The photos for this layout were some of the ones I had not seen for many years as they had been residing in the attic at my parent's old house. After I had been working for about three years, I decided that I would go back to college to study Fashion Design. It was a fairly mad idea, but was something that I felt I needed to get out of my system. So I managed to find a two year course at the London College of Fashion, handed in my notice and had two of the most enjoyable years of my life.
It was strange becoming a student again and, even though I was still only in my early twenties, I was by far the eldest on the course, most of the other students being 16 or 17; so quite a large age gap, particularly as I had been working and been out in 'the real world', and the others had mostly come straight from school.
One particularly enjoyable part of the two years was suddenly having so much holiday time again. I am sure that when you are at school you really do not appreciate having so much time off, but having worked and only been allowed four weeks holiday a year, going back to long holidays again was a real bonus. The slight problem of course was what to do with them and how to afford to do anything much, particularly as I was getting no grant (which at the time was strange for someone returning to education) and was basically living off my parents and my savings. Fortunately there were ways around the problem, starting with being allowed to 'sign on' during the holidays (something that you could only do if you had already been working and were not getting a grant) and I got a tax rebate as I had paid tax for part of the tax year, on the basis that I would be working for a full year.
Having realised that this was going to be the last chance for many years to have a really long holiday overseas, I booked a place on a camping tour up the East Coast of The States, from Miami to New York. The tour would take about two weeks, but I really wanted to be away for at least three, but ideally for a month. My Father suggested that I write to some work contacts of his, who had been to see us at home a few times and always said they would be delighted to put us up if we were over in The States. So with his introduction, I wrote to them and they kindly invited me to stay with them for a week at their Condominium on the coast in South Carolina. I was to fly in to New York, catch the Greyhound to North Carolina, where their offices were, fly down in their private plane to South Carolina and then catch the Greyhound to Miami.
Now bear in mind that I had never been to The States before, and had only ever travelled overseas with my family; this was quite an adventure, one I am not sure I really appreciated at the time. I was going to have to travel through some of the roughest parts of New York and Miami on my own, the saving grace being that at least there was no language barrier.
Anyway, the journey went pretty much as planned, and other than my luggage ending up on one bus to Miami and me on another, it was all very uneventful (happily my luggage was waiting for me when I arrived in Miami). I managed to pick up a broad Carolina accent along the way, which confused my fellow travellers on the camping tour. I got to see at first hand some of the race issues, particularly on the bus from South Carolina to Miami, where I was told I was sitting in the wrong seats as the back of the bus was for 'Blacks' only; I remember having a real issue with this as I was perfectly happy sitting next to a very kind lady who made sure I was OK the whole trip, the colour of her skin had not registered with me as being significant. I continued to sit next to her for as long as she was on the bus.
This is another layout I can confirm the supplies for, as they are pretty much all from American Crafts 'Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party', other than one small piece from Maggie Holmes. The Thickers are from American Crafts and the Enamel Dots are from Studio Calico.
As every, my thanks go to Shimelle Laine for the inspiration that she has brought to my scrapbooking - this is a layout of hers I have used time and time again. I commend her blog to anyone looking for inspiration.