New era, new skills

Hello lovelies, how are well doing? It is a beautiful day on the island and perfect for gathering from the garden. Today I am focusing on plantain as I have some family members suffering with eczema and the balm from this SUPER plant is perfect. I also need to replenish my flower presses. Last week I had a botanical ink making day with a fellow crafter and we had such fun. It was a journey of discovery as three of the recipes were new to me. Hawthorn flowers gave us a light brown which will be perfect for ink washing. Nettle gave us a beautiful deep green and sorrel gave us a strong pink. If you fancy a go at ink making, I have a tutorial on my community stitching site HERE.

Yesterday was a bit of a blast. I taught my first online zoom class using two cameras. I know!! How the world has changed. One of the positives to come out of this terrible time is that folk have discovered the joy of learning as there is so much out there in the digital world. I have been edging close to offering a live class for sometime and now I have done it a whole new world has opened up. I have been teaching since I lined my dolls up and taught them how to spell their names. I originally trained as a primary school teacher with a specialism in dance and PE. My first job remains the best job I ever had. It was working in a Bengali community in East London. My late father thought I was nuts to take the job. He was wrong. My experiences there shaped my whole life. I learnt about the cruelty in poverty, the joy of different cultures, the challenges of teaching 21 children with 6 different languages between them and the importance of care and love.

I went on to study a masters in intercultural education before moving into teacher training. From there I shifted into my first love, dance, and wrote a degree in the subject. I stayed in the academic life for many years and then left it all behind to move my family to a small Scottish island. I wanted the children to have more freedom. Within a couple of years I had taken the boys out of school and was teaching them myself and a year or so later Molly made the decision to join us. I then had a run of blissful years with my children and drew on all I had learnt in that Bengali community

Once qualifications loomed on the horizon it stopped being fun if I am truly honest. Supporting all four children through multiple qualifications became a big of a slog. The children all coped brilliantly with the new regime but all my issues with the way we school our children returned. Understanding was replaced with memorising. Passion for a subject was replaced with tolerance. But we got there and two of them went onto university and two of them went in the workplace. As we await George’s degree result is a time of reflection for me. Now they are all through their studies this is going to be my time. They all have jobs, they are all very independent and I want to explore the world through the eyes of someone who has lived a good while on the planet. And so I have returned to teaching and the virtual option is far better than I could have imagined. I have spent most of lockdown in zoom land classes learning all sorts of wonderful things and so it was overdue that I throw my hat in the ring.

As you know a strong focus for 2022 will be to write my adventure with education book but I am considering offering zoom classes for parents who teach their own children, or would like to or even those that just want to rethink their leisure time with their children a wee bit more. Whether your children go to school or not is not the only issue. Some parents want to de-screen their children and encourage them to do other things with their down time. I think I can help there as well. This isn’t something for now or perhaps not even next year but once the book is finished it could be a natural next step. We shall see…..meantime I have my art classes and my lovely community stitching project, Stitched Stories, and my stitching for wellbeing practice so lots to keep me out of bother.

I hope everyone has a gentle week. I let summer days unfold a little as the light lasts longer so there is no rush…..xx


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