I have always been a team player and definitely brought up my children to be the same. The fact that my Foursome were always among the first to be picked for any team while I was almost always left till one of the last
is neither here nor there. In those days, of course, to be an effective team member, required an ability to (I) catch; (ii) throw accurately; and (iii) wield a bat / racquet / hockey stick to some effect - and I was sadly lacking in any of these requirements.
I may have told you the story before of how many years ago, on holiday with my parents and sister at Butlin’s in Bognor Regis, I took part in - and won - something
called the Butlin’s Chase which involved several laps of the main grassy arena in the centre of the camp. As a result of my victory, for once in my life I found myself in great demand when teams were being selected for all manner of sporting events.
I was a sad disappointment to so many on that holiday...
As a Working Gal, I also adhered to the principle of teamwork, feeling particularly strongly that the
role of team leader sometimes required an ability to follow other people’s lead, not to mention occasionally bringing up the rear and picking up the pieces when things had gone wrong, ready to rebuild. I was quietly proud of many of the teams I built
and led over the years.
Nowadays, especially in the current Lockdown, I find my propensity for being part of a team is leading me into all manner of strange activities,
albeit from the safety of my home. That’s why, you may remember, I joined the Rainbows in Windows Project, proudly displaying in my front bedroom window the beautiful rainbow created for me by my Rascally Trio. “Here I am!” my rainbow called
down cheerily to passers-by, “I’ve joined the Rainbows in Windows Team!”
One neighbourhood initiative which didn’t seem to
bear any fruit for me involved hiding children’s books in parks, playgrounds and other open spaces for littl’uns to find. Anyone finding a book was invited to post a picture on a local social media site which was full of sweet pictures of
small people delighting in their latest find of The Gruffalo, one of the many Mister Men or a David Walliams book. I kept revisiting the site but nobody seemed keen to register the fact that they had found any of the books I had hidden (even though I checked
regularly and they had all been picked up by Somebody Unknown.) I had to tell myself sternly that the action is its own reward. Or something similar...
neighbourhood venture is to join an initiative called “We’re going on a bear hunt” named, of course, after the well-known children’s book by the Really Rather Wonderful Michael Rosen. The idea is that when parents take their off-spring
out for their daily walk, cycle or scoot along the streets of my home town, their circuit will be enlivened by looking out for teddy bears in people’s windows.
I was enchanted by the idea (you might have guessed I would be, team player that I am) and as soon as I heard the call I was straight upstairs in search of a bear. You might say I was, myself, going on a bear hunt. No, I wasn’t scared...
My search was not an easy one, on account of the fact that the beds in the smallest bedroom are heaving under the weight of boxes still to be sorted after being brought down
from a-Loft as part of the Loft Clearance Project. It’s not too difficult to locate the Giant Penguin (being, as his name implies, rather large) but he isn’t a bear by any stretch of imagination and anyway he would take up the whole of the kitchen
windowsill and would probably fall in the sink more than once. I found a beaver, a cuddly dog which used to sing “Close to You” but whose batteries long ago ran down, and a pink fairy with spindly legs before finally coming across Mother Bear.
Ah, Mother Bear! I remember we won you once upon a very long time ago on a family holiday in Bournemouth. There was a Father Bear, a Mother Bear and a Baby Bear offered as
prizes and delight of our Foursome knew no bounds when we won second prize. Mother Bear, all four assured me, was the bear they wanted all along...
That must have
been more than forty years ago and Mother Bear looks much the same as she did way back when - which is more than can be said for me. I place her in our kitchen window where she sits in state, doubtless more excited by the turn of events than she has been for
simply ages, sandwiched between two orchid plants which, I am proud to say, are both re-flowering in spite of me.
I don’t know if anybody will spot
Mother Bear as they take their daily constitutional along our road - I have learnt to lower my expectations.
Come what may, I will take one for the team...