Monday 16 March 2009

Thrifty, gifty meet up at the NEC

Now arranging to meet on Friday 13th wouldnt of been a good idea,if you were supersticious !!! But i can honestly say that for Thrifty gifters it must be a lucky day :O)

After weeks of excitement the day was finally here ....

I had spent the evening on MSN to Ruth (furrypig) This had become one of our things :O) If for any reason we didnt manage to catch up she kindly emailed me or left me a message on facebook. Having someone who cared so much made the fear of taking such a big step on my own an easy one. I dont really think that i have ever told Ruth how her caring touched my heart and made this scary event one that i was determined i must do. Mel and i had shared heartfelt PMs on MSE and i wanted to be there for her as much as she did for me. Now K and i had spoken on MSN also so meeting her was one of the must do things that i wanted to do. I had read her blog and learnt that to go to the NEC was a big step for her also. Sarah and Melissa were two people that i hadnt really spoken too before. I had followed Sarah beautiful gift/craft threads before Christmas. Melissa however was 'new' to me ;O)

Well the morning had arrived. I made sure all my bag was packed the night before.So i just had to warm my sausage cob and wrap it in foil then i was off. We set off in plenty of time (7.30am) to get the 8.08 train. As Dwight drove nearer to town the traffic seemed to get thicker and thicker :O( I started to panic as it was obvious that i just wasnt going to make that train. I had a text from Ruth saying that she had made her 1st train and was on her way. I returned the text with one for friday 13th..... i didnt think i was going to make my train. We pulled into the train station at 8.10 :O( So that was it i was going to be too late to meet everyone,what was i going to do, i remembered i had K's mobile number. So after visiting the station infomation office i found there was another direct train leaving at 8.38.. So i was only going to be a little late as it arrived at 9.56. We had to meet Sarah at 10.15 and Ruth at 10.33, as they were travelling 'up North'.....Yes it was still do able !! I text K to tell her what had happened. 'Thats ok', she text back,'Dont worry about it,we will wait' :O)

It was a fairly uneventful train journey from Nottingham to New Street station. With the extra half an hour wait my sausage cob had gone cold !! But i still tried to eat abit....cold sausages arent that bad lol. I sat back with my butterflies fluttering and listened to my ipod. On looking out the train window i seen a landmark that was well recognised 'The Rotunda' Thats it i was nearly there...

My train pulled into New Street station platform 12b. I had a text from K that they were waiting on platform 1a ( To international and NEC) Which yes you guessed was right at the other end of the train station. Now normally this would of been fine but in my excitement i had forgotten my walking stick !!

I stood at the top of the stairs to go down to platform 1a, would i recognise them ? would they recognise me ? At the bottom of the stairs i noticed a familular thing a trilby hat.. Yes it was K, standing next to her was Mel who was recognisable from the pictures i had seen.Melissa was also there recognisable by her tidy bump. I walked up to them and K said have a hug that was it i felt at ease,accepted and part of the group. Mel then had a hug too.

The train to International was ready and waiting on the platform.It was very busy on the train. Another 4 events were happening at the NEC today,or so the ticket man on Ks train told her. One of which was the national wedding show. We quickly hopped on eager to get to our destination and meet Sarah and Ruth. The train was packed with just 3 seats available. A gentleman offerred up his seat,as he was getting off soon. This wasnt before Mel had put her bum in a few peoples faces along the way LOL. K commented on this was how dogs greeted each other. Well that was it ...the tone was set for the day !! Lots of laughter and fun..

At international K and i was so engrossed in convosation that we completely walked past Sarah !! ( Sorry about that Rainmac ;O) ) We stood in a huddle waiting for Ruth... Talking about how disgusting it was of WHSmiths at the train station,to charge £1.59 for a bottle of coke !!!! A woman walked towards us with a huge smile on her face,it was Ruth. That was it we were a complete group, we had finally managed our thrifty gifty meetup.

