09 10


Friday, 15 November 2013

A teatime conversation

For sale (money goes here)
Conversations at teatime can be a hit and miss affair in this house.

More often than not, they are punctuated with endless requests to `sit your bottom on your chair', `watch out, you are about to spill your drink', `don't eat your spaghetti with your fingers', and so on. I try my best to instil a civilised tell everyone something about your day and listen to each other nicely kind of approach, but to be honest, this often fails miserably. I have times where I sit at the table with my children, wishing I could send them to boarding school or some other institution that would provide them with all their meals, purely so I can escape the daily torment of trying to teach them to use table manners.

Yesterday, the free newspaper had arrived, and (probably trying to ignore what was going on around me) I had started reading it during the long wait between the end of my meal and them finishing theirs. The biggest girl asked what I was reading, and so I told her. And, as often happens when I stop nagging them and talk to them all like adults, they listened. They were silent as I explained how a local man was going to fly to the Philippines to go and help the people there who were affected by the typhoon. What is a typhoon, they wondered. Oh. Their faces fell as they started to grasp what it meant for the people living there.

And then I read on, and explained how another local charity will be collecting money in the town centre this weekend, and how that will go to help the people we had just talked about. The biggest girl immediately announced she would like to give fifty pence of her money. The middle girl followed suit. And the littlest big girl whimpered about not having her own purse. Once we had established that did not matter, she joined in too.

I kept on thinking about this after they had gone to bed. I want them to be aware of what is going on in the world, to be compassionate, but I do not want them overwhelmed by it all. I want them to grow up thinking they can make a difference. Fifty pence is a good start when you are seven.

As I was making fortune cookie clutch number two later that night, and thinking about how terribly pointless it felt in the light of the current situation in the Philippines. Bingo. I like making things. A lot of people tell me they like the things I make. Make some stuff to sell.

It didn't take even my sleep deprived brain long to work out that I do not have enough hours in the day to make loads of stuff so as to single handedly run some kind of pop up crafty shop where local people could all do their Christmas shopping.

So, this morning, I went to my favourite meeting place and bent the ear of my friend Gemma. And then, between us, we talked to Saffron, the owner of said office. She didn't take much persuading to jump on board either.

Here is the plan. A pop up crafty shop - a bring and buy affair - where all the talented crafty people of Bedford will (hopefully) turn up throughout the day (or in the days before) and generously donate one gorgeous creation. Shoppers and cake lovers will come in their crowds, crispy notes in hand, ready to exchange in return for something wonderfully unique and lovely to wrap and put under their Christmas tree. Every penny of the money people spend will be counted up and go straight to the DEC Typhoon Appeal. There was even talk of a live band, a raffle, and Saffron and her baking gurus getting in on the act, making cake eating a thing to be (even more) encouraged for her customers on the day of the sale. Such fun.

Here's the date for your diary if you are a local reader:

Crafty Bring and Buy Sale
Saturday 30th November 2013
9 am until 5 pm @ Fancy (Roff Avenue, Bedford)

Please, please, pretty please, leave a comment below if you are going to join in with this. That will ease my middle of the night worries that no one is going to turn up.

And, if you happen to be on Facebook or Twitter, please make my day by hitting the little icon at the bottom of this post and sharing it so we can spread the word without the need to fork out on expensive posters.


  1. We will be coming and brining AJ plus cafty supplies.

  2. Lovely idea. Will try to make it there plus tell friends!

  3. Can't be there on the day - will be in Suffolk - but I have two small quilts and two knitting needle cases to donate. Should I take them to Fancy next week?

  4. Thanks everyone!
    Hilary, donations can be made in the week before the sale - just take them to Fancy - thanks, they sound lovely.

  5. Hi Janet, can't make the day I'm afraid as we are going to niece's birthday party but I will drop a make off at Fancy before the event. Great idea, Sam xx

    1. Thank you, Sam! Will keep an eye out for your make - hoping to do plenty of Christmas shopping myself on the day. Enjoy the birthday party (and cake!!)xx