Friday, 22 February 2013

Community building and a crafty swap shop

The last couple of days have been mentally draining. Joe and I spend quite a lot of our spare time on various community-minded projects, because we are not the kind of people to move to an area, especially a brand new community like Wixams, and expect others to build community spirit for us. Communities don't just happen - they take dedication and hard work of volunteers, behind the scenes, organising the events and litter picks and local newsletters that give everyone else a chance to get to know each other.

So, between us, we are on various local 'committees'. For the most part, this is fun and rewarding and gives us a sense of taking part in our community whilst being a very good way to meet locals and hopefully build lasting friendships. The last couple of days though, have felt like work, and bad work at that! There has been 'office' politics, misunderstandings and most disappointingly, a certain amount of back-stabbing. I have come under personal attack as a result of someone completely misreading something I said and not allowing me the chance to explain. Others have then followed blindly, again not taking the time to discern the facts. So, to cut a very long, drawn out and not very nice story short, I feel more than a little disheartened and unappreciated at the moment.

Thank goodness then for the Scone Roses! When my local community fails me, I can always take refuge in my alternative community : the crafters and wannabe crafters of Bedford! Last night was the first crafty 'swap shop' to be organised by Lucy and Liz (current president and founder of Scone Roses, respectively)

It was a brilliant idea. Like swishing, but for crafty supplies. So, everyone takes some no longer needed craft supplies, they are arranged by craft so that everyone can have a good old rummage through what's there, and you all come away with some new supplies. Great eh? It was held in one of my favourite places to be in Bedford: Fancy. Fancy is a beautiful shabby-chic style tearoom that sells the most delicious tea and cakes, all served in mismatched vintage china. Right up my street and I could quite happily spend hours (and fortunes) there! It's probably just as well that parking is an issue, else I might be there more often than I should be!

Anyway, back to the swap. As well as coming away with the pile of crafty goodies below, I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours chatting with lovely ladies, all of whom I have met through crafting, whether at Scone Roses or one of Janet's 'Kitchen Table Sewing' courses. These ladies don't know it, but they have made a massive difference to my life and I am absolutely certain that they (and the crafting) are what has made my stay at home mum status so much more enjoyable and acceptable to me than it was this time last year. I am 100% certain that there will be no post natal depression this time around, and it is significantly down to this lovely, supportive, crafty community.
Now, what shall I make with this little lot?

The lemons were not part of the swap by the way! They were purchased from Fancy on the night, in readiness for my first attempt at lemon meringue pie from scratch this week. More on that later.