Away for a Bit

I don’t think I’ve technically spent more than a night away from since the boy was born nearly 4 years ago. And if I’ve spent a night away, he was too small and runny at both ends to notice. Still, here I am sitting in a room on the 5th floor of a hotel in Bloomsbury laughing hysterically at the thought anyone would pay £8.50 for soup on room service. I’m sure some people do, but that’s their problem not mine.

Pizza for dinner has I’ve been told mollified the two of them somewhat but it’s still not going to be normal to bunker down for the night without slightly holding my breath that the two of them are going to wake up at any moment. Big thanks to wifey for holding the fort in my absence.

So what am I doing at the moment? I’ve done the where but the why is a little more involved. A couple of months ago I was contacted by the PR agency working for Shell (or perhaps better, Royal Dutch Shell Plc to give the group it’s proper name) and asked if I’d like to take part in a programme they were going to run called Shell V-Power Network of Champions.

Shell are running a social media campaign and looking to engage certain groups from their 4 biggest markets- the UK, German, the Netherlands and the Philippines. I’ve spent the day sitting in a room full of people I’m slightly in awe of. One chap has over 200,000 followers on Twitter, and James Allen, the chap leading the UK contingent even has his own entry on Wikipedia. And it’s mostly true. Pretty much everyone else involved is from a motor blogging/journalism background and looks very professional and then there’s me, a parent blogger, feeling somewhat out of my depth and in need of chocolate*.

I think this is a real opportunity to engage one of the worlds largest companies with the concerns of our community. Okay, I will be asking them what stuff goes really really fast, and whether they reckon Jeremy Clarkson has to be stitched into those Levi’s nowadays but lets face it, there are more parents in the UK than there are F1 fans aren’t there? Personally I want to know about fuel economy, whether their fuels are better for my car than just filling up at the supermarket and the whole ethical philosophy of Shell. We all need petrol/diesel if we have a car, it’s not something we can really avoid is it?

I’m off to their research facility tomorrow, so if you have any questions you want me to ask them, leave a comment, follow me on twitter and ask, drop me an email (address is in the sidebar) or have a look at our hashtag. Shell have promised they are going to be honest with us all and I’m certainly not going to accept no for an answer, I have my C grade at A level chemistry to see me through!

Wish me luck people, I’m going in…

*although I am resolutely holding to the recommendation of Mr J Allen who said he’s never met someone who talks more than him until today and that I should start a podcast. Wait for the 1st episode of the “Officially Endorsed by James Allen Daddacool’s Audiorrhoea podcast”