Why I Won’t (Can’t) Help Out at the School Christmas Fair.

I’ve just received an email from the school PTA; an email seeking enthusiastic and talented volunteers for the forthcoming, tedious as hell, school Christmas fair. (‘Fair’ – a term widely misused. Wallpaper tables of other children’s Rice Krispie cakes, tombolas with other children’s unwanted cast-offs and the forced-down-your-throat shitty raffle, does not a fair make.) 

As we’re new to the school, I thought it would be prudent to stick up my hand and offer myself up for….for what? What is it that I can bring to the festive table? Bake a tasty cake for the cake stall? Nope, Can’t bake. Make some bunting to decorate the dinner hall? Nope, can’t sew. Face-painting? I struggle with my own make-up, so no, I won’t be turning the kids into tigers or Spider-Man.  Man the sweetie stall? Left in charge of a table full of sweets is not the way to maximise sales for the school. I will eat sweets placed in front of me. Plus, I can’t add up, take-away or multiply. What does this leave? What’s left for the mediocre mum who doesn’t really have anything to offer except her lukewarm enthusiasm?

This has really got me thinking. What is it I bring to the world? If I die tomorrow, what will I say to God when he asks, ‘So, what’s so great about you?’

I don’t cook. Don’t bake. Don’t sew. Don’t knit. Don’t draw. Don’t paint. Don’t play an instrument. Don’t sing. Don’t play sport. Don’t speak a foreign language (beyond ordering a croque-monsieur at Café Rouge). Don’t chalk paint my furniture. Don’t make my own pasta/bread/elderflower cordial. I don’t do much at all.

When I met my husband 20 years ago, he’d just come out of long-term relationship with an AMAZING girl called, let’s call her Martha. Martha did play the piano, the flute and sang in a choir. Martha aced her GCSEs, A’ Levels and her two degrees. She never lost her temper, never swore and certainly never left the bathroom door open when she did a shit. Her delightful parents were blissfully married and she had a fantastic relationship with her similarly accomplished older sister. Jesus, booooring!

Two weeks into our relationship, my then boyfriend wanted me to meet his parents. Within two minutes of sitting down, I was asked, ‘So, what do you do, then?’ (A question I loathe to this day, as I’ve always been a writer, and potential in-laws do not want to hear something so flakey); ‘Do you play any instruments, Annie?’ And, another favourite, ‘Do you play tennis/golf/squash, Annie?’ I remember vividly the disappointing look on my boyfriend’s face. And I didn’t blame him. I wasn’t the shiniest car in the showroom.

Now I’m a proper grown-up, and I’ve achieved some great showy-offy things. But I still frequently ask myself, ‘what do I offer the world?’ I have no distinguishable talent. There’s nothing I’m an expert at. I’m Mrs Mediocre. Mummy Mediocre.

And if you needed evidence of my average-ness, take a peek at tonight’s delicious dinner. They’re salmon footballs. Yes, that’s right. Salmon footballs. A supposedly fool-proof recipe from Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner (still my all time, number 1 cookbook, even though my children are 6 & 7!). Unfortunately, my footballs look like testicles:


So, how did I respond to the Christmas fair email? Email? What email? Probably in my spam folder, sorry….



A Bit Of Everything

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa V says:

    I feel the same way every time I get those emails. I feel the same about cooking. I found a great blog/website with easy recipes that make you actually look like a cook – and my (picky) kids even like the food. I don’t get a kick-back from this but check out damndelicious.net. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie says:

      That’s excellent. Thank you! I will definitely take a peek.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Allrecipes.com… If it has 4 or 5 stars, you’ll look like Martha!;) trust me!:)


    1. Annie says:

      Ha ha, no, I won’t! But I will take a peek, so thanks for the recommendation. Is it a UK site? I get very confused with US measurements. Too many cups! x


      1. It is… I agree. It’s a stupid system!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The Anxious Dragon says:

    I NEVER did anything for the school fairs. I can bake, and crochet, but I am simply not designed to spend time with the school mummy crowd. I was the red haired tattooed mummy who swore too much and didnt take her children to EVERY after school activity so luckily I was never welcome in those circles anyway.
    As for what you give to the world, you write. Words are the most awesome things ever….
    Thanks for linking up with us honey, hope you stick with us xx Tracey xx #abitofeverything
    P.s Happy christmas xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie says:

      Ah yes, I bet the crochet willies went down really well with the other mums. Ha ha! 🙂
      Thanks, Tracey. Really appreciate your lovely words. So pleased to have found you. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Anxious Dragon says:

        Hmm….. yeah. I have to admit im not the creator of the crochet willy warmer…… but I could try……
        I likewise an glad to have found a blogger who appreciates my sometimes inappropriately naughtiness xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Annie says:

        The world needs more inappropriate naughtiness! x

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Gem says:

    This made me laugh out loud! You are my twin. I’m no good st anything either: sewing, baking, knitting… I can’t even get dressed properly most days! I completely love by annabel karmel too since her book was bought for me when T was born. And my food never in a million years looks like the photograph in the book!


    1. Annie says:

      Yeah, let’s set up our own mediocre mother club! Funny, I struggle with the clothes too. I have no idea what colour/fabric goes with what, and I can’t do hair either!! Do post up some of your fine cooking creations. We can share!! xx


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