The tale of Pemberley in England is a difficult one to tell as it encompasses more than the official week's activities and the usual Slumber Party atmosphere that has characterized all our past Annual Meetings. Many citizens met up before the meeting began or went on short jaunts after it concluded. Highlights of these mini-meetings may be found at the end of this report. For now, let us delve into our Once In A Lifetime Week which none of us who were there will ever forget.
FRIDAY, JULY 26
Most everyone met up at Victoria Coach Station in London, and after some confusion as to where to board the coach, a parking ticket for the driver, an oil tanker spill on the M25 that backed up traffic throughout England, and a long, hot, unairconditioned ride, the coach passengers gratefully disembarked at Old Alresford Place, our home for the first half of our meeting.
CarolineJH: At Victoria station we moved from site to site but ended with a blond lady with Mr Darcy and the Pemberley logo (JulieW)
OAP is a retreat center run by the Church of England, Winchester Diocese and is conveniently located right in the heart of Jane Austen Country. The coachers were greeted by the early arrivals, signed in, received their goody-filled tote bags and settled into their rooms.
Smiles were the order of the day as old and new friends were hugged and exclaimed over. Forty-nine women from 11 countries (most all bearing chocolate from their native land) and 14 US States made this the most diverse meeting yet as we traded stories and became better acquainted.
That evening we rolled back the carpet of the OAP sitting room and Hanne most courageously led us in dancing Mr. Beveridge's Maggot, ably assisted by Michele S. on the dance floor and Cheryl at the piano. Much hilarity and cries of "Other Way Mr. Collins!" abounded, but by the end of the evening we had performed a creditable Maggot.