Twisted Annual Affari (Second Meeting)
It was all rather hectic, I started my journey with my friend James Fooks from Spain on Thursday 29th March. I was very anxious, nervous and excited for many reasons really, the main one being Chris was not beside me for support which I have always leant on heavily, and if it wasn't for him (who sadly died 11 April 2011) the group would never have been formed.
Secondly, I was about to meet one of the moderators; Laurie Knutowski Skusevich, who had left the previous day to start her journey from the USA across the pond to the UK. I was extremely touched by the reason Laurie decided to join us and travel 4,000 miles! Laurie had told me that one night on her way home from work she had paid particular attention to the moon and Chris came into her thoughts. She had never been to the UK before and felt that due to the sudden death of Chris she felt compelled that night to come and meet me, Laurie said "Chris told her to go and meet his beautiful wife" and there is no better time to do this, especially as the group was also having a meet.
Laurie arrived friday morning after a very long flight, bang on the dot at 8am. I was all excited so I was up early anyway, pacing around my room, waiting for Laurie to call. We met in the hotel lobby and I cried as soon as we hugged one another, we chatted for a while over a coffee before going up to the room for a lay down; Laurie now needed to try and adjust to UK time and get over her jeg lag! We settled Laurie in and went shopping to buy a present for Janice (also one of the moderators) because we were meeting in a little Italian restaurant at 8pm for a celebration dinner.
During the celebration dinner I decided to have a word with the restaurant manager about using their venue for our twisted meeting, the reaosn for this was because the B Lounge who we originally had chosen were not very accommodating which left me no choice but to try and arrange something more suitable. Bella Italia is a wonderful venue and the staff are amazing, helpful and on the ball, they cornered off an area for the the meeting, giving us enough tables for people to sit, chat and eat. Chris was our concierge (that's what we like to call him anyway!) for the day and made everyone feel at ease, the food was delicious and the portions on the generous side :)
After everyone arrived we all got to know one another and ordered our lunch, I had Bruscheta and Lasagne which was delightful and very filling! The wine that Bella Italia laid on for us for free was flowing well and all our twisties shared, cared and advised one another, the atmosphere was truly stunning.
After lunch everyone had another mingle and then we decided to sign the t-shirt that my Dad had made for the event, supporting the ScoliosisNutty logo :) Everyone present signed the t-shirt which was lovely and is great memorabilia from the day. While the excitement of the signing was going on I found myself talking to the lovely Jayne Bostock; about how we can continue to raise money, Jayne said she would love to do a parachute jump, it is one of the activities she has on her "things to do before I am 40" list. So, this led me to thinking about the next event for the How To Look Good Twisted group, Jayne lives in Stafford and there is an air field near where she lives, this will be the next venue for our twisty meeting and I am looking forward to sponsoring her for this jump!
Along with our own merchandise we had some information regarding adjustable beds with memory foam from OroMed, a few of our members were interested in these beds as I have been sleeping on one for 6 years.
I am very proud of the moderators who were just as caring and helpful in the flesh as they are online, I take my hat off to every person I have ever met with Scoliosis, one thing we have as a collective is outstanding strength, courage and beauty from the inside out.
It was interesting to see how we all sit in very similar ways, shift about, leaning forward, back and forward again. Something else I noticed was how many of us carried a cushion of some sort to use in the lower back or around the "rib hump" - in fact this common demoniator has led me to my design for a back cushion and the twisty meeting helped me think about that cushion even more to get the ball rolling for production!
On a final note, I would like to thank each and every one of the people who joined us on Saturday 31st March, it was a pleasure to meet you all, I am more inspired after meeting such a strong group of people, thanks for your support and we will continue to support you all as we have done in the past. The photos are on the Facebook group - How To Look Good Twisted if you want to have a look.