Sunday, 18 January 2009

My Week...

Do you ever have a week go by, that when you reach the end of it and look back, you just say WOW?

It doesn't often happen here, but it did this week. So, for a quick run-down...


Go back to uni. Have a short, sharp introductory lecture for our new creativity module. The creative juices start to flow. I have to make a Creative Log for this module, collecting anything that inspires me about Africa. Bizarrely, No2 got his paper aeroplane kit out and lurking in the pack were these papers - perfect! It is an excuse to relive a much-loved holiday in Kenya pre-children...


We have a day of all-things-Africa planned for us by our lecturers. My day begins with a story-telling workshop, hosted by the most beautiful Ugandan lady called Juliet. She mesmerises me with her gentle sing-song voice telling stories her grandmother told her when she was young. Her grandmother has 50 grandchildren. She teaches us how to carry a basket of fruit on our heads and how to tie a headdress from a length of cotton. She tells us how the mosquito got his waist. She tells us how she takes Europeans to Uganda during the summer months for a cultural tour. We sign up. Maybe summer 2011, after we graduate...

Next was a workshop about African artefacts. Our tutor was involved in some projects in The Gambia and had masses of artefacts for us to admire.

The finale was the African drumming workshop of afore-mentioned brain worm. It is so addictive - I have been practicing with my own djembe here at home. I say my djembe, its actually Tom's - he loved drumming.


Voice-coaching. Our coach was a charismatic German lady, who kept us entertained for 3 hours. Did you know that at some stage, 70% of teachers will be off sick with voice-related illnesses? Me neither, although I guess it stands to reason. We were taught how to project our voices, how to use body-language instead of loud voices. Here's a fact (allegedly!), your class will take more notice of you if you have lots of space around you and you're wearing a bright-coloured, three-quarter sleeved top (or your sleeves are pushed up). All stuff for my Teachers Toolkit.


Poetry workshop with Valerie Bloom. I once again found myself enthralled at this wonderful lady. Her poetry is wonderful and fun, she performed brilliantly. The room was filled with laughter and Jamaican patois. You can hear Valerie read her poems here. I've ordered some of her books from Amazon...and so my collection grows. Mid-session, we had a short lecture from our tutor about how to be a good poetry teacher and finally, another session with Valerie. She even got us writing a poem...


Just before Christmas, I was asked if I would attend a fund-raising dinner for, the hospice where I go for my bereavement group. It was held at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the Chelsea Pensioners and hosted by Jeremy Clarkson. I rubbed shoulders with celebrities at the champagne reception before dinner. We ate in The Great Hall.

In true blogger fashion, my camera came out as soon as my dinner was placed in front of me!

Jeremy was auctioneer after coffee had been served for some amazing donations. And guess what? Yay! I won a Wii and all the accessories in the raffle! My highlight of the evening was chatting to my comedy hero, Paul Whitehouse. He had me in stitches and obliged me with an autograph for No2, along with Harry Enfield.

So, all in all, A Great Week.

This weekend, I have been mostly relaxing. I needed it...


  1. Yes, I'd say WOW too! What an interesting week. Was Paul Whitehouse as lovely ansd funny as I'd imagine? I'm a fan too.

  2. An amazing week.

    I am thrilled at all the things you are learning and being exposed to - it makes it all worthwhile...

    and thanks for sharing...

  3. That really was quite a week wasn't it? Fab.

  4. wow, what a week indeed, and I'm sure coming home with a wii made you very popular indeed!

  5. Your week sounds fabulous fun! I am so glad you are enjoying yourself, all thoroughly deserved. VERY cool dinner!Andhow fab to win a Wii- are you addicted yet?!

  6. I feel exhausted on your behalf - but so excited by what you're sharing!

  7. Wow is exactly the right word! What a wonderful week, and I'm so glad money was raised for that brilliant cause.



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