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Friday, 9 November 2012

small society stuff continues

Sunday I did a voluntary ranger patrol www.northyorkmoors.org.uk in one of my favourite places, the Cleveland Way between Ravenscar and Hayburn Wyke. There was still a frost on north facing areas, but the sun shone and it was a glorious yomp south along the coast. However today was not just for checking steps, gates and general path maintenance, although I did plenty of that, today was also my sloe picking day. At first I thought that the blackthorn was getting revenge for all my cutting back over the last year, but patience was rewarded and I picked just over a kilogramme in about half an hour.
a rustic fence to protect us
from the crumbling cliff edge

the sloes in their shiny glory

I was pleased to see this fence, the cliffs are crumbling here and the drop to the sea is sheer and a long way. It also looks a lot better than other sections further north.

Just after a picnic lunch on the beach I met a couple who thought that they could get a bus back to Scarborough from Ravenscar, they hadn't checked the timetable and were shocked to discover that there was no such bus on a Sunday. They then wanted advice on an alternative way to walk back, however they  had no map! I explained to them about the disused railway line, at least you can't get lost on that, and set them on their way! I am delighted that other people want to share this lovely coast line, but please check the buses and carry a map.

Tuesday was the Grace project, lassn.org.uk; I had an early call from PAFRAS, www.pafras.org.uk, both case workers were going on a course, and there were four people to place. However after lots of voicemail messages and two or three lovely chats with people I have never met, but are becoming good phone friends, everyone is placed. Two of them are the very young people I had to place last week.

All week I was checking the statistics for my spoiled ballot blog, it had also gone on the Northerner, www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner and was attracting masses of comments. However as the title of this post says, life continues.

it was a wall by 3 o'clock!

almost finished

Wednesday was back to Coasties, once again as one of my colleagues pointed out the sun shone on the righteous. This was a new one for me, a lime kiln being restored and a stone wall to be rebuilt, I have repaired a dry stone wall before, but not right from the base. Once almost every farm had its own lime kiln, to make lime for the fields, now it comes in bags; but this farmer is keen to restore his, not to use, but as a local piece of history. The wall was hard work, not enough large stones with flattish faces, a bit of cheating went on, with smaller bits wedging where necessary. We found enough stones with sort of rounded tops to cap it off; not the best wall on the North York Moors, but a lot better than it was.

Yesterday my friend in Leeds finally got the news about her move, it would be 9.30 this morning and no one knew where to! However friends rallied round and when the G4S staff arrived her stuff was packed and she was as ready as possible. The G4S people on the ground were lovely, as is usually the case, it is the people at the top, earning most, who are the problem. She has been moved into an old terraced house, hard to let, but she is pleased that at last the move has happened. I shall go over on Monday and see it for myself, however she and a friend have already scrubbed it to their very high standards. We had a long chat this evening on the phone and she seemed more relaxed than for some time.

I checked the statistics again, more than three times as many views as any other post. Comments also on my Facebook pasting.

The original post only had the picture of my ballot paper, here is the comment that I did for the Northerner.

Why have I done this, good question, firstly I am a rather impulsive person, act first, then think, and this seemed to me the best thing to do on first thought. However second and subsequent thoughts. I have never and could never vote for a Conservative, their entire value system is so different to mine; I have voted Labour, but their record in Government on penal reform and the criminal justice system was not very liberal! I have always voted, but this time neither of them was ‘least worst’, so this a public gesture on my part, small acorns………..Why so few candidates? Well a £5000 deposit is a bit of a turn off, not to mention the general public apathy and lack of understanding of what it’s all about?

a ps to Wednesday. I spend a lovely hour with my local Brownie group, talking to them about Fairtrade and showing them just a few of the Fairtrade foods that we can buy in our local supermarkets. www.fairtrade.org.uk. Also on the Fairtrade front, we took almost as much  at the shop last weekend as we did last year, with people having to tighten their belts this is good news.