Friday, 17 June 2011

..working with my Community Arts London partner

I thought life would get quieter now that the academic year is finished ...but no....

I have been very busy working with my Community Arts London partner to complete a set of six double sided banners to decorate the lampposts at the centre of our community in Hither Green. 

Last month we ran a Sunday 6 hour workshop in a local church hall and invited residents to come along to make fabric collages. We provided materials, support and refreshments. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and we had a variety people attending ranging from toddlers accompanied by their parents, to grandparents.   They produced some wonderful work with everyone helping each other.  We took the work home, waited for the glue to dry and then cut the pieces out and machined them to fix the work in place.  

This week we have been preparing the banners which are 2 metres long by 1 metre wide.  This involves us turning the whole ground floor of my house into a workshop with the banner material laid out all over while, fuelled by copious cups of tea and yummy snacks, we try to organise the various art works into a coherent design which then needs to be machined together.  We only have this week to complete them all so I am working in the Enquiry Unit or my counselling placement during the day and machining in my converted sweat shop each evening. You can imagine how much I am looking forward to going on holiday on Saturday! 

I will post photos of the finished works when they have been installed.  However last night I didn’t manage to do any sewing because I discovered that my results for this year are out and – I PASSED!!  Him at home insisted on cracking open a bottle of fizzy to celebrate so that was me finished for the evening – in capable of doing anything more sensible than watching Springwatch!

A few months ago I wrote about our last project – the bunting collage.  That is all finished and looking wonderfully colourful.  We made this with the women attending a group run by a charity established in the 1960’s to provide help and support for the families and friends of prisoners.  This was where I had my first year placement - providing one to one support for three women.  I have kept in touch ever since and now really enjoy running these creative workshops there, helping women to make something colourful to brighten up their meeting space and their outings. The charity puts on picnics, other outdoor events and even summer holidays for the families.  Anyway here are some pictures of the work – enjoy.

Bunting:





Mr Fox - A regular around Hither Green

Butterflies and caterpillar

Butterfly (detail)

Flowers and mini beasts

A rather fat owl

...and a very cheerful frog

…so this is my pre holiday post and I will write about Madeira on my return - I hope the weather is an improvement on what I am leaving behind – rainy dreary London.  Have we finished with summer already?

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Fun in the Enquiry Unit

The calm, serene, public persona face
of the well trained EU staff!
I’m back working part time in the Enquiry Unit getting as much experience as possible before I go full time for Early Clearing which starts on 17th July.  Main clearing starts on 18th August when the A level results come out and the phones begin to ring off their hooks!

UCAS applications close on the 30th June and anything received after that date goes into clearing so we are getting lots of calls from desperate people wanting to get into courses for the September 2011 start.  Some callers are so desperate they want to get on just any course. I’ve done a quick straw poll around the office to find out some of our more memorable calls.  These include:

·      The budding actress wanting to know if our BA Acting degree would guarantee her work in Hollywood.

·      The sobbing young woman, devastated that she had forgotten to accept her ‘firm offer’ and so had been ‘declined’ by default.  She wanted us to tell her what to do now but, was crying so much, she could hardly speak.  She was gently advised to hang up, sit down and have a cup of tea and ring back when calmer.

·      The woman who was so impressed with the service from my colleague that she rang back requesting his number.  When he declined the offer, she offered to give him hers instead.  He politely declined!

·      The man who rang up to warn us he had seen Satan in the Medway library and would we please investigate the CCTV footage?

·      The woman who wanted to enquire about renting the 5 bedroom house advertised for £126 per month.  She was advised that this was Greenwich University, not a letting agency.
·      The wishful thinker - the woman who swore blind that she only needed one UCAS point to get on a course.

·      The man who wanted to post his online application form.

You are kidding: How we really
feel when some calls come in
·      The woman wanting to apply for an engineering degree with qualifications that included hot stone therapy, reflexology, hair and beauty and Swedish massage.

·      The woman who had been accepted on the nursing course but didn’t want to travel to far and requested free accommodation to stay overnight before her lecture day.

I’m sure there are many more interesting calls to be taken in the weeks ahead so – watch this space!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Hibernating Bear


Alice emerges into the normal world!
Hello again – It’s me!!  I feel like a little bear that has just emerged blinking in the sun after being confined in my  dark cave slogging away to get the last of my coursework in for the June 1st deadline.  I was stuck to that computer for at least 14 hours a day tapping away all through the glorious bank holiday to get my research proposal submitted in time. I finally got it in last Tuesday night.

The following day, Wednesday was our last college day which started with us all submitting our clinical files.  These contained our proof of clinical hours, placement reports, personal counselling hours and a few other bits and pieces.  I was so worried that I would forget to put some of the bits in that I checked everything at least twenty times re-reading the instructions over and over.

Him at home is very relieved that I have finished  - he had the job of Alice vending machine – keeping me fed and watered throughout all my drama.

We celebrated the last day at college by having a picnic with our tutors during our break.  Everyone brought food and we enjoyed the ‘pic’n’mix.  

So it is now a week since the final hand in and I am still absolutely exhausted. I am planning to catch up with all my terribly neglected friends and rellies but I’m not doing a very good job!
Hurray! Play time at last!