A little Friday update:
Sadly, I had a little gain at SW and am half a pound out of target range. Drat. I'll be back down again next Friday, be sure of that.
I had a lovely time with Andrea and we're going to arrange another one next month, if possible.
The waterproof trousers I ordered arrived and are perfect. Yay. I'm pretty sure I have what I need now or have it planned, one way or another.
There's more cladding on the garden room. They did a lot round the back where it can't be seen.
I've realised that it's going to give me a lot more privacy. It now blocks the view into my living room from the house to the back of mine - and from my garden into their house too. That's good, I think. I also think the lighter cladding (I was umming about having a dark green to match the fence as much as possible) lights up the back garden in daylight - that's good too.
Now Saturday . . .
Really sorry: I took my camera but didn't take any photos. There were just too many people around and one does have to be so careful nowadays.
Getting out of the house to walk to the pick up point by around 7:35 was no hardship, given that I am a lark anyway. Fortunately, it didn't start raining until the coach appeared and I was in, seated and settled before it really poured. I felt sorry for those being picked up after me though.
It was quite a long drive, of course. Down the A12, across on the M25 and up the M1. It seems counter-intuitive to go south in order to go north west but it really is the quickest way and there were no hold-ups whatsoever. We stopped off for a half hour break, something the Broomfield trips don't do, and it does add to the time. I'd be happy to not stop but people seem to like it so . . .
Anyway - the show. It was HUGE! Absolutely enormous. A bit brain-shattering at first with lots of sparkle and colour.
And it was crowded. So crowded, it was hard to get round and even harder to actually spend much time looking through the goods on sale/display, especially the crafting area. I had to laugh though - some people were obviously determined to stock up and spend and had brought pull along trolleys on wheels! That didn't help the general crush but not to worry.
There were some really good stalls. Quite a lot of 'diamond art' - I think that's what it is called - which seems to be the in-thing at the moment but which doesn't really appeal to me. To be fair, some of the made up kits looked stunning and I can see the appeal in using it for card making, for instance.
There were several fabric stalls with both Christmas and other fabrics, panels for cushions, bunting, etc. I was sorely tempted by the Christmas bunting panels (thinking garden room - I have bunting for the house) but I do have quite a lot of Christmas fabric in the blue room so common sense prevailed.
It wasn't something I had thought of before and that's one of the strengths of something like this - you get ideas. So I want to look through my Christmas fabrics and see if I can make some bunting; probably not this year now but for next year.
There were a lot of paper craft stalls with some lovely card and paper, there were some jewellery stalls, some candle stalls and a few glass stalls, some wood crafting and some yarn stalls which I hovered around for a long time. I was again sorely tempted by a kit for a crochet Christmas blanket that would have tested and extended my skills but, in the end, I didn't get it and I don't regret that decision today.
Then I wandered into the food section and that was great. Lots of artisan drinks (and samples) lots of cheeses, meat products, cakes, brownies, spiced stuff (like samosas) and so on (and samples!!). I returned to the cheese counters several times but didn't in the end. The old Joy would have bought several little rounds and then do something with them but not now. If I'd had the family round for Christmas day, maybe, but . . .
There was also a section on - I'm not sure what it's called nowadays - things like scented candles, incense, crystals, and so on. Lovely aromas!
Scattered throughout were some clothes stalls and there were some lovely things to buy. That was where I fell. I bought a lovely soft, dusty pink cardigan and a big scarf that one could use as a scarf, a shawl or as a head covering. And I bought three pairs of bamboo socks. The last of the big spenders, that's me.
The other thing I bought was a set of knives - I didn't want the whole set of knives, peeler and scissors but it was cheaper to buy a set than just what I wanted because - special offer!
I wouldn't say they are top end by any means but they seem good and you can always do with good kitchen knives.
There were demos too, which were interesting. I hadn't booked a workshop but, if I go again, I think I will. There were some good ones on offer.
And, just as I felt my feet were dropping off, I came to an open section with live Christmas music and chairs so I say down, thankfully, and enjoyed a solo performance from some chap with a guitar and then half an hour of most enjoyable singing from the local Rock Choir. Just what I needed.
I chatted to some of them afterwards and they had done five half-hour sessions through the day! That's some performance stamina.
I just didn't have the energy or the interest to go into the cake and baking section. I'm not sorry really, I thoroughly enjoyed what I did choose to look at.
The drive home was pretty good too with just one slow section around Milton Keynes way and one other hold up right at the end as we drove past the park in town. The road was one lane only with traffic lights because there was a big firework display in the park and the other side of the road (where you didn't have to pay but the view was brilliant) was absolutely packed all the way along. I guess the one way thing was to increase safety.
Anyway, no worries because we got a really good view of the fireworks for a short time.
It was a good day but I am truly shattered this morning and am going to take it really easy. There's some washing to do but that's hardly an effort and I have some bread dough on its first rise as I type. I think that's the limit of my exertions today.
Wishing you a good Sunday too - enjoy! xx