Yesterday was the start grand start of my 30 week Classic Course at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers, the one I’ve been banging on about for so long, it finally started! I left my house at a ridiculously stupid hour of the morning and joined the daily commuters on the train up to London.
On arrival at the sleek entrance to the shop, placed above the work space which holds the academy, I felt nervous. I felt nervous from a social perspective because I have no idea who my class mates may be, and after all I am going to have to spend 2 days a week with them, what if they were all venomous soul destroying witches?! And I also felt awkward from the perspective of my floristry skills, it’s not like I’ve done much. Would the others have done more? Would people point and laugh at my stupid questions? Was I starting 30 weeks of being completely out of my depth with my self esteem and confidence being crushed at every turn?
Luckily, and of course, my fears were completely unjustified. I descended the stairs to find a room full of smiling, if quiet, women sitting around the large white tables that serve as our work stations. In the end there were 24 of us. Gillian, a wonderful soft and yet obviously furiously talented and passionate lady, started off proceedings by intruding herself and pointing out the rest of the team as they dashed about fulfilling orders, something they never seem to stop doing. Dawn, who handles all the paper work side of things then sorted out security, health and safety, and gave us the keys to our lockers ect and then there was Madeleine. Madeline is a swift moving, small bird of an individual who simply radiates power, calm, and genius, she is one of those people you find your self desperate to please, and she was once upon a time on of Gillian’s students.
On the first day we didn’t touch a flower, but in all honesty there wasn’t time. We talked, a lot. And we did team building exercises, such a people bingo (best not to ask), which was actually wonderfully helpful. Gillian was very keen that we make friends and that the atmosphere be a good one in the group, sensible as we will be spending so much times together, are such a large group, and at times will be working as teams or in pairs for projects. And it worked, walking in on the second day people were already much more confident talking and interacting with each other, so it was well worth it, and calmed my nerves on the social side of things. But day two and the flowers was yet to come…
(Images, By Bethany with thanks to the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers)