Monday, August 5, 2013

London and the Fat Quarterly Retreat, part 1

Last year, when I told Mr. Romance I'd like to go to the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London, he said we should plan our vacation around it. I didn't wait for him to change his mind and right away bought my retreat ticket and reserved our airfare to London. I knew I didn't want to be suffering from jet lag while at the retreat so we planned to start our holiday 2 weeks before the retreat and end up in London fully rested and with our brains in the proper time zone. That is how the Baltic Cruise came to fruition. You can read about it here and here.


Arriving in London from Copenhagen, we headed to our B&B (recommended by Helen and Di). We then enjoyed a wonderful dinner and relaxing evening, even though the heat was a sweltering 89'F (the humidity making it feel like 113'F). We took a walk and then tried to stay cool in our un-air conditioned room.

The next day, the first thing on my agenda was to walk to Liberty and check out what all the buzz was about. It really is a beautiful building.


I have to admit, I did not know what to expect and was quite surprised when I saw it was a department store. A very high priced department store. But, I made my way to the fabric section and managed to purchase a scrap pack of Liberty fabrics.

We then continued on our walking tour of London, walking down by the river and passed the famous buildings, monuments and streets. It seems the hot weather brings everyone out into the parks to enjoy the sun. One man even thought it was ok to strip down to his underwear to get some sun.


It was finally time to get ready to meet Helen, Di and Mr. Quiltova for our dinner at Tamarind. This Indian restaurant has a sister restaurant here in Newport Beach and came highly recommended. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disappointment and tremendously expensive, even by London standards. It was so much fun to finally meet Helen and to see Di and her husband, Gordon, again. (We met them last year while we were in Vienna. They drove from their home in the Czech Republic just to meet us) We all get along famously and I must admit I have become quite attched to these three dear friends.

The next day I could hardly contain my excitement. I was finally going to get to meet so many of the people I have gotten to know online; through our blogs, Flickr, quilting bees and Instagram, we have become friends. The feeling of walking into the Baden Powell House and hearing my name being called out and receiving so many warm hugs was really overwhelming. I'm not going to name any names right here, because I don't want to forget anyone, by accident. I did try to make sure I got my picture taken with as many people as possible.


Before arriving in London I had not received my name tag from the name tag swap, but it was nice to receive it, in person on Friday, by the lovely Kristina, who came to the retreat from Munich.

Because I was not going to be bringing a sewing machine I was really glad when the classes I ended up joining did not all require a machine. My first class was crochet with LauraJane. I already know some of the basics of crochet but it was fun to sit and absorb the awesome fact that I was in London and meeting so many amazing people. I have been working on the granny squares since I got home and ended up joining them into a nine patch and I am working on finishing it into some small afghan or something.


Friday night the lovely Susan had organized a dinner at Med Kitchen for 38 very noisy, excited women. Once again I got to meet some new faces and put a face to other names I have read about in blogland. With three tables of women I regret now that I didn't get up and mingle a little more.

The whole time I was at the retreat, Mr. Romance and Mr. Quiltova were having a jolly good time discovering London, from a man's point of view. They watched a cricket match in a pub, they drank beer, they went on a brewery tour, they drank beer, they rode down the Thames on a river boat tour to Greenwich, they drank beer, they visited a market, they drank beer, they ate good food, they drank beer. Are you getting a theme here? They get along great and really had a fun time together.



That's part 1...there is still much more to share. I'll link this post to the Fat Quarterly website, where you can read more from other people's point of view. 

13 comments:

Leanne said...

It was great to meet you in person finally. It looks and sounds like the men had a great time too.

Dianne Neale said...

Lovely post. nice photos of the guys!

House of Pinheiro said...

Was lovely meeting you and read more about the rest of your trip...

Flying Blind... said...

So so so pleased to have met you at long last. It was such a hot and manic weekend that I wish had lasted a week!
Glad the men had a great time too xxx

Isisjem said...

What a brilliant recap. I sat in my first class unable to quite believe I was meeting everyone at long last!

Annabella said...

Lovely recap Di and fun to see what the boys got up to!

Carol said...

So sorry it didn’t work out to meet up with you. Larry and I hopped on the boat to Grenwich, too, from Putney. That was the day Bennett was born, so we were a bit distracted. Your time in London and the cruise sounds just delightful!!

heart of charnwood said...

It was fab, and wonderful to meet you, if all too briefly :o). Glad to see the men were so stoic despite being ditched for Retreat! ;o)

Catherine said...

It was great to have met you and glad to hear you both had such a great time

Katy Cameron said...

I'm not even going to ask why they were drinking beer in high viz jackets lol

It was lovely to see you again, and glad you enjoyed your time in London :o)

Canadian Abroad said...

You were awesome in person. Wish we had more time. Next year!

Geri said...

Mr. Quiltova reminds me a lot of Paul's Dad!

Laura said...

Looks like you had fun!!! even if it was unseasonable weather for london. You can look back on blue sky photos though- much happier than grey!