Friday, April 21, 2006

Little England

I grew up being told that 5% of your time and 5% of your money was the minimum to put aside for good works. The time bit gets shrunk these days with a young family, but I do try. My local good works is our Village Hall Committee. It’s a lovely building, really is, and even in this day and age serves a real function for the locals. However, the only way I get through the monthly meetings is to find the humour. The following is a verbatim extract from our 2 hour marathon last night…

“Mr. Chairman, I would like to raise the condition of our plates.” Mrs. X, a local lady who lunches, looks prim in her Prada.

“The Chair recognises Mrs. X. Sorry, what was that?”

“Our plates Mr Chairman. They are a disgrace. What few remain look as if they come from a jumble sale.”

Me, “Uhmm, I think those where left over from the last village school jumble sale. We didn’t have any plates before the kitchen refurb.”

“Well, my point exactly! I would like to put to the committee that we must purchase new plates immediately! Mr Treasurer,” That would be me, “You just pointed out our booking income for the Village Hall is very low given the refurbishments to the hall of the last six months. I would like to put it to the committee that we buy new plates. I have no doubt it would entice many more bookings.”

“Do we have a second?” Mr Chairman, who runs a small media production company, looks far too excited at the thought of new plates.

Me, “Hold on, we’re very low on cash, can’t this wait until we do a bit more fund raising?”

“Mr. Treasurer! How can we hold a fund raising event without plates! I don’t think this need be extravagant, Heals will be holding a sale shortly. I would be happy to spend the time to find the exact fit.”

“Think the estate barn has some old stuff stacked at the back. Shall I look?” Mr. F, who’s family has had someone working on the local estate as far back as time records, is quietly ignored.

“I’ll second it. Ya, absolutely necessary” Mr. Y, a recent retiree from the civil service, and who has been a committee member for over 30 years, looks far too keen. I’ve noticed he frequently examines the wall behind Mrs. X.

“All in favour?” Mr. Chairman scribbles some notes, am going to have to quiz this interest in plates when we have a pint later.

“Hold on, hold on, can we at least set a budget?” Me.

“Passed. I believe Mr. F was going to discuss the work party to clean up the parking lot?” Mr F perks up, this is going to be a long one tonight I think.


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