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Terri is now one of our regulars, here’s what she has to say about coming here. “It’s awesome!! Oh wait… you want to know more?”
My first time at Safe Haven was in July 2016 after speaking with the ever-lovely sista-from-another-mista Yvette on the TV Chix website. The TV Chix website is a great resource for chatting and getting to know people but unfortunately, it does suffer from the fact that it all takes place in a “virtual space” which only gives a temporary fix to those feelings of isolation we all feel. It was all beginning to feel a bit pointless and I wanted more.
I became friends with Yvette who is a passionate advocate of the merits of Safe Haven and it did seem a little bit too good to be true. I’d seen the other local events but they didn’t sound the kind of thing I was looking for. I didn’t want to be surrounded by those “admirer”/”chaser” types as I just wanted to make some new friends and talk to like-minded people.
As the big day arrived I did feel a bit apprehensive about what I was letting myself in for! Staying with people I don’t know in a place I have never been before…. eeeeek! I emailed Pixie and Yvette several times before I left and apologised profusely for the continual questioning!
The BIG DAY…. (Bigger Eeeeeek)
I took the “when in Rome” stance and decided that I would just do the whole weekend in “girl mode”. I was a little concerned when I got half way and realised that I hadn’t packed any boys stuff. I spent the rest of the trip praying my car didn’t break down as it might be a tricky one to explain!
Safe Haven is tucked away but wasn’t too hard to find. There is CCTV watching over the car park so as soon as I got out of my car Pixie greeted me. What a relief! She is one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet and instantly put me at ease.
To the Bar…. (Mahooosive Eeeeek)
So here I was following a strange person into a wooden hut that I have never been to before dressed as a girl…. what the hell am I doing? My mother warned me about situations like this!
I had decided that I would come down on the Friday which turned out to be much quieter night than the Saturday. The moment I entered the room everyone was so welcoming I was instantly put at ease. It felt like I was part of the furniture or putting on that old jumper that you have had for years but you just love! Paula was serving behind the bar and I thought a bottle of wine was probably in order.
Dominoes… (be warned!!)
Everyone that has been to a party night at Safe Haven will know what “Dominoes” is. It’s a drinking game. It’s not a pizza. However at the time I didn’t know this. In terms of ice-breaking you can’t get better than this. Its brilliant fun but not for the faint hearted. Some people didn’t fare too well that night but they were all looked after.
Beddy Byes (zzzzzz)
After a superb evening, sophisticated conversation and fine cuisine… oh no… sorry drinking…. and…. chatting… and more drinking it was time for bed.
Safe Haven has numerous caravans and a Pixie showed me to my bed in the static van. The caravan was clean, well maintained and stocked with a variety of bits and pieces that people staying might need.
In the morning I had to travel back fairly early so I got dressed again and headed out of my room. One thing that does take a bit of getting used to is the fact that you get to see two different personas and sometimes you just don’t recognise the girls as the boys!
The whole experience was incredibly positive and I left that weekend feeling elated, that I had a second home and a lot of new friends. I have been several times now (it’s now December) and every time the experience is the same and each time I make more new friends.
I live in Plymouth and if you are reading this, apprehensive and don’t want to travel alone I am happy to meet up and you can come down with me. I can assure you that you won’t look back.