Back at the end of May I decided to do something that would take me 'completely' out of my comfort zone.
Frustration at always feeling that I lived too far away to get involved with the 'cool stuff' going on around the country and miffed that I hadn't made much of a connection with the North had made me feeling a little homesick.
So I did the one thing that I thought I would never be brave enough to do and arranged a meet up in Manchester with three of the loveliest ladies I knew that lived somewhere in the area. Well in the north of the area.
We'd agreed that Piccadilly Station was the best starting point as being the newcomer I didn't have a clue about the city and then once we were a collective we'd head off into town. Aiming for the Northern Quarter.
Nerves set in on the train and I had to fight them back down again, giving myself a good old talking to for being so daft. I'd met Catherine in London a few weekends before, Rachelle was from where I had made my home (and just moved from) for the past fifteen years. And Sarah and I had spoken muchly over the past few years - so we weren't really strangers. Tell that to the butterflies in my tummy though.
As it goes we had so much in common and more. Conversation flowed continuously from the Fig & Sparrow where we had the most delicious lunch to the Craft and Design centre, a perfect place for a mooch and where the heavens opened. Thankfully we were inside. And finally we ended up in Fred Aldous - a place of stationary wonder. I shall not be taking my girls in there anytime soon as they they would come home with armfuls of goodies.
I'm so glad I took the plunge as I would never of meet these truly inspiring ladies. And plans are afoot for further meets, making more connections and making a community for all that want to be involved.
You can see some of our collective pictures from the day over on Instagram on the hashtags #bloginstanorth & #northwestigersmeet. We are hoping to fill these pages over time, bringing everyone together.