Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm Back!

Our visit across the pond was absolutely fantastic.

Tom and I arrived in Dublin IR Friday morning for a bit of a layover. We walked around the airport, stepped outside to touch Irish soil and finally ate breakfast in a little cafe before departing onto England.

Once in Birmingham, we checked into our hotel which would be home for the next 5 days. We met up with friends from Bramwell and other companies in the Pub for evening cocktails and laughter that went much later than intended for our tired souls, but fun all the more.

Workshops were the priority for Saturday, two total, which were very well received. I taught the classes using clear stamps but with a twist, we curved the stamps on the block to add a kick of interest. The trade show started Sunday with a bang, I demonstrated throughout the day. I saw my friend Claire Hampton as she made her way to the booth where she was working.

Monday morning started off early with an 8:15 workshop, our group had gathered once again in the pub the night before, we laughed about getting only a nap (4 hours) before starting our day. I continued demonstrating throughout the day with the help of many cups of coffee and tea. Dinner with a group of 16 followed at a Cantonese restaurant, and once again, we finished off in the pub.....sleep deprived and giddy.

Tuesday was the final day of the show. The foot traffic had slowed and we were able to get out of the booth a bit. I had a chance to visit more with Claire and my friend Michele Charles from the US. At the closing of the show, I was fortunate to be at the PaperArtsy booth where Mark had set me up with a bundle of stamps to bring home with me...THANKS Mark!!!. We tore down the Bramwells booth in record time. Us girls made our way back to the hotel by 7:00pm and waited for all the guys to finish doing the dismantling. We ate pub food and by this time Tom and I were exhausted and anxious for sleep.

Wednesday we rode north towards the Lancashire area with Tony Bramwell. Tony took us on one of his famous "Linger Longer" tours. We saw some Roman ruins, Castles, a haunted bridge, the area of the Witches of Pendle, Stonyhurst College (where J.R.R. Tolkien's son taught and is also thought to be the inspiration for The Lord of The Rings) and other interesting sites. We enjoyed this the most because of the rich history.

The tour continued the next day with the lake district of Windermere with countryside moors and clear water lakes. We went to a phone booth that marks the center of the UK. We learned of the war of the roses, and other facts of English life. We saw the green hillsides spotted with sheep, hedgerows between fields and slate rock fences made by hand. I must say that the North is nearly untouched by technology; the homes are of stone and villages quant. So beautiful!!!

To finalize our trip, Thursday evening we went to watch a "football" match between the Blakburn Rovers and Germany's Bayer Leverkusen in an emotional game that ended in a tie. The evening was followed up by fish-n-chips wrapped in paper (traditional) and sad goodbye's to our wonderful English friends.

I'll leave you with a photo of remains of an abbey set in a village surrounded by grazing sheep.



Danny said...

Hey honey glad you both made it home safe and sound. Give me a call when you have recuperated.

Babsarella said...

What an incredible trip!!! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!!

Juliehrr said...

As close to England as I will ever get . . . I cannot thank you enough for sharing all the photos and your anecdotes of the trip! I got goosebumps peeking and reading about it all!