Hello everyone and welcome back to the autumn term at Stoke Lodge.
We have lots of exciting courses starting and it has been lovely to have everyone back here at Stoke Lodge creating a friendly and fun buzz about the place.
A few courses available to join include…
Computer Confidence Taster Mon 10-12noon one off on 26 Sep with Carmel CCC1A
Boost Your Computer Skills Taster Wed 10-12 noon one off on 28 Sep with Carmel CBS1
Using Android Apps Taster Wed 1-3pm one off on 28 Sep with Carmel CAA1
Maths Café Wed 2-4pm started this week but still available to join with Eric MAC1
Early Tudor England Wed 1-3 for 10 weeks from 28 Sept with John HIJ1
Starting this half term…
Internet Safety Tips Mon 10-12noon one off on 3 Oct with Carmel CST11
Plants and Planting Tue 7-9pm for 8 weeks from 4 Oct with John GAJ1
The Hidden History Of Horticulture 10-1230pm for 3 weeks from 7 Oct with Christine GAC31
The Slave ship Hannibal Thu 2-4pm one off online lecture 13 Oct with Rosemary HRCA
Saturday 15 Oct…
Mindfulness & CBT Workshop For Health & Wellbeing Professionals 10-2pm one off Sat 15 Oct with Jackie W20A
Oil Painting Workshop-Beginners 10-4pm one off Sat 15 Oct with Warren D19A
Freemotion Embroidery With Shimmer and Shine 10-4pm one off Sat 15 Oct with Debby
Spanish Day – Pedro Almodóvar 10-3pm one off Sat 15 Oct with Gorka LAS44
After the October half term…
Refresh Your Computer Skills Mon 10-12noon for 6 weeks from 31 Oct with Carmel CRS1A
Get Stared with Photoshop Elements Mon 1-3pm for 6 weeks from 31 October with Carmel CGP1
Improve Your Computer Skills Wed 10-12noon for 6 weeks from 2 Nov with Carmel CIM1
Painting And Drawing-Mixed Ability Mon 1-4pm for 6 weeks from 31 Oct with Roma D20D
Introduction To Drawing Techniques-Beginners 10-12.30pm for 6 weeks from 31 Oct with Sheila D32D
Oil Painting-Absolute Beginners Thu 1.30-4pm for 6 weeks form 3 Nov with Warren D15B
Drawing From The Masters Wed 6.30-9pm for 6 weeks from 2 Nov with Warren D17B
Printmaking Fri 10-12.30 for 6 weeks from 4 Nov with Barbara P20B
Upholstery Mon 1-3.30pm for 6 weeks from 31 Oct with Nicky T11B
Repair, Reupholster and Reuse A Dining Chair Fri 9.30-12.30pm for 6 weeks from 4 Nov with Grace T26A
Cushion Recovery Wed 6-8.30pm for 6 weeks from 2 Nov with Grace T25A
Morning Breathing Meditation Thu 10-11am for 6 weeks from 3 Nov with Stella W23B
Also keep a look out over the next couple of months for some exciting new classes on Interior Design and Natural Skin Care.
Reflecting on the passing of HRH Her Majesty The Queen.
This week I have been reflecting on the death of Queen Elisabeth and the period of national mourning that ended this weekend with her state funeral.
I think like many people my personal feelings about the institution of monarchy are complicated and sometimes conflicting. This is obviously a significant moment in history, marking the passing of a Queen who has been ‘in the job’ for 70 years and the television and news coverage has been for me both fascinating and at times overwhelming.
My personal feelings this week have also been in part about my own experience of grief and thinking about the people from my life that are a similar generation to Queen Elisabeth. I have found myself thinking about my grandparents, extended family, their friends, and neighbours, brought up in families impacted by the first world war and then themselves experiencing the second world war as teenagers and young families.
It is truly hard to imagine the changes that they experienced, politically and in terms of technology and change in society and the world around them.
Some of the pomp, ceremony and traditions associated with national mourning and a state funeral can seem strange and outdated and I can understand the feelings of those who might question the expense and rituals associated with the last week, but I also think tradition is both important and interesting. As humans we create ceremony and ritual to mark significant occasions and moments in life and whilst many of these are not entirely necessary, they are a part of what makes our society interesting.
Queen Elisabeth did not choose or expect to be Queen, with reports suggesting as a child she longed for a quiet country life with dogs and horses. How strange it must have been to have such a fixed and structured destiny thrust upon you as a young woman.
Now clearly, she led a life of extreme privilege. Financially secure and with a support system in place for almost every need. However, we all know that it is never possible to know how someone is really feeling and how their life and existence feels to them. She must have had moments of extreme sorrow, frustration, and despair, as we all do at times. It’s a cliche to say money doesn’t buy happiness but it is also true.
She must have at times been bored and irritated by some aspects of her role, but she clearly took her pledge of service very seriously and showed absolute devotion to her role in serving the nation.
I have found myself drawn to the stories of her humour and her casual moments of levity.
The story of meeting American tourists in the hills of Balmoral and not being recognised or giving the Saudi Prince a white-knuckle ride in her land rover around the grounds of Balmoral when women were not yet allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia or her obvious excitement at seeing cows at her birthday parade.
Queen Elisabeth was undoubtedly in a great many ways not at all like us, but she also was like us and for many she was a public reflection of our own lives and experiences…
She had a nickname from her Grandchildren (Gary – as Prince William couldn’t say Granny), she enjoyed a private joke, walked her beloved dogs, gossiped (in her case reportedly with several Prime Ministers), liked a cup of tea and a cocktail, she had favourite TV shows (Pointless), had family squabbles and challenges, went to work when she didn’t feel like it, smiled when she wasn’t happy, loved being outside in the countryside and nature, enjoyed a piece of cake and respected the institution of James Bond.
So, for me I do share in the public grief, feeling sad at the loss of such an interesting and inspiring woman, someone who had a complicated role and who showed dignity and strength throughout her life. I am sad for her family and friends who will feel this loss most deeply, as we all regrettably understand the immense pain of grief and the loss of a loved one.
I am left feeling that despite the hours of media coverage, the anecdotes, stories and reports, her being the most famous woman in the world and a public figure present throughout my life, how fascinating it would have been to truly have known her.