Re-skilling and rest

by Renee

I cannot believe that it’s been almost a month since I last posted! It’s been a manic few weeks of organizing and running the Transition Town Worthing Festival. Our last big public event was this Friday – an open mic, unplugged event called ‘Skilling up for Powerdown’. What does re-skilling mean and why do we need it for a more sustainable and less energy-dependent world? The pictures above and below are of our re-skilling stall for the TTW festival. I had such fun putting it together with some members of the group.

Our TTW re-skilling group explores the skills we have overlooked and taken for granted in the recent past. For example, can we still grow our own food? Preserve this food? Cook and prepare it well? Are we able to repair and look after the things we use daily? We cannot always assume that we can buy items easily from the stores. Are we able to mend and make our own clothes and homes? Do we know ourselves and nature well enough to use alternative remedies for our ailments?

For the open mic, we focused on our ability to entertain ourselves. These days we are so dependent on our TVs, the internet, our iPods and video games to keep ourselves entertained. We seem to have forgotten that we have the ability to entertain ourselves. We celebrated things such as music, song, dance and spoken word – and these all allowed us to connect with one another on a more personal level. There was such a good vibe all around, a true sense of a community connecting and coming alive. People were sharing their talents, and gratefully receiving and appreciating what was offered. It didn’t matter that some performances were unpolished and raw – those are the things that made the acts and the evening even more special.

There’s me introducing the evening. I am not a big fan of public speaking, but I had to do it for the re-skilling group and event. I guess that in itself was a new skill to learn! More pushing of comfort zone, I say.

For my part, I played three duets on the violin with my lovely teacher (see us below in action). I was so nervous. I also played some songs on the uke and sang. These are all small dreams that have come true for me so quickly (thanks MB!). I wanted to perform and share the things I enjoy. And it felt truly wonderful and good. I was humbled by the sincere praise and encouragement that came from both friends and strangers. How wonderful the Universe is. It totally smiled upon us that evening and suffused our hall with such positive energy. It reminded us how much fun it is to entertain ourselves and each other simply.

And here are my four-stringed friends – my tools for self-improvement, entertainment and re-skilling…my violin and my uke!

After a full-on and extremely demanding three weeks, it is now time for a well-earned rest! Hello Dream Lab, here I come! But before I go, I’ll leave you with images of a lazy sunny Sunday afternoon here at Hilltop…

Spinach, rocket and carrots

Feverfew in flower

Mmmm…courgettes (zucchinis!)

Yummy broadbeans – almost ready for harvest and eating

My pot marigold – I am so happy it has flowered! At one point I thought I’d finished it off due to my careless re-potting.