I came, I saw... And I frickin conquered!!!! PharSide is OFFICIALLY! the BEST OVERSEAS SOUTH AFRICAN BLOG!!!! was the slogan for the pic I uploaded to FaceBook on Saturday night during the SA Blog Awards 2010...
I know its taken forever to give you the full scoop, it's pretty much taken that long to get over it ... so here it is 🙂
After taking an over night flight on SAA from London to Cape Town on the Friday night, which mind you turned out to be an awesome flight both ways, why? because how often do you get to sleep for 7hrs each way on a 12hr flight and be ready to quite literally, take on the world when you arrive. Even the food was awesome which reminds me of the fact that I've always heard that the food on SAA is second to none. Even the guy sitting next to me who just happened to be a senior developer for Mixit on his way back from San Francisco, praised the chow on SAA after the mission he'd had on other flights on his journey. Not to mention explaining to me just how the chicken he had on a previous airline quite honestly resembled a blob of pus... nice 🙂 Defininately going to be my flight of choice from now on since with it being direct, you can't go wrong. I think I just proved the fact that you can spend around 25hrs in the air on one weekend, and still get back feeling hundreds.
I got to stay at the luxurious Cape Royale which is literally 2mins from the V&A waterfront and 1km from where the awards were being held at the prestigious One and Only Hotel. The Cape Royale was absolutely pimping, you get a feel for this the second you walk in due to the immaculate decor and of course thanks to a very friendly welcoming from the porters and front desk staff, one in particular that I'd like to mention is the young dude that runs the 1800 Degrees restaurant downstairs who was excellent at making sure that I was sorted. Definitely adds to that 5 Star status that the hotel holds. The room was immaculate which gave a dream home from home feel. They also provide a free shuttle service within 5km of the hotel which I found to be absolutely awesome when you see how costly cabs can be in SA since that's just how I got to the awards. So if you're on holiday in Cape Town, the Cape Royale comes highly recommended from me since they also go a long way to make you feel important, unlike staying at your average hotel where you're quite literally just a number.
So on Saturday evening I made my way down to the One and Only Hotel on the waterfront to attend the SA Blog Awards 2010.
The event showcased what was to be the absolute best of SA Blogs, the event kicked off with speeches by JP Naude and guest of honour, Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille. Both speeches were incredibly inspiring and quite moving to say the least which left me feeling a sense of worth, ambition and the drive to take what I have and make it bigger, and of course as JP said, defend the title! It did also hit home of the magnitude of what I'm dealing with here, which was initially something that I stumbled into as a little hobby to entertain a few mates. JP also thanked those such as myself for making the long journey to Cape Town to attend the event, most notably Che Kershaw of IndieBerries for missioning on 36hrs of flights from where she teaches English in South Korea.
As the awards started getting called out I became increasing nervous as to what the outcome may be considering I was up against someone who had won it four times in a row and quite well established, but when the moment of truth came, as the category for Best Overseas Blog was called, I thought to myself, "shit, here we go" there was a brief pause from MC Mumzy ahead of the result and then I heard it... PharSide.co.uk! As I walked up to the stage with a gleaming smile on my face I thought, OMG! did I really just launch out of my chair, fist in the air and shout a nice loud and proud, "Fuck Yes!" as if I'd just won the frickin lottery?
There was a brief intermission half way through where we got to get social and of course refuel on surprisingly strong Mojitoes... naturally I wasn't complaining 🙂 The ceremony eventually climaxed with the announcement of Best Overall Blog which quite respectably went to WatKykJy.com. We were then invited upstairs for the after-party where I got have a good chinwag to some awesome people, namely Guy McDonald from Good Hope FM aswell as the organisers JP Naude, Chris Rawlinson and Dave Duarte. Eventually myself, Nash, Natalie Roos, Snoddie and Mellon decided to kick it and jol it up in town, but not before Nash took a little dip in the fountain at the One and Only and managed to have his way with the front of an Aston, as seen here... and most probably on CCTV too 🙂
The list of winners contained a few surprises which set it apart from previous years which did spark quite a bit of controversy afterwards. If you thought the amount of cat fighting before the awards amongst bloggers was bad... EISH! you should have taken a look at the huge backlash. Some people had some valid points but the amount of bullshit was quite ridiculous, mostly by "those who didn't get 1st place" of course. To be quite honest, I can't really complain, and not just because I won, but because the experience in itself is something to be remembered. My day started out really shitty, since as I got off the plane I was notified that my gran had passed away that night while I was en route to Cape Town. Now obviously being far away from home and family on your ace at a time like that is not cool, but the course of events that followed from there on really helped get my mind off things. The organisers have taken a lot of stick since the awards and fair enough there probably could be a few things that could have been done in a better way, but I don't think people appreciate the amount of work that these three guys put into the event and process, considering that each of them have full time jobs of their own aswell as their own blogs to run, trust me I know, I work a 10 hour day in the financial capital of the world for a pressure cooker of a brokerage with traders and operations staff virtually holding a gun to my head to get things fixed in 20 seconds flat , it's not easy and certainly not for the faint hearted, so I respectfully take my hat off to JP, Chris and Dave for managing to pull it all off.
It seems some people can be really bad sports though, after tweeting a certain someone to congratulate on still getting a podium finish since I felt quite respectful to be up against someone so well established, not so much anymore, as it seemed to fall on deaf ears since I never even got a one worded "thanks"... although I did read a blog post later which contained a massive bitch about the whole event. Strangely enough you've got to wonder though, if it meant so much then why didn't this person show their support and make the effort to attend?... just saying 🙂
All in all it was an awesome experience that was thoroughly enjoyed and my biggest thanks goes to each and every one of you, my readers, that put the awesome effort in to support PharSide on its journey over the past year, because as it goes without saying... none of this would have been possible without you, so give yourself a pat on the back right now.
Now there is the question of a certain Full Body Wax... and not to mention a massive night at The Slug in Wimbledon.
It would appear that Rocktober certainly does live up to its name where trying to find a gap in the social calendar on any given weekend this month is virtually impossible. I am aiming for Saturday 30th October, to endure the waxing that day before the rugby and then full steam ahead for a massive jol at The Slug later that night, so save the date.... I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but a promise is a promise 🙂
Check out the full list of winners for the 2010 SA Blog Awards
I'll leave you with Nash in a G-String