Every year our group does a Christmas swap and this year we decided to take it on location. Anya kindly organised the Titanic Afternoon Tea and on Sunday afternoon we all pitched up ready for an afternoon of fun and friendship.

I don’t know if the genteel halls of the Olympic Suite were quite ready for us – and our outlandish demands to sit together! But eventually we all got settled and the business of the afternoon could begin. Kenny the waiter even impaled himself on some panelling in order to take our picture. A few friends could not make the event and there had been some very furtive pre event gift delivering in undisclosed locations.

Following a strict rotation each knitter received their box of delights. The oohs and ahhs escalated into squeals and gasps as each present was gradually revealed.  It is a testament to the strength of our friendship that all the creations were so personal and thoughtful. Crafters had haunted wish lists, eavesdropped on conversations and in Anya’s case listened to my repeated plaintive plea, ‘I love those gloves’ (I love them so much that I am wearing them now as I type, and may never take them off!) in order to create the perfect gift.

We were treated to a journey round the world, a trip over a rainbow, a escapade in the labyrinth of double knitting and much much more.  Just as the excitement was beginning to subside the food arrived.  What a feast! Even then we couldn’t resist swapping as salmon balls were traded for panacotta and scones.

When even Helen had run out of tea we slipped into a post prandial reverie and our thoughts turned once again to our beautiful gifts. I put on my ‘tar ra ra’ Stephanie delved into her fireside basket and Sharon and Heather explored the possibilities of actually knitting your own rainbow.

The formal section of the afternoon ended with the obligatory photograph on the staircase taken by yet another very obliging waiter and then we started to drift away.  Some people went home, others to the pub and several simply to a quiet corner to stare at their gift and stroke their yarn.

Sitting at home later in the evening, wearing my beautiful gloves, sparkly birds singing from my Christmas tree and a box of violets by my side I consider myself very lucky to be part of such a special group.


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