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Grandma at a Distance

It is tricky keeping up the usual Grandma routine with social distancing. So I thought I would write about some of the things we are doing to keep in touch with the family and friends.

The family WhatsApp group is busier than ever, mostly with pictures of home schooling projects.

On Wednesday my granddaughter turned 4. I was glad I had the forethought to take her present over a few weeks ago. We had a family Zoom, her cousins sang Happy Birthday to her (and then Happy Anniversary to Grandad and me – 42 years!). There was lots of chatter about what the grandchildren were doing, and the grown ups got an occasional word in. When it finished I felt almost as exhausted as when they are all visiting us!

Grandad has started doing a story reading session with Mr 5 and Mr 6. He is reading Roald Dahl’s “George’s Marvellous Medicine”. Yesterday when the chapter was short, both boys asked for the next one.

Grandma at a distance

I did story writing with Mr 5 and later with Mr 6. I kept it simple and together we composed a story, much as we would have done face to face. Except this time we shared my screen using Zoom and they dictated what should happen. Mr 5 wrote a short story about “Grandpa at the Seaside”. Later he added a picture which his parents sent back to me. Mr 6 started an epic called “The Adventures of Stingray”. He told me this was going to be a book without pictures: picking up one of his parents’ books to show me the concept! We will see if he wants to continue the concept another day.

Keep fit has changed considerably. I am grateful that we are allowed out to exercise, and I am able to get somewhere close to my usual step count. My Pilates class have sent videos – I haven’t looked at them yet – but it is on the list. My Friday sport group are setting up a mail group. I did a virtual Knit and Natter with a lady I usually play badminton with, she is planning on extending that group, so it may not give the exercise but will give the socialising.

Usually, my Crochet group meets alternate Mondays but we are hoping to do meet ups online every week. Our lunch club meets monthly and we are planning to move to online weekly. I just need to work out if those not joining us, would like to and if they need telephone support to get the tech set up.

We have set up a WhatsApp for our small close. So far we haven’t had an emergency requests, but it is nice to know we can watch out for each others and help when needed.

I’ve sent a parcel to my daughter with some socks I finished and the children’s Easter books. She was pleased to get it. If you know someone who needs cheering up, Gemma can mail out things from her online shop, with the caveat that her family stays well and my son is able to get to the Post Office.

Hope you are all keeping safe – look after yourself and each other.

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Christmas Fairs (Real and Virtual)

Shirley (aka Grandma’s Corner) says:

When I was young one of the highlights of the year was an annual fair held in the local church hall. My parents were involved in organising the event, and for months before we would be making things to sell. Knitting egg cosies and hot water bottle covers; decorating jars for baths salts; padding coat hangers; and nearer the actual day, baking. I remember the joy of seeing someone buying something that I had help make.

With this in mind I love buying from a small maker because I know that my purchase will make them happy.

If you are looking to buy gifts try to find time to go to a Christmas Fair and buy something from a local crafts person. If you aren’t able to physically go to a Fair there are virtual fairs you can join in. Now I have to admit, I don’t understand how these work – so I am hoping Gemma is going to add a bit below to explain to us how they work!

Remember when you buy from a small business you make somebody really happy!

Gemma (Concrete Gems) says:

There are lots of online craft events happening this year. The ones I am involved in are on Facebook and Instagram, but I imagine other social media channels also run them.

On Facebook, an event or group is created and images of products are uploaded with details of prices, sizes etc. On the day of the event, often a password is provided and you would use that password to comment on the item you would like to buy. The seller then contacts you to arrange payment and delivery, which can be through their website, PayPal, etc.

Instagram works in a similar way, except the items are just added as images to the business feed.

Online markets that are coming up as as follows:

Facebook Snowflakes and Keepsakes Christmas Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/516451422527464/

UK Crafters Online market: https://www.facebook.com/groups/459309824617879/ on Facebook, or https://www.instagram.com/ukcrafters_marketplace on Instagram

Facebook Stocking filler frenzy: https://www.facebook.com/events/336409273668553/

Concrete Gems will also be at the following actual Christmas markets:

Norden Farm Night Market, Maidenhead, Fri 15th November 5-10pm.

Willowbank Junior School Christmas shopping event, Woodley, Reading, Fri 29th November 6pm-9pm.

Etsy Made Local, ST Laurence’s Church, Reading, Sat 30th November 11am-6pm.

Reading University Christmas craft fair, Thurs 5th December 5-7pm.

craft fair virtual or actual set up at maidenhead