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Collaborating Creatively: Rushey Green Timebank

July 10, 2019

I have told both my beloved readers before about the joy of being a member of Rushey Green Timebank, and I can scarcely believe I have been an active member for 8 years now!  I offer my Wills and Probate expertise at our Bring & Fix’s and have been on the receiving end of fantastic gardening assistance and mending and adjustment of clothing from other members.  We swap hours of help with each other, it’s fabulous!

Well, it’s also about building community and a huge part of that is getting together with people of similar interests.  For me, that has meant the creative group.  We have held a few poetry/prose/music nights with choirs, readings, and artwork displayed for all members to enjoy and hopefully be inspired by.

Last night was a creative collaboration evening, sprung from the febrile fertile minds of those of us who attend the creative group (mostly writing but it is hoped musical RGTB members may arrange their own group at some point).  Exercises were chosen by our member Pete, who organised the gathering, but we can all organise get-togethers for interested parties.  The Timebank is there to support.

Timebank event 10.08.2019My goodness, it was enthusing and it was fun!  Five of us attended and exercises were given to stimulate our minds into working together to create a unique piece.  I also learnt what an Acrostic Poem is (one which forms a word with the starting letter of each line, going downwards).  I turned up at the meeting suffering badly with chronic fatigue, and left just as tired but with a mind filled with inspiration.  I’m ready for our performance event on 10th August 2019 – come along if you can.

If there is a Timebank near you (have a google) then I strongly advise you to join.  It builds community like nothing else I’ve come across.  I have been involved since April 2011 and have yet to find a downside!

For the interested, here is what was created last night, in just 90 minutes:

A STORY FROM GIVEN WORDS – Axe, hammer, a length of rope

By Hanneke, Michael & Tina

The shopkeeper looked up at the sound of whistling to see the customer walking towards them, with an exaggerated air of nonchalance.  They started to browse the shelves and the shopkeeper watched carefully.  The customer pulled out different types of rope, pulling and testing the tension, finally selecting a robust one.

“I’ll have 6 metres of this,” the customer said.

The customer then ran their fingers down the edge of various axes, selecting a large double-headed one.  Finally the customer hefted several types of hammer, pounding them against the palm of their hand until they found one sufficient to their purpose.   The customer took their items to the counter.

“Got everything you need?” the shopkeeper asked.

The customer smiled. “I think so.”

“Big project planned?”

The customer smiled again, knowing there was no reason to say what they might be intending to do with their items.

“How much weight do you think this rope can take?” the customer asked.

“Depends what you want to do with it,” the shopkeeper answered.

“I’m about 12 stone.  Do you think it would take my weight?”

“Ummm… Should do,” the shopkeeper answered.

“So it would take your weight then?”

“Yes, should do.”

“And the axe, sharp enough to cut through anything?”

“…yes” the shopkeeper answered nervously.

“This hammer seems pretty lethal too, right?” the customer laughed to themselves.

“Err… that’ll be £50 all in”.

“Here you go, cheers mate.”  The customer went to pull out a card, shook their head, then pulled out some notes instead.

The shopkeeper put the items in a bag, hoping their hands didn’t shake too much with the nerves that ran through their body.  They passed the bag over, saying “hope the project goes well.”

The customer walked out the door, pausing to turn around and say “I hope my kids like their new treehouse, the swing should be a real laugh!”


By Julie & Pete

He walked into the shop carefully looking out for security cameras.  He pretended to browse but he knew the items he wanted to buy.  Carefully chosen, he paid using cash, as he would not be identified.

He felt euphoric, he had been planning this for months and now it was about to happen.

He left the store, carrying his bag of items.  His car was parked around the corner, again avoiding CCTV cameras.  He stopped briefly at the boot, contemplating whether to open it but decided the risk of exposing the cargo within was too great.

A couple of hours later he was at his destination, a wood with a broken down shed amongst the trees.  He pulled the body out and hung it from the rafters.  Then he chopped the wood up and hammered the door shut.

His wife had told him to get rid of the blow-up doll, but he knew he would come back later for his pleasure.  But then he realized; he’d forgotten to buy a pump and the shop was now closed!


ACROSTIC POEM – from the word “together”

By Julie & Pete

Time passes by so swiftly

One hour seems like a second

Gone like an old memory

Each moment spent in the company of others

Ties the bonds between them

Heavy is the heart that stands alone

Ever to try and clutch at the invisible threads

Running through the fabric of life


By Hanneke, Michael & Tina

To find another in a lonely hour

Or to lose oneself in the dark of the winter soul

Gold for Arsenal!

Everybody cheers

Team wins and we shout our joy to deafen ourselves

Help is on the way

Enough to keep us going

Resting quietly alone until we join up again for the next fixture



By Hanneke, Pete & Tina

Words picked: Alphabet, Petrichor, Saxophone

Open plains; a house is on the horizon with a porch.  It has not rained for weeks, in the middle of summer.

The people were desperate to quench their thirst, to water their crops, and they called on the music man to save them.

The music man had spent several years learning to play Josie, his beloved saxophone.

He was known for calling in the crowds with Josie, maybe now she could call in the rain?

He stilled himself, centring his focus until all that existed was Josie and the sounds they could, they would, create together, and he kissed the mouthpiece with reverence, then blew.

Josie sounded beautiful as always and the music man started running through the alphabet of notes as he fingered the keys.

On a long G major clouds broke in the sky and it began to rain heavily; the music man and Josie left the porch and walked into the open as the earth shared its revelation.

Thick drops fell to the ground and the dust rose up to meet it, thudding life back into the earth and renewing all who bathed in nature’s shower.

The music man revelled in the rain but realised Josie would not like it.  He stopped playing and placed Josie back in her case.  As soon as he did, the rain stopped and left petrichor in the air.

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