Well hall number 11 was ,of course, right at the other end of the NEC..But it didnt matter..we all chatterred away whilst walking there.It seemed to take no time at all (the moving floors helped ;O) ) We giggled at the oldies with big bags walking so quickly that they were nearly running...(They were the hags who K refferred to, or maybe it was the ones who complained they would never get there if they waited behind us lol) I should of took my stick shouldnt i ,K ? lol. Outside hall 11 we had our photograph taken by Mel,..hmmm she thought she would get out of having her photo taken now did she ? ....we would get her later.

On entering hall 11 that was it craft scrappy heaven...Keeping together in a group was going to be very hard.That was apparant from the first stall.. Ruth was a bargain basket super spotter !!! We huddled around a bargain box,where Ruth found some chipboard cat stickers.. Yes the tone went through the floor again. As comments on pussy (cats) followed....Well it did make us giggle. Sarah innocently added that she had a black one, K and i couldnt stop laughing :O)

Somehow we managed to break up into 2 groups. Mel and K then the other 4 of us,It wasnt a problem K had our numbers so we could all catch up.

Lots of bargain hunting and giggling was the must have addition to our day.I can honestly say that we had a fun day.. At 1.30 i had a text from K telling us they had stopped for lunch and where we could find them. This had to be one of the best bits of the day.. 6 relative strangers sitting on the floor chatting like old friends...Sarah had made Rocky Road which she shared with us all, it was dellicious !!! K had brought 6 cream eggs to share, but ended up having to take them home. Somehow a stranger was asked to take a photograph of us all. What a special photo it was

At 3pm Ruth,K and I had booked to go on the SDU or 'STD' lol course. We thought we would get to 'play' but we didnt :O( It was quite interesting though. But i would of rather played and stickied !! There are no courses here near me. But at £175 a course, i am quite pleased lol. They seemed to think that i shouldnt use my pretty papers ( Que me looking shocked and totally disgusted !!! )

Well one by one we dwindled away....Before we went to the workshop Melissa had to say her goodbyes as she had to make her way home whilst we were still in there. So 6 became 5 :O(

After the workshop it was a quick dash round to get bits that we said we might get if we couldnt find anything else lol. Next to leave was Sarah... 5 became 4.

The remainding 4 of us, did a few bits that we wanted to pick up. A quick loo stop. Then it was time for Mel and K to begin their journeys home.

Ruth and i planned to wait together until late as both of our trains were late, to get the best prices available and direct trains. We stayed at the craft fair until we were nearly thrown out at 5.30 :O) Having a chat and a slow walk back to the International train station. We sat on a bench whilst we finished our pack lunches and Ruth arranged her bags so she had less to carry.( Not that she had bought lots and lots hehe)
We walked up to the train station after another quick loo stop... Trains toilets are awful afterall.
It was fast approaching time that the thrifty gifty meet up would come to an end.. Ruths train was due into platform 4 and mine on platform 3.... So to end our thrifty gifty meet we were talking/shouting to each other across the train tracks lol.
The train back to New Street was again packed !! So i managed to find a seat and Ruth waved me off... cue some funny looks of people ;O) The train pulled into ..yes you guessed it 1b and my train back to Nottingham was going from 12a. So another trek across New Street station. This time i didnt have such a spring in my step. The thrifty gifty day out had been such fun. We had all bought lots of new and exciting craft goodies. I had met some new people,all of whom were very different but all as equally lovely,kind and caring individuals. These people had all,without knowing it helped me take a huge step...... back to the person i used to be.. I will always look back on our day out today with very fond memories. This is the day i start to get Oona back

xxxxx to you all girls. You have helped me in such a way that you do not know and cannot imagine . I love you all and thankyou from the bottom of my heart xxxxx


K said...

Love you too babes - you've taken a huge leap, now keep up with baby steps.

Its great to hear yet another perspective on the day :)

furrypig said...

Hey you!! You have made a furrypig all teary eyed with your wonderful words!! Glad to have shared in your 'coming out'!! You are so funny and mad and this is reflected in your description of the day!! I can't wait for our next meet up big hugs Choccy Oona xxx

Sarah said...

Love your view of the day! Are we going to do it again...?