I was lucky enough to be at The News’ Woman of the Year awards last weekend.
I nominated a colleague and a friend of mine for the education award for the way in which she has brought dance to her school.
She is an incredible force of nature, inspiring her students to achieve their very best, working hours way beyond what she’s paid for, mixing it up with all year groups and both sexes.
She’s quite amazing and when we were invited to the awards I was dead chuffed.
I’ve not been to an awards dinner before and was slightly put off the event by the fact that it was black tie.
What a palaver. It was once so simple as I have a huge amount of dresses that can up their game with a bit of tactical decoration.
Unfortunately none of them are big enough for me to squeeze myself into, so I have one purple number that I hide in underneath a sparkly silver scarf.
I have noticed that the more statuesque we are, the more we decorate ourselves as Christmas trees.
I am pretty much baubled from start to finish.
Anyway, it turned out to be a rather lovely evening.
I went along with a hefty dose of cynicism as I don’t really like celebration, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much the stories of the winning women – and other nominees – resonated with those in the room.
Some of those women are absolutely amazing, beyond compare. Their achievements, their caring, volunteering, business success. All phenomenal.
What I particularly liked was that it wasn’t all about women sacrificing themselves for the good of others.
There was a healthy dose of fighting for success, crawling or striding up the ladder, seizing opportunities and being simply marvellous.
Of course, I was worried that my colleague wouldn’t win. My nomination had been done in a last-minute fluster.
But luckily for me the judges saw past my hastily put-together evidence and were able to understand the wonder that is Sarah Baggett – and what she brings to all the students that she works with at Bay House School in Gosport.