For those of you who are more local to me, and the Bellaboo Crop, this will be more relevant, but to anyone who orders from me also.
Today has just been an awful day, the Post Office I use daily was attacked by armed robbers and one of the people in there was shot dead.
This took place in Fairfield, just north of Bromsgrove, where we go to school, and where I hold the crop. Like many rural villages, Fairfield is very much a close-knit, real "community". The school is just opposite with just c80 pupils, the village hall just next door with the Church, and although a cliche, the Post Office really is the hub of the village, a real "central point". Everyone knows everyone there, first-name terms etc. Coming from a large city like I do, I really didn't appreciate the "community" spirit I hear about on TV, books etc, until today. When it has really hit me and I realise just what a community I am part of, and how these event have totally rocked us as one.
I go to the Post Office two or three times a day, and usually leave parcels there for them to process, to return later to pay. We always have a chat with Judy the Postmistress, and some banter with the two young lads who work there. Judy always chats to Bella, who I leave in her pushchair in the front of the shop while I sort my parcels - because it's just so "safe" in there, and if it's a Tuesday, Judy always remembers I am off to Maddie's Ballet class. It's so safe there that I often leave the children outside in the car if I only have one or two parcels or am just dropping off.
At 8:20 this morning, the post office was raided and shots were fired. Ken, who owns the PO was shot in the leg, and Craig, Ken and Judy's son, was shot in the chest and died. He was only 29 and engaged to be married.
We mums always turn up to school a little earlier than necessary, to have a chat, as we are all close and good friends. Which meant today that many of us were around when this happened. Some of my friends were ushered into the school and kept there as the gunmen escaped. Indeed, the rest of us were outside when Craig died, unaware, but guessing, of the severity of the situation.
Only last night we were there at the crop, in this rural, quiet, safe village.
Tonight, the gunmen are still at large. Several of my friends have been told not to leave their homes as the police still do not know where they are.
These people did everything they could to ensure that my parcels went quickly, and went far beyond the call of duty to help me despatch many - sometimes up to 50, once 80 - parcels easily and swiftly.
Please join me in my thoughts for the family, at this confusing time when all I can think is why, and how can this happen.