|Day One: Who says the sun doesn't shine in England?|
The joyful group of Pemberley travelers that gathered at Hothorpe Hall in Leicestershire on a Friday in July can attest to the fact that the sun does indeed shine in England, and it can get quite hot.
As each taxi from the train station in Market Harborough arrived, it disgorged tired but happy women who greeted new friends and old with the same joyful hugs. It was an auspicious way to begin the 2006 Pemberley Annual Meeting. Even the group of ladies who missed the stop on the train and had to catch the next one back couldn't be daunted. Our only sadness in meeting each other was that three of our friends, Cheryl, Myretta and Nan, would not be with us this year for personal reasons.
|Hothorpe Hall, a Christian Conference center, is a lovely old Georgian house and we had accommodations in a newer wing. As each new group arrived, we were directed to our rooms, then to the common room set up for our use. The Blue Room was a lovely room, with huge windows overlooking a pretty garden, and with a fabulous view of the surrounding fields and hills. It didn't take long for us to discover a perfect outdoor gathering place, right outside the blue room, and chatty Pemberleans could nearly always be found in the chairs and benches in the garden area. Many of us had to constantly pinch ourselves to believe we were really Here.|
|After dinner the entire group, gathered in the blue room. Laraine led us in a game of Austenuations, and after we read out the Austenuations, we each stood, in time honoured Pemberley fashion to introduce ourselves, giving us all the chance to put faces to names. It is amazing to think that some of those present have known each other for nearly ten years.
It didn't take long for items for the silent auction to accumulate on the piano, mantle and tables. There were lots of lovely items and some very fierce bidding wars. More on the conclusion of the auction later…