Yesterday afternoon the tiny village hall was almost filled to bursting (slight exaggeration) as a dozen ladies of the parish attended our monthly TED's meeting.
They didn't come along for the local history, and I am fairly sure the refreshments were not what got them across the threshold. My bet is that the chairman of our local Parish Council 'whipped' them in, for she was hosting the meeting and had arranged for someone to come and demonstrate the ancient art of marbling.
Whatever the answer, it was good to see the hall buzzing with conversation and activity.
The newcomers were introduced and some people found that they had been living almost next door to one another for over three years and yet had never met...and this is in a very small village - the total number of parish residents is 185, and a good number of them don't live in the village.
Then the demonstration got under way. Our instructor explained the process, then showed us how to marble on fabric, paper, stones, wood, tiles - almost anything which is porous and can be submerged. It was fascinating and magical.
Lots of different techniques, no two are ever the same.
This is a tiny mounted canvas - a few twirls with a cocktail stick, to swirl and curl the paint, a quick dip, and this pattern is what appeared.
A very jolly couple of hours passed, eventually we left clutching our own pieces of marbled fabric.
The lovely Miss Read was there, of course. She enjoys anything to do with crafting and was one of the first ones to get stuck in and have a play.
She was also absolutely thrilled to bits when she spotted the enormous woollen tablecloth( click for story) which used to belong to the village WI. My husband and I had been into the hall to hang it from a metal curtain pole, for all the village to see - on those rare occasions when they attend a function in the hall.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photograph, I was slightly distracted by all the possibilities offered by the art of marbling - I am thinking about fabrics for fairies, end papers for books and journals, wrapping paper, greetings cards, etc.
Of course I had to come back down to earth - help to clear away the cups and saucers, then dash home to get tea ready for the grandchildren.
Still, it hasn't stopped my brain from ticking over, I like the potential of that craft.
Next month we are having a visit from an elderly woman who used to live in the next hamlet along, I believe she is a few years older than Miss Read, so we are looking forward to hearing her reminiscences of village life.
It would be marvellous if we could have a similar turnout.