Wednesday, 30 June 2010

An Adult Education

I have had, through my door, a booklet outlining what Somerset has to offer in terms of Adult Education.

During darker times, this document has cheered me up no end.

There are parts which are, to be frank, bonkers.

This may sound rich coming from someone who goes around attempting to get adults wrestling with my giant balls whilst panting and connecting with their pelvic floors, but hey, that's different.....(and at least I don't get people to lie on mattresses and cry, well unless they go home to do that bit?).

Anyway, my own activities aside, I can tell I've gone West and back where I belong.

I'm used to evening classes being all 'Cooking for One', 'Double Entry Book Keeping for the New' and 'How to Spend 12 Weeks Slaving Over A Sewing Machine Only to Produce a Pair of Trouser Which Could Only Be Used for the Back End of a Panto Camel'.

That was my attempt at learning dress making but my career ended prematurely when I used a pattern for a pair of floaty wide leg summer trousers and, for my fabric, selected thick GOLD velvet. Very thick. I think it may actually have been upholstery fabric. Nope, I have no idea what I was thinking either. I should have just cut my loses, chopped off the waist band and turned them into two extra-fat draught excluders, but instead I took them home and tried them on alone before sending them to Help the Aged. I've never got over it.

Evening classes here seem a little different.

Don't get me wrong, there is still your Lace Making, Pottery and German Immersion (turns out its in the language, not amongst being dipped amongst actual German bodies) - but amid all this is an eclectic mix if ever I saw one.

Let's take a closer look......

We have 'Solar Panel DIY' (who would have thought there was such a market for fiddling with your own solar panels?), 'Bee Smart -for people with no experience with bees' (??), a 12 hour course on 'First steps with your digital camera enabling you to change the settings' (alternatively you could save yourself £60 and read the manual, but hey, that's just a suggestion) and an intriguing sounding course called 'Taming the Shrew - could this be you?' Aimed at women going through the menopause.

We also have:

Practical Animal Workshop - Dogs
'Learn how to handle, communicate and control dogs, using kind methods'.

What as opposed to a course educating you on how to control dogs using cruel and inhumane things like sticks and electric prods? It makes no mention of bringing our own dog and is held in a hall so I guess no real dogs are involved? Do you think everyone has to 'pretend' with a stuffed toy or do they use eachother? 'Please secure a lead around Cyril's neck and if he sits when asked, reward him with a chicken morsel and a tummy rub. Do NOT kick him or jerk him to strongly'. I bet they love it. Most popular course in the prospectus I would imagine.

Next to that (and if it's got you thinking) there is:

Philosophy - Part 1
'What exactly is philosophy? If it can help you think more clearly and expose, nonsense, why haven't you done it before'?

Erm, I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Interestingly there is no 'Philosophy - Part 2' listed. Perhaps once is enough for everyone? Or they just learn to think more clearly and 'expose nonsense'?

Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster - Offshore
Experience the channel in the classroom!

Forgive me for pointing out a small problem with this but surely the classroom (in landlocked Illminster) is not 'offshore'? I've got visions of a dozen men of a certain age, wearing thick jumpers and yellow wellies whilst sitting atop a school desk and rocking it from side to side vigorously. Meanwhile someone flickers the lights on and off and plays a tape of 'waves crashing'. Ahh I can almost taste the sea......

The course includes 'navigating offshore passages'. I find this a teensy bit worrying. Do they leave the class room blind -folded and have to direct each other to the toilets and back without bumping into any tea trolleys or stacks of chairs?

Perhaps before embarking on this you would have been wise to attend:

Five Animal Frolics

You what!? WHAT!? This got me reading more. I had visions of learning to 'frolic' with 5 different types of beast. But no. Apparently 'Five Animal Frolics is an ancient Chinese Qigong Practice'.

Riiiiight. So that clears up my confusion there then.

If that confused me then I was even more befuddled by:

Singing Bowel Meditations and Applications
'Experience singing bowel sounds for emotional wellbeing'.

Even for Glastonbury this sounded a bit way out. Do people actually come together, open their mouths and make farting noises in order to restore inner peace? I needed to know more! I mean I used to go a Pilate's class where the instructor asked us to relax our anuses and once lent me a book which turned out to be highly disturbing, pornographic and badly translated from French (slightly awkward one that, she said she'd 'known it was for me the minute she saw me', before handing it over with a special smile. I never felt comfortable relaxing my anus in front of her again).

Then I realised I'd misread the title and it was actually Singing BOWL Meditations. A quick Google assures me that the bowls are Tibetan, stop 'internal dialogue' and don't make farting noises.

I still like the farting idea though. I might put a proposal forward.

I mean someone out there is getting paid to run a 6 week, 12 hour course on (brace yourself for this)

'Buying and Selling on Ebay'.

