A walk in the woods and some quilting

I have had a lovely weekend away at Centerparks in Sherwood Forest with my very special friends. There were 8 of us that went away – all women I originally met about 17 years ago at the local toddler group. We left behind 21 children between us (though technically 4 of those have already left us – being already at University!) and headed off for our now annual girlie weekend away.

We started this tradition about 13 years ago with a trip to Filey where we stayed in Belinda’s Auntie Brenda’s caravan. A couple of years later we graduated to Centerparks and have spent many a happy weekend at both the Cumbria and Sherwood ones. This weekend away was a very special one as it was Belinda’s 50th birthday celebration so we treated ourselves to a very nice luxury lodge complete with en-suite bathrooms, games room with pool table and private sauna! Here are a few pics of the luxury.

The lounge
The lounge with one of the 6 TVs in the lodge - one in each room as well as widescreen with PS2 in the games room!
Lounge 2
the other end of the lounge - private patio leading to sauna - this also had a fab bar-b-que which sadly we did not use
Mine and Maggie's luxury bedroom with complimentary towels and ensuite with power shower
The lodge we stayed in is in the middle of this pic
We didn't actually watch any of the 6 tvs - watching these guys and the pigeons feeding on the sunflower seeds we put out was much more entertaining

We did not do loads of activities as we spent lots of time reading magazines. eating lovely food, drinking wine and laughing but we did manage a couple of saunas, walks in the woods, swims, visits to the jacuzzi , feeding the ducks and swans and a little (and quite muddy!) bike ride.  The place was all decorated for Xmas and here are some of the girls visiting Santa’s reindeer.

Julie, Maggie, Val and Therese have all been very good this year so are hoping for lots of presents from these guys

We also had a little celebration of Belinda’s birthday – she also has a party with friends and family planned for next weekend which we will all be at – but here she is blowing out the candles on her cake . I made a chocolate fudge cake with pink icing – only to discover the she does not like chocolate cake! Jacob has kindly volunteered to eat what is left!

Belinda's cake
Happy 50th birthday Belinda!

I managed to get a bit of knitting and stitching done as well and spent quite a bit of time talking to Anita about quilting. She has recently set up her own business doing quilting of other people’s pieced work as she now owns a long armed quilting machine so we spent all of the journey to Centerparks discussing her flourishing business and ideas for my future one. She had also brought along a project – a very unusual applique tree. You really must go and have a look at the designer’s site – is is fab!

Anita's tree quilt
Quilt pattern
The pattern - a Lilley Pilley design

These women are very, very important to me – I met them all by chance as I knew few people with a baby when Ellie was little so rang the local council to ask about toddler groups in the area, walked up to the local one and met Belinda and Val. I met Maggie, Anita and Judith a couple of years later as they had babies and joined the group and Julie and Therese as they into moved to the area.

We have supported each other through pregnancy and birth, raising toddlers and teenagers, career breaks and career changes , major illnesses and operations of ourselves and loved ones and relationship woes. It was particularly special that Anita was there as 8 years ago she moved to Australia and we have only seen her a few times since. They are a fantastic bunch of people who enrich my life, make me laugh till I cry and will always be there for me – I am very proud to be able to call them my friends.

I will be back later this week with more pics from the Knitting and Stitching Show – thanks for visiting and happy stitching!

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