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  • Once Dem started school our business, Diane's Kitchen, came to a graceful end. A large company asked me to double the quantity of meals I cooked, but with cheaper ingredients, and I refused. Small was good, and it was time to move on.

    By the time Madeleine started studying Marine Biology at Bangor University and Samantha was revising for her A levels at college, I had qualified as a lecturer and completed a two year counselling course.

    As the girls grew older it had been important for me to prove to myself I could also achieve. After a short course on assertiveness I was confident to teach a twelve month childcare and education course on my own.

    Dem was showing a keen intelligence, but did not want me to give him similar projects I had given the girls to do during the holidays. All he wanted to do was ride his bike and hang out with his friends.

    I had loved learning through group work so much that I studied Carl Rogers and promised myself I would improve the confidence of each of my students by the end of the year.

    Image: Samantha, Dem and Madeleine
  • I was also asked by the local vegetarian society to run an evening vegetarian cooking course, in another college. This turned out to be a real disaster.

    The course was held in a classroom ,used during the day by a home economics teacher, who sometimes forgot to leave the key of the cupboards where all the equipment was stored.

    I was demonstrating how to make vegetable soup and needed a can opener. No chance.

    So I hammered a sharp knife into the can whereupon the juice shot out and all over the Venetian blinds of the classroom window six foot into the air.

    The students sat in stunned silence.

    I was glad the course only lasted for six weeks.
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