Jaqui's Daily Blog

Variety and the Spice of Life

Richard has arrived early for our Board Meeting and is chomping his way through slices of toast and jam when I turn up. He is, he admits, somewhat disappointed that the café at the Salvation Army no longer serves up bacon butties as in Days of Yore when he had previously attended early morning meetings there.

Scott, our newest Trustee, kindly buys me a cup of coffee and we join Richard at his table. Now we are three. Hey, look, it's Tom - we haven't seen him for ages! Such a lot we have to catch up on. Julie, our Partnership Manager, is next, closely followed by John and Peter. We are having such a good natter, the seven of us, sitting round the table, warming our chilly hands on our cups of coffee, that we almost forget that we are here for a purpose.

Upstairs in the room allocated for our meeting a table and chairs have been set up. Also lining the walls are cosy settees and armchairs, a piano (in case, presumably, one of our number is Musically Inclined) and a large industrial cleaning machine (in the unlikely event that we make so much mess that we have to clear up after ourselves?)

Board Meetings have changed in recent months since we became what I like to term a No Frills Organisation. Having lost our local authority funding a year ago we have become extremely Lean - though hopefully not Mean and certainly not Dangerous To Know. We are starting to enjoy the freedom of our new existence, the feeling of liberation from producing endless performance reports, the excitement of travelling along a new and uncharted road. So long as we stay true to our values and continue to work towards a thriving voluntary sector in our town, the world is our oyster.

That was yesterday. Today I spend the morning in the company of fellow members of the Singing for Pleasure choir. Christine has fantastic news: she is going with Prince Harry to the Invictus Games in September. On a point of clarification, Megan Markle need not be too jealous as Christine is but one of 1500 volunteers selected from ex-Services personnel to attend the Games. We are all delighted for her.


My friends (regular readers know them as Sue 1 and Sue 2) are both conspicuous by their absence, one being on holiday and the other unwell. I miss having someone to giggle with over the many unwittingly funny moments of which our choir mornings abound. We sing Loudly Proclaim, in honour of St David's Day, muddle our way through The Dark Eyed Sailor and finish with a rousing rendition of Sussex by the Sea. Over coffee in the community Café afterwards, the Bacon Bap Brigade agrees we have had a Good Old Singalong.

Back home I have a busy afternoon ahead of me. I must embroider little footballers on the stripey shirt of my knitted Mighty Kicker footballer, my present for The Rascal whose Birthday Weekend begins tomorrow with a visit to our house. It's fine, don't worry, I am prepared for the fact that the Birthday Boy will almost certainly only have eyes for his Power Ranger toy.

There's a somewhat over ambitious birthday cake to assemble. Our Jack will be expecting his weekly letter. Plus I have been asked to write a review of Avenue Q for the Basingstoke Gazette. Only 300 words but it's so much harder to write a short review than a long one. I feel like Mark Twain who once memorably asked the recipient of one of his epistles to excuse a long letter, as he hadn't had time to write a short one. What's more, I like to make sure each of the main actors has an honourable mention which means going into Adjectival Overdrive, as I endeavour not to repeat myself. Or, at least, not too much.

From Board Meeting to baking a cake, from knitting a footballer to summoning up 300 words of (possibly, though not necessarily) scintillating copy for a local newspaper.

Variety is the Spice of Life, don't you know?

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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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