31 December 2017

Awards

Yesterday bloggers from across the blogosphere arrived at The Westminster Hotel in Rhyl, North Wales. They were assembling for the ninth Laughing Horse Blog Awards Ceremony.
The Westminster Hotel, Rhyl
In the early evening, after freshening up in their rooms and donning their gladrags, the bloggers assembled in the hotel bar where beverages and light snacks were provided. It was a time to put faces to blogging names and titles.

For example, I had a merry time conversing with the legendary Sue from "Susan Here There and Everywhere". What a delightful filly but my oh my she could knock back the G&T's! We were interrupted by the equally delightful Jennifer Barlow from South Carolina. It was a pleasure to meet her. I wondered how she had got her pet parrot Marco through immigration. He was sitting on her shoulder - endlessly squawking vulgar words which I shall not repeat on this family friendly blog.

At bang on 7pm the buses arrived to take us on a seven mile inland journey to the famous Lost Village of Trelawnyd. It was here that the Ninth Awards Ceremony was to be held in the village's famous Memorial Hall which annually hosts The Trelawnyd Flower Show.
Trelawnyd Memorial Hall
Upon entering the hall, we were politely ushered to our seats by Cameron the Teenage Boffin and Jason The Affable  Despot . When everyone was settled, the stage curtains swished open to reveal the entire Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir. They welcomed us with three traditional Welsh songs, including "Men of Harlech". North American bloggers were not the only audience members to be wowed by this magical performance.

"Magic!" yelled Derek Faulkner who was dressed in a smart tweed suit with tartan knee socks and brogues.

"That was so cool!" beamed my surrogate sister Donna from the mountains of Colorado.
Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir
Following the choral performance bloggers tucked into traditional Welsh fayre including Welsh lamb,  Welsh cakes, boiled leeks and bara brith which even met with the approval of the 2015 overall winner Ms Lee George from Queensland, Australia.

"Fair dinkum, that's bonzer mate!" she exclaimed in her native "Strine".

And Kylie from Sydney and Helen from Brisbane agreed, "Dinkum, fair dinkum, dinky di!"

There was much laughter in the air as gallons of Welsh beers by Brains were being quaffed by the thirsty bloggers. Margie from Toronto, Maria and Rozzie were getting on like a house on fire - boldly harassing Jason the Affable Despot by slapping his buttocks whenever he brought more beer to their window table.

To my consternation, a fight broke out between two previous winners - Steve Reed and Ian Rhodes ("Shooting Parrots") over whether or not 2018 will be a leap year. I had to physically separate them as they rolled about on  the floor . By the way, the next leap year is 2020. Steve should have known that.

Taking a breather outside the hall, I was approached from the misty street by a Welsh goddess. At last I was in the company of the delectable Mrs Trellis. Initially, I was tongue-tied but  managed to request her autograph. She thrust me against the wall and ran her slender fingers through my leonine locks, whispering a husky invitation that I shall not repeat. Some things that happened in Trelawnyd must stay there.

When I eventually got back in the hall, the party was in full swing. Conga music was playing over the P.A. and most bloggers had joined the conga line as you can see below. I latched on to the end holding the ample rump of Jenny The Procrastinating Donkey. She was giggling like a schoolgirl. Then ADDY from London latched on to my own quivering hips. I was wishing she had trimmed her nails.

Even intellectual bloggers like Meike Riley (in a beautiful light blue silk dress), Graham Edwards and Robert H. Brague were in the conga line which snaked its merry way around The Memorial Hall till just about everyone was exhausted.
The authoritative Jan Blawat appeared on stage in a lacy evening gown bellowing into the microphone, "Shut the **** up and sit down! It's time for the awards! ...You too buddies!" she said targeting Jenny and Keith who had just arrived from Wrexham after getting lost on the North Wales Coastal Expressway. They had given the literary socialite Vivian Swift a ride from Manchester Airport following her unexpected delay. She wafted into the room throwing her vintage feather boa over her left shoulder.

Jan announced that owing to budget constraints only five awards would be presented for 2017. A ripple of surprise was transmitted around the hall and there were audible gasps from Libby and Briony's table. Briony was nimbly crocheting a table mat.

There was some ear-piercing feedback over the P.A.. Then Jan announced that Laughing Horse had highly commended three bloggers for services to blogging - Jennifer Barlow for "Sparrow Tree Journal", Pat for "Weaver of Grass" and Sue for "Susan Here There and Everywhere". 

