Saturday, 25 September 2010
Getting in a lather
In need of a treat and wanting to learn a new skill, I booked myself on a soap making workshop. I got to the venue early, so walked around the back streets of Islington admiring the multi storey townhouses and wishing that people would leave their blinds up/shutters open so I could take a peek inside.
When I got too cold, to the point of not being able to move my hands anymore, I made my way to The Make Lounge. When inside I was invited to put my jacket and bags into a storage area and then come back and help myself to a drink when done. With a hot cup of coffee in hand (but no sign of the biscuits and savoury snacks that were mentioned in our communication) I sat down at a group of tables as other people joined the room.
The tutor was among the last to join us. We wrote our names on sticky labels and stuck them onto our clothes and then had to go around the room and say our name and if we had made soap before. As each person spoke, something dawned on me. I seemed to be the only working class woman in the room. What I mean is ( and forgive me if I am not eloquent enough in expressing myself) is that the women were well spoken, confident and well educated. My feeling of inadequacy loomed over me ready to make me the class fool by saying or doing the wrong thing.
After deciding the groups of fragrances we preferred such as floral, warm, citrus etc we were put into 3 groups to make the soap as a team. The women in my group found it a breeze and were in their element dipping their pipettes and getting to grips with the digital scales and thermometers. Now, back at home I would find this no problem at all but I felt shy and intimidated by these women who seemed to ooze confidence and organisational skills. They were pleasant enough towards me but I felt really uncomfortable. They probably thought the same about me! I really wanted to crawl under the tables and come out when it was over.
I must have enjoyed myself in a strange sort of way as the time passed quickly. At the end of the course I spied some savoury snacks at the back of the room. Drat! It was too late to eat them now.
With my small box of soap wrapped in a towel and continuing to 'cook' on my journey home, I walked up to the station to catch my train. Arsenal were playing at home. I didn't know. As I got into the station having to force my way through the Arsenal supporters coming out, a tall uniformed man screeched at me ' ENTRANCE OVER THE OTHER SIDE!!!!' I didn't realise that he was talking to me until he screeched at me for a second time 'OVER THE OTHER SIDE!!!' 'YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SO RUDE!' I screeched back at him, being very rude in the process. I think I was feeling particularly stressed after my not-so-much-fun soap making experience.
I now have to wait 24 hours before I can cut the soap into bars and then 4 weeks before I can use it. It does look good, poured in the mould with its sprinkling of lavender flowers. I think I would like to make soap again but in the comfort of my own home, with my own things around me and my own company!
* Just to add, I think that a workshop at the make lounge would be good if you went with a friend or a group of people rather than by yourself unless you have the social skills that I sadly lack!