(Please ignore anything you've seen on google reader..this is the definitive post!)
I have had a great weekend with the Isle of Man Branch of the Embroiderers'Guild But the journey to the furthest outpost of the North West region was not uneventful
The original ferry was cancelled due to bad weather and we were booked on the 2.15, check in 1pm. We left home at 11.45 for what should have been a 30 minute journey to Heysham.
Due to an accident on the M6 it took two and a half hours.
At check in time we were stuck on the main A6 through Preston.
At 1.30 we were back on the M6 hoping the boat would wait.
1.45 saw us hitting the jam caused by an accident in Lancaster holding us up for a further half hour. I can't tell you how sick I felt.
I am accustomed to being late but on this occasion I couldn't think how I would be able to explain the the Ladies of the IoM branch..I'd missed the ferry.
I felt so sick.
My heart was pounding.
We arrived at the ferry port.
OH JOY!! The weather was so bad the boat had only just arrived. We were in time.
The boat that should have left at 2.15 was delayed till 3.15.
The crossing was a bit on the rough side but it didn't deter the majority of passengers from scoffing bacon sausage beans and chips..yeuch!
I had a revolting sandwich. (We had originally intended to pick up 'not just a sandwich' from M&S on the M6, but the traffic jam put paid to that).
When the announcement came that the boat would dock in Douglas at 7.15 I realised I would have to go straight to the Guild to do my talk, but I was in my very casual clothes. I persuaded a crew member to accompany me to the car deck for a quick rummage in my suitcase to extricate my decent togs and did my Clark Kent act in the Ladies loo (trying hard to ignore the sounds of those who were now regretting their earlier consumption of sausage beans bacon and chips.)
At the Guild meeting we unloaded everything from the car and set up the laptop with their digital projector. I had around 200 photos of my work to talk about.
The projector wouldn't work so I had to improvise and talk about the few pieces of work I'd taken with me. It was a shame because I hadn't taken my best work.
They assured me the talk was a success.
After the talk we tried to get a meal.
Even MacDonalds was shut.
We pleaded with the Hotel and they made us some lovely sandwiches and from there things progressed very well.
The next day the workshop was great fun, the Ladies were delightful. They made me so welcome, made a lovely lunch for me and joined in with great enthusiasm and skill and creativity. It rained all day but that didn't dampen their warmth and hospitality.
They even arranged an extra hours sleep for me! (BST ended so the clocks went back.)
Thank you ladies..and thank you for the blog comment, but as you were anonymous I don't know who you were.
I am only sorry I forgot to take any photographs of you all. On Saturday we ate at this
restaurant which I am reliably informed, previously turned away Johnny Depp because he hadn't booked.
On Sunday we had blue skies and sun. We went to 'The Sound' and saw these lovely colours and watched seals.
I was told about Braddan Old Kirk, an atmospheric old church with an amazing graveyard, full of ancient gravestones with trees growing through them.
apparently its often used for film making.
But the real treasure lies inside.
A fantastic array of Ancient Celtic and Viking Stones and crosses.
Just standing there.
I especially liked this one with just half a cross on it. I liked its simplicity.
Sorry the picture isn't too good.
The patterns were so varied, both simple and complex.
Just imagine how long ago these were carved, and with such skill.
All this and kippers
What more could an embroiderer want?
I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
I must add that all the people of the Isle of Man who we met and spoke to were generous, helpful and welcoming .
I must just make a mention of the sad news of the death of Julia Caprara
on Friday from Cancer.
Julia didn't know me but she was a great inspiration to me in my early days of embroidery, and many others.
She will be missed.