Despite having been born and brought up in the London suburbs I now live in a sunny little market town in leafy Oxfordshire and consider myself to be very much a country girl. As all good country girls know, to be truly a part of the community one has to be involved in some kind of voluntary activity, whether that’s an animal charity, the local preschool, the naice CofE church or, as in my case, a support group for new mothers in need of cake, company and the odd piece of advice.
I started training when The Boy was 9 months old, wanting to pay forward all the help I had received immediately after his birth. The training was emotional and thought-provoking and I was lucky enough to be doing it with a group of women whom I liked, admired and grew to love. The kindness and compassion with which they treat/treated each other and the women who come to our group always leaves me feeling uplifted and creates an atmosphere of immense calm and strength which has been commented upon numerous times.
Yesterday I was helping out with a fundraising activity for our group – an animal treasure trail for children which ran around the beautiful village of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell (hyphens compulsory, so an inhabitant tells me, if you don’t want your internet spam filters to shut you out repeatedly whenever you enter your address). The weather was hot and sunny with a cool breeze – a perfect Saturday in June – the kind of Saturday, in fact, that we rarely actually get in June. Families were happy and relaxed, the cakes were varied and plentiful, the Pimms and tea were flowing. English country bliss with the leaves rustling in the trees and the sound of children playing.
To quote the poets of their generation, Blur, (don’t tell The Man, he’s on the Oasis team and can never forgive me for preferring Damon to Liam) I was filled with a sense of enormous well-being. And then I came home and made some scones.
Wallingford Baby Bar (previously Wallingford Baby Cafe) runs every Thursday 12-2pm at the Ridgeway Church, Wallingford. It is free to attend and provides support to mums about breastfeeding and related issues such as tongue tie, weaning, sleep and going back to work. So far we have helped over 500 mums since we opened in November 2012