Sunday, 10 November 2013

SkillsFest 2013

The first post for the Transition Media group blog... I hope this will take off. Comments on the blog are really welcome!

The Greeniversity SkillsFest

I was happy to attend the SkillsFest yesterday, a great event that was made possible by the efforts of a huge number of volunteers from the Cambridge green community. Greeniversity is an initiative that aims to keep 'older' skills alive, as they will certainly be relevant again when peak oil and carbon caps change the way we live. They're all generally quite fun and useful for living a happy and simple life in balance with the world.

Jacky and Daniel at the welcome desk
While Greeniversity runs classes all year round, the SkillsFest is a special occasion where a great many people who have a skill they can offer come together and allow guests to try out a real mix of things they may never have considered turning their hand to.

The Cafe Project was also around, offering drinks and cakes, rounding off a complete day out. I had one of the vegan fig flapjacks which was delicious, and a cup of water. No lemonade or orange juice for me unfortunately! Maybe because they couldn't be sourced locally.

I was too late for the first session owing to rain and badminton, so I was just chatting for a while, but eagerly went upstairs to join the singing class, run by Bev Sedley standing in at short notice. I had met Bev before, at a celebration meal ending the Cambridge Carbon Footprint vegan challenge, but I didn't realise she had such a talent for teaching and leading vocal harmony. We learned and sang four songs by ear in an hour, including Heigh Ho Nobody Home and My Baby Just Cares For Me. I also met Sue, who was very kind about the press release I did for the fruit harvest project, and expressed an interest in helping the media group more. Yay!

A wealth of opportunities

For the next class I was tempted by the session about preparing the veg and fruit patch, but I went for the knitting session with my friend Marie. I never thought that I would be come a dedicated knitter, but I was curious to try the experience and I thought I could get a good idea of the technique and the essentials in an hour. It is harder than I thought though, and instead of wool it was my brain that ended up in knots! Perhaps I'll try again one day, but I really don't tend to wear wool and I have 100 other things that I want to learn. It was good to gain some small insight into this world though, and to stop underestimating the skill of knitters :-)

I really feel like I would have liked to contribute more to the event, so maybe next time I'll do some guitar lessons or vegan cooking, but I feel very grateful to have so many kind and talented people in the city where I live. It felt like a lot of people were there so hopefully everyone will leave with the feeling that it was a success.

Axel took some really nice photos, which you can see on the Cropshare blog and give a great sense of the fun bustling atmosphere at the event.

Thanks to all those who gave their time to the event, and to those who attended, encouraged the team, and donated to the room hire!


1 comment:

  1. Loved it! I was teaching making skin balms using beeswax, vegetable oil (we used rapeseed as it is local and sustainable) and organic olive oil.

    And, it isn't just keeping old skills alive, new environmentally friendly skills are welcome too!