I was chuffed to bits earlier when the BOTY (Lib Dem Voice Blog of the Year) shortlists were announced. It's not that I was hanging on and refreshing the page at the anointed hour of 12:30. In fact, at that time I was in the dentist's chair with skooshie things and suckie things in my mouth. I even got to be Mayor of my dental centre on Foursquare.
However, when I got home at around 12:50, I did have a wee look - only to see on Twitter that the event had been delayed due to "technical reasons" until 1 pm. I wondered if that was Helen Duffett showing her dark side, just messing with our heads just a little bit.
Anyway, I had maybe nurtured a small hope that one of my posts might have made it into the best post category - and it had. I was completely gobsmacked to have been shortlisted for the Blog of the Year as well. I will win neither of these awards, because I am up against amazing competition in both categories. The category Jennie describes as the Big BOTY contains Lynne Featherstone, our Minister in the Home Office who's been responsible for doing away with the thing my best post nomination was arguing against, Mark Reckons, whose brilliant, incisive, blog is (hopefully temporarily) no more, the lovely Elephant and a blog called Politicomaniac written by someone called Joe Jordan, who, I'm reliably informed, didn't play football for Scotland in the 1970s. His Twitter name is teh_walrus.
In the best post category, I'm up against the Elephant, his Daddy Alex, Mr Hickey and Liz Williams. You can see why I am feeling incredibly privileged and honoured to be in such company in both groups.
The shortlists reignited in me a desire to go to Conference in Liverpool for the every expense spared glittering awards ceremony on Saturday night, but it's just not practical. For a start, it's a lot of money when I'm not working, especially booking at this late stage. And it would involve finding accommodation and entertainment for the 3 of us. Anna has been quite happy to put up with her mummy devoting huge amounts of time to the Liberal Democrats - as long as I'm there at bedtime. A fair deal, I'd say, but it does mean that the cheaper option of coming to Liverpool on my own isn't there.
Two final things - gosh, this post is getting more like a Kate Winslet acceptance speech by the word. Firstly, I do need to say a big thank you to Stephen. I wouldn't have known how to set up a blog if it hadn't been for him. Nor would it ever have had any links or photos in it. He's always given his advice and help freely and graciously. I hope I can be the same sort of support to other bloggers or potential bloggers.
And finally, there are things in the blogging world that mean even more than being shortlisted. Sure, I am very grateful and honoured for that, but it was Jennie's words that made me jump up and down with happiness. The poor hamster was the only creature around to cuddle at the time, so he got the brunt of my tears of joy and I'm not entirely sure he understood why. But I'm sure you'll understand the effect of these words from another of my blogging heroes. She's talking about the Dreaded Curse whereby BOTY winners tend to stop blogging.
My plea to the judges is a simple one: give it to Mark Reckons. He's already closed his blog anyway, so giving him the award can't do any more damage. In the name of everything sacred and true, don't give it to Caron or Millennium: I couldn't live without those two on my reading list, and it's not worth the risk.
Awards and shortlists are wonderful, but lovely comments like that are irreplaceable. And the feeling is very much mutual!