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FBI2011 IS FINALLY OVER – WELL ALMOST!

March 3, 2011
So here I am, two months after my last posting, hanging my head slightly in shame for being such a bad tardy blogger. But I really do have a very good excuse…promise!!

The past 5 months have been taken up with organizing the South African Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba (or FBI2011 as it has fondly become known). This is something that I am driven by passion for…..but man!! I need an event planner, a cash sponsor and an IT guru…. or someone! This grandmother from the backwaters is getting too old for all this stress and techie stuff. I co-ordinated this event alone, excepting for the help of some awesome behind the scene folk like Nicola at Wots For Lunch (my html headache reliever), Tandy at Lavender and Lime and Tara at C’est la Vie (who both kept me going in many ways when I was flagging) and then of course my late night chat partner and confidante, Jeanne from Cooksister ,whom I am convinced sleeps even less than I do and that is saying something!! Thank you ladies for all your help, for keeping me going, for the encouragement that I needed when I felt I just couldn’t do it anymore.

The days leading up to the Indaba were quite tense…on the Thursday brownieboy and I raced to the airport (late he was from work and the traffic was hectic, it was boiling hot and the wind was blowing gales) to meet fellow blogger and co presenter with Jeanne of the one  writers workshop, Jamie from Lifesafeast Blog  who flew in from Nantes, France – I think  I should just direct you over to Jamie’s first FBI2011 post where you can get some idea of what it was like here in the brownie home those last days…

Jamie – doing the whirlwind tourist thing in the driving south easter!
 I will get on with the rest of this post which is going to take me too long anyway. There is NO WAY I can relate it all here so I will leave it up to others to do. All I can say is….I’m so very glad Jamie came, and it was wonderful meeting her and getting to know her, she is just as wonderful as I thought she would be, just like that person who writes her fabulous blog. I look forward to welcoming you back again soon..with your hubby!! And thank you for all the manual help. She was sweating like a horse glowing in the African heat I tell you all 🙂

Sunday 20th February dawned bright and clear. I started with 10 drops of Rescue Remedy the minute I opened my eyes at 5am. By 6am, after the call from my MC Jenny M to tell me she was really ill and couldn’t make it, I was sucking on that Rescue bottle like a baby sucks on its first milky bottle of the morning…… and imagining dear Jeanne’s face when I had to tell her that she was the newly elected MC for the day 🙂 (It was a picture I tell you that cannot be printed….EVER!!!) I had panicky moments about the weather as the photography workshop was going to be happening on the terrace under the trees but my fears were unfounded. February really is a beautiful summer month here in the Western Cape – well the wind was pretty bad some days and then there was the all encompassing fog that happened most days 🙂 – but on THAT day it was just perfect! The views from Monkey Valley Beach Nature Resort were spectacular to say the least and 100 bloggers spent lots of time photographing that…including me

just look at that stunning white sand and blue water!

After a flurry of virgin cocktails and registration and last minute setting up we were ready to get started!

These photos borrowed from the lovely Sam Linsell at Drizzle and Dip

Jeanne made an excellent MC and her talk about blogging was so interesting and enlightening. Read Tandys note about it here

Matt Allison – aka Im No Jamie Oliver who just happens to be a singer as well as an awesome food blogger, tweeter of note, stay at home daddy and gardener, was my right hand man on the day. How can I every  thank you enough Matt, for the use of your PA sound equipment and for all the help that you were to me. I think you ROCK!!

And to those who left early……you missed out on some awesome entertainment. This guy can SING!! We will just have to do this again…..

Photo borrowed from Ishay

I leave you with a few links where you can read all about FBI2011 from a delegates perspective……its always good to read what others think:

Cathy Marston

Yuppiechef’s Spatula Magazine

Drizzle and Dip

The Only Cin

From my Nest

There are more, I will add them, as I find them, onto the FBI2011 blog and if YOU find any, please let me know where they are.

