Spending two hours with Holly ringing every vegan joint in town. Striking absolute gold in finding The Hive, the only place in the whole of London that will let you reserve for more than 8. Eating my weight in vegan takeaway food and then falling asleep 10 minutes into “An Education”; Holly made it to the end. Only locating the place by spotting Bel‘s hair through the window. Asking Jessica what her name was and then having a sudden click of recognition as she turned round to answer and I saw her face. Emily zooming in on the last chocolate pistachio brownie. The scared look on the womans face at taking the orders for 15 people who were definitely all having separate drinks. Crowding into a surprisingly nice pub partly due to rain and partly because we just didn’t want to stop chatting.
Sacrificing my socks to save Holly from a blistery hell. Jess pointing out that I’d used the wrong hashtag for my own event. The “goodbye” group hugs gradually getting smaller and smaller as people went home. Fii livetweeting Ring Of Fire. My room looking like the backstage of a warped Parisian cabaret, with half-full glasses of whisky, 5 inch heels, bunny ears and glittery make-up all over the floor. The joke of tweeting about #lailabrunch at 3am in the morning when we were definitely, 100%, no longer at brunch. A kebab-shop discussion about #prrequest and launch events. A very hungover breakfast cooked in 6 separate parts to allow for time to get to and from the shops for supplies. Attempting to buy all the succulents. Lucie‘s eternal quest for vegan duck (mission accomplished 5 minutes from my home).
That weird feeling I always get when surrounded by people whose faces I know best through avatars, insta selfies and posed blog photos. That first two minutes where your brain is adjusting to them being real moving people in front of you with voices and laughs and smiles, instead of rarely-changing squares connected to emoji and links. The familiar narrow of Jess’s eyes when she’s listening intently, Holly’s half-smile she does when somebody’s done something stupid, the way Lucie sits back and rolls her shoulders just before she’s about to start eating. The tiny minute observations that turn online pals into real friends.
Those are my thoughts on the meet-up last week, aka #lailabrunch, which ended up #lailabrunchnightoutweekender as apparently that’s how we roll. Thank you so much to Jess, Bel, Holly, Fii, Lucie, Jessica, Cherie, Vicky, Gemma, Emily and Tee. If you want to see more about the day then Jess, Fii, Vicky and Lucie have got blogs up – helpfully linked OH YEAH.