There were cocktails and there was cake (thanks, Rachebakes!). Heck, there were even flattering photos by Lucy Stendall and Rachel Tweedale. Without exception, each person I spoke with was lovely. I bet Vogue were green with envy. Real life women (and a handful of gents) showing the world how it’s done. It was the epitome of this blog, just in 3D and with a slight waft of booze.
Clare, Aisling and Anna were absolutely blown away by the number who made the effort and I knew I’d found a community I wanted to be a part of. I don’t mind telling you that the Any Other Party is one of the highlights of the annual Any Other Diary (yes, we have a diary. A colour coded one. What of it?) and we’re proud to be able to host it. Each and every one of you who attended the party made it the truly special occasion that it was and we’re so grateful for that. This blog is about all of us – the AOW community – and we’re delighted to have so many of you within it. The ability to celebrate our community spirit in person is, well, wow.
Fast forward a few months, we’ve re-launched, we’ve grown in size and plans for the second Any Other Party are in full swing. We’re busy finalising a few details but will soon be revealing the nitty gritty. In the meantime, I can tell you that it will be held in London, where the streets are paved with gold, and that a fine evening in September will be our date.
You can expect a warm welcome, plenty of friendly faces and excellent conversation. There’ll be laughter, stories shared and friendships forged, certainly if the first AOP is anything to go by. The invitation extends to you all, whether you’re a reader who comments frequently or not at all (though if not all all, please do! Jump right in. The water’s warm), sponsor, fellow blogger, industry chum or supplier. We want to meet each and every one of you and we promise not to lick your faces. Well, we promise we’ll to try to behave, that’s about the best we can offer.
For safety’s sake we’ll be operating a guest list in order to give out the details and keep our venue in the loop but we hope to be able to accommodate as many of you that would do us the honour of being there. Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org (or get in touch via Twitter @SezSaysStuff) and let me know if you’d like to come along.
We’d also love to hear from anyone out there who fancies getting involved with any goodie bag action. We’d love you forever.
We’re so excited we might pop. So, ladies and gents, are you in? We really hope so.