Three mornings this week, at very early ‘o’ clock, before the world was awake, I was at my bootcamp class in the local church hall.
Trying to stay alive for those gruelling hours of power star jumps, squat thrusts, broncos and flying burpees (be grateful if you don’t know what any of these are, and take it from me, they’re good for you, but horrible), I usually find myself wondering how many hours I’ve spent in this hall?
The answer is: over the years, so many I couldn’t count. When the kids were tiny, I used to help run the local playgroup there, with a friend and fellow Mother, so I know that hall well! (Perhaps too well).
When Kirstie and I took the playgroup on, it was a little tired and worn out, but we discovered it had a dazzling amount of funds from weekly £1 entry tickets, just sitting in the bank. We bought new toys, a fleet of new ride on cars, a huge sack of balls, new playmats, new trains… it was amazing! I went to the council’s eco scrap shed and hauled home loads of junk, which week by week I reinvented as craft projects. We provided painting every week. We had story time, good coffee, action songs to finish, and we were full to max every week. We took it in turns to be the sorrowful one to stand at the door, turning people away when we were at capacity – come early, next week!
It was great, when I look back! Hard work, though, and at the time I had one child in nursery, one on my hip, and after a while, one inside. Our moment passed, probably when I had that baby, and we handed the playgroup on to the next team of volunteers.
What I remember most was the team work, the intrigue, the dramas, and the thrilling fascination of working hard to provide something really good for local people, and then watching it unfold before our eyes every week.
PS: I got so into remembering the playgroup I couldn’t stop drawing pictures of it, so this is a bumper blog for your weekend.
Just leaving this right at the end.