one more if she has her own chair?" I ask my friend. She is about to run her class. There are fifteen places because there are fifteen chairs in the teaching area.
The person in front of me is someone I know from the previous year. It is ten minutes after the fair has opened and the class has already filled. Some people booked yesterday or arrange for friends to do it.
But the person in front of me has the disadvantage of having come a considerable distance and of being, most of the time, housebound. She also has an advantage (she and I agreed on this) of having her own chair, a wheelchair of course.
"Yes! We'll make room for you."
The friendly, always-cheerful-despite-serious-health-issues, person goes from looking anxiously hopeful-but-prepared-to-accept-disappointment to beaming.
"It's what I came for really. It's something new to learn. I did so much after last year's class."
Other people do classes at the craft fair. Some do classes because it is something they expect to be able to do. Others do classes because they are curious. Some want to hone a skill they already have or learn about the latest developments, tools or techniques in their craft. Some want to learn something new.
And there are people like our friend in her wheelchair for whom it is a very special part of the day. I know from talking to her that she can spend as much as half the year in hospital. Having a new skill which can produce something interesting and beautiful is important to her. She can pass on pleasure to other people too.
"I feel I can go on being useful," she told me.
That is oh so very important.