What parkrun did for me while I was having fun.

What parkrun did for me while I was having fun.

I have changed my mind about voluntary work in the last few years. The term used to conjure up images of motherly women in charity shops or retired men driving minibuses- good people doing things because that’s what good people do.

Until I updated my CV, I didn’t realise I’d done so much of it myself. I may have joined teams because they needed someone, but I stayed because I was having fun.

I’ve picked up skills without noticing. I would never have understood the point of my own blog if I hadn’t written so many run reports for the parkrun website. Or how social media works if I hadn’t needed it to rabble rouse athletes.

It gave me too much joy to count as ‘voluntary work’. I had to check other people’s blog posts conformed with house style (‘parkrun’ is spelt with a small ‘p’ even at the beginning of a sentence; hundreds of people turn up on a Saturday morning for a ‘run’ and not a ‘race’,  and no one wins it, although they might finish first.) For a word junkie, there’s nothing ‘voluntary’ about correcting other people’s mistakes. It’s an involuntary reflex.

And that was before I was allowed to process results. Or free reign of the microphone at the briefings.

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Where facebook comes in handy

Where facebook comes in handy

It’s been an interesting week. To be honest, I’m a wee bit overwhelmed.

My youngest sister graduated her Masters (with distinction we find from facebook- my family have never been one for facts). And then yesterday another sister welcomed her fourth child into the world, a fifteenth grandchild for my parents (also something I found out from facebook).

I’m worried my new lodger is imaginary. She fits in with my world just a little too well to be real. She hasn’t complained about my cooking and is fine with sleeping underneath our boiler, tangential conversations and four children in the house. Having watched A Beautiful Mind, I know to be careful about these things.

Writing wise, I’ve opened an author page on facebook. I am as ever touched by the people who’ve liked it without me begging. My biggest motivation is to protect my friends on my personal account from feeling spammed by blog notifications and professional bragging.

And there are daffodils all over town. I find myself smiling when I see them. A love of daffodils is one of the few superficials I have in common with the ‘heroine’ of my novel. I took these on the school run.

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