“We need Muffins”. Brought to you by The NumberJacks.

numberslineIt’s been noted I’m “a bit positive” in my writings.  I am definitely trying to be – why put anyone off volunteering?!  Well, I DO mention a few of the frustrations… like the time I couldn’t get her to walk on the paths.  Or the times we never get anywhere.  Or the terrible mood at the farm. I guess I didn’t even mention a certain trip to Balcombe and the new chants we came away with…

So the latest issue, and I’m guessing from the more experienced parents’ stories this will increase… has been the times my precocious young lady doesn’t want to help.  Yes, that’s right.  Sometimes, she actually won’t get involved.

I’ve been recruiting and co-ordinating some volunteers for a local Words and Literature festival through Artillery, an Arts organisation.  DSCN6992One of the many reasons it’s been great is that the way Artillery’s work resonates with lots of what I do with other hats on – whether defined or not, the whole festival incorporated a range of community and voluntary effort .  And the fluidity of roles is what helps grease the wheels.  So I jumped at the opportunity, when told by one of the event organisers that they didn’t just need stewards, they needed muffin bakers…

“Oh! OH! Me and Ivy can DO that! I have muffin cases!”

(and… to my shame…  “It’ll make a GREAT blog post!!”)

I was on my own with Ivy that weekend so it seemed like a good way to be involved on our own terms.  I didn’t think until later that knocking out twelve wholemeal courgette rocks is slightly different to baking for a bunch of ‘public’ who might not be as au fait with vegetables in cakes as me.

In my slight panic, we bought some emergency coloured sprinkles in case they looked too wholemeal, and a pack of groovee mini muffin cases and I vowed to avoid vegetables for once.

Then we went home and set to work. numberjacks Okay, I set to work.  Ivy… watched the Numberjacks.  Loads of ‘em.  Hundreds.  Good old Cbeebies.  The endlessly patient and friendly educator I can always call on for a helping hand.

IMG01411-20131026-1426So  this time she was definitely ‘in tow.’  I learned… the wonder of making a mini cake.  A new experience and one I will be doing again. Also how to transport 48 muffins and a kid on a bike. (These are the days I wish I had someone else to take pictures!)  Ivy learned… I dunno. Whatever the Numberjacks taught her.

Sam Brown

Our reward was a beautiful afternoon concert arranged by the wonderful WEM fundraisers for Whipps Cross  and a gorgeous little thank you note for both of us from Thessa.  No problem Thessa, and thank you for the lovely concert!!DSCN7011

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