This is one time that I really don’t mind finding links to other blogs in my comments section 🙂

Below, a photo of what was inside the fabulous goodie bags that everyone took home with them. My sponsors were beyond generous!!

Photo borrowed from Cindy’s blog

Until next time (which should be soon) happy reading!

browniegirl xx

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 3:13 PM

    FBI2012 here we come!

  2. March 3, 2011 3:16 PM

    WOOOT, what a blast it was. Thanks to everyone who worked so very hard and congrats to you for pulling it off.

    • March 3, 2011 3:22 PM

      Thank you. Reading what others have written and finding out how much they have benefitted from it….makes it all worthwhile. Hugs xx

  3. March 3, 2011 3:20 PM

    I think you ROCK for organising this magnificent event single handed.
    🙂 Mandy

  4. March 3, 2011 3:33 PM

    Hi Colleen, looks like it was an absolutely fabulous event, well done, you should be tremendously proud of yourself! I love what Drizzle and Dip wrote about you “she is without a doubt the mother of the South African food blogging community”. I agree wholeheartedly!!! Well done. xxxxx

    • March 3, 2011 4:06 PM

      Thank you so much for those lovely words Wendy…Nina also called me the Mama Hen of bloggers on the radio today…she also said I have proved that being over 50 is not over the hill and that you can look forward to doing exciting things at this age hehe….
      My one wish is that you will be able to join us one of these days at an Indaba! Warm hugs to you and your lovely family xxxx

  5. March 3, 2011 4:12 PM

    Thank you so very much for inviting me and convincing me to come. The whole trip was fabulous fun, even a day spent filling goodie bags! And the conference was amazing! Loads of fun, information and I fell in love with South Africa’s food and wine bloggers. What brilliant, welcoming people who made me feel like a part of their community. Colleen, I was blown away by the job you did (and Donald’s passion, too). You are a fabulous, generous, kind person and I want to give you a huge hug (even though there were much better pictures of me, you rat!). xxxxx

    • March 3, 2011 4:49 PM

      There might have been better pictures….but this one is my favorite by far…dont ask me why!! I think its because you look so much the part of the windblown tourist hehe…Thank you so much for your lovely words Jamie. They mean so much to me. YOU mean so much to me. I think that food bloggers are a breed apart. Such lovely warm, sharing people. So glad that you felt so at home amongst us South Africans. Look forward to your next visit 🙂 Hugs and much love xxxxx

  6. March 3, 2011 6:03 PM

    Colleen, a great post and post script to a wonderful FBI2011. What a lot of friends I made. Jeremy wrote a journal entry on our website . It shows on our homepage http://www.africanrelish.com
    And thanks again for the mammoth task you and your team accomplished with generous sponsors. I know we are going to see you in our kitchen in the Karoo, and that the food bloggers workshops will be such fun.

    • March 5, 2011 12:30 PM

      Thank you Lisa, it was a wonderful event wasn’t it? But it was worth the mammoth task to see everyone so happy and enjoying themselves and learning something at the same time. I am very tired. Could do with a wonderful therapeutic, regenerating Karoo weekend in your kitchen! I long for that. Thank you for the link. I will go and take a look at it this weekend. Hugs and awesome meeting you xx

  7. March 3, 2011 10:10 PM

    from everyone’s blogs an facebook posts an conversations, you put together an event that ROCKED!

    well done, an you need not apologise for the long absence

    • March 5, 2011 12:27 PM

      Thank you Sidey, much appreciate that. I hope to make up for the long absence by blogging more regularly. It is something I love to do and I have missed it a lot. Hugs and love to you. Have a grand weekend xx

  8. March 5, 2011 4:33 AM

    Really lovely n nice pics

    • March 5, 2011 12:26 PM

      Thank you so much Sana, it was hard going and Im really tired but it was so worth it. Hugs and thanks for the visit xx

  9. March 12, 2011 6:45 PM

    I would have loved to have come, you certainly organised a fabulous conference!

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