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Saturday, 22 December 2012

Not the streets tonight, mulled wine and mince pies

A very average week, Tuesday was Short Stop, or the Grace project as I must learn to call it, Only one referral today, but sadly it is the same very young man from Iran whom I have placed before; he is, like many other  young people barely out of childhood, a bit disorganised, and doesn't always make it to the bed that has been found for him. So last night he spent on the streets of Leeds, the kind host today will meet him at the bus stop, let's hope he makes it that far.

Wednesday is the last Coasties of the year, it's not raining, we are on the coast near Cloughton and there will be mulled wine and mince pies at lunch time, so three reasons to be cheerful. Steps are cleaned, ditches dug and blackthorn cut back, the Cleveland Way is more passable than it was yesterday. Two flights of stone steps are now three times the width they were yesterday and many months before that.

ready to heat the mulled wine

After the lunch time treats we all slow down a little, well I do, but the fine weather spurs us on and we carry on until our usual finishing time of 3 o'clock. We are still dry, which is a massive change from the last few weeks. I however am rather muddy, having done a graceful slide into the mud before a ditch was re-dug. I drive home, my usual feeling of smug satisfaction with another job well done. Really this is win win, I get some exercise, the path gets maintained and I get the cost of my petrol covered as well. There is also the good company of the rest of the group. Short Stop can get a little lonely at times, the phone calls all going to voicemail, so Wednesday is a good counterpoint to that.

The next day, in the pouring rain I get the bus to Leeds. It never ceases to amaze me that a modern bus cannot have some sort of ventilation that would prevent all the windows running with condensation the minute it is raining or cold! My friend and I exchange cards and I give her a gift for Christmas, a nun from her church is also visiting as well as another friend and there is a lot of laughter and chatting. It all seems like any other gathering of young women (and me) until the others leave and we talk about the latest stage of her appeal to be allowed to stay in this country. A shadow falls and again I think what as asset she would be to all of us and particularly the community she is part of in Leeds.

So my small society ends another year, it did not occur to me when I started that it would keep going for so long. But the need for the blog is still there, there are enough people viewing it for me to go on writing it, and the number of viewings from different countries is growing.

The next post will be in another year, the days will have started to lengthen and we can dream of certainties, like the daffodils at Farndale, and hopes, like my friend's permission to stay.