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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

a missing bus on Monday, a quiet Tuesday and then dry stone walling

I usually travel to Leeds on the bus, it's free, so I save LASSN my fare; however, after a good gad and then lots of laughter over my grandsons' photos and antics, almost an hour wait for the bus, one had broken down! Had it been the train there would probably have been an announcement, but bus travellers are expected to just wait in patience.Can it be because on average bus passengers are poorer, older and more likely to be women? Well at least I had had fun with both my friends.

Yesterday was a quiet day for Short Stop, just one referral, this time an elderly lady. I managed to make two more bottles of sloe gin, these are for us, and finished typing up my journal about our journey to Istanbul and then our stay there. A grey, damp day, not good for the spirits at all (and I'm not referring to the sloe gin). At least writing about Istanbul brought back the excitement of the journey and the wonderful time we had in The City, as it used to be called.

Today, however was the big excitement, dry stone wall repairs, something new for me. Coasties have done walling before, but I have always been away. These lovely walls are a familiar part of the local scenery, several different types of stone walls even in the relatively small area of the National Park. Today we were repairing a wall for a farmer who is involved in one of the schemes which aims to preserve fauna and flora by using traditional methods of farming, one of which is retaining dry stone walls rather than replacing them with wire fences.

We worked in small groups, I was with the Park Leader who showed me how to lay the stones and then 'heart' the two sections with small pieces of rubble. Four of us kept going, there was a lot of trial and error with different size stones; at the end another colleague joined us who had a really good eye for which stone would be the right piece for our stone jigsaw puzzle. Finally we re-laid the 'coping' stones and stood back to admire our handiwork.
one repaired wall, job well done

we are about to start work

   A good day for volunteering, but before any of you get carried away, remember all the paid staff who are required to enable our voluntary efforts to take place!