Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Minion Named Bob and the Power of Technology

I am in the Build a Bear workshop in Cardiff City Centre watching a kind shop assistant blow up a Minion called Bob. 


I can reassure readers of a nervous disposition that no gunpowder was involved in the blowing up of Bob. Anyone who has ever ventured into Build a Bear, presumably with an excitable young person in tow, will know what I am talking about. For those who have never had the experience, I can only encourage you to use your imagination. You know it makes sense.


In the interests of accuracy (and the Daily Blog strives to be accurate though friends and family quite often point out (mostly) minor errors requiring amendment) I am not actually in the shop - I am more than 200 miles away. Thanks to the marvels of new technology - and the fact that grandson James has some charge left in his phone battery when his Dad’s gives out - for a precious ten minutes I am really, truly there.


It was a Christmas present. Remember Christmas? It seems such a long time ago now. I seem to remember adding a message to the e-gift telling my grandson that I hoped, maybe, we would be able to go together to redeem his present. Sadly, that was not to be - but today’s virtual shop visit was definitely the Next Best Thing.  


I know not everybody agrees but I have grown to love FaceTime and Zoom. Every Friday morning, members of my Singing for Pleasure choir gather in a virtual “meeting room” to exchange news (vaccinations top of the agenda in recent weeks) and to sing along to the chosen Song of the Week. 


“I so enjoy the mayhem that is our Zoom choir on Friday mornings,” one choir member messaged me this week, adding, perceptively: “The singing really isn’t the point right now, is it?” So very true - it’s all about staying connected, not losing touch with each other, remembering the power of song even when differing broadband speeds lead to Merry Mayhem.


Meetings of the school governors of which I am proud and privileged to count myself a member have all been conducted via Zoom - our chair pointed out at the last virtual meeting that, by July, we will have held no fewer than 15 meetings in the current school year, compared with five in a “normal” year. Surely that must mean we have been three times as effective in the face of the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic.


Then, of course, there is Family Zoom when as many members of the family who happen to be around, gather together to chat about nothing in particular while the Twins bring their latest books, drawings or Favoured Toys to be exclaimed over and admired by the rest of the family. Last week we were privileged to be joined by Diamond, the class mascot of Dolphin Class who had been entrusted to the care of Lilia (younger of the Twins by one important minute) for the weekend. The Middle of the Darling Daughters, aware that Diamond needed to partake in a number of exciting activities to be recorded for posterity in his diary, was thankful that Family Zoom presented a photo opportunity, even though Diamond, to be strictly honest, didn’t add a great deal to the conversation on that occasion. 


Best of all, however, are those special moments when, thanks to the wonders of technology, I can “be there.” It’s kind of the shop assistant in Cardiff’s Build a Bear workshop to allow My Boy to film the ceremony in which she pumps Morgan’s chosen toy full of special fluff and inserts its “heart”, knowing I am watching from a distance. I look on as Bob the Minion is dressed in overalls, armed with a light sabre, and officially named “Bob” with a certificate to prove it. It has quite made my day.


One day soon (please, let it be soon) I will be able to be there in person. I will sing (in my fashion, in my way) with the choir in the second row of the alto section. I will visit the school kids in their classrooms and join in their lessons. I will gather my lovely family around me with arms open wide.


And I will meet Bob the Minion in person, light sabre and all. 

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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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