Jaqui's Daily Blog

Sitting Next to the Radiator, Volunteers and Pressed Men

Walking into the Village Hall for the Questers Quarterly Meeting, we could tell at first glance that the hall was very, very full.  Questers is, indeed, a popular group.


What is more, as Mr B and I have found out, you really need to be at the quarterly meetings if you want to have any chance at all of booking up for the most popular visits.


Mr B took my hand and led me to the very front row where there were several empty seats. He beamed triumphantly and sent me off to the kitchen to buy us a coffee and biscuit (30p each – what a bargain!) I wasn’t sure about the whole front row business as it would be difficult to hide if Mr B decided to “rest his eyes” half way through the main presentation.


Mr B’s eyes need a lot of resting. I have never, ever known eyes that need resting so much. When I am unable to accompany Mr B to meetings and gatherings, I generally delegate responsibility for keeping a watchful eye on him and his resting eyes on one of our many friends.  Bless them, they take their responsibility ever so seriously. They report back, in full, as to how many times his eyes closed, and for how long, and how easy or difficult it was to bring him back to the present.  That’s what friends are for. Though it is possibly more than they bargained for.


Our position in the front row meant I was sitting next to the radiator so keeping my shoulder deliciously warm throughout the meeting. It also meant that I had a handy window-sill on which to perch my coffee cup once I had finished my coffee. Usually I have to put my cup on the floor while the meeting is in progress, thereby running the very real risk of accidentally kicking it and disturbing the peace.


We only had one agenda between us because Mr B was more than happy to leave me to keep track on what was happening.  He wasn’t so keen on lending me his pen - regular readers will recall that he does not trust me to return any pens I may borrow.  He trusts implicitly that I will be faithful, loyal, forsaking all other till death us do part and all that stuff. But let me ask for a loan of his pen and it’s a completely different business...


The Leader of our Questers group was pleased with us. Apparently only seven of us failed to acknowledge his last email message.  Mr B raised an eye-brow in my direction and I nodded back at him. We were definitely not among The Silent Seven.


We listened to the report back on visits over the past quarter. Mr B and I have only missed one of them – to the Chichester Planetarium – and that was only because we had to go to the Bowls Club’s AGM.  Then it was on to visits planned. Over the next few months we are booked to visit the Worthing Dome (some of the scenes from the film “Wish You Were Here” starring Emily Lloyd, daughter of “Trigger”, were filmed here); an orchid nursery; Christ’s Hospital; Lancing College; Tangmere Museum; the Royal Chelsea Hospital (home of the famous Chelsea Pensioners) and a local oboe maker.  When would we ever map out such an itinerary for ourselves?


Mr B had warned me before the meeting that I wasn’t to volunteer to organise any more outings as he felt I had “done my bit.” But then it came to the point where our Leader asked for a volunteer to organise a particular visit and there was a long, painful silence.  I tell you, my arm just sort of lifted all on its own.


Bad idea, said Mr B on our way back to the car. It will be a nightmare to organise, he prophesied. One day I will listen to him, he said, sorrowfully. For a moment I thought about telling him all about my Latin teacher, Miss Delahay, who impressed upon us all that a volunteer was worth ten pressed men. Or was it a hundred?


Miss Delahay has SUCH a lot to answer for...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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