In a community the size of Botton Village, chances are that on any given day someone will be having a birthday. When they do, they will certainly have a handmade birthday card from Jean.
Jean is famous in Botton for never forgetting anyone’s special day. Her Birthday Book, where she keeps track of all the names and dates, is a work of devotion that has spanned many years. ‘I don’t remember quite how long’, she says. ‘But a long time.’
The village newsletter is a vital source of information: ‘We get the Botton Mirror every week and if there are any new birthdays listed I write them down.’
‘It’s quite a lot of cards, actually’
And then there are the cards. Jean makes every single one herself, using coloured paper embellished with pictures she re-uses from old cards.
In her room in Rock House, she has a big box full of cards that people have saved for her, knowing how much she enjoys giving them new life. It’s recycling in a way that brings pleasure to everyone.
Sending a card is easy – no need to find a stamp thanks to Botton’s internal postal service. ‘All the houses have a postbag’, Jean explains. ‘It gets collected at eleven.’
‘It’s quite a lot of cards to make, actually’, she adds. ‘But I don’t mind. It’s my hobby. I like doing it very, very much. It makes people happy.’