Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A Meeting of the Pens

(FYI: I've linked all names to their Twitter profiles, in case anyone wants to have a look/follow them :)

Last Friday, December 2nd, I had a delightful day and evening out ~ I went with book bloggers Rosie Amber and Cathy Ryan, my sister Proofreader Julia* and fellow writer Shelley Wilson to the Belmont Hotel in Leicester, to meet up with Lizzie Lamb and her group of romance writers; it's a regular get-together for them, so a big thank you to Lizzie and all her friends for inviting us and making us so welcome!  Our chums Georgia Rose and Mark Barry also joined us later in the afternoon; Mark is up the road in Notts so just had to jump onto a train, whereas Georgia had to escape from darkest Cambridgeshire (or is it Bedfordshire?) while her dogs weren't looking.

(*nb, Proofreader Julia is not her birth name.  The first bit came later).

Julia and me in our hotel room
 

**Warning ~ this is a long post, as I've included loads of photos!**
 
The romance writers were in full swing when we arrived, so we hung around until they'd done their bit, then sat down over Prosecco and Roses chocolates to talk about... well, books and writing and blogging, and all the stuff you can't bore your non-writing friends about!  

Here are New Romantics Lizzie, MagsJune and Adrienne: our genial hosts :)


Really like this picture ~ I've met Cathy before, 
but not Mags Cullingford, a charming lady!
 
We were checking in at reception when Madalyn Morgan walked out, and I said, "Oh, look ~ it's @ActScribblerDJ, Foxden Acres lady..."  yes, I tend to remember people by their Twitter handle and their book titles.  I do like this picture, even though it's blurred.



Here's Julia with the uber glamorous Adrienne Vaughan - 
incidentally, she and June Kearns win the 'chic' award for the day.
June's hair is cut in this gorgeous 1960s bob and she wore an outfit I coveted, badly (the stripy jumper and tube skirt from the Mama b collection, HERE), and Adrienne looked stunning in a bright red tartan skirt and jacket, the sort of thing you can only carry off if you ... well, if you look like Adrienne, I guess!    

And me with Adrienne...
 
June, Lizzie, Sue Moorcroft....

Shelley told me that we had to hold the camera high above our heads to prevent double chins and facial sag.  
Seems to have worked for her, anyway.....

    
Rosie, Cathy, Alex GutteridgeCarol Bevitt and Linda Sprott


Tip for people who really feel the cold ~ stay at the Belmont!  It was roasting in there.  Julia and I (we feel the hot, not the cold!) asked for the heating to be turned down, but apparently they only had two settings: off, or full blast.  We resorted to opening windows and sneakily turning off radiators.  I rejected some of the photos I was going to put on here because of people's sweaty faces, and mine was the sweatiest; on some I actually had bits of wet fringe sticking to my forehead, and my hair with heat-frizz (not quite as bad as Courtney Cox in that episode of Friends, but not far off!).  When Julia and I got our room at turning-in time, we had to peel off some of our clothes as if we'd been running a marathon in them.  Belmont ~ love the rooms, charming staff, and it saves you money on saunas.

......Shelley, me and Adrienne, a bit hot ;)
    
It's so great to meet those you've 'known' online for years, and the weird thing is that it feels as though it's not the first time you've met them... when Georgia Rose walked into the room, I almost carried on a conversation I'd been having with her by email.  I was so glad that I invited Mark in a moment of last minute inspiration, too; brave of him to be the only fox in the hen house, and wonderful to meet him and Georgia for the first time!  Mark and Georgia have worked together on the Brilliant Books project, an initiative that encourages school children to stand away from the video games and read a book ;).

I also met the very sweeJudy Bryan (a Virgo, her Twitter profile says ~ I keep wondering if I ought to re-establish my Zodiac Files series!), and publisher and business book coach Sarah Houldcroft, who was one of those people I felt as though I had known since the playground the moment we were introducedAlso memorable because she wore a purple dress with her hair dyed exactly the same shade.  I thought I'd taken a photo of her with Julia, but, alas, I have a canny knack of accidentally deleting pictures....

After Lizzie and her ladies had departed, Group B retired to the lounge for several drinks, a light dinner and much laughter.  As with all good evenings, it lasted longer and more drinks were bought than had originally been intended (Mark never did get that 9.30 train)I was fiddling around with my camera's settings and cocked it all up (as is my wont), but I have added some of the blurred ones because I really liked them anyway!
Something nice and festive about this one!
This would have been great if it had worked!

Had a really good night's sleep; sharing a room with my sister brought back memories of our childhood!  No Daddy coming in to tell us to be quiet and go to sleep, thoughThe five of us who were staying the night met up at 9 for a breakfast of champions....

....and here are a couple of me, Julia, Shelley and Rosie at Leicester station, 
before we left to go our separate ways.



I have to include this one.  Note that even squashed like this, 
Shelley still manages to look tall and leggy!


I went off to Northamptonshire to stay overnight with my father.  I just wanted to include this ~ it's a birthday card I gave Dad when I was about seven or eight.  He keeps it on his dresser :)
That's Julia, our brother Eddie and me, in about 1966.




And here's Dad, aged 87, with his smartphone!  
I am most impressed ~ and he's recently bought a Kindle, too :)


It was a lovely weekend, thanks again so much to Lizzie for organising it and inviting us, and to Rosie for getting our group together.  Until next time! :)  

   
 


52 comments:

  1. Hi Terry - lovely to see you all and have the running commentary - it has just been plain hot ... I've given up feeling normal ... I need an overseas excursion just to get a tan up ... and then I won't worry about the pale skin and sweaty brow in mid-winter, because the make up slap would be running off!

