With lots of help from Rachel and Alan (and Permaculture Association staff), I organized a bookstall selling books (and other stuff), from various permaculture related book sellers, (Permanent Publications, Spiralseed, James Taylor and Graham Bell). It was the first time this had been done at this event but the general feedback and ‘vibe’ from doing so, was a really positive one. Am just about to write up an evaluation for the stall, but am hoping it will be able to carry on in a similar model (possibly with more diverse sellers, other than just books, to create more of a ‘market place’ where ‘right livelihood’ element of permaculture design can be demonstrated further), in future years too.
In addition I also ran a workshop ‘Designing for End of Life.’ It was an informal ‘discussion type’ workshop where participants could learn about my design, I have been working on, which has created a resource, (more details about this in a future post), to help people design what they would like to happen for their own end of life care, and death. In addition, I wanted the workshop to create an environment where those attending could start to think about designs they could work on relating to the subjects brought up in my own design, and share stories and ask questions about individual experiences and thoughts too. The atmosphere in the workshop and then informal feedback after the workshop was lovely and again very affirmative. I am aiming to get some more formalized feedback for my design, but this initial testing of the general flow and feel of it was incredibly helpful for me and how I approach the next step of the design. I am aware that the subject matter is sensitive and this kind of design is fairly on the edge of a lot of permaculture work, so my aim is to make small and slow steps with it, to make the design as beneficial as possible.
Another highlight of my weekend was a fab tutorial with Nicole Vosper at Wildheart Permaculture, who has just recently become a tutor. Nicole is super cool at organisation and time management type skills and knowledge, (besides loads of other stuff), and I came away from my hour's tutorial with a whole new box of tools to use with my Diploma journey and a realistic plan for writing up designs for my portfolio.
My journey home, up North was one of smiley reflection. The ‘positives’ I have discussed briefly here…there were many…plus the journey in the landy to get there, via the moors of Calderdale and Kirklees, then on to Holmfirth….(just stunning!!)…the ‘negatives’, well just not having enough time to catch up/meet everyone as much as I’d like to in one weekend, plus the illness of C, one of the Gatherings attendees, (thankfully she is on the mend now). And then the ‘interestings’ ……hopefully a new personal tutor for me (Wilf from Abundant Earth)…lots of new ideas and sparks of energy for projects…some of which I will write about in the coming months, and others which I have made myself file away for when my Diploma portfolio is complete.