Hi all, I checked this out with the moderator team and they are ok with me sharing it with you. I am part of a team organizing a four day event this summer. It's called "Good Lives - preparing for new skills". The idea is we will gather together at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre and learn and share some practical skills.
The three of us who are organizing the event (two of us volunteer tutors and Pam Lunn the Good Lives programme leader) are bringing some skills to share, and hoping that the people who come might be able to share others. We have planned a mending consultancy, so we're asking everyone to bring at least one garment which is worn out which we might be able to show people how to mend with. We'll also do some pattern cutting, and you'll be able to have a go on manual-powered (hand crank and treadle) sewing machines. I'm planning to bring some spindles to demonstrate how to start spinning your own yarn, and there will be both a beginner's knitting session, and a more advanced session on interpreting and choosing a knitting pattern.
It's not all about textiles - we have a local medical herbalist coming to do a day workshop on identifying and preparing common remedies from local plants, and I am offering a session to help people get started using slide rules and log tables. There will be an opportunity to build and use a hay box cooker, and fit a water butt to a downpipe to collect rainwater, also some food-growing skills including a chance to chat about experiences of starting a local food project, growing beansprouts and starting seedlings for your garden.
In the evenings there will be a bit of time to finish off whatever folks have been working on during the day, and then we are planning to have "low power entertainments" in the three evenings so we're asking people to bring a song, a poem or a story to share. We've asked a professional story-teller to offer some time helping folks think about how we can all do story-telling - it doesn't have to be fiction. I used to know an awesome old hippy guy who would tell amazing campfire stories from his long life in the alternative peace movement.
The dates are <a href="http://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/courses.php?action=course&id=7130">20th-24th August 2012</a>, at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Selly Oak, Birmingham. Woodbrooke has 12 acres of woods and a lake in the grounds, lovely bedrooms, (it used to be the Cadbury's stately home and they gave it to Quakers to be our college!), and the food is wonderful. The chefs are great at special diets, I know they cope with gluten free and dairy free very well, and do excellent vegetarian food as well as meat options sourced from a local independent butcher.
One of the volunteer tutors has also passed onto me that she has had feedback from neopagan Druid types that Quakers have often been found "open-minded" by folks from those communities, "in a tone of surprised reassurance", in case anyone is wondering about coming but uncertain about hanging out with us Quakers due to our christian roots.
2012-03-09 Edited to add some more details - I'd thought I'd saved this as a draft rather than available to read! Hope I haven't put anyone off. Would love to hear from you especially if you are interested in coming.