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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

a quiet referral day, an old skill and some memories

Only two referrals by lunch time, but it takes several phone calls before I find a room for the young man from Somalia, a young woman from Zimbabwe is a little easier to place. His name reminds me of some of the many Somali children I taught in London. I find I still have the photos of the dual language book we made, and I remember my delight when I discovered that Aesop's fables are as familiar in Somalia as they are here. Here are three of the pages, the drawings are by an ex-pupil who was about 13 when she did them. We also recorded the books, in both languages, if any one out there wants more details let me know.

the beginning


the end of the race

finger puppets, the turtle and the fox

There was also a gruesome one about a lion, a zebra and that fox again!
The end of the story and of the fox
And the old skill, well all my socks get holes on the ankle bone, so this morning I have darned two, have not yet got a wooden mushroom, a step too far!

Blogging off for a week, as I am on Granny duty again, not a duty of course, a delight.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sloe, sloe, quick pick sloe and a ps

Sorry could not resist, I have only been picking sloes for sloe gin for 5 years, but this year they were fatter and more of them than I have ever seen in those 5 years. I picked enough for 5 750 ml bottles, assuming I can squeeze 500 ml of gin on top of the sloes! Now just needs loads of sugar (Fairtrade). 

Had a lovely walk in the sunshine, round some little used paths and then along the coast and back by the old railway line, the easy way back, although I was going north and therefore slightly up hill. The solar panels and the small wind turbine on a property by the Ravenscar road were doing their bit for renewable energy, the panels catching all the sun and the wind turbine whizzing round. Lots of walkers on the old railway line, just a few on the coast.
sun and wind power
the view from the coast path

ps am not neglecting my support work for LASSN, but last week I had no referrals, and my friend is, I am pleased to tell you all, so busy with college that at present she only needs my support over the phone.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

"They shut the road through the woods..........before they planted the trees" Rudyard Kipling

Well it felt a bit like that yesterday at Coasties, we were shown on the GPS where the bridleway should go and so we cut and pulled and chopped and made a path again. Young birch, conifers which had self seeded from the ones planted as a crop in the rest of the wood, solid root balls of ferns, bilberry and heather. Huge trunks of fallen trees across the route, smaller ones rotting in the ground, everything more than a few inches high was cleared. Now we need a mass ride and walk along the bridleway to show that the path is open again and to keep it open, or else it will be all to do again in a few years, or as Kipling ended "but there is no road through the woods".
before we cleared the young growth
now there is path through the woods

Monday, 17 October 2011

Yes, the trains did connect

What a fabulous way to travel, go to sleep in Paris, wake up call and breakfast on our beds as we pull in to Munich. Then an Austrian train with the most amazing just in time information, maps, speeds etc all the way to Budapest. Another night and I awake to the sun rolling away the mist in the Carpathian hills, some quite poor villages, and at every station a smart station master standing to attention, the same in Bulgaria.

Two half days in Bucharest, masses of pavement repairs and an excellent metro, with interconnecting carriages and a guard, yes that's right, on the train. A really wonderful 'folk' museum and another one like the Ryedale museum, old vernacular buildings. An excellent meal, sitting outside, the heatwave continuing. The next day we arrive at the only station to truly disappoint, Sofia, a Soviet era, concrete edifice. However Sofia, despite more pavement re-building, enchants with very old churches, a mosque and a Presidential palace only guarded by two low keys soldiers. A wonderful lunch at an Armenian restaurant. Still the heatwave continues as we wait at Sofia station for the delayed train from Belgrade that is going to take us on to Istanbul. At every station until the border the wheels are tapped, why is it only in Bulgaria that this happens with such solemnity?

Even getting up at 3am to get our Turkish visas couldn't spoil the magic. It is light as we travel from the border through woodland and farm land, then massive new developments into the city, along the coast of the Sea of Marmara and then through the ancient, crumbling city walls and along still standing sections of the sea walls. As we pull into the station we realise that alongside the platform is The Orient Express Restaurant, the first of many cups of Turkish coffee.

Would we do it again, maybe; as long as we could have a sleeper not the final couchette, and if we could be a little more confident about being able to get a meal, not just a filled roll, at all the stations.

It was also a reminder of the past having to change money at the last few borders and having our passports checked in Europe, roll on the Euro and Schengen I say.

Istanbul? it was wonderful, a magical city to rival Venice, whose rival it was so many centuries ago.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

off on my travels, again

No blogging for a while, we are off to Istanbul by train, no not the Orient Express, via Bucharest and Sophia. Returning by budget airline though.

If the trains all work OK I will report back, so watch this space.

2 lots of stress but both with successful outcomes

It starts at 6am on Thursday morning when I get up to catch an early, very early, train to Leeds. My friend has to report to the Borders Agency, she is always convinced that this is going to lead to deportation and who am I with a British passport, a bank account and a regular, quite good, income, to imagine how she must feel. It starts off badly with both if us having mobile phone problems, but all goes OK (I can't say well,she gets too upset for that)and we stand in the sun to catch the bus back to the city centre.

Later that morning I help her with her physics homework and I enlist the help of some very confused other asylum seekers to show her my patent method of explaining the particle theory of solids, liquids and gases. (Perfected with excitable 10 year olds). This makes her laugh and several pennies drop about conduction, convection and insulation. So a successful ending as she goes off to college and as she puts it "the good stress of struggling with new topics in maths and science". I meet my gadding friend for a long lunch in the sun by the lake in Roundhay Park.

Friday, another hot and sunny day, the DAY of the Fairtrade Clothes Show; will any one come, will the models, (some one's daughter and her  friends, mothers of said friends, colleagues of group members and group members as well) all turn up, will there be enough/too much food? and so more and more questions in my mind. By chance I meet a fellow group member at lunch in the Kingfisher cafe, we probably make each other worse!

At 5pm we start setting up and those of us modelling try on the clothes, the organisation by 2 of the group is wonderful, nothing it seems has been forgotten. Stalls are set up, floats gathered, the raffle sorted and also the refreshments. Chocolate is broken up for the chocolate tasting.
Music starts, we have a rehearsal of how to walk down the catwalk and then the audience starts to arrive. Then we are off, in 2's and 3's we show off the clothes, the audience are wonderfully supportive, smiling and clapping. Amazingly no-one even trips, we even enjoy it!

Afterwards the refreshments seem just right, people seem happy, a good sized audience and a truly successful evening.

The clothes we modelled, all Fairtrade were from so many thanks to all of them, and also to Fairer World shop, who donated the chocolate for the chocolate tasting. 
84 Gillygate
YO31 7EQ

Thanks also to the pianist before the show, the arranger of the music during the show and the folk group after the show. (If you want a personal mention in this blog let your FT contact know!)

Finally we should be able to send a donation to Water Aid, who we agreed would benefit if we managed to make a profit.