A life less ordinary

I don’t know about you but I find it quite annoying when non celebrity folk are referred to as ordinary. I’m talking about you and me, who are not members of royalty or famous for being on film/TV for singing, acting or presenting etc.

For example when the Queen’s honours are announced it’s usually reported about celebrities who get honoured for simply doing their job or for the amount of charity work they do because of their high profile status. It’s much easier for them to make a huge impact in charitable causes because of their ability to mix with fellow influential and wealthy individuals.

Then the “ordinary” members of the public who have been honoured may get a mention in a small column in the paper or a foot note on a social media post. But these people have to work considerably harder and jump through many more hoops to achieve enough to be worthy of such an honour.

But in my view no one is ordinary. We all have personalities, skills, interests, professions and quirks that make us unique and stand out. We are all capable of doing extraordinary things on a daily basis and many of us do,  through our family life, work, hobbies, sports or voluntary activities.

Last week I had the honour of helping a group of old friends by helping with the dressing for the local Gang Show. The Bristol South Scout District produce a Gang Show every year and is written, organised and produced by 3 members: Dave Wall, Catherine Elkins and Sue Lewis who I have known since my scouting/guiding days in the 80’s. The show is made up of a cast of cubs/brownies, scouts/guides, explorers and leaders. There is also a small backstage army of ex scouts, leaders, family and friends who do the scenery, costume, props, dressing, sound and lighting.

Every year they put on a fabulously entertaining show that is fantastic value for money. Everyone gives their very best, works hard and support each other through each production. Working backstage as a dresser is very rewarding and just a little bit manic at times.

This is a big commitment , 4 evening performances and a matinee on Saturday, also 6 months of planning, writing and rehearsing. This is in addition to the time given up for running of the cub/brownie/scout groups alongside family and work commitments of the leaders.

Not so ordinary members of the public me thinks.


Antiques road trip

Saturday was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and it was time for another dodgy day out with my friend Jane. I say “dodgy” bearing in mind one of our recent outings was a talk at a second hand book store.

Where was this latest fabulous excursion? To the local scout unit’s annual jumble sale and auction. Apparently last years event was very good and Jane bought some lovely things for under £20, so I was feeling more confident about this trip as we made our way there with the roof down on her convertable, (yes it was that sunny).

Words cannot really describe the experience, but I’ll have a go. Not only did we have to queue to get into the under £10 room which was the size of a bathroom and smelt like one too, we had to pay to get into the main jumble sale to elbow our way and rummage through the fodder with all the other hopeful punters looking for a bargain. It took us the best part of 30 seconds to realise that the only things worth buying were a couple of paperbacks.

Next came the viewing of the auction lots, there was a collection of household items; exercise equipment and garden furniture, most of which belonged in a skip. But the object of Jane’s desire, the one thing she was determined to buy was a rather fetching Cliff Richard calendar. She was soon engaged in a bidding war with the lady sitting behind us, but Jane was the victor and bagged the treasure for a mere £5.

Despite the destination we did have a lovely day out, helped raised money for the scout unit and ate some tasty flapjacks, so it was not all bad.

Carole and Jane with Cliff