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Sunday, 31 March 2013

we install a bench and much more

off to the alum works

Back from holiday to all the usual stuff, but the high light of the week was Wednesday. The new section of the Cleveland Way,,  that Coasties has been working on since last summer, is officially opened; a ribbon is cut and a bottle of fizzy popped. Several people were walking along it even while all the photos were being taken.

After the celebrations some of us dig two large holes and install the bench that I and my husband were given to celebrate our 65th birthdays. Much admiration for the quality of the bench (thank you to the National Park and the idea of a bench before one dies!
nearly there
when you sit down....
photo Zoe of the National Trust
 A bitterly cold day, with an easterly wind, but a lot to celebrate.

Thanks also to the National Trust for helping with the siting,           

Tuesday had been a fairly quiet Short Stop day, Just two people to place, but unusually both of them women. After a lot of voicemails I find not two, but three kind people, so I kept one in reserve, just in case. Luckily the just in case didn't happen. It was going to be a bitterly cold night so I was glad that I had found warm beds for two desperate people.

Thursday I visited my friend in Leeds. She is still waiting to get a date for her move (I discover later in the week that she now has a date, in the middle of April - watch this space). We go over her paper work, it is becoming a larger and larger pile. I discover with some amusement that the new permission to stay cards give her baby the right to work as well as her, is this the way ahead?!

Finally yesterday I was at the Farndale MDU (mobile display unit), the National Park's information unit about the Farndale daffodils. However this year it should be renamed the snow drop and ice walk, rather than the daffodil walk. The famous wild daffodils haven't even turned their heads over yet, I think it will be at least two weeks before any yellow is seen. Meanwhile here are the showdrops and an unusual ice formation.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

a bit of everything

Fairtrade goodies for sale
Well here is the quick roundup before I go off on holiday. At the end of last week I did a Fairtrade stall at West Heslerton Primary school, a small and welcoming school on the edge of the Wolds. Their theme has been France, so the tables for refreshments were decorated with French and Fairtrade flags. I set up my stall, a mixture of chocolates, sweets and small craft goods, all Fairtrade of course.
ready for tea, coffee
and cakes

The favourites as usual are jelly beans; but I also do a brisk trade in rings and bangles, I think some may be for Mothering Sunday. One small boy is short of 10p for a ring, but a kind friend lends him the money and he comes back for the ring he has had his eye on all afternoon. It has been a satisfying afternoon, I pack up and prepare to take the unsold items back to Fairer World in York. The shop has been closed for essential repairs, so these stalls have been a vital life line for its commercial viability.

I'm pleased, there is a good photo in the local paper about our craft fair this Saturday.

Tuesday was not the usual Short Stop. Last week hosts, coordinators and one of the referring agencies had met up for a social evening in Leeds. A lovely meal and a chance to meet people who are usually just voices on the phone. So when Pafras rang this morning I could put a face and personality to the voice. The second host I rang had also been at the meal, we chatted about her baby and the meal and then, as usual, she said yes, of course they would take the young woman I was trying to place.

And so to Coasties,, working once again on the alternative Cleveland Way route through the disused alum workings at Ravenscar., this is not a link I've used before, so I hope readers find it interesting.

making the revetment,
these steps are finished
with local material
A grey dull day this week and slightly fewer people. I and a two colleagues continue the work on the revetments, either the nails are blunt or all the planks are full of knots, but hammering becomes harder and harder. Luckily the ground, whilst drier, is still soft, so digging is quite easy. You win some and lose some! Meanwhile some of the rest of the team is shaling the other steps and finishing off other sections of revetments. The last group are installing the second new gate. Hopefully one or at most two more days' work will get the path ready enough for the official opening on March 27th, just two days after we return from holiday.

My next post will tell you all about it, will we have champagne?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Just the same old things

In a way my small society has some similarities with going to work. On Tuesdays it is Short Stop,, Wednesday is Coasties,, every so often I visit my friend in Leeds, again and in between it's Fairtrade, Not exactly the same every week, but usually variations on a theme. Do I get bored, no, but then I was lucky and I never did at work. Do I wake up and think oh no it's Coasties again, never, even when the weather is bad, mad yes, no definitely not. As I have blogged before there are differences (as well as not getting paid), I can go away when I want, and I do; I can on rare occasions say no, as I did to the raking (see August 23rd 2012!). But that is part of the essence of my small society, these things need doing year in and year out and if no one did them I believe the world would be a poorer place. Repetitive yes, boring, well not to me.

Here endeth the lesson for this blog!

much easier than a barrow
So, Coasties in the shining sun last week, what a welcome sight this piece of machinery was, it moved all the remaining huge stones by the new path in next to no time, compare it with the wheelbarrow we were using earlier in the year (post 03/02/13).

Step construction was becoming more and more complicated with corners to be turned on a very steep slope. A new gate was put in and revetments built to prevent the steps becoming covered in mud in wet weather.
the steep corner
  We were able to eat our lunch outside, the sun was almost warm, a promise of things to come? There are only a few more weeks' tasks before the official opening at the end of March, so the conversation was all about whether it will be finished by then. Coasties are almost the guests of honour, we have 'instructions' to turn up in our thick maroon fleeces what ever the weather, so much more photogenic than our grey polo shirts!!!

That's all for this post, there will be another short one at the end of the week before I am off again on a fortnight's jaunt.