Tuesday I was on Short Stop standby, no calls at all until after lunch; then 3 on top of each other, all placed very quickly, no voicemails at all, all the hosts picked up immediately. What was really nice was that two of them had been with the same hosts the previous night, and both sides, hosts and guests, were delighted. Then quite late in the afternoon the fourth, I could not believe my luck, and hers, when once again the previous night's host said that they would be delighted to have her again. Pafras, http://www.pafras.org.uk/, St George's Crypt, http://www.stgeorgescrypt.org.uk/ and the Refugee Council http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/ were the referring agencies today and the whole scheme is organised by my good friends in LASSN, lassn.pir2.info. I clocked off at the end of the afternoon and went off to the theatre in Scarborough a happy coordinator.
the bottom of the deep gully
Thursday was an off shoot of Coasties, a Cleveland Way task force, www.nationaltrail.co.uk/clevelandway. I have blogged before about the old alum works at Ravenscar thedms.discoveryorkshirecoast.com/thedms.aspx?dms=13, well, so that more people can get to see these fascinating industrial remains, the Cleveland Way is being diverted through and around them. The only problem is that there are two gullies, one quite deep, two streams, one running in a very boggy area, and masses of Yorkshire jungle (bracken, nettles, willow, blackthorn, hawthorn, bramble to name but a few) to be cleared before the diversion can be used. So we set to; to help we had two strimmers and a chain saw as well as the usual loppers, saws and shears. I am not trained for power tools, not do I want to be, so at first it was sawing and lopping, ankle deep in the water, then after lunch dragging the cut stuff out of sight and out of mind.
the Yorkshire jungle
However, by just before 3pm, when we usually call a halt, both gullies had been conquered. Now boards walks, steps, gates and new signing will be put in and then, we hope, a ceremonial opening of the new section of path.
the start of the new section
fairtrade crafts and food
Friday I was in the canteen of Ryedale House, our local council, with our twice yearly Fairtrade stall, www.fairtrade.org.uk/; even though staff numbers have been reduced we do as well as last year. Fortified by coffee and scones by the canteen staff we have an enjoyable and productive morning.
So, yes, I do feel rather pleased with my small society, some vulnerable people helped, an interesting area will be opened up to more visitors and producers in third world countries given a fair price for their labour. I think I even got a bit fitter doing all that sawing, lopping and dragging.