Overwhelmed, these three giantesses of the blogging word floated to the stage in their sparkly evening outfits to collect their Laughing Horse awards. Embarrassingly, Sue tripped on the stairs but soon regained her composure and graciously clutched her award.

"And now," said Jan. "We come to the highlight of the evening as we announce who will be the overall blogger of the year for 2017." Cameron the Teenage Boffin delivered a dramatic drum roll.  "Let me give you a couple of clues. He's a senior blogger. He is a birder and he is devilishly handsome! He blogs regularly and interestingly  and his comments on other blogs are consistently supportive and positive. It's none other than... Keith Kline!"

"Who?" said Pam from "Hilltop Homestead".

Everybody else was asking the same question.

"Shut the **** up!" commanded Jan. "Yes. Keith Kline - otherwise known as Red whose blog - 'Hiawatha House' is out of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Come up to the stage Red! Blogger of the Year for 2017!"

There was loud hollering and wolf whistles as Red stumbled to the stage. Surprisingly, he was not with Lady Kline, his long-suffering wife who Red calls The Micro Manager. Instead, he had picked up a member of the Air Canada cabin staff called Martha on the flight over to Manchester. She was clearly besotted as you can see in the picture below:-
Red - after receiving his Blogger of the Year award
Red gave a funny, self-deprecating acceptance speech. Jan kissed his newly shaven cheeks and ushered him from the stage as the audience stomped and clapped with delight. It was one of the highlights of Red's long life and he vowed to cherish his award for the rest of his days.

Again Jan bellowed down the microphone, "Shut the **** up!" California style.

"I know some of you remain puzzled about why we brought the Laughing Horse jamboree all the way to North Wales this year - specifically to the home of  the legendary John Gray with his famous fifty shades!"

There was a lone titter from Jennifer's table.

"I know it is very disappointing to many of you that John is not here. However, he sent this note if I might read it....'As some of you know I suffer from agoraphobia. I had hoped to welcome you all to my village but I was overwhelmed by an indescribable panic. The Prof kindly decided to take me away for the weekend – down to his mother’s place in Broadstairs.'  and that folks is the reason he's not here in this hall that has witnessed so many wonderful summer flower shows under his devoted administrative guidance."
Chez Gray from the rear
"Little did John know that the reason we chose Trelawnyd this year was to present him with The Laughing Horse Lifetime Achievement Award for Services to Blogging. In his absence may I suggest that we now rise and conga down to the corner cottage opposite the church. We will leave the award in his new kitchen and get to see his humble abode. We might even encounter Albert the cat though all the dogs are elsewhere this weekend. Mr Pudding! Please lead the way!"

And so I led our drunken conga out into the December night, across London Road and all the way down the lane to the famous corner cottage where Earl Gray normally resides with the famous Prof and the even more famous dogs. Albert had a hell of a fright.

40 comments:

  1. Yay for the winners!
    My congratulations to Jennifer, Pat Sue and Red!

    John is deserving of his lifetime recognition.

    My thanks to the academy for their efforts in choosing the winners.

    And a special award for creativity in award reporting goes to you, Mr Pudding

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    1. You are so gracious Kylie... even though I suspect you are seething with rage about not receiving a gong this year.

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    2. i waited ALL day for the announcement but no, I didnt expect to get one!

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  2. Congratulations to John, Red, Jennifer, Pat and Sue!
    I echo Kylie; special award goes to you for your creativity.
    I enjoyed this very much! Thank you.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I am pleased that you have bothered to read this post Maria. Thank you...
      Say it loud and there's music playing
      Say it soft and it's almost like praying
      Maria,
      I'll never stop saying
      Maria
      Maria, Maria,
      Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria!



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  3. I’m all out of breath after doing that conga through Trelawnyd but I would just like to say that I’m truly chuffed to have been awarded a commendation for the Laughing Horse Blog Awards. I would like to thank my dog, Rick, for his wonderful support, my daughter Sarah who encouraged me to write a blog in the first place, my daughter Kat for keeping me on my toes, and finally, my husband Paul who provides me with an endless supply of blog material and is often the innocent target of my tales.

    I’m off over to Red’s site at Hiawatha House now to find out who the heck beat me to the big prize.

