The P&R Agency at PEEL Talent specialises in arranging Guest Speaker and Enrichment Programmes for many of the world’s leading Cruise Lines, drawing from our database of over a thousand speakers, art tutors, crafts instructors, bridge directors and choirmasters.
Eleanor has been a teacher for many years, teaching initially in secondary education. She taught a variety of subjects ranging from Humanities (Geography and History) to Science and Art. Time spent in the classroom was always fun, and the joy of enabling someone to achieve, especially in a subject they felt they ‘couldn’t do’ has never failed to enthral. Teaching Art also meant that during the school Activity Weeks (yes, those weeks where everyone enjoyed themselves in the summer term!) she was able to extend the art input and had the most amazing calligraphy sessions, creating individual greetings cards for example, and one year created costumes for a local carnival. Some fifteen years ago Eleanor transferred to teaching adults, and at about the same time, created Flying Tortoise Enterprises with her business partner, Mrs Mary Wilkinson. Now teaching Art to adults, ranging in age from early twenties to eighties, and finding it immensely satisfying and rewarding, Flying Tortoise Enterprises also took off and they have been involved in creating craft kits and teaching craft skills on board cruise liners. With the emphasis now on Art, Eleanor has also been able to produce a programme of art sessions, suitable for all abilities, and accessible to passengers on board a cruise liner. Eleanor now has the joy of knowing great satisfaction in both her occupation and her hobbies, and enjoys spreading the joy of both art and craft to others.
The craft kits we provide are all inclusive in that they contain charts, instructions and materials for a complete item. We are known for our individual, tailor-made designs for specific cruises, which create a unique and personal memento of the cruise. The sessions we provide have been very successful and we have received favourable and enthusiastic feedback both from passengers and from the various cruise directors with whom we have worked. The kits we provide cover a range of themes from cross stitch maps of the cruise, bookmarks, samplers, needlecases, credit card holders, cafetiere covers, mug cosies, Christmas hanging baubles, gift tags, cake bands and more, including some knitting projects for those more accustomed to working with ‘big’ needles. Mrs. Wilkinson and I usually travel together so that every craft session has the advantage of two instructors, ensuring no-one is left without help for long. This is an advantage as at any one session there could be a variety of craft work being undertaken. More recently I have been delighted to add an alternative craft form, namely art.. This is run separately from our other craft work as a distinct entity. It consists of a series of sessions with those who may not have picked up a pencil, or any form of drawing/painting implement, other than to write a shopping list, for many years – lots of people have vivid memories of being told “You’re no good at art!” The course encourages people to experiment with the drawing skills that lie dormant in most of us, recognising their ability to observe and judge compositions and create pleasing compositions and individual designs for themselves. I have had great success using this approach with adults (ranging in age from early twenties to young eighties), who suddenly realise that ‘I can’t draw!’ can quickly become ‘Wow! Yes I can!’ and who have surprised themselves by producing truly creative pieces of work. Each session is a 'free standing' session (just as the craft sessions are) and all neccessary materials are provided at each session. Mrs. Wilkinson and I are willing and able to travel from any port, and although we are both still working (albeit part-time) and need some advance notice of cruises, we have been able to ‘fill in’ with only 3 weeks warning! Cruises with several sea days (usually four or more) are generally best suited to the sessions we offer, though many projects can be completed within one session or with only a little extra input from the passenger.