About two months ago an email dropped into my inbox with the subject "Nationwide live-stream filming" - not something I have ever received, that's for sure. You see, I am quite a nervous person in front of an audience, I still don't even put my hand up at school meetings as I really don't enjoy speaking in front of a group. When I was at school, if a teacher so much as mentioned my name in class my heart would pump furiously and I would go a fetching shade of beetroot.
So, when I read this message saying they were interested in me being filmed for a new live-stream my first response was: "Are you sure you want me?"
I was found via the column I write for Britmums, once a month I voluntarily submit an arts and crafts column and it seems they liked what I had been doing. I told them that although I write for Britmums I also have my own blog and I understood if they didn't want me.
Nope, apparently Nationwide were very keen and the next thing I knew I was agreeing to go to London to talk live about keeping kids entertained on a budget. What the actual hell!?
Together, the company, Through the i Media and myself came up with a few ideas, I had a conference call with Nationwide and a date was set in August. I had to make some props in the form of painted rocks and I was sent a brief run-through of what sort of questions the interviewer would ask me.
My train ticket had been paid for in advance so I headed off to London Bridge where I was met by a taxi driver who drove me to Farringdon. Should I be nervous? I wasn't at all. What would I say, how would I come across? I can't stand hearing my voice recorded! What if I completely fluffed it - live?!!
I arrived at the studio, I was met by a group of people from Nationwide all sat in a conference room, there were snacks laid out, we had a little chat and everyone was really friendly.
I met some of the staff from the media team and I was asked if I would like my hair and makeup done - erm yes! I met Jemma Forte who was presenting the show and who would be interviewing me and the other guests.
Still I don't know where this inner-calm had come from but I felt fine. Amanda Lamb arrived and I was told to go and help myself to some food.
We literally did one quick rehearsal so we would all know when to leave the room and which way to walk out. The questions I was asked were fine and I felt confident answering them.
We were then attached up to our microphones and I was told I would be going live in 10 minutes. All the team in the studio were friendly, it was set out like a cosy room with sofas and a coffee table. I was on first so I was already seated, after Jemma had introduced herself and spoken about the show there was a video and then it was my turn. There was an initial feeling of slight nerves but I soon settled into it, it was literally just like having a chat about things I do and enjoy.
I can actually say, hand on heart, that I really enjoyed it! Both Jemma and Amanda said I was a natural. Once it was all over a taxi took me back to London Bridge and I got the train home.
I didn't actually watch it back until the following week when it was uploaded to their YouTube channel, I watched it alone, wondering how cringy I would feel seeing myself on screen and hearing the sound of my voice. Surprisingly I actually felt quite proud of myself. We gathered the kids together and put it on the TV downstairs, Finley said I was on par to his favourite YouTuber's "Pat and Jen" who do Minecraft videos. I then plucked up the courage to share it on Facebook and I got such a lovely response from family and friends.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. I would actually urge anyone who gets the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone to just do it.