My heart pounded yet I felt absolutely delighted, honoured and full of pride as I walked forward to collect the certificate / plaque that Ron of Mountain Laurel Designs / MLD had won. I was beaming! It's impossible to express how I felt but it was joyous!
I had just minutes earlier walked to the Awards Ceremony with Chris Townsend at the Burgundy Wine Bar in Kendal. There was maybe about a dozen people there at the time, it quickly filled and was soon buzzing with voices. There was a massive turnout.
At first it was quite strange, but someone asked if I'd like a drink. I started with a tea.
I headed over to one of the food tables, a bit lost, and had a few delicious chicken wings and legs and little pizza pieces. Yes, I know, stomach first!
I saw a beckoning hand from Chris's direction and took my plate of nibbles over and chatted with Chris and a few people who approached and chatted. David Lintern came over, unfortunately we didn't get to chat much. Also Andy Howell passed by and I didn't get to see him, hopefully I'll get to see them another time maybe.
On the positive side Alex, no less than the publisher of TGO spoke to me at length and had a lot of time for me. He showed a great deal of interest in me personally and how I'd got to attend the awards.
Then it was time for the awards, first it was the readers voters awards and I was very pleased that Chris won an award for his Backpackers Handbook. A book I have and is well deserved of its award.
Then it was the judges votes and it was here that Ron's MLD Trailstar was up for an award.
When I arrived at the hotel I was given room one. I Facebooked, that bodes well. Room number won, won spelt wrong! That seemed appropriate! I had no idea I, the Trailstar, of course, was actually going to win. But I somehow knew it would. From the moment Ron asked if I'd attend (the judges hadn't even deliberated!) I felt it was destiny! I'm sure Ron was just as confident.
Then they called out the winner, MLD, and I walked, glowing, to collect the award. I think my smile could have swallowed the room.
Once the award giving was over I did what I do best, sitting in the corner, by a food table and eating!
Admittedly I should have mingled, but mingling comes as naturally to me as ET visiting Earth. So I sat and ate.
But I have a gravitational pull, and before long, the host and publisher of TGO was sitting with me, talking. What a terrific chap. Made me feel very welcome.
So if I wasn't talking to the publisher I was talking or in the vicinity of Chris Townsend. Not bad company.
A few other people were caught in my gravitational pull, and all were interested in how I came to be there and was I the representative / importer / was MLD my company / where were they based / how did they operate / how did the customisation work...
I have to say Chris expressed it better than I ever did. I of course played it down, a bit...
Naturally, representative is accurate but as a customer. Probably the best customer in the UK. Dare I suggest the world! My collection of MLD kit must be fairly unrivaled... There's not many gaps in my kit list from MLD!
I also shoot videos of my kit in my own unique way totally for my own enjoyment. The real bonus is that they get likes and great comments and appear to be a genuine bonus to others.
So I felt well placed to be able to accept Ron's invitation to represent him at the TGO Awards.
The next morning I was eating breakfast with half a dozen of the TGO team, including Alex, Chris, the designer and the acting editor. What an end to a terrific trip!
If the opportunity presents itself to represent Ron next year, I'm in... I'd certainly be happy to attend one way or the other. If anyone wishes to invite me!