'By the end of the course you will be able to set up an account and have insight into its use'.

An INSIGHT!? After 12 hours of paid tuition I'd be wanting complete mastery with knobs on.

Well I'll be blowed.

Coming soon to a village hall near you (run by me):

'How to open a blog account and, if you're feeling brave, write some words on the Internet!'

Price includes unlimited cheap squash and custard creams, bring your own mattress for compulsory crying and perhaps a bowl to block out your inner voices. Frolicking with Chinese Animals not compulsory but who doesn't want to grapple with a Giant Panda? Menopausal women especially welcome. Offshore passages will not be navigated and kindness to dogs will be encouraged'.

It got 'sold out' written all over it.


  1. OMG! ROFL! Having hysterics actually (well I've had a couple of glasses of wine so what do you expect?!). Thank goodness I'm alone in the room - I have never seen such a list of adult education classes -ours are quite boring by comparison. Thank you so much for cheering me up.
    Hope things are improving for you and your family - sending sparkles and hugs anyway.
    Sue xx
    p.s. I'd sign up for your class - I'd even bring my own dog (but I'm post menopausal does that mean I don't qualify?)

  2. Glad to be of service...;)

    No being post-menopausal means you are MORE than welcome in my special class. You will be given your own spot to talk about your own experiences of 'Taming the Shrew' (?!???).

  3. Brilliant post. I hope you win the MADS, this is the funniest blog by miles.

    Sorry to read your shocking news about your Dad.

    love and luck,
    hari xx

  4. Thanks Hari! Yeah - I hope I win too - I've still got no curtains and the sun is up by 4.45am!! Argghhh...I may need to do something clever with a bin liner at this rate.

    Thanks for your kind words on my dad - it's just a nightmare but stuff like this helps me escape for a bit.


  5. I'm pretty sure any member of my family could run a Singing Bowels workshop. In 5 part harmoneee. Altogether now 'Mooooon Ri-ver....'

    Keep blogging. It's therapy. And cheap.

  6. My head is spinning. you live in one seriously messed up place! Taming the shrew??? Horrible, ghastly images that brings to mind. And as for 'dog training' sounds like an S&M party if ever I heard one.

    But the coastal navigation one has got to be the best. do you think they pass round bottles of rum and practice their sea faring songs? Or perhaps there is someone paid to stand in the corner and spritz salt water over them as they sit atop of the desks rocking?

    We need you to go, with a video camera, and report your findings.

  7. Thank you so much for starting my day with a belly laugh! Brilliant! What is worrying though is will they run? If they do that means there are folk out there who attend such antics!

    So glad I've found your blog. do you do email subscriptions?

  8. Came here via vegemitevix and Heather and so glad I did. I now know why I have never found any Adult Education classes interesting enough to bother with, I live in the wrong part of the world.
    I'd sign up for yours as long as you don't relax your anus in front of me either.

  9. So funny! I'm torn between the Seafaring or the Shrew Taming - maybe Harry Hill should decide over a fight - now THAT I'd pay to see!
    But the EBay and the Digital Camera courses - isn't that what's commonly called "Money for Old Rope"? somebody's a canny bleeder down your way!

  10. Hilar!! Found you via Very funny

  11. I've been pimping your blog out again. The cheques in the post, right?

  12. Crying with laughter! Bloody hilarious!

  13. Heather you are just too kind! Wow there's a whole world out there of blogging. You see I do this (due to public pressure from people who know me 'in real life') but as you can probably tell by the appearance of this blog, I am NO professional. I can't even be bothered with twitter.

    I need someone to take me under my wing and gloss me up and make me look like a proper web page rather than something a drunk cider-addict knocked up on a lonely Friday night (which would be accurate but no necessarily desirable).

    Any offers welcome! I am happy to credit you.

    Livi - cheers luv. I have to say - you really couldn't make it up. I mean 'Taming the Shrew' - you WHAT!?

  14. Hello! Another convert via Heather's blog here. I think you are my new favourite... and just a bit of trivia for you (though I don't know either of you personally), your writing style seems very similar to another very favourite blog of mine by an Aussie mum (she commented a bit further up, CateP at I'll Think Of A Title Later). So now I think of you as some sort of British version. Yay! I have two of you to rely on to help me remember to... laugh! (and I DO have to remember, often these days)

    I too am sorry to read your news about your Dad.

    Keep doing what you're doing! I love the (un)professional, non-Tweet-linking blogs, they're like hidden gems when you find them :)

  15. Brilliant! Made me laugh like a drain

  16. What I want to know is, what is happening with this flippin' MADS awards thingie? When do we get to find out whether you've won, as you so deserve? Update please.
    I was really sorry to hear about your dad, too. Hope you're doing ok.

  17. OMG - I've snorted Pepsi Max down my nose reading that.