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What about an evening class? – Jo Simms

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest ” – Benjamin Franklin


evening-classesWow! Where did the summer go? Anyone see where it went . . . could have sworn it was here a couple of minutes ago. All too suddenly we’re reaching for the light-switch because it is getting to be evening time a little bit sooner than before and the shops are full of back-to-school stationery and clothing.

And don’t even mention the Christmas card catalogue from a well-known charity that just landed on the doorstep.

While you might breathe just a teeniest sigh of relief that your precious angels are going back to school after the long summer break here’s a thought: why not join them?

Come on, admit it, when was the last time you learned anything new? When did you do something that really provoked your interest, your desire to know more?

Because the upside of the downside of the end of summer is that evening classes begin.

Now these can range from full-blown qualifications at college to help you in your career, to a light-hearted get together in the public library for a series of talks or a book club.

You can get practical – car maintenance, basic wood-working, decorating, DIY garden landscape and design or you could go creative, with painting, pottery drawing, sketching.

How about polishing up or adding to existing skills in cookery or computing? How about adding a wow-factor to your culinary arts with cake decoration, sugar-craft or learning some incredible international dishes?

Does the idea of taking a basic conversational language course sound like a good idea for next year’s holiday?  It would certainly beat miming and speaking slowly and loudly in English like you did this summer.

An evening class doesn’t just have to be cerebral; even if you don’t feel like taxing your brain, how about giving the body a workout? Check out the sports centres for keep-fit, Pilates, yoga, tai chi or swimming lessons for adults or improvers’ classes.

Bowling clubs swap their outdoor activities for carpet bowling, which is a great introduction to the sport and a sure fire way to make new friends.

And you might not be the only species in your house which might benefit from an evening class . . .

Instead of sitting on the sofa with the dog gently snoozing away, its head in your lap, why don’t you pair of couch potatoes enrol in a dog-training or agility class. Just think: you could take your dog for a walk instead of the other way round.

Even if work patterns or the time constraints of busy family life mean you cannot commit to a full-blown course, make a point of checking the local notice boards or what’s-on section of the local paper and vow that you will go along to one-off talks or demonstrations throughout this autumn and winter. It will be surprising what you learn and who you’ll meet when you are there.

After all, what is the point of sitting watching a reality show on television when you can add something real to your own life?