The weekend before last, I spent a few days on a Japanese embroidery course in Garstang with some dear friends.
Sue and I often joined the Garstang Japanese embroidery group and we had helped at the Stitch and Creative Craft Shows in Manchester when Denise and Jane were considering teaching JE in the region. We meet several of their first student's at one or more of those shows. We didn't go to the first two classes when all of the students were doing the taster class or beginning Phase I but when we first went to Garstang in November 2010, we immediately felt part of this lovely group.
I had been looking forward to the weekend with mixed feelings. This would be our first embroidery course since we said goodbye to Sue; it was bound to be emotional. Also, Sue and I usually travelled there and back together and I knew I was going to miss her during the long drive. For the first two days we were all very brave but on the Saturday morning our British reserve crumbled and it was all Colleen's fault!
Saturday, 11 October marked the 5th anniversary of the first day of the first Garstang Japanese Embroidery course and Colleen had secretly planned to mark the occassion. She had commissioned the most beautiful celebratory cake.
At first, there was delight at the surprise and admiration of the cake but we could not celebrate the occasion without thinking of our absent friend. The flood gates of emotion opened and, for a short while, we gave way to our pent up grief. But I think it did us good.
... and the cake was delicious!
That evening we remembered Sue with laughter rather than tears. Denise invited us to play Uno, one of Sue's favourite games. Denise had never played before and was surprised at the slightly ruthless nature of the game. Colleen and Jane, particularly, seemed to have a vendetta against each other. But it was all good natured fun, we were not keeping score or even counting who won the most hands. I think that Sue was smiling down on us and perhaps rearranging the deck so that Colleen and Jane always had a card that forced the other to pick up or miss a turn whenever they called Uno!
Happy 5th Birthday, Garstang Japanese Embroidery Group and many Happy Stitching Returns