The days are holidays, but the evenings are all work

Yesterday got left out…I’ll come back to it. It was a good one, anyway.

Today was too. We went to Norwich, Dilly, Wink, Squiffany, Pugsley and I and bought birthday presents for three of us – though some of Pugsley’s have come from the car boot at Banham on Sunday. Ooh, bargains were had!

We arrived home soon after 5 o’clock. I had hardly sat down to check emails and comments (yes, that was the first thing I did, though had the Sage not already fed Tilly, she would have come first) when Ro rang. His hand-brake had jammed on and he couldn’t drive home. The Sage, who would have sorted it in an instant, was out, so I did the best I could. I got straight back in the car and drove to fetch him.

An hour later, I was staring blearily at the computer, reading the agenda for tonight’s meeting to discover what I promised to do 2 months ago. Then, at 7 o’clock, I trotted down to the church, fetched 4 tables from the shed, boiled 2 kettles of water, filled 4 jugs with water, filled 8 bowls with sweets, put the jugs and bowls on the tables, got out 16 glasses, cups and saucers, filled 2 jugs with milk and 1 bowl with sugar, put out 16 chairs, made 2 pots of coffee and was ready for the PCC meeting.

Which went well, although I received two items of news that I would rather not have heard: of an illness and a death, both of people younger than I.

And it was decided not to have a proper meal after the Harvest Festival, but jolly bits to pass around. This will save me hours of work, and I am grateful to the lovely person who suggested it and the equally lovely people who backed her up. I will do nice, delicious, plates of finger food and have not, as I expected, offered to cook a Sunday roast for 40 people.

Look after yourselves, darlings

11 comments on “The days are holidays, but the evenings are all work

  1. Z

    Two hours maximum, every other month. The mood has lightened considerably since I started putting out bowls of sweets. It is the one thing that people look forward to.

    Thing is, one doesn’t ‘need’ stimulants, but one rather likes them.

  2. The Boy

    Two hours maximum? A meeting should be less than an hour, preferably a half hour! More and its unproductive.

    Mind you, our village hall meetings often extend to three, but I’m not the chair else it would be very very different…

    Watch out for car boot sale Chinese made, lead painted, toxigenic thingies…

  3. Z

    How often do you hold meetings, Boy? If there’s a couple of items on the agenda or it’s a matter of admin, half an hour is fine, but I’d rather spend two hours once every two months than half an hour most weeks.

  4. Dave

    My churxch councils (the equivalent of the PCC) last an hour – 1½ at an absolute maximum – and are held twice a year. they did have three when I came here, but they soon agreed with me that the third was redundant.

    Admittedly we have a seperate finance/property sub-committee (when I came here that was two sub-committees, reporting to each other, and then to Church Council; I soon got them merged), but that only meets once every six months too.

    In my first month here I chaired five separate committees one week, lasting in total 2 hours – and pointed out that we could have held them all on one evening, instead of five.

    I am noted for the enjoyable nature and efficiency of my meetings.

  5. Arabella

    Here at the far reaches of the Anglican Communion (wave to us, we’re so far away!) pot-luck is a popular mode of catering Church events. I’ve picked up some interesting recipes and tasted dishes I wouldn’t have thought of making.

  6. The Boy

    Ha! Admitadly I am in and out of meetings all day. There are days when I start my first meeting at 8 and finish the last one after 6. My job is people.

    Still, there has been interesting research done in the past showing that no matter how infrequent, a meeting longer than an hour really can be very unproductive. Topics get blurred, attentions waver, people sleep. Doesn’t mean you can’t be social after the meeting is done, but do the business, then stop. So says I anyway…

  7. Z

    Dave, maybe the Church of England is not for you after all then. It would not be possible to wait up to six months for decisions to be made and then another six months to hear whether they had been carried out or not. Nowadays we are expected to keep records of what has been discussed and done, so we couldn’t just get on with it.

    It could be that we have more to do than the other parishes in the benefice as we do some of the financial admin for them, as we bear many of the costs and are the legal employers of the administrator and the youth worker.

    Arabella, we sometimes go for that too (though with variable success, frankly) but the Harvest supper is usually a charity fundraiser.

    Boy, I agree that you can’t discuss one topic for an hour and keep focused, but there are usually a lot of things to talk about and it has to be done in one go. I find much more than two hours is unproductive.

    Pat, so was I! The only thing is, I was a bit worried about the logistics of cooking it for 40 people.

  8. Z

    They do help clear up afterwards. I don’t have to do the coffee etc, but it’s welcoming, and people are good enough to turn out.


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