bec on a beach in australia

BlogOn Introduce Yourself – why I go to Blogging conferences

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In a couple of weeks, I’m off to a blogging conference run by the team at BlogOn ( – it’s only down the road at Hotel Football, in Old Trafford, in Manchester – about three miles from my house.

I’d heard about these conferences which have been held twice a year since 2013 – everyone said how great it was. I went to one of their Conferences in May; it was really well run and very useful. I learnt so much that day, especially about photography and editing It was lovely to meet people I’ve known on Twitter/ Instagram face to face too.

Art of Brilliance – positive psychology

My highlight of the conference was hearing Jason Todd from the Art of Brilliance talking about positive psychology in life and work. For example:

‘Every day is a Special Pants Day – Life’s too short. QUIT waiting for happiness’

This led me to attend their first Festival of Happiness in at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester in June. They’re holding another Festival in Birmingham on 29 June 2019 – info. I thoroughly recommend following them on twitter and attending their conferences. Such a wonderful, optimistic and positive day.


BlogOn – Sunday 16th September 2018 – 10-5pm, Hotel Football Manchester

I hear there are some tickets left – Ticket Information

It’s not just for parent bloggers either. The goody bag was massive with loads of useful things including some photography kit I’ve used most weeks since then.

Whether you’re a new blogger or been writing for years – There’s so much to gain from attending a blogging conference:

  • update your knowledge – technical topics, photography.
  • opportunity to talk to relevant brands (or not)
  • no need to be shy we are a friendly bunch
  • and you never know what it might lead to…

More about me:

We’ve been asked to write a bit about ourselves and link up… So here goes… You can also have read about other people attending the conference here

  • Share a photograph (a recent one so people can recognise you!)

I had trouble finding a picture without me wearing sunglasses or a woolly hat, or with my husband (not fair to plaster him over the internet). I’m about 5’3” and have got a full-on Southern accent despite my 25 years in Manchester. For the locals: I know the correct word to use for a bread roll in all parts of Greater Manchester – so I’m definitely an adopted Northerner. I think this is the 2nd photo of me I’ve put on my blog 😉

  • What is the best thing about blogging?

Finding experts on the topic you’re interested in – whether it’s about places to holiday or visit, restaurants, gin, whatever. This leads to developing new friendships.

This is a bit niche – but the gardening bloggers, not only have stunning photos of flowers, but so much advice and help about what to grow.

For my blog – I’m thrilled if someone comments that the posts are useful or enjoys my flower photography.

  • What was your dream job when you were growing up?

Don’t laugh – I wanted to be Prime Minister. I was about 9 when Mrs T became the leader of the Tories (wasn’t a Tory then or since) and I quickly realised if you want to change things in the world you need to be a leader. Instead, I’ve spent over 25 years working supporting health research and researchers in Universities. I help them to make the world a better place by influencing and changing health policy.

  • What is your lucky number?

I don’t have one as such, though the numbers 33 and 10 turn up in my life in very weird ways.

  • What is your favourite season?

When I was younger I loved Autumn – mainly because it was my birthday, I love Bonfire night and firework. But now, I think it’s Spring – all the new plants and flowers coming through, crocus, daffodils and cherry blossom – optimism 🙂

Spring is Nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s Party” the late, great Robin Williams

I’ve written about Spring many times on the blog – #Spring

  • If you had to choose one what would your favourite dish from the Chinese be?

Dim Sum all the way – and gyoza in particular, even though they are Japanese. I’m still dreaming of the BEST GYOZA I’ve ever eaten at South Melbourne Market in May. The whole meal was outstanding.

a rectangular plate of four gyoza

Gyoza at South Melbourne market – May

  • What is your useless talent?

I used to do air-rifle shooting and archery when I was younger, so if the Zombie Apocolypse comes, I’ll be fine.

  • If you could keep any animal as a pet what would you choose?

A cat 🙂 we are hoping to get an older rescue cat soon.

  • Which one meal would you eat forever? (If you had to choose one!)

Any kind of Sunday lunch but in particular, roast lamb and all the trimmings 🙂

  • What is the last thing you check before you lock your front door

Where my house keys, handbag and phone are. Plug in the computer and check all the lights are out.

  • If you won £50,000 what would be the first thing you would buy?

Tickets for a long holiday to see our relatives in Australia, followed by tickets to see the next tennis grand slam, followed by an international tour of the rest. Oh and Grand Final Tickets for Aussie Rules at Melbourne Cricket Club.

  • What is your favourite media channel?

Twitter –@becinmonton I’m a news fiend and I love it for this – and all the random parody accounts).

Getting more into Instagram (@becinmonton) as I follow lots of gardeners, photographers, interiors and cooks.

  • Tell us more about your best ever holiday

Lisbon – Been twice in 2015 and 2016 – and I’d go again in a heartbeat. This incredible city has everything – a castle on the hill, is by the sea, hills with stunning views, a cheap but fantastic tram system including three funicular trams, and a couple of external lifts. There are awesome art galleries, museums, parks, ancient and modern buildings – many cultural activities and the live music scene is great. Everyone was so friendly and helpful.

lisbon views

tram Ascencor de Bica (Baxia to the sea), Parc Eduardo VII (named after the English King Edward VII), view from Castelo de São Jorge across the city

I’ve written a couple of times about Lisbon:

It’s an incredible capital city. Portuguese and English connections go back hundreds of years – two great seafaring nations.

