It was incredible and I was so excited for the evening ahead. We all transferred from the bar to our function room for the evening. I delighted in a champagne reception and the chance to be photographed and interviewed about my nominated category, Author Of The Year. Mingling with some of the other guests, everyone in their glamorous outfits. A special atmosphere was growing.

Going through to the main function room which looked stunning, I was seated inbetween Irma and Deborah. I was still chuckling inwardly to myself. The person, Evi, that had nominated me in the first instance had been delayed, as I sporadically checked my phone for updates. I had never even met Evi before, but we had shared many online conversations and felt as though we knew she each a little. Well actually she felt that she knew me rather well, and I reminded her that she had read my book of my life story, warts and all!

The evening began with a brief welcome from our beautiful hostess Placida, the brains behind the event itself and then we kicked off with some entertainment. We heard from the speakers whilst we dined on the succulent Caribbean feast. Sumptuous jerk chicken, curried goat and fish fritters, all divine.
Suddenly I felt someone grab me and give me the biggest squeeze…it was Evi bless her. How lovely to meet her after our intense conversations online. She was so sweet and very petite.

Then it came to the Awards section towards the end…By this point, I was a little distracted as was anxious about my train, it was looking unlikely that I would catch it and started to think of what plan B would be. Spending the night at the train station was looking likely.

The awards were being called out, several categories to go through, wonderful to see the winners being cheered and congratulated. You could tell that everyone in that room was dedicated to their cause, their why and were driven to achieve what they had. I loved that. Passion and determination, two of my favourite traits in a human. The other nominee I was sat with, thanks to kind Evi, won her category. I thought that there was definitely no way on earth that I would be chosen too. When they called out my name for the second time, I had to be prompted by my crowd, that they had called my name out, for my category, I had won! I was so shocked and walked over to the stage to collect my award in a daze. I remember grabbing Placida, hugging and thanking her and telling her how much it meant to me. I fought back the tears and then jumped off of the stage in a whoop! I was ushered out of the room for another photo holding my beautiful glass award. It felt so incredibly personal and special to me, as I’d won this for sharing my story. I cannot even begin to explain the depth of that for me, as the former “Invisible Girl” and how moved I was by the occasion.

I resigned myself to the fact that I’d be spending the night in the station after missing my train. However, nothing could dampen my spirits at this special time. I whiled away the next, almost six hours in St Pancras train station, writing and drinking coffee. I sat and pondered over the events of the evening just gone by, how incredible had it been.

I donned my headphones and listened to music as I scribbled my notes and mini mind map, designed to prompt memories for writing purposes. I’d always half lived in a fantasy world for when the real one was too hard to be in and it had remained a habit. I found visualisation very powerful for me and it can do so much good.

It was as busy in this café throughout the night as it was during the day at a Leicester café, incredible. Quite fascinating to watch the variety of customers there were around me.

At around five thirty, I grabbed a takeaway coffee and raisin pastry for the journey and went to board my train, with my second train ticket. Sitting down, now feeling the exhaustion of the evening’s antics but a proud glow and smile plastered across my face, as I was homeward bound.