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    1. Your commendation is richly deserved. I have enjoyed reading your friendly blog and from a distance getting to know you and your family - which now includes your furry son Rick. I hope Paul and the "girls" enjoyed "The Phantom" while you enjoyed quality time with your son.

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  4. How wonderful ! Just caught up with the award night! I'm so touched xxxxxxx

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    1. Richly deserved John. You have brought light and life and laughter into so many visitors' lives through the past eleven years.

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    2. I'm very touched x

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  5. I feel so honored (honoured? and also so hung over from all the champagne! What a night we had! And Marco even picked up a few new naughty words to add to his repertoire!

    Thank you Neil for your kind recognition of my humble little blog. I'm off now to check out Red's site...like Sue, I want to know more about the guy that beat us to the big prize!

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    1. Red is a genuinely good and a genuinely nice man. In this crazy world it is very pleasant to encounter people like him.

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    2. Hi Jennifer, thanks for not taking the criticism too seriously in2017.

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    3. Same to you, Terry! Happy New Year!

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  6. Well done, all of you: Jennifer, Pat, Sue, Red and John.
    And Mr. Pudding Man, for the, er, factual . . . although incomplete . . . account of the awards ceremony.

    Those were in attendance know that Mr. Pudding left out a goodly portion of the story, the part that comes right after "Albert had a hell of a fright." Just to set the record straight and explain a few things to John about the state of his kitchen, Albert then shot straight from the sofa where he had been enjoying the peace and quiet into the new kitchen where he attacked the ankles of Mr. Pudding, causing quite a lot of blood to flow onto the new kitchen floor and quite a few blue-ish words to cascade from Mr. Pudding's lips and some of the ladies to faint. From there Albert shot onto the top of the new cupboards and knocked over the antique chamber pots, causing them to fall on Mr. Pudding's head, knocking him out, and thence to the floor, where they broke into hundreds of unrecognizable pieces. The guests scattered out the door before any more damage could be done, dragging Mr. Pudding with them. He spent the next three nights in hospital in the ICU, thanking his lucky stars that John was now retired and would not be showing up as his nurse. Mr. Pudding has since been allowed to return home, swathed in bandages and with a concussion. The charges against him for breaking and entering have kindly been dropped by Mr. Gray, Albert has not yet been found (although there have been several headless mice discovered in the Prof's slippers), and the whole incident appears to have triggered a new vote on Brexit. More to follow in the new year.

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    1. Yes. All of that is true Jenny but you forgot to mention how you were chased through the churchyard by one of the church wardens. I thought you submitted rather too easily and I also think that such shenanigans are quite out of order on church property!

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    2. I have no idea what you are talking about, Mr. Pudding; clearly that concussion gave you false memories. Besides, the warden was merely returning my galosh (singular of galoshes) to me!

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    3. False memories? You can't wriggle out of this Jenny! I have photographic evidence that I am thinking of sending to "The Novascotian". You are a scarlet woman!

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  7. How I love a conga, even if I lost my crochet hook on the way down to John's. Congratulations to the winners and what a wonderful story teller you are YP.
    Happy new year to you and yours and I look forward to more wonderful posts in 2018.
    Briony
    x

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    1. It was nice to finally meet you Briony. Your amazing capacity for G&T's made me proud to be English!

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  8. Great night out. Now looking at that long flight home and hoping we don't get snowed in.

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    1. I think you will be okay Helen. It was nice to see you again and may I say that it's nice to say that you still represent Australian womanhood with grace and dignity.

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  9. Congratulations to Red and to the three highly-commended, Jennifer, Pat and Sue.

    I wish I'd been there to witness what appears to have been a fun evening.

    Contrary to what Mr. Pudding is trying to have you believe - please, don't believe everything he tells you - I wasn't there with the rest of the revellers to join in the fun. I never got to see the countryside, let alone tne exterior and interior of the Memorial Hall!!

    From the moment I arrived at Manchester Airport Yorkie kept me locked in Clint's boot/trunk for the duration of my visit.

    He didn't even slip me a drink or something to eat...not once!

    I never got near the Welsh cakes, boiled leeks or barra "brith"...brith????? Does he even know what "brith" means??? I guess he meant "broth"...I sure hope he does!

    Back home again in the wonderful Land of Oz, I kissed the ground upon my arrival...there's no place like home.

    I was relieved to be able tosee the New Year in not cooped up in the boot of a car!

