'But Steve it was just another London Meet Up?'Well yes and no... I will admit the format of the day on Saturday did use the tried and tested formula of the previous ones, but we have been tweaking and refining it with each meet up... the same as we tweak our Filofax set ups, looking for that ultimate bit of perfection.
A quick run down of the day and then I will get into the detail and some background for those of you who as yet haven't attended a meet up to see if we can demystify the magic of a Philofaxy Meet Up, what is the secret behind them...
So I flew in to London from Poitiers my local airport here in France on Friday afternoon, arriving in London in the thick of the evening rush hour, which is a bit of a shock compared to quiet and peaceful rural France. Once again I was booked in to the Holiday Inn Express in Southwark Street just behind Tate Modern, although there are a growing number of hotels now available in this area of London.
After breakfast I wandered across to Tate Modern and monitored Twitter and had my phone to hand to keep in touch with people on their way to London. Our meet up was timed for 12.00 noon with us booked in to the restaurant for 12:15. With one exception every one was there by 12:10, big thumbs up, thanks everyone, this was a great start to a great afternoon.
Because our numbers have swelled from 10 to 14 people, Tate couldn't accommodate us all on one long table as in the past. However, in the end this didn't seem to matter as we all moved around after we had finished eating and I think we all got to talk to everyone else either at the Tate, during the walk across to City Organiser or later on that evening.
As usual it was a case of 'who is going to be first'.... first to finish dinner? No.... First to get out their Filofax organisers that they had brought along! It didn't take long before they started to appear and pages where being turned and discussions and explanations where being given and ideas exchanged.
Andy surprised Rebecca when he produced a large Dodopad folder that his wife had used in the late 1980's, Rebecca was rather taken back and Dodolighted to see a bit of her companies history still preserved and loved.
This was our sixth London meet up in less than two years, we had people that had been to a meet up before as well as new people, but some people had not been at the same meet up together, so they were also meeting for the first time. Very few introductions were needed, with people being on Twitter, Facebook and of course Philofaxy, more and more people know each other quite well these days, and it was great to watch everyone instantly be relaxed and at ease with each other.
|Alison the Globe Trotting Philofaxy Meet Up Attendee London, Chicago....|
I got to chat with people about Philofaxy in general and some of these discussions triggered ideas for future posts, so I was frantically making notes so I didn't forget them.
At about 3pm we settled up our bill at the Tate and we formed up to march, sorry I mean walk to City Organiser over in Bow Lane, once again we were lucky with the weather, not a drop of rain all day thank goodness.
Then as we approached City Organiser, all the excitement and chattering started to die down as we got within a few metres. For those who had never been there before it was like entering the 'Magic Kingdom' there was silence... for a few seconds.... then people remembered to breath again.... no this wasn't a dream it was real, all those organisers in one place for them to look at and touch.
Having the whole of City Organiser to ourselves was once again an excellent part of the whole meet up experience and a big thank you to Andy for agreeing to open just for us on Saturday, normally his day off.
|Tracy and Imy|
|The Dynamic Duo|
|Well Imy what do you think of the new Temperley?|
|I think you can guess Tracy's reaction!|
|Andy introduces some of the new Letts Notebooks|
This was were the serious business of the day was going to take place, shopping lists came out, eyes started scanning the displays and items were being picked out and placed on the counter.
It wasn't all about buying though, we got to closely examine the new Temperley organisers as well as the limited edition ones. Quite a lot of discussion took place around a table at the back of the shop about these and comparing them with other organisers from the standard range.
Laurie will be doing a review of a Temperley soon so it will be interesting to see what she has to say compared to what the group thought.
I think most of us ventured down in to the 'Aladdins Cave' which is the basement office of City Organiser. As you can see there were a few familiar office staff already sat at the desks gazing around the walls of shelves of Filofax black boxes.... and Andy then told us, oh we haven't had our big Autumn delivery yet... I wonder where they will all end up being stored..!
|The new office staff at City Organiser try out their desks!|
I am sure most of us have been to a store to look and may be buy a Filofax before. However, the unique experience about doing the same thing at a meet up is that you are shopping with 'friends'. You can examine the whole range of organisers, or even the whole stock of one particular model/style to be able to pick out exactly the one that you like the best, best the pattern of the leather or the shade of colour.
|Which Purple Malden would you like?|
We managed to get everyone outside for a quick group photo before the daylight disappeared and some of our party had to leave for early trains home to different parts of UK.
As some of us were staying in London, and a few people only had a short train journey to get home, so we agreed to meet up for a meal in a restaurant in the evening.
I had spotted Vapiano whilst I was over last time in May, when I mentioned it to Thomas, he was very complementary about Vapiano and so we met up there in the evening.
More discussions took place, others continued from earlier, a few drinks were consumed as well as some lovely food and deserts.
Sadly we had to end the day there, go home or back our respective hotels. After a quick night cap we turned in for the night.
Sunday dawned with grey skies and the forecast of rain and high winds, so I implemented a hasty change of plan for lunch and we went back to Vapiano's again... this time a reduced number of us (Thomas, Imy, Tracy and myself), but we were joined by my son Philip and Maudie (of Maudie Made)
We had a great meal and lots of discussion. I'm not quite sure what my son Philip made of it all, he was the only non-Filofax user there!!! But he joined in the conversation as much as everyone else, so it couldn't have been too bad!
It was lovely to meet Maudie as well for the first time. She is also another diary insert maker so it was interesting to compare notes about how we create our different diary inserts.
With it still raining outside we all said our goodbyes and headed off for trains. I had a quiet night in the hotel and flew back to France on Monday morning, but I also managed to visit The Pen Shop in Stansted Airport on the way through. The manager remembered me from last May!!! So we had a chat and I left her with some Philofaxy cards.
|The Pen Shop Stansted Airport|
The weekend has left me full of happy memories of conversations and things we shared on the two days and now of course I can look forward to the November meet ups... one in Edinburgh and the other in London.
Again thank you to everyone who came to the various events over the weekend. And of course to Andy for giving us full access to City Organiser