As you may of gathered, I was away for a period last week so I wasn't on Tumblr, Angels, FA or GT for that period not just 'cos I didn't bring the JoBook with me but in any event the internet where we was was down most of the time so here's how it went.
I caught the bus on Friday (2/9) from our estate to get a connecting bus to our railway station, one of biggest in the UK and the premier one in the North-west Midlands as I was told no taxis were available only to find out later on one did come!
Fortunately the connections worked out fine so I arrived in good time to catch the first train as I needed to catch a service to the outskirts of Birmingham to meet up with a friend who'd take both of us to the large property in Eastern England we'd be at.
I stopped overnight having had biscuits and tea followed by a beef stew for evening meal while we talked about things about what we were doing and some techno stuff.
Upon waking up first thing as we needed to start out around ten o clock, we saw a half inch of snow on the roofs as it had snowed overnight so we packed a shovel just in case and after a light breakfast set off. It had stopped snowing where we were but as we got near Leicestershire it resumed briefly not without some idiot trying to cause a multiple pile up that would of involved us!
We were a little early so stopped at a famous reservoir nearby meeting with two others in our group before arriving after we had exclusive use of the property during our stay.
After bringing our cases in I quickly changed to my green pleated skirt as people were sorting out individual rooms which involved putting room signs up so having found mine that was downstairs because of my mobility issues, I set my room up.
I opened the first lot of Jelly Babies having carried the one kilogram bag with me, putting them in a bowl in the front room and soon the first of the week's jigsaws to finish was set out on a table
By the time everyone had arrived, it was getting time to order some food as we all were too tired to fix our own so we placed a big order for mainly curries which for me included Chicken Tikka Nega which is like bits of a Chicken Tikka and fries in a bag from a well regarded Indian takeaway.
I changed then into my trademark black tunic (Pinafore) with its red "Junior Prefect" badge that was close the last avatar I had here that I had on until Monday.
Karla laid on with support a disco that concluded that day apart from finding mystery objects by our room doors the next morning.
On of the Sunday, We had a morning arts and craft session hosted by Glittery Beth where those mystery objects which for me included a clay hedgehog money-box to paint, a goodie bag that included bits came in handy so I could paint a horse and make it's tail and do a bit of origami, assembling a card pigs head mask and attaching a piece of elastic.
Although I required a bit of help with part of this, actually I found it really enjoyable putting me in little headspace being the sort of thing we did at school.
As an experiment Karla and Caroline did Hot Dogs and Hamburgers for lunch as we'd normally have a meat salad that soon disappeared down our tummies like we were ravenous dogs. I think it's safe to say that sure was a hit with everyone.
In the afternoon we were treated to a couple of cartoons from Hello Kitty and friends before moving on the main feature, a showing of The Secret Life of Pets which was really funny and in a couple of spots a bit sad too. During the intermission tubs of icecream were served and popcorn was on tap throughout.
Emma cooked a lovely Beef roast with steamed vegetables that you'd of gladly of paid for commercially as it was that delicious and provided a New York style cheesecake.
In the evening the lesser spotted Nekomimi that had snucked in with Andi on Saturday presented a music quiz with a twist: namely most of the questions had a connection to Animals which was the theme of this weeks camp.
I was pleased to see it went down rather well having prepared it, with people having a laugh, making gestures and at one point even singing the Hippopotamus Song which is really the point of this - having fun - and Daisy and Karla won it!
Monday saw me change dress to a a bluey-grey one with a top pocket on what would be my left for a handkerchief that I stayed in for the duration of the time.
On the Monday we had in cookery decorating Gingerbread Men overseen by Emma using icing although as I was having a periodic R.S.I. flare up making fine wrist/finger control difficult, I opted to do a little colouring instead. This underscores one point which is while obviously they'd be little point meeting up to do nothing but sit in your room, no one has to OR can make you do any one activity as much as they'd like everyone to take part in theirs.
Suzy and Daisy treated everyone to a salad with a choice of meats, cocktail sausages and tuna - the first of two - for lunch.
Later on Alice had a treasure hunt involving finding various teddy bears and searching everywhere for clues.
In the evening we watched a few videos of previous meet ups which was interesting.
On Tuesday we had the second arts and crafts session in the morning and I did some photography as we had extensive grounds plus good light.
After lunch, Alice made a video based on ideas from the group of a group of girls going on a hunt for teddy bears which we called "Unbearable" with us all acting in it shot out in the grounds and edited digitally in the house.
Karla made and cooked a scrumptious Cottage Pie with vegetables for our evening meal before Daisy, Sally-Jane and Alison played guitar, keyboards and sang a number of songs together which was much appreciated.
On Wednesday we need to leave so apart from packing our cases which I'd been doing a bit at a time, we had breakfast and two by two made our ways off with myself and Auntie Andi being the last to leave so we and Karla finished off some of the salad before driving away.
We hit very dull torrential rain around Northamptonshire and into Warwickshire with some flooding in places coming back.
For the two of us, we were unexpectedly invited to stay at a friends place in our part of the Midlands overnight where Jennifer had made a lovely Steak and Kidney Pudding with suet pastry and a Victoria sponge cake with chocolate sprinkled with hundreds and thousands as decoration for desert.
As Auntie Andi had other business to attend to necessitating her earlier departure, Jennifer who was going into town anyway kindly dropped me off at the station to catch the train back to mine ready to get a taxi back to the door to be greeted by Marmalade feigning disinterest.
For me this period was mixture of things, first and foremost time to actually regress in the company of like minded people doing actual child-like things together face to face, building relationships of which for me one important thing was being able to talk and show things with Karen Marie. It's one thing to be at home with your Netbook or Smartphone talking with people, it's a whole nother thing being under one roof together for days.
It also showed the strengths of our group such as those who catered for us, Beth's inspired littles doodling on plastic backed paper that made the place look and feel like real littlespace that we belonged in and indeed she put a awful lot of thought into everything including the arts and crafts, Samantha R's activity program so while we had spaces for personal littlespace, it provided the structure for more group things and not least Suzy's handling of the booking and monies which went very smoothly. I think I did good with my quiz.
Seeing Karen Marie reinvent the ancient tradition of boarding school midnight feasts brought a smile to my face. 😃
It also showed how I'd got some control over my social anxiety and had assumed more responsibility to be engaged directly in contributing to our activities, not least helping out and doing my chores.