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Well, D-day has finally arrived.  Everything is packed – I hope – and it’s double-checking time.  Passport?  E-ticket?  Double-check the weight of the bags?  Money?  Everything electronic charged?  Charging cables etc packed?  Camera?  Oh yes…. and mustn’t forget the artwork!!

Now – how to get the zip done up!!

There are so many people involved in preparing for a trip of this kind….  Agnes got the ball rolling in the first place with an invitation to give the keynote speech at the Professional Weavers’ Network annual gathering.  Although she is well versed in organising things, I don’t think even she quite expected the myriad details this trip has entailed!!  Then Sue who so kindly volunteered to do the printing probably didn’t realise quite what a deluge of handouts, drafts and booklets she’d be inundated with!  She has also done a lot of organising of the different workshops and lectures I’ll be giving on my round NZ tour, finding host organisations who wanted workshops, arranging for accommodation etc.  Then the trip will finish up at the Creative Fibre Festival in Dunedin in April, and Sarah has organised that aspect of things!

Then there is the exhibition!  Agnes has really worked her magic here!  Late nights (sometimes no-sleep nights!!), organising 2 different venues – the Earth House in Peria, and the Arts in Oxford gallery, getting together the different hanging systems and methods of hanging from grid walls to monofilament or fishing line, ordering the catalogues and postcards, getting the PWN conference fine-tuned, organising the funds, the logistics, and all the time interleaving (pun intended!) her own professional weaving work and teaching, and getting the house and garden ready to receive visitors and a workshop!  No one would believe that just a few short months ago, Agnes was airlifted to hospital and not at all well!!  Her stamina is amazing!

This is all set to be an amazing two months.  I am so looking forward to meeting old friends and making very many new ones, spending time with weavers and other fibrey, textiley people, seeing amazing natural history and geology and generally having the trip of a lifetime!  Without a number of people, some of whom I have not yet met, none of this would be possible.  So thank you to everyone who has worked so hard and tirelessly, despite all the difficult stuff that arises in our lives, to pull this together for a person they don’t yet know!  I’ll do my best to make it everything you want it to be!

See you on the other side (of the world!!)