    I don't hold grudges, though...Happy New Year, Yorkie. I hope 2018 treats you and your loved ones kindly. :)

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    1. Okay you got me! If you had conducted yourself in a ladylike manner, I would not have had to bundle you into Clint's boot That's all I am saying on the subject but I will also say Happy New Year to you Lee!

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  10. Hi YP, happy New Year to you.

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    1. Yo Terry! Happy New Year man! Glad to see you are still ticking over.

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  11. What a long flight home. I think the pilot took the long way so he could charge more. It was a long month spent in Britain. I went over to attend the 45th National Championship Poultry Show, held at the International Centre in Telford. I thought it would be more economical to just stay until the Laughing Horse Award ceremony than to go home and fly back later. So the Ramada Inn was my headquarters. I visited lots of poultry keepers who I met at the show. I had just about run out of little towns whose names start with "Ll" (seriously, how were llamas NOT invented there?) when the big event finally arrived. Luckily my lace dress traveled well. I packed sparingly and had to wear the dress a couple of times before the presentation, but the chicken tracks wiped right off. It was so difficult finding the right dress to go with my orange Crocs. The awards were "jolly fun" as they say in that area. It reminded me of the times we bloggers used to have on our private island until it all went south. I miss Helsie and Kate especially, and am always hoping Mr. Hippo is alive and well. So, another year is gone. We have honored some wonderful bloggers, and especially John Gray. I can think of no one who deserves a Lifetime Achievement award unless it's Mr. Pudding himself. And Mr. Pudding is a better speller. Love you all, ta ta!

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    1. May I say that you did a brilliant job hosting The Laughing Horse Blog Awards. That role requires someone who will not stand for any nonsense. All the best for 2018 Jan! Happy New Year!

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  12. Well, I'm speechless! I never do anything to win...not even poker. I just like to have fun. Thank you. Now I must commend you for a fine piece of very humorous and creative writing that brings up expectations. Congratulations To Jennifer Barlow at Sparrow Tree Journal. Pat at Weaver of Grass and Sue at Susan Here there and Everywhere. You put a lot of fun into blogging. Now you know the Micro Manager would liked to have been there as you live in her home territory. Funny, that in the photo I was the one presenting an award.

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    1. No Red! You are getting confused. You received The Laughing Horse Blogger of the Year Award. No one else. Congratulations on this fine achievement and best wishes for 2018!

      P.S. Please try to embed the award widget in your sidebar.

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  13. What an entertaining and fun read. I think I recognize most of the bloggers and congrats to all. I burst out laughing at the conga line. All the best in 2018. Hey ho, I am off to read Hiawatha House.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this romp Jane. May I say that Cameron the Teenage Boffin is too young for you. What the hell was going on in that corner?

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    2. I have started to follow him on Instagram!

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  14. Although I am still reeling from over doing the fun at the 9th annual Laughing Horse Awards gala, I must say that if there is ever a time and place to over-do the fun it's under the auspices of Mr. Pudding. Thank you for a delightful evening, from what I remember of it, and thank you, Tiger Leisure, for the all-important accessories (who knew you could get a feather boa in Hull City colors??).

    Congratulations winners -- Jennifer, Pat, Sue, and Red; and Mr. Gray for Lifetime achievement (if I get a bulldog or two will that improve my chances for the big win ext year?).

    And thank you, Mr. Pudding, for this space in the ether where like minds can gather for a walk through the Yorkshire countryside and along all your fascinating digressions.

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    1. You will need more than a couple of bulldogs Miss Vivian. Try getting a house-trained giraffe and your own warthog to be shortlisted for next years top award. However, it was nice to finally meet you and the Hull City boa was a very nice touch!

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  15. It was a night to remember! I must apologize to Ian for throwing back a few too many pints and getting my years mixed up.

    Oh, and I don't think that was Mrs. Trellis -- I think it was me DRESSED as Mrs. Trellis.

    Congrats to Red and John for their well-earned honors, and to the mastermind behind the whole Laughing Horse spectacular!

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    1. You dressed as Mrs Trellis? Christ! I wondered why her chin was so stubbly.

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  16. Well I'm glad to be back in Blogland and doing a conga. It's many years since I previously got involved in such an event. Congratulations to Red for his award . and to John, of course, for his.

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    1. It was nice to meet you again Graham even if you did spend about an hour deciding whether to order a brandy or a whiskey mac.

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  17. This is fantastic! Lovely.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.