Been hard at it today. At 10.00 some of the ladies of the Women's Institute gathered in the Hut to spring clean. This is the Hut that I wrote of in another place - i.e. falling down! Since I had last been there a great effort had been made to remove the stage - the piano had already gone - and it is now obvious what a large space we are lucky enough to have. Also rotten wood in one corner, previously hidden, though suspected. A newly covered screen hides the spot. Aren't some W.I. members incredible? One had recovered it in no time flat. She doesn't even live here anymore, but comes to visit her widowed father. Her mother's family have lived here since at least 1800 so she does feel an attachment to the place! Anyway, there we were with a dirty place, not properly cleaned for more than a year. The Group (5 W.I.s) are coming next week, hence the cleaning hormones at work.
One lady washed all the windows inside and out, two others cleaned all the walls. Another swept up the worst from the floor. A fifth washed up all the cups that we don't normally use as we expect about 70 ladies. I had brought my Oreck vacuum cleaner and hoovered under the 2 carpets, over them both and the surrounds after the sweeper. They were mighty pleased when I finished - it was horribly noisy! By then I had to leave, so left them to it and goodness knows what bits of gossip I missed.
(As far as preserving the Hut is concerned, we have decided that we have to try for the sake of all those who went before us and all who will come in the future - very worthy! The next step is a proper survey, so we are looking for a grant of £2,000 to pay for that. Then we will be able to make a proper decision as to the way forward.)
I went home, had a bite of lunch and off again to the School, where I found myself with Reception, working outside, sowing seeds with them. Groups of 5 kept on arriving to have their turn and of course at least one of the last group hadn't finished. I decided that I needed at least 2 pairs of hands, lots of mouths, and the last thing I was surprised to find I had - lots of patience! By the time we had finished there were a variety of containers, with seeds in, all watered and labeled. Some were sunflower, some sweet peas and one carrots. I didn't see what happened there! Probably a great clump of carrot seed in one place! The labels had the name of the plant more or less legible (they were 4-5 year-olds) and most didn't have the owners name! Oh dear! Then as the proper teacher had lost her voice, I was asked to read the story. It was the Enormous Watermelon. Great fun and involved several Nursery Rhyme characters, so at the end we had their rhymes. I am afraid to say I had forgotten 2 of them! After they had got ready to go home, they sang me a song they had just learnt, about a wriggly worm, which gave us all alot of pleasure!
I do love my afternoon there. I never know what I will be asked to do, but whether it is working with the children, or doing something like filing, where I can listen to them, I am happy!
I came home exhausted! However, the best therapy is gentle gardening, so off I went to the Herbaceaus Border, put some link stakes round the Paeonies and weeded to my heart's content, until the beastly East wind got too cold.
There we are, a lovely day and now I have just had time to do this blog before supper.