Sunday, 6 May 2012

Creative Fibre Festival - Marlborough N.Z. 2012 - part 1

One of the many beautiful rocky beaches along the coast road from Christchurch to Blenheim as the sun goes down.

I will have to make this a three part post, I have so many images to show you they won't fit into one.
I had so much fun with the wonderful ladies that took part in this festival that I forgot to take some general photos of the festival - to get a flavour of this amazing event go to their blog and scroll right down.

The Fibre Festival was a very well organised event by a team of very dedicated volunteers. The ones I can remember are Joan, Chris, Christine, Jan, Nancy, Judy and Wendy - I think there was one other lady and I apologise - I cant remember your name. The team all had their various jobs to do and I think I can safely say I have never been to such a busy and very exciting event that ran so smoothly.

I flew into Christchurch on April 25th and was met by Denise. We had never met, but go on immediately - she is just as bonkers as I am! The highlight of walking through the arrival doors was the sight of Denise standing directly in my eye line holding a board with my name on. I can't tell you how this pleased me - how silly, I have never been met by someone with a name board - simple pleasures!!!

Denise Cleghorn - minder and felter extraordinaire

Denise had volunteered to be my minder for the duration of my visit. After collecting me from the airport we drove an hour or so to her farm for lunch. Denise lives in Cheviot, it is very beautiful and her farm was very picturesque with grape vines and wisteria meandering over the verandas. I was very jealous of Denise's studio - it is bright, cool and airy and so big compared to mine.
After a delicious lunch of salmon and huge prawns we continued on our journey to Blenheim. That first lunch was just the beginning of all the wonderful meals that Denise would serve during my stay in Blenheim.

Denise very kindly drove me along the coast road up to Blenheim as this would be my only chance to see anything of this, what I was soon discover, stunning country.

We stopped several times on our four hour journey, the light was fading but I could still get an idea of the beauty of the area. We drove though one town that is popular with surfers called Oaro, we had great fun when Denise tried to get me to pronounce it - I sounded very much like Scoobydoo!

We arrived at the house we were both to stay in for the duration of my visit - just seven days. Bob and Christine Marks were our hosts - Christine was the Creative Learning organiser and was the person responsible for choosing me to be one of the keynote speakers and organising my two day workshop after the Festival.
You never how you are going to get on with everyone when you are a guest in someones house. I needn't have worried - I now have three more friends for life . . . . 

Denise, Bob and Christine

I had a wonderful time staying with Bob and Christine, they are very generous hosts and SUCH fun! Denise and Christine have known each other for a long time so Christine knew that choosing Denise to look after me and ferry my around would be just the right thing to do.
We had a very busy week with lots of dashing about and having to be at the right place at the right time. As Christine was one of the organisers she was extra busy.

The Creative Fibre Festival 2012 was held in the Marlborough Convention Centre.
I opened the Festival with one of my keynote lectures - I was very nervous having to be on a stage with a lectern and mikes but once I had made everyone laugh I was fine. I was well supported by Jeremy the audio visual techie who was brilliant for the whole time. I spoke to around 500 people and had two huge screens to show my slides on. It was all very posh and grown up!

The atmosphere during the Festival was one of high excitement and jollity. I met some lovely ladies - one of whom - Daphne - I hope to see in the U.K when she comes over. We got know each other very well while we were sharing a bench seat during a rather wine laden evening . . . . 
There was a comprehensive schedule of lectures and demonstrations throughout the four days of the Festival. I gave three more lectures and set up camp in the entrance hall to demonstrate my techniques.

Joan, Nancy, Wendy and Christine

One of the funniest evenings I have had for long time started quite sedately, and then it deteriorated very fast - I blame the company. 

The evening was described as a wine tasting quiz held by one of the local wineries - Forrest Estate. Dr Forrest was the quiz master and each of the 15 tables could answer multiple choice questions with an 'A' 'B' or 'C' card.

I think there were 15 tables/teams - there may have been more, I lost count - and focus it would appear, very soon after we were seated . . . . .

Thinking hard!

During the evening we tasted several wines - I was particularly taken with a Botrytised Riesling that is a beautiful dessert wine - I had to have several tastings to make sure I REALLY liked it!
It was a fun evening and a great way to get to know the people on your table.
This post can only give you a flavour of the four days - I hope I have conveyed how much I enjoyed myself and how well I was looked after by everyone - but most especially by Denise and Christine.

I will post about my two day workshop over the next two days - if anyone who organised or attended the Festival reads this - 


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