Friday, 25 November 2011

Philofaxy Meet-up London November 2011!!

Hiya! Sorry this is quite late, the time flies when you're researching your dissertation!!

Last Saturday I went on my very first Philofaxy meet-up!! And it won't be my last! It was so much fun!!

I woke up very early on Saturday morning to finish getting ready and get an early train to London. I'm used to trains, and I'm used to much longer journeys than this, it's 6 hours from Plymouth to Liverpool, or the other way around, so 2 and a quarter hours to London was a breeze! The only problem was 3 chatty, noisy ladies in the same carriage, but I managed to get on with some work on my netbook, which was really good!
I arrived in London on time!! which is amazing for British trains! But then the troubles started! Euston overground station was the station I arrived at, and then went down onto the underground- only to find the tube route I had planned was unusable because of engineering works! I had to get to Marylebone station to meet my brother, and the changed route meant it took me double the time to get there!
I found my brother and we went back to his flat and he showed me around. My mum had left a bag there for me to pick up, which had my winter coat and A5 raspberry Finsbury in it, which I had left at home but wanted to bring to the meet-up because Steve said he would have a go at fixing the rings for me.
I left my brother's flat later than planned, but still thought I could get to the meet-up on time. I wanted to go back to Marylebone station, but my brother was walking another way and wanted to chat with me while we walked, so I went to another station. The trouble was, the east-bound part of the line I wanted to get on was closed, so I had to get on the west-bound train to double back on myself! But the west-bound train was delayed with some sort of technical problem on the line in front of us! And it was getting close to 12pm by this time, the time we were supposed to meet! The train finally arrived in another station, I crossed over to the east-bound track, then had to wait for the train to take me to the south bank. After a couple of changes, I got there, very late, and then had to go through a very busy food market packed with hundreds of shoppers and tourists, and lots of cobbled streets for my wheeled suitcase to struggle over, then more tourists to weave through on the south bank!
Then I remembered my promise to make a video of the day, so I took some panning shots of the Thames and St Paul's and the bridges. Finally, I found the Tate! Quite an ugly building... but I'm sure there are some lovely pieces of art inside (unfortunately I didn't get to see!!)
So I made my way over to the cafe... and look who I found!!
I kind of went up to the window with my camera like a weirdo... but then everyone recognised me so it was OK! Filofax-fanatics must be instantly recognisable!!
Here's everyone as I found them when I walked in!
Going clockwise: Christa, Imy, Tracy, Anja, Adam, Sharon (hidden), Steve and Anita!
I sat next to Anita, on the "excited" end of the table! The other end was quiet and subdued, not like us girlies at the other end!! We were all squeally and chatty, comparing filofaxes and being a bit over-the-top! 

We ordered food...
... and my Filofaxes went away as soon as I splashed a drop of vinegar in their direction :S

They came out again when the food disappeared, and we proceeded to build the obligatory filofax pile!

We tried to make it on the table, but soon it became a leaning tower of Filofaxes, so we built them up against the mirrored wall instead! It creates a lovely effect!
Standing up with Imy holding them :)

I measured the horizontal pile with my A5 page marker, they stretched out to about 94cm!

Then with Filofaxes safely packed away in our bags, we made our way through central London, Sharon shepherding us! Unfortunately Adam and Anja had to leave early, I didn't get a chance to speak to them :(
We saw lots of interesting things on the way, including sand sculptures on the beach of the Thames, a woman who looked like Lady Gaga, and most importantly for me, Cleopatra's Needle! 
We walked through Covent Garden, a place important for both my mum and dad separately- where my dad used to steal potatoes from the marker stall-holders' veg stalls to sell at his block of flats, and where, 20 years later, my mum used to eat her lunch on her lunch breaks!
Then we walked up Neal Street- very exciting of course! I didn't realise it was such a big street, it was teaming with shoppers! I was looking out for the Filofax shop the whole way, and then noticed something I recognised- the MAC shop! I remembered I had been here a few years before with my mum! I can't believe I had been so close to the Filofax shop before and never even noticed it! (this was before I was into filofaxes, though!)
Finally, we found it!!!

I didn't manage to take many good pictures of the inside of the shop, I was too excited!!
I spent ages looking at all the beautiful filofaxes and interesting inserts and accessories. I watched Imy and Tracy making their video, and having a debate over who should buy what colour bag!! We all flooded Dee with questions and sent her looking for obscure things, but she was very friendly and hospitable, I don't know how she does it! She even knows how to handle Imy ;b
When I was there I was looking for 1 thing- an A5 Ochre Malden. But... It wasn't on the display stand, and however had they looked, the staff couldn't find it in the stock room :( But that was kind of good, because epic-enabler Imy had about 99% persuaded me to buy it, and if I got my hands of it I would have found the other 1% and my bank account would have quickly been a lot emptier! So I guess it was good that they didn't have it!
But I felt very deflated, because I had been really looking forward to seeing it, and I didn't want to finish this fun day having bought nothing in the Filofax shop!! I looked around for something I wanted or needed, but bought... NOTHING!!! This happened before, when I went to the Conduit street shop in the summer. Then I was pleased with myself, but this time I was disappointed! What's wrong with me?! Steve says some people can get overwhelmed, and not buy anything. I'm ashamed to admit, I think that's what happened to me!!

So at 17:00 everyone made their way out of the shop, and we went our separate ways to our respective stations. I got home quite late, after a lovely day!! I have lots of photos and memories I will hold forever! I hope to go on another Philofaxy meet-up soon! And I'm really looking forward to the mini meet-up Imy's organising for December, in Bristol! Can't wait!!


  1. I'm glad you had as great a day as I had! And I agree we were the more excitable end of the table :) Lovely to meet you.