I went to a technical school - I don't think they exist anymore. They were for the ones who weren't quite bright enough to get through to a grammar school - they had a secretarial stream and nursing stream and usually took 'O'levels in the lower sixth and 'A'levels in one year in the upper sixth.
We all had a general education for the first three years and specialised in the fourth and fifth years. I took both Maths and English 'O'levels in the fifth year - but failed English. So took it again at Christmas along with cookery. Having got three exams out of the way the rest of my sixth form was more manageable for me. But my most difficult 'O'level was embroidery - it consisted of three exams - one where we had to make a design, another on the history (which meant visits to the London museums) and the theory, and the third to test our actual skills of doing it!
I still love it! but it is so time consuming! I find I am attracted to books of it and pre-packaged packs of it - and have a chest full, some I inherited from my Mum who had the same compulsion!
Thirty one years ago, having been widowed a few years before, she met up again with my Dad's best friend from their teenage years, they fell in love and married. And I decided that I would make them a cushion cover that I had seen in one of my many books. The wedding came and went and I had only completed a fraction of the embroidery. The following year we adopted Mandie and the little spare time I had vanished. So the embroidery was taken off the frame and put in the chest.
Thirty years later, Mandie having married and after many, many moves of house, I decided to see if I could complete the cushion cover. Then there was the problem of which would happen first - finish the cover or run out of wool! It was the latter - I think some wool got lost in one of the moves. Unfortunately - they don't make that embroidery wool any longer, so I had to buy a different make to get the right colour, and that wool was very slightly thicker, but fortunately unless you know you can't see the join! Unfortunately neither Mum or my step-Dad are a round to see the finished article.
My favourite part of the embroidery is what they call velvet stitch, a cross stitch with a loop in the middle which is then cut, giving a carpet like effect.