Greetings from Yorkshire, England!! John and I arrived at Heathrow airport last Thursday, to begin a month-long tour here. And it’s started with a bang!
Our first stop was Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. We were to stay with a friend of the organizer of the Cromwell Quilters, for whom we were to sing the next night. We had a full day to try to recover from our jet lag before we had to entertain anyone. Margaret and Alan Johnson were our hosts, and we are delighted to have had the chance to meet them. We never once ran out of things to talk about, and shared many things, including a love of storytelling and travel. My Little Penguin (who is accompanying us on this tour) also found kindred spirits….
The performance went very well, and we enjoyed singing for about 100 people. On the way there, we drove by a house once lived in by Samuel Pepys and another house where the Earl of Sandwich invented his famous edible namesake: the sandwich. Pretty impressive.
The next morning, we left Huntingdon and headed north to Ossett, Yorkshire for the QGBI Region 14 meeting. They put on a lovely buffet dinner beforehand. When we arrived before the gig, guess who I met in the lobby? Margaret!!! They had followed us up to Ossett (a 3 hour drive)! They are our first official “groupies” on this tour. Margaret wanted to see the first display at the new Quilters Museum in York, and Alan suggested they take in another show of ours while they were there.
Also at the performance was Sally Ward, who told me first about the story that became the “Quilt of Names” about a WWII Canadian Red Cross quilt from Hilton Beach, Ontario. It was not the first time we’d met her, but it was the first time we’d had the chance to sing for her.
We did go to see the new Quilt Museum today and guess who we saw there? Yup, Margaret and Alan. Are they stalking us? Or are we stalking them? The museum is beautiful, and there was an outstanding display of quilts from their collection: a very balanced mixture of traditional (including an amazing soldier’s wool quilt) and contemporary or “art” quilts. I wish them the best of luck in their venture. It is great that they finally have their own home.
Tonight we have had a lovely evening at the home of Philippa Naylor. Philippa won one of the big prizes at Houston Festival last year, and is an amazing quilter. We met first at the QGBI Annual General Meeting in Scarborough Yorkshire last year, and then again in Houston. She has another quilt in the Houston show this year – I hope she wins again!
We now have a week off before our next show, so John and I plan to see family and do some sightseeing. More later.