So this morning Mr B and I headed off to his Bowls Club Coffee Morning. Well, you know me – I’ll go practically anywhere for coffee and a biscuit...
But the strangest thing happened – just as soon as I walked in the door, everyone seemed to want to talk to me. There was a bit of a buzz in the air. “I hear you’re joining us?” said one.
“So, will you be playing this coming season as well?” asked another. “A little bird tells me,” ventured yet one more, “That you’ve volunteered to be Assistant Secretary....”
Well, now, hold on just a minute, I wanted to say, as the proverbial penny slowly – painfully – dropped. The thing is that at the last coffee morning, when someone mentioned that
the Club Secretary was having trouble finding someone to take minutes at the monthly committee meetings I may – just may, mind you - have murmured something to the effect of being used to taking minutes at meetings. And all of a sudden they want
to make me the Assistant Secretary.
I was told that it had all been discussed at the last committee meeting. You’d think I’d have had an inkling that
something was up, wouldn’t you? If nothing else, I’d have expected my ears would have been burning. Clearly my ears are letting me down. I must remember not to rely on them in future. Apart from the normal business of hearing, of course.
Apparently, everyone at the committee meeting thought it was a great idea. They have it all worked out – it won’t matter, they say, that I’m not a club member because they can simply co-opt
me onto the committee. “It just means,” they tell me, regretfully, as if this might be a deal-breaker, “That you won’t be able to vote...” Oh, glory be!
Mr B says I can join the club and be a full member. For £40 a year I will be able to vote at committee meetings. This sounds rather a lot to pay for a privilege I wasn’t seeking in the first place but maybe he thinks he can advise
me how to cast my votes on the basis that I won’t have the foggiest what I’m voting on. Well I’m thinking it’s exactly this kind of thing that led Mr and Mrs Huhne into trouble...
It isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me. I remember many years ago when we moved to the Kent village of Staplehurst. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters was just seven years old and desperate to
join the Brownies so imagine my delight to find the local Brownie Pack “on parade” at church on our very first Sunday.
Immediately after the service,
I approached the Brownie Guider and asked her if there might be a place for my daughter in her pack – I had every finger crossed because I’d been warned we’d almost certainly have to take our place on a lengthy waiting list. Brown Owl looked
me over with shrewd but kindly eyes and said: “There won’t be a place for your daughter until Easter, I’m afraid – but YOU can start next week!”
Years later, when she was retired and I was running my own Brownie Pack, I asked her what had prompted her to think I’d make a good Leader of the Pack. “I can always tell,” was her cryptic answer.
My Latin teacher at school was fond of telling us that “A volunteer is worth ten pressed men.” Which has me wondering about the Bowls Club and whether I am, indeed, a volunteer or am I
a pressed man? (Or woman, if you want to be really pedantic.) It sounds somewhat painful, to be honest. I’m thinking of pressed flowers and grapes. If I’m going to do something, perhaps I’d better volunteer and get it over with.
At least I will have the comfort of knowing I’ll be worth ten pressed men. Which is, indeed, something to write home about.
I'll record that in the Minutes, shall I!