Z Networks

Could that be Zedworks?

It’s the churchwarden thing, you see. One of us -The Fellow, that is – is moving to Norwich soon, so he’s standing down. Someone had been approached to take over, but he lives a few miles away, though he comes to church here and his wife works here, and they’d hoped to move to the village, but it’s fallen through, so he doesn’t think he can take it on. So, since it’s getting near the time when we need to take firm, if not quite urgent, steps, I went ahead and approached the person I have long had my eye on as the perfect replacement for me in a year’s time. She would be ideal – much better than I am, except insofar as I have more self-confidence than she does. You might say that I take self-confidence just a little too far, except that you’re too kind to say that.

I explained the exact situation – that she isn’t the first person asked, why he can’t do it, and that I’d been going to ask her in good time for next year but that we need someone now. As I expected, she immediately said that she couldn’t as it isn’t within her capabilities. I talked her through that part of it, acknowledged her social shyness but said you only need one brash and outspoken person (obv, I didn’t use those words) – anyway, she still said ‘no’ but she’s agreed to be my deputy and she will learn the ropes and can make a decision next year. No obligation, I said, and she knows she can trust me.

I do take ‘no’ for an answer, you see. I probably should be more pushy. I still have to find a treasurer and a secretary for another committee, and I don’t think the secretary will be a problem (I’ll do it myself at a pinch anyway, so I’m fairly relaxed about that) but I’ve asked three people to be treasurer and they’ve all made their perfectly valid excuses. I’ve one more to try, but the reason I’ve not done so before is that I don’t think she’s got time. This is a bit of a problem. However, the Luck of the Sage has always rubbed off on me up to now, so I hope it will again.

Back to the churchwarden – “have you asked S?” said my friend. No, I hadn’t – she’s quite old and I didn’t think she’d take it on. But now her name was mentioned, yes, she would be splendid. So after the service, I asked her. Explained it all again, said that we could do the two jobs between the three of us – and after a few minutes due consideration she agreed. Indeed, she seems pleased to be asked. I’m really happy about it as I know we will work really well together. We’re all close friends but we’re not afraid to disagree, if necessary, without quarrelling, and we are all practical and when there’s a job to do we just get on with it.

We were the runners up in the quiz last night. Always the bridesmaid, hey? No matter, we were beaten fair and square by a team that knew far more British geography than we did. We scored top marks in a couple of rounds though. Do you know, I was the only person on our team who could say where “A pint? That’s very nearly an armful!” came from. I’ll excuse the 35-year-old, but no one older has a leg to stand on, with or without its pint.

Update – I just asked Ro if he knew it and he did. “Everyone should know that,” he said. “There’s no excuse.”

It’s a national heritage thing, isn’t it?

10 comments on “Z Networks

  1. Dave


    (You can relate that comment to whichever bit of your post you wish. I meant it in relation to Tony Hancock, but it probably applies to almost any part.)

  2. Z

    Absolutely, Lis – I thought it was part of the collective memory of everyone between the ages of 50 and 100, and the more cultured younger people should know it too.

  3. sablonneuse

    I think you’re going to have to explain the Hancock line for younger and non-British readers, Z.
    As for finding people to serve on committees etc. I think most folk are reluctant to take on voluntary responsibility in this day and age so hats off to you for all your activities.

  4. Dave


    Anthony Aloysius St. John Hancock arrives at his local hospital to give blood. “It was either that or join the Young Conservatives”, he tells the nurse, before getting into an argument with her about whether British blood is superior to other types.

    After the doctor has taken a blood sample Hancock blithely assumes that that is all that is needed and prepares to depart. When the doctor tells him it was only a smear Hancock replies, “It may be only a smear to you but it’s life and death to some poor wretch.” When he learns that he must donate a pint of blood, he protests, “I don’t mind giving a reasonable amount, but a pint! That’s very nearly an armful!”


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