Tying things up now and beginning to think ahead a little. We had a marvellous picnic at Tina's yesterday to debrief and celebrate the community show. There were many exciting break throughs in the work and much to talk about. As ever the question of efficiency was brought up - could or should we have started earlier? Did we get the buy in from the schools that we wanted?
One of the problems seems to be establishing the credibility of the students as being reliable, committed and able to deliver, perhaps not helped by my own romantic sense of their ability to achieve amazing results. Some of the schools we worked with undoubtedly saw them as useful teaching assistants, but weren't so prepared to embrace the extra curricular commitment that this project demands. With time and legacy I think this will get easier and delivering two very well received and successful projects on the bounce in Richmond and now in Hounslow certainly helps - but I still wonder whether setting students up to liaise with the schools and venue directly is the right process.
What I don't doubt is that minor set backs, although in themselves annoying, don't half make great learning opportunities and that Danielle and Kathleen (working with the schools) and Emma (working with Chiswick House) really did develop pragmatic, diplomatic and inventive strategies to ensure that our partnerships worked.
As the day went on and the sun continued to shine we decamped onto rugs under a huge, dreamy billowing patchwork cloth that Tina had cleverly rigged up to provide shade and a touch of exotic beauty and there we stayed til nightfall eating, drinking and laughing as the year lazily drew to an end.