Sunday, 26 June 2011

Let me sleep on it

Last night, at midnight, I staggered in through the front door and threw my luggage on the floor. I had a heavy overnight bag (I always overestimate how much I'll read on a train); a handbag; and two or three bags of swag from sponsors' stalls at the parent blogging conference Cybermummy, all of which I had dragged across London until my shoulders shrieked.

I'd had an exhausting day. A fun day - a day full of speeches and workshops and cupcakes and tight schedules and buzz and friendly faces. A day when I barely got chance to catch my breath. But also a very odd day, when I found myself right at the centre of something as well as right on the edge of it.

At one point all of the blogger delegates - 400 of us - sat in the main auditorium and were told to get our phones out, right now, and tweet about our day. Most already had their phones or iPads out anyway, and were beavering away. I don't have a smartphone. I was very aware that what I did have in my handbag were two battered paperbacks from a second-hand bookshop. The night before I had arrived late to my  hotel because I had stopped off at the BFI to watch a black and white film. It is a quite a strange experience, being told you are one of the driving forces of a cyber revolution when you're actually a bit of a Luddite.

This morning I got up and sat at the big old desktop computer and cranked up Twitter. Posts about Cybermummy were already popping up online, but I was in no way ready to write one. A couple of people said very nice things about me, and the post (I can show you which it is, now) I was chosen to read out during the crowdsourced keynote. On Twitter, people were having coffee, getting on trains, greeting each other. I realised that I could spend all morning there, and still be no further towards a coherent thought.

I turned the computer off. It was time to step back, and get swallowed up in something a bit more low-tech.

I bought this sarong from the Cancer Research shop a few weeks ago with the idea of turning it into something for the Lattes. The pattern was an easy choice - though I love sewing when I get started, my impetus to start usually comes from frugality rather than desire - so I went for the free oliver + s downloadable pattern for a popover sundress.

The fabric itself said 'there's no need to get too stressed about this'. Not only did it have that hippy-chic thing going on, it even got me out of making a hem.

The instructions suggested I dress the yoke with ribbon. I muttered about having no ribbon, and fruitlessly searched some boxes. Littlest turned up, and suggested that I use the ribbon she was wearing - ribbon from a giftbox that she inexplicably had tied around her waist. Well, it was her dress - who was I to decide what shade of ribbon?

This was the easiest dress in the world to make. Due to the casual weirdness of the original item, the bottom edge is a whole range of different lengths, and that makes it all the better. I even have half the sarong left to make a skirt for Eldest - with another obvious choice of pattern lined up.

And Twitter? No idea. I haven't even checked my emails for hours. Some days are better without constant updates - and it's strange that it should take a cyber conference to remind me of that.

With thanks to Kelloggs, for making my trip possible.


  1. A beautiful dress, what talent. I wasn't at CM, but I suspect the reading was excellent too.

    I'm no expert. But I reckon blogging isn't only (or even mostly) about having the latest kit.

    And to be honest, some of the best things in life are best experienced offline :)

  2. Look at that dress!

    I think you are so amazing.

  3. good grief, I take my eye off the ball for a day or two and you've written 7 posts. no wonder you need a day off!
    I don't have a smart phone, my phone is stupid, it lost all my contacts...

    oh and what's twitter?

  4. What a fab dress. Just right for Glastonbury weekend (I watched it on telly myself, but still- good to get into the laid-back hippy vibe, even if you're the littlest). I check twitter once or twice a day when I happen to be on the laptop, but I'm more than happy not to be followed by it everywhere I go. Thanks for visiting us and for your comments. Oh, and don't worry, I polished off the chocolate too- whilst reclining on my new cushions... Laura x

  5. I don't have a smartphone, and I felt - like you - weird to be both luddite, and caught up at the forefront of cyber-development. Oh yes.

    I enjoyed your reading, and I loved that you didn't give your real name.

    Great dress!

  6. Who needs a smartphone or Twitter when you can sew like that!

  7. Am always impressed by other's sewing skills!

    And I love that you didn't have a smartphone but 2 paperbacks. Easy, I think, to have your individuality swallowed up by large communities. Keep on being a luddite!

  8. Paola yes - I think Littlest was happier with the dress too

    Deb Thanks for the vote of confidence! I shall keep being a Luddite, make no mistake...

  9. You sewed a dress. A child is wearing it. I am in awe.

    399 women all tweeting at once fills me with fear. I much prefer the idea of your paperbacks and that intriguing-sounding film.

  10. I don't have a smartphone either and find the whole twitter thing overwhelming... how on earth can anyone keep up with constant tweeting and updates. Sitting sewing a dress sounds much more enjoyable... especially with such pretty results.

  11. Some people take a Sunday off and don't do much, you create a frock!

    Lovely to meet you, I'm sorry we didn't get to talk for longer but next time we will

    And your blog post that you read was lovely - I'm going to have to read back and find it

  12. Hope you enjoyed giving your presentation! Sounds like it was well received and that you had a great time! How does everyone have time for Twitter? I can't keep up with the people in my own house.

  13. I'm Crayon I don't know how they keep up - it's a mystery. Maybe their clever phones freeze time, or something.

  14. I'm with you on Luddite-ism, I'd far rather carry a paperback and a note-book and pencil.

    Love the dress, I must get back into dressmaking, I have so much fabric it's a shame not to use it.

  15. Adorable! Making clothes scares me... do you think this would be something not even I could stuff up?


I love comments. I always try to respond - either here in the commentbox or by email if Blogger gives me your email address.

Thanks for visiting!