Guest Blog – Hannah Johnson (@HanPlans)

This week we’ve got a great blog from the lovely Hannah Johnson, all about community and belonging. Boardgaming has become my community and I’ve developed a great support group from those close by as well as those miles away. Twitter has given us all a great support group, including Hannah, so here’s her story…
As I write this, it’s Wednesday. I’m stood at the bus stop attempting to find a small piece of shade. I don’t cope in the heat very well so doing the school run in this heat is driving me a little crazy. I have 8 minutes until I have to collect my son and 6 minutes until the bus arrives. I know, that’s close and means I’ll be late. Not only does it feel like an oven but today isn’t exactly going to plan, which is why I’m writing this stood at the bus stop instead of my desk or the kitchen table! 
Anyway, let’s do this thing! 
Hello, I’m Hannah. I live in Bedford with my family. There’s Jaxon, my 3 year old ball of energy, Our Sidekick who is our 19 year old foster son and Chris, my lovely husband. When I’m not being Mum/Foster Mum to my boys, I can be found either in front of the computer running my own business or blogging or crocheting / knitting in front of the television. I watch far too much TV to the point I think I should have a PhD in TV Medical Dramas!
Each week I have two knitting groups. One meets in a local cafe and the second meets in a pub (which kind of doubles as a bar/coffee shop during the day). While at the group this morning, I looked around the table at the ladies who come too this week. I realised that without the knitting groups our paths probably wouldn’t have crossed and yet, those ladies I would probably class as my best friends. 
After group this week, most of the ladies had left to get on with the rest of their days, three of us ending up staying and chatting a bit longer and it was so lovely. Okay not so much the subject matter but the fact that one of the ladies felt she could confide in us was just lovely. 
So how did I end up in these knitting groups. Well thank you social media for something good but first we have the not so good. 
Four years ago when my son arrived, I attempted to find a baby group that we could go to but for one or another reason we could never quite find that worked for us. Now maybe I was being picky but the groups just weren’t working for us. Somehow along the route in the end my paths crossed with Laura. Laura and a mutual friend called Emma were starting a knitting / crochet group at the Pavilion in the Park here in Bedford and would I like to come. 
Well, yes I would give it a go but on that first day I was so nervous. What if my son choose that today he’d kick off and refuse to sit still? What if we got there and it wasn’t really him friendly and we had to leave earlier than we planned? So many questions were running through my mind. Well I certainly needn’t worry. There were four or five of us that first week and we got on like we’d known one another for years which was great.  
Well that was 3ish years ago, our group now has about 15-20 ladies depending on what else is going on. We’ve got our little groups within that, that we have broken off into. I love that our little group covers a wide range of ages and backgrounds. I’d say that some of these ladies are my best friends and I am really blessed to have them in my life.
Sometimes taking the step out of your comfort zone is what you need to find your people. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s easy. He baby groups were hard but the knitting group was easy. 
Most recently we’ve come together on a yarn bombing project which was great fun and has brightened up the Pavilion a bit more. It was all thanks to our friend Estelle coming up with the idea and co-ordinating it. We then did our own bit by making flowers, butterflies and ice creams amongst other bits. Hopefully they will be up across the Summer and people can take a look when they come for the Shakespeare productions by Oddsocks and the Bedford Park Concerts in August.

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