I took part in a community fundraising event this weekend.
It was a very “villagey” affair – a performance, on stage, of all of the contributed articles that make up our local Tipton Times bi-monthly newsletter.
There were presentations from the drama group, a video about the primary school, an amusing pretend meeting acted out by the ladies group, film footage from the weather and night sky writers, an illustrated walk by the nature notes columnist, a montage of sport photos from the playing field – and me, running across the stage every now and then in my marathon kit.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wondered, in advance, how on earth it would all turn out? So many disparate, random elements, what sort of bigger picture would it make?
By being together we were better than the sum of our individual parts and it all added up to an original, interesting and warmly-received evening of entertainment.
And it was a great opportunity to be able to thank so many people from the village for their continued support and generosity.
Outside the rain had been lashing down all night, flooding the adjoining car park and nearby roads. Everyone pitched in – making sure older neighbours got home safely, people who’s cars had to be abandoned were given lifts, Wellington boots gathered from nearby homes – a collective can-do attitude.
On the marathon front, I learnt this week that a running club friend – Becky, my hairdresser – is going to be joining me for Edinburgh next May, hopefully my 50th and final marathon of my BRACE challenge.
That takes the team of us from Sidmouth Running Club to five, plus two more friends who are competing in the half marathon the day before.
It’s so uplifting, encouraging and exciting to know there’ll be a whole group of us taking on this challenge.
I’m one of those people who’s quite happy to spend time on my own, be independent, go it alone, but I also appreciate the increased flow of energy, ideas, and camaraderie generated by being part of a group.
A final thought. I visited my dad in the care home again today. He seems so much more relaxed and less confused being in this safe, protective, group environment, than the isolating world he’d been living in.
This isn’t belated political comment – even though my final marathon is in Scotland! – but I do believe, life is better together.