Wednesday, 3 August 2016

As One Door Closes...

I'm back this evening from a fun few days at Missenden Abbey for the last summer school with Adult Learning. I've been going to the Abbey for about 17 years as both a student and a tutor and have stayed in many of their study bedrooms... all perfectly comfortable and functional, even if the bathrooms tend to be a bit snug. So imagine my surprise when I was given the "Abbey Suite" on Sunday evening. I had a huge bedroom with a bed that was wider than it was long, a very roomy bathroom along my own corridor...

and a living room with a second TV. I felt like royalty!

I was teaching a Stitched Graffiti Art class to a small group of only six ladies and on the first day we had a bit of a warm up by using the machine as a painting tool and they produced this wonderful selection of little brooches.

As well as enjoying the teaching and the wonderful surroundings of Missenden Abbey itself, one of the other things I love is being able to walk in the surrounding countryside when I am there, something I've not been able to do on my last couple of visits due to being on crutches. So I was looking forward to some nice walks this week but unfortunately it has been a bit wet and drizzly for the past few days. However this morning the sun made an appearance so I had a stroll up to the parish church after breakfast and before class started.

The views over the valley are beautiful and I took a few moments to take it in and watch a pair of Red Kites hovering and soaring over the churchyard before heading back past the Roald Dahl memorial bench... I've written more about it here.

Back in the classroom, each student worked on their own designs for a "Graffiti" piece and although they need finishing off at home, these are the wonderful results:

"Create" by Sue in a fabulous font

"One in a Million" by Barbara... a special gift for her husband

"Cheers" by Valerie... very cheerful!

"Not One Hectare More" by Wendy... a comment on the destruction of the forests of Borneo

"Perspective" by Janet. I think this says much about me that my eye picks out the P and R and I see "Prosecco". Once Janet has finished the outline there won't be any confusion about what it says!
"Cats Rule" by Pasqua in a lovely crisp font.

And so it many ways it has felt like an ending but the atmosphere at the Abbey this week hasn't been down beat bacause as one door has closed another has opened. Although this is the end of Missenden Abbey Adult Learning in its present form, two of the adult learning staff have started a new company that will be running creative courses over weekends in the coming year.

The website of Missenden School of Creative Arts will be live very soon but you can go there now and register an interest, which means you will be the first to hear about new courses as they are added. And with a bit of luck I'll be back in Great Missenden next spring!


  1. What great news about Missenden! I've never been, for my sins, but hopefully I'll get the chance under the new arrangements. I'm pleased you'll be able to teach there in the future.

  2. Sounds like a beautiful place. Perfect for inspiring all that lovely work. Glad you are more mobile now to enjoy the surroundings. B x

  3. Isn't it amazing how those doors close and open!

  4. I read 'Prosecco', too.... I am now wondering if I have a problem I need to address! The graffiti is fabulous and the news that two of the adult teaching staff have started a new company is great, too. xx

  5. Awe thats good news Gina, glad you had a great weekend and the work as always was amazing!
    V x

  6. Wonderful work by your students. I love that even when warming up they are making something. I also love the surrounding countryside not many miles from where I grew up. Your suite looked so inviting.

  7. How grand that this special stay at the Abbey included such an elegant suite!

    I'm glad that you were able to have that morning walk, too. It seems like many good things occurred during this session.

    The students' work is very imaginative, and I am quite impressed with the variety. What a great teacher you are, Gina! xo

  8. Looks like the best room in the house. Let's hope you get to stay in it again in the future. It all sounds very positive and I hope it comes to pass.

  9. Wonderful work and such a variety. The 'warm up' badges are so cute. Thanks for the link Gina and I hope the new company are successful as Missenden is such a special place.

  10. Fabulous work by your pupils Gina, and so glad that that other door opened for you! Look forward to more creative teaching posts in the future!! xCathy


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