So here we are and the time has come to hand over the reins to Mr Ducker. I transformed into a sargent major today to inject some energy, a sense of timeliness and to try to get everyone motoring along a little bit faster.
We are behind! Can you believe it? This may be the first time when we have to say to the students that they can only finish one shoe. I know it sounds a bit harsh, but they have so many more processes to learn that this really is the best solution.
Somehow the processes just aren't going in. Usually by week two they are becoming second nature, but not this time. Disappointed does not even begin to capture how James and I feel. We love seeing a group of students complete their shoes and try them on at the end...
We think that once you have skived, trimmed, stitched, used the paste and contact adhesive and done some stitching once, you really only need to keep practising to finesse your techniques and capabilities with the tools. Anyway, let's hope the energy levels lift.
After a massive final push this afternoon all soles were on and by 6pm the final student had been shown how to stitch the sole. Some brave souls even took it upon themselves to cut the channel - not easy on a first attempt (nor when you are under pressure)! But everyone has gone home happily with homework to complete so soles will be stitched by the end of tomorrow.
I'll be at Gieves & Hawkes tomorrow so I am looking forward to regular updates and hopefully the good news on Tuesday that the second sole is stuck and stitched! Good lucks guys - heads down, knives sharp and go!