I didn't go to the retreat last year. I was super excited about it. In fact I seem to remember emailing Lynne long before it was announced saying that we had to have our own sewing summit type event in the UK and she'd have to organise it - what with her being the Queen of Brit Quilt and all. I can't remember her response, if I was her I'd have told me not to be so bloomin' cheeky. When the retreat was announced she probably thought I'd have been the first to sign up. Especially as it was located just 50 miles up the road from me in London.
But then when the dates were announced it was the Jubilee weekend and I just couldn't commit to tying up that weekend so far in advance. For those who don't know my other half (referred to as 'Chief' on this blog) is in the army and lives a five hour round trip away from me. As a result it can be very difficult to make plans to get together and often bank holiday's are great times for us to actually get a whole day and night together. In the whole of our relationship I don't think we've spent more than three nights in a row together! But that's another story. Add to that the cost, travelling on the Jubilee weekend to the place (London) where it was all going on and suddenly I was faced with the gutting decision of saying 'no'.
Cue lots of tears and Chief trying to cheer me up. (Which might have worked a whole lot better if he'd bought me, oh I dunno... a whole stack of fabric?) I was determined to go next year. I loved reading the build up to the retreat and really enjoyed seeing all the photographs and hearing all about retreat last year. Although I'd be fibbing on a massive scale, if I didn't confess and say that for about 6 weeks before the retreat when every Brit quilter blog post, flickr swap etc focused on going to the retreat or making stuff for the retreat, I was feeling really left out and a bit in the dumps about it all.
What was great for me (although maybe not for her) was the Katy breaking down a couple of miles up the road from me at Oxford Services on the way home. You can read all about that here. In fact Katy and I have co-ordinated travelling to the retreat and accommodation together. We're booked into The Grange, Strathmore.
I am most looking forward to meeting people I've been getting to know via blogs and flickr swaps and lots of new people I'm yet to discover yet. I should warn you though if you're in any way famous to me I am likely to point at you when we meet and exclaim at you who you are. Like you didn't know. But at least you're forewarned. I am also looking forward to learning new stuff and taking about a zillion photographs of absolutely everything. I am also hoping there is another of those name tag swaps. I so wanted a badge with my name on it...
Oh and just so you know who I am:
In my head I'm far cooler than I am in real life. So whilst I have visions of turning up at the retreat dressed in a little something I whipped up a la verykerryberry, I'm most likely going to be the one with my skirt caught in my knickers and odd shoes on. If you can't find me for a natter at the retreat just ask one of the organisers where the naughty step is as I've a feeling I maybe sat on it...