    Fun time .. it looks like you had ... wonderful fun pics too .. and your father with his smart phone ... and kindle - good for him ... cheers Hilary

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  2. What a great post Terry, stepping out from behind our computers is good for us all.

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    1. Though scary... (what, real life???!!!)

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  3. Fabulous time was had by all! Love the photos :)

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  4. Great post, Terry :) Makes me want to do it all over again.

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    1. Yes, me too - somewhere cooler, though! Was lovely when I got to Dad's. I could wear a cardigan, and my make-up stayed on!

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  5. Good to see you all had such a great time.

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    1. Indeed we did. Rosie has plans to branch out further, so one day, Jo....!

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  6. Great blog post and photos Terry. I've only just seen it as I decided to have a twitter free day today 😊. Sometimes, you just have to. Went round to discuss WIP with June (Kearns) and to reflect on how much we'd enjoyed Friday's Meetathon! it was so lovely to meet Rosie is blogging team and fellow writers. If you don't was very hot the Belmont and it's almost impossible to get good photos there because of the lights. We hope you will return, very soon.

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  7. It looks as if you all had great fun. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Great post Terry. Love the photos. I don't think you can ever have to many pics. Shows everyone enjoying themselves. Lovely to meet you. Made the last chapter meeting of the Belmont Belles aka the Leicestershire RNA extra special. How lovely to end the post with a photograph of your Dad. Very special are dads to daughters. xxx

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    1. Indeed, Madalyn, they are! Agree re the photos - I'd taken lots more but as I kept sitting in the same place they tended to be all of the same people! Lovely to meet you too :) xx

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  9. I had such fun, I am still wondering at the marvels of social media - I can actually make all these new friends because of my laptop, isn't it marvellous! Great to see some familiar faces as well. Thank you again, Lizzie and Rosie, for your wonderful organisation (I know what a full time job it can be to organise an event like this) and thank you so much for inviting me, I had the best time. BTW, I covet June's clothes and have looked at the website, but it doesn't seem to sell there, so now I may have to go to Italy. Anyone fancy coming with me?

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    1. I know, I've studied it too. if you look at contacts it shows the agent in the UK. Not got round to looking at that, though, just drooled over the clothes.

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    2. Ah thank you girls, for the lovely compliment! We had such a great time with all of you. It was so nice meeting you all face-to-face and having a proper conversation!

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    3. Yes ~ the only problem is wanting to have longer conversations with EVERYONE!

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  10. That must have been such fun! I'm so glad your away days were such happy ones. It must be very inspiring to meet up with writerly friends this way. Wonderful! All you ladies look marvellous too. Like girls, not grown-ups!! I love the photo of your card and dad too.

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    1. Thanks, Val! Ah, I think we only look like girls to each other.... it's like when I meet up with my oldest friends, Helen and Lesley, who I've known since I was 16. I think they still look exactly the same but they can't do, seeing as they were 20 then, and are now over 60!!!!!

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  11. Thanks for the photos. It's great to see you all having so much fun. I really covet your jacket, Terry!

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    1. Liz, I bought it a couple of winters ago (M&S) when I went out to buy something black, serviceable and waterproof. I couldn't resist it - never did get the serviceable one!

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  12. How lovely to get to meet people face to face. It looks as though everyone had a brilliant time.

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  13. What a great post, Terry! It looks as if you all had a cracking time. I'm making it my mission to attend one of the Leicester meet ups next year. Fab photos too! That one of your Dad is adorable :) Xx

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    1. Yes, it is, isn't it?! Do - it's really worth making the effort, even if you live a long way away (I do!!)

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  14. Great to meet you in person, Terry! :-)

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  15. What a great report Terry - really enjoyed that, and just a teeny bit jealous! xx

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    1. You must attend too, next time, Anne!

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  16. A very entertaining post, Terry. It sounds as though you had a great time. You all look very foxy indeed :D xxx

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    1. Only a Leo could have written that! Just wish you'd been there as well x

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    2. Ha ha - I know, I was very disappointed but fingers crossed for next time xxx

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  17. Totally brilliant blog post Terry ... and thanks for very honourable mention of my tartan, which Lizzie is still trying to pinch! Great time, great fun and just shows 'virtual' friends can be real friends just as instantly. I also loved the blurry pictures, I think most things look better like that, don't you?

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    1. I know - instantly!!!

      Agree re the blurry pictures....!!!!

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  18. And please give my very best to your father ... lovely man! And so cool too!

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  19. Until next time indeed!! I'm always nervous meeting new people but here it was like walking into Twitter and being immediately among friends - fabulous!!

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  20. Loved the blog post. Shame I had to leave the party early because it looks like you had a fab time. And it was great to meet you in the same room rather than just over Twitter :)

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  21. Oh so jealous!! looks a fab time time by all.

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  22. Brilliant photos, Terry, - especially the blurry ones, v. atmospheric. Delighted you all enjoyed your trip to the Belmont as much as we enjoyed meeting you there. A great start to the festivities. And, great to meet your dad - some cool dude though, having met his daughters, that's no surprise.

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    1. Thanks, Mags, so good to meet you too x

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  23. Aww...such fun! I was waiting to see some pics!!!

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    1. Glad you approve!!! Rosie intends to organise much more of this sort of thing :)

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  24. What a great post Terry, thanks for the link. It seems like you all had a wonderful time. Lovely pictures too, and not a double chin in sight! Meeting online friends in real life must be awesome.

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  25. Love this!! I really wish I was there too though, I'd love to meet all of you one day. I'm feeling a bit sad now about being so far away from all my favourite Twitter people xx

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