  • The food and drink are excellent quality – very much fish based, tomatoes and all the flavours of the Mediterranean. There’s also a very strong Moroccan and Far Eastern spice tradition within their cooking. This is because the Portuguese were a powerful naval nation in 15th/16th/17th centuries.
  • the cakes and tarts 🙂 pastel de nata were invented by the monks in Belem, Lisbon, Tarte de Amendoa are everywhere – almonds are a firm favourite with the Portuguese.
  • Ribeira market – aka Time Out. Numerous cities and towns around the world have markets/street food based on this concept.
  • Cocktails with a view 🙂 We went to Lisbon for the second time to celebrate my 50th birthday. Yes that is a lift – it’s an engineering masterpiece built in 1902.
Lisbon market and food

Ribeira Market aka TimeOut Market, Santa Justa lift, pastel de nata,

  • Name one cake you rock at baking

I don’t bake cakes very often. My husband is a much better baker than me, so I leave it all to him. I much prefer baking biscuits – my Earl Grey and lemon biscuits and cheese scones accidentally won WI competitions – which I haven’t quite recovered from especially as I’m the least competitive person going.

Here’s my earl grey and lemon biscuit recipe: Earl Grey and Lemon Biscuits – 15 July 2018

  • Which session are you most looking forward to?

Presenting by Alex Winters – and the go pro/photography hubs.

The rest of the schedule looks great –

  • What is your favourite book ever?

Tricky – I don’t read novels much at the moment, as I spend so much time reading complex documents for work. I tend to listen to audiobooks now, mostly in the car. I’m listening to ‘Reasons to stay alive’ by Matt Haig at the moment.

I love the theatre – so my favourite book ever would be the ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’. I started watching live Shakespeare since I was about 12 – it’s different when it’s done well and just as relevant today as the day it was written. My favourite play is….
Othello – love, death, rage, jealousy and how a strawberry handkerchief can you into trouble.

I love History, so I often read/listen to books from historians. I don’t read much historical fiction, as the historical inaccuracies annoy me…. but Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel was excellent, as were her following books.

  • Which special event is your favourite? (Halloween, Christmas etc)

Hogmanay anywhere in Scotland aka New Year’s Eve – preferably with a bonfire and fireworks. I was at University in Stirling, Scotland for four years so I visited friends in Scotland at Hogmanay often and have been visiting this wonderful country ever since. I love Scotland 🙂

  • If the internet vanished right now how would you share your message or life story without a blog?

I’d continue to take photographs, make albums or scrapbooks – I write info on physical photos I have too.

I’m in my early 50s so I remember very well how we existed without the Internet – Privacy was a completely different concept – outside your family, your circle of friends or work colleagues, no one would have any idea what you were doing or done.

For example, I have five photo albums from my time at Uni in the late 80s. Photos are mostly from birthday meals when it snowed on campus or days out to the mountains. There’s very little taken in the Student union/very late at night. So there’s absolutely no evidence of the mad and funny adventures we went on.

Don’t get me wrong – I love what the internet has done for the world – I was an early adopter, editing websites in the mid-90s because I worked in an academic environment.


Have a look at the answers other delegates at the conference have given – BlogOn Sept 2018 Linky – you could find a new blog to follow 🙂


Is there anything you want to ask me?

For my fellow bloggers – have you ever been to a blogging conference? was is useful? and what did you learn?

Carpe Diem

love Bec

Xx xx xx

15 thoughts on “BlogOn Introduce Yourself – why I go to Blogging conferences

  1. Karen Clough

    Love the quote about your special pants – thats a great one! And definitely useful to post a picture of yourself in advance so people recognise you 🙂

  2. Michelle loves to eat

    Those Earl Grey and lemon biscuits sound so delicious! 😋
    I really liked this set of questions, so interesting and allows us to learn more about you. I hope you have an amazing time!

    1. montonbec Post author

      Thanks Michelle – They were ridiculously easy to make. I’ll add the recipe link. Yes, I’m looking forward to the conference.
      love Bec 🙂

  3. Jasmin

    Love reading posts like these & get to know to the writers on the other side of the screen 🙂 such a lovely post!

  4. Katja

    Those Earl Grey and lemon biscuits sound all kinds of awesome! 😋 I’ve never been to a blogging conference, I wasn’t sure if I’d get anything out of them, but this seems really inspiring!
    Katja xxx

    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      the earl grey and lemon biscuits are lovely and so easy. I’d recommend BlogOn – I learnt so much when I went in May (even if you don’t have kids). It’s run by long-time NW based bloggers so I met loads of people locally which has really helped my network/opportunities. Hope all’s well with you in Chester. Love Bec xx xx

    2. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      I like an easy biscuit recipe – less faffing than cake 🙂 I’d really recommend BlogOn (even though I don’t have kids). I first went in May – since it’s set up and run by long time NW bloggers so great for networking/opportunities.
      There’s a facebook page which gives you an idea what’s covered and they’re a friendly/helpful bunch about blogging issues too.
      Lots Love Bec xx

  5. Louise Joy

    I love posts like these! It’s so nice learning about the person behind the blog. I’ve never really been to a blogger conference x

    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      It is isn’t it? You’ve been blogging for years so I expect you don’t need it so much.
      I wanted to learn more about Pinterest and the speakers seemed experts
      I figured it was 3 miles down the road so I’d give it a go – I’m not sure I’d trundle to London for one.
      Also, the goody bag was huge (needed a suitcase to take home) with many helpful things. There was kit I’ve used most days since then.
      love Bec 🙂

  6. Pingback: BlogOn Introduce Yourself – about me and why I go to Blogging conferences | Views from my garden bench

  7. Tim

    Being from an Asian background, I totally agree about dim sum – I could eat it all day, every day. We also have relatives in Oz and I would love to attend an AFL Grand Final – my wife’s family are all West Coast fans, though.

  8. David and Donetta

    You’re like a font of never-ending knowledge and experience! I’ve learnt so much about an array of things reading this, let alone more about you!

    Great read. Look forward to saying ayup!



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