One of the things I love about being retired is having the time to do things I really want to do. Being a teacher these days is all-consuming, with the need to be ready for Ofsted at a moment's notice and the need to document everything; an inspector once told me,"If it isn't on paper, it didn't happen" when I tried to explain how I gave informal one-to-one support to mentors but didn't have written records of precisely when and what had been discussed. It made me realise that if I had sat in my office and written up fictitious meetings, instead of actually giving support where it was needed, Ofsted would have been well pleased!
Anyway, given I now have so much time, on Mondays I volunteer at our local Children's Scrapstore. In case you're not aware of them, scrapstores are wonderful places where members can access a fascinating range of waste materials from businesses and industry, so that they can be re-used for children's play.
This is our local scrapstore, which is an offshoot of the larger Bristol Children's Scrapstore. We have card, paper, fabric, leather, felt, netting, fur, foam, shells, paint.... and all sorts of interesting things. Can you guess where the spotty bunting in the picture comes from? It's the fabric left over when ironing board covers are cut out. Isn't it fantastic?
Although we are a membership organisation, we are having an Open Day on Saturday 16 May when anyone can come and collect some scrap in return for a donation. Recently we received some fabric bags as scrap, and so I have been decorating them with more scrap so people can see what can be done. On Sunday I got my sewing machine out and made some kites with ripstop material (we have a hot-air balloon manufacturer who donates their offcuts) and some coloured elastic which was left over from making bra straps. I rather like them!