Really looking forward to tomorrow - Catrin and I will be high-tailing it off down the A470 to Llandrindod - to meet up with Iestyn and Cat and kids…
The very first 7 Bootcampers!
Yes, the brave souls who gave Bootcamp a test run before we had ANY idea what we were doing, and who (by doing so) turned it into a real thing. Other bootcamp survivors - if you appreciated it, those 7 are the people you should thank (alternatively, if it made you want to kill people, perhaps we can suggest their addresses instead of ours…;-)).
It has all been organised brilliantly by @hewrop - we’ll be meeting up and eating and staying in the Metropole, and testing out their spa facilities, and of course running a rigorous series of language tests to see who is allowed to go home on Sunday, and who has to attend remedial training…
Some of the 7 we see from time to time - with others, it’s been years - it’s going to be SO lovely to see them all again.
[If anything explodes while we’re all away, let @kinetic know - but otherwise we’ll be counting on you all to look after the place, maybe dust some of the shelves, keep everything as beautifully friendly as always, and perhaps… hang on, didn’t we used to have a pet goat around here somewhere? Well, feed him if you find him.]
Please @aran, say hello to @iestyn, @catdafydd, their lovely kids (especially girls as I know them) and @hewrop in person for me … Endlessly thankful to all of them and more while I was in Cymru! if there’d be someone I met in person during my stay also, warm helo to them too!
Dw i’n disgwyl ymlaen i weld y Fab Four ac yr hen frrindiau “guinea pig,” heb anghofio y plant Jones & apDafydd, “Ife 'ch plant chi yw rheina? Ma nhw’n disgwyl fel llond llaw go iawn”
Some of us will be accompanied by spouses (spice?) and partners who may not be able to talk Welsh tidy like what the Mag 7 do. They should act as an effective buffer against any “rigorous series of language tests” sprung on us by @aran.
I shall try and take some photos - even a video if I can remember which button to press and post them here especially for @louis & @tatjana
We might be able to collate some pictures over time - but it was so lovely to see everyone, to catch up, to eat such good food, to spend far too long drinking and singing and being mistaken for an actual choir (by the obviously choir-starved inhabitants of Llandrindod, who commissioned us to sing Gwahoddiad and Penblwydd Hapus to someone who was having her birthday), and to stay up far too late…
And then to have far too large a breakfast (with ‘thin white juice’, thank you Spenny the Magnificently Sarcastic) and a planned walk in the Elan Valley which turned into huddling in the caffi out of the driving rain, wondering when the dam was going to burst and drown us all…
And thank you so much for the lovely picture frame of Magnificent Saithers plus us all at Bootcamp, which will get pride of place back home - pictures to follow!
It always fills us with new energy and enthusiasm to spend time face to face with members of this remarkable community - and Catrin and I have been chewing over a bunch of new ideas on the way home - the first of which we’ll kick off next week (at the same time as a frantic burst of ‘catch up’ Growth Club recording!).
Picture a tired and emotional Aran making his slow, careful way downstairs in the morning.
Yes, he’s had far too little sleep.
Eager to begin the process of recovery, he wants to start with some water. He looks at the juices, the cereals, the cooked food, the cheeses and hams, and sees no water. He becomes a little distressed.
Then he notices that the soon-to-be-Mrs Spencer has a glass of water in front of her. This looks promising. It’s time to ask for help.
He asks her politely where she managed to find such a lovely glass of water.
Spenny, unhelpfully, suggests the juices.
Aran turns and eyes the juices again. Yes, they’re still juices. Exactly what he doesn’t want.
At this point, many people would have said ‘Aran, the water is deliberately hidden from prying eyes in the middle of the juices.’
Instead, Spenny, clearly taking a malicious enjoyment in Aran’s puzzled expression, says ‘Try the thin white juice in the middle’…
It was a sheer delight sharing time, reminiscences, food, song and a lot of drink with our wonderful tutors, the children, our spouses and soon-to be spouse. We also talked about and toasted our absent Mag7er, Allan Dyer.
Thank you so much, Huw, for arranging a wonderful reunion weekend with so much love. Your arrangements were meticulous and your welcome warm as ever. We had a wonderful time in the company of the Magnificent Seven, sharing delicious food, sparkling conversation and much, much wine! We laughed, cwtshed, sang and drank till we dropped.
Diolch o waelod calon - What a wonderful thing to have conceived of and an absolute pleasure to be part of.