AS A DAD with stroller patrol duties, I am the earliest riser in the Irish Blog Awards Hotel (the airline deco Cork Airport Hotel), so I walked past the rack of bottles at left before breakfast was served several times during the weekend. A few thoughts occurred to me in that quiet hotel lobby that I'm sharing with readers. I'm glad to have recommended the Irish Blog Awards to several new Irish bloggers, several who sit on a third level social media course alongside me in Tipperary Institute. They enjoyed the inclusivity of the well-run event, while also seeing how difficult it can be to find people whose work you've read throughout the year. With more than 300 people mingling in the hotel, the only person who met everyone would have been working on the reception desk, and then perhaps only half of the people passed by each receptionist. At these kinds of events, I try hard to meet new faces but with my readership of Irish blogs stretching beyond 180 at the moment, there's no way I'm going to shake all those hands on a Saturday evening. I went to Cork for iba09 because I wanted to combine a family weekend with a blogger meet-up. In previous years, I learned more throughout the afternoon prior to the big event. This year, things ran smoothly and my priorities were more family-first. Since no one in my Irish family blogs, it meant keeping a lower profile. I enjoyed meeting ciaranr and marcusmacinnes for the first time in person. I nodded and waved at more people than conversing with them and hope those bloggers know I wasn't being rude--you just cannot break away from one full-on conversation and start another without letting people who bought your drink feeling ripped off. (Sorry, Keith Shirley, I know the next shout is mine.) I hope there's another Irish Blog Award programme held in the southeast before long. From the feedback I've heard, the Cork Airport Hotel is a superb venue. Moreover, if iba10 or iba11 happen in the Cork Airport Hotel, I'd work at arranging a free Photofly session to complement the Photowalk session.