Community Payback and no Goldilocks

My weekend has been busy as always. Yesterday I was hoovering, I should say vacuuming the living room, when I became aware of a persistent sound of metallic scraping noises somewhere out in the road. I pootled on, hanging washing on the line in the sun, a great treat now that spring is here, and generally tidying. It wasn’t until I realised that the dogs were roasting in their living room window seat, and I let some fresh air in that I found out where the noise was coming from. A woman emerged from a large white van parked opposite, wearing a hoodie saying that her name was ‘Supervisor’.

I noticed the first of three young men because he was shovelling the gutter right beside the wheels of my car. A bit panic stricken, I threw the window wide for a closer look, and two more appeared. All three were wearing bright orange tabards with ‘Community Payback’ printed on them. The Devon and Cornwall police website has this to say

Community Payback can be part of a ‘community sentence’. A ‘community sentence’ means that the offender is supervised in the community and in the case of Community Payback has to carry out between 40 and 300 hours of unpaid work. This work benefits the community – and means the offenders pay back the community for their crimes by doing tough demanding work. For this reason members of public are encouraged to nominate Community Payback work projects for offenders which will benefit the community. 

I would have liked to go and talk to them but I was in housework clothes and had wet hair, so I made a point of catching the supervisor’s eye and each of the guys to say thank you. The road is now weed free, and has saved residents the task of clearing up, as the council no longer has the resources to do it, despite the outrageously high council tax.

This morning I was visiting my family, for two of my grandchildren’s birthdays. Louisa is seven and William is three, I have no idea where that time went. Today at 11am was Williams’s party but Louisa was over excited by 9.30 so I decided to take her for a calming down stroll. We set off around the block, ‘Getting out with nature’ as she puts it, picking tiny wild flowers and stroking catkins. There were a couple of flowers that mummy apparently says are weeds, to which I replied that weeds are just flowers in the wrong place.

After not very long Louisa wanted to go home, she didn’t want to miss a moment of the party. We had about fifteen minutes to walk and she had lost interest in wild flowers. More distraction needed! I challenged her to tell me a story about nature. She started by picking a forget-me-not and saying that a girl found lots of them on path. The girl picked and picked them, but she became very hungry and didn’t have any food. She passed the story on to me, so I sent the girl deep into the woods until she found a cottage.

You know the story, Goldilocks meets the three bears, sits on their chairs, eats their porridge and falls asleep in baby bears bed. Except that her name wasn’t Goldilocks it was Meg. The bears were pandas and the porridge was chocolate cake. We had a great time embellishing the story, making it ours. I hope that one day she will be walking with her granddaughter, telling stories about walking in nature with her crazy story telling mma.

So that was a little of my weekend, how was yours?


16 thoughts on “Community Payback and no Goldilocks

  1. Gilly it sounds you certainly had an interesting and fun one, all I did today was took my daughter to Southampton airport for her to go to Scotland.. I was dodging car parks there because they were so very expensive.. she got there okay..

  2. Sounds like a fun weekend, Gilly. That community payback is a great idea. Also, I love that you’re weaving stories with your granddaughter, creating memories that she can carry with her forever. 🙂

  3. I also say “hoovering.” 🙂 I really like the idea of community payback. A great idea. I’m sure that your granddaughter will remember the stories you and she make up together, and carry on the tradition. I know that my children have with theirs. “Stroking catkins” really brings back lovely memories. Happy birthday to William and Louisa.

  4. the walk with your granddaughter sounds delightful! We have had community payback in our park and they have done a great job!

  5. What a lovely piece of writing Gilly. And what an extraordinary weekend full of relatively ordinary things. Your granddaughter will have to be a grandmother who tells stories to her granddaughter with a grandmother like you!

    My weekend was a new face, a niece’s wedding, and butterflies landing on my glasses and hat. Also forgetting it was Sunday and waiting for a non-existent bus!

  6. You had quite the busy weekend, the best parts are the birthdays and sharing storytelling. ❤ ❤
    I love weaving stories with my 7-y-o granddaughter, who has a rich imagination and gets into the stories as if they are real.

  7. I wanted butterflies to land on my hat, like Meg! 🙂 But spinning yarns with Louisa sounds just as good, Gilly.
    My weekends are often the least interesting bits of my week. Zumba, food shopping, washing, ironing and repacking for my son and cooking Sunday lunch. That’s why I enjoy my weekday freedom so much 🙂

  8. Children have the magical imaginations. I enjoyed your stroll with Louisa. I’m sure the memories of your day will greatly influence her when she becomes a grand mother.
    Happy Birthdau to Louisa and Wiiliam !!! 🌈🎂🍧💝🎈

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