We had only met once before, at a conference run by the IAPH in May.
At this conference we had chatted over lunch and having explained to Elaine that I would be really interested to find out more about becoming a speaker, she immediately offered to help me.
We exchanged e-mail addresses and after the conference I returned to Southampton.
When I got home and checked my e-mails, Elaine had already made contact.
We 'chatted' by e-mail and I was really pleased to be offered the opportunity to go up and stay with her for a couple of days to begin putting together my 'talk'.
The trip to Yorkshire provided me with the opportunity for a few 'firsts'.
First internal UK flight on my own, first visit to Yorkshire, first time ever having to put the central heating on in July!!
(Elaine laughed at my 'soft southerner' reaction to her being in a t-shirt and calf length summer trousers while I was wrapped up from head to toe in jeans, jumper, cardigan and scarf!). We both laughed a lot over the 2 days I was there and the chilly temperature outside was completely negated by the warmth of Elaine's hospitality.
We worked so hard on Friday morning that it was 2 pm before we knew it and we began to realise that almost by accident we had created a new string to Elaine's bow. She has a wealth of experience and information that would be helpful to 'would be speakers' that she really should share.
Elaine has a way of explaining what she does that really inspired me to get on and take action. She's generous with her time, her hospitality and her knowledge and really gets you believing in yourself. I can't wait to get started on my new project, my writing and the new ideas that Elaine and I have excitedly agreed to look at when we meet again.
Thanks again Elaine…and I look forward to welcoming you to sunny Southern England next time we meet up!