I’ve been at Denman College this week, working with some extremely inspiring and very knowledgeable women and in the company of some old friends.  Spending time with like-minded people is such fun and inevitably, I came home last night feeling sad that the time passed so quickly.




Our time was spent in the classroom working on their craft judging skills as they embraced every challenge set to become fully qualified WI Judges.  The days were long, the list of things to do seemed to grow longer rather than shorter and everyone had so much experience and so many ideas to share that our heads were buzzing in the early hours too.




Questions such as “when is a soft toy not a soft toy?” and “is this cushion hand weaving or a bought piece of fabric?” kept coming, and my colleague Linda and I did our best to instil enough confidence in our students to enable them to summon all their knowledge and experience to be decisive.




In the evening we left them to party in the bar and returned to our little cottage where a bottle of red and a wonky corkscrew demanded more attention than a screwcap.  Six hands on the bottle suggest rather more desperation than was really the case and having plied my Celebrity Masterchef judge friend with a few glasses, she still wouldn’t tell me who won!




The course finished yesterday lunchtime and I returned to the (beautiful) classroom later in the afternoon to finish clearing up and to check I’d left nothing behind.  Everyone had gone their separate ways and all was quiet.  In that blast of activity, we’d done so much.  Not only had we shared a huge amount of knowledge and experience, we’d also gathered a bunch of new friends as well.

We might have had a bit of fun along the way, too  ;-)




I brought home a very sweet card signed by all the class and their comments were very much appreciated.

I also brought home some bedtime reading in the form of 480 comment slips from their final assessment!  Yes, I’ll read every one as a reminder that it is indeed possible to find something positive and encouraging to say about every single thing.

Even the scary rabbit.



Red-haired twins

Time to pack - again