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Sunday, 28 April 2013

an average fortnight with some quirky photos

The usual run of the mill stuff, but in amongst it are some unusual photos.

Firstly, both Short Stop Tuesdays,, were uneventful. Two referrals each week, both placed quite easily. But behind that bland statement are stories of war, sleeping on the streets and negotiating the asylum process. One of the referrals speaks no English, the host and I discuss how he will get to their home, luckily the referring agency have a special 'taxi' fund for such emergencies. I have used buses on my own in a country where I did not speak the language. I was a tourist with money and some confidence, but it was still stressful even though I knew exactly where I was going. I chat with other hosts, who I met at the meal in Leeds (see Thursday 7th March), about their holidays in Northumberland.

Coasties,, was up in the north of the Park in the middle of the month, at Skinningrove, almost on the beach. Whilst the step builders were in the lee of the cliffs, out of the wind, a colleague and I were clearing gorse in its full blast. Luckily there was a good deal of ground between the path and the edge, or we might have ended up blown into the sea. There is a wonderful restored fishing boat in the old dock area, here it is.
no, it's not a real person, this tells you more about it. We were cutting back the gorse just where the snow in the photo in this link starts!

not some exotic birds' eggs!

The following week Coasties were clearing a ditch at Ravenscar. It is right next to the golf links and over the years many golfers have obviously been a little too ambitious with their strokes (is that the correct word?). Here are just some of the lost balls that were retrieved from the ditch. We left them there for the golfers to re-use!

The sun had been shining at Ravenscar, but the next day it was hail and wind at Farndale. The daffodils are now out, but sensibly the visitors had stayed at home.                

Yesterday was a patrol from Thornton Dale, I walked up into Dalby Forest, or the Great Yorkshire Forest as it is now called, It is the centre of an extensive series of mountain biking trails, where these muddy people can legitimately hone their amazing skills. But I was more impressed by this bike; it is specially designed to take a wheelchair, so everyone can now go where the bikes go. (Well may be not the steep bits)., are the hirers. I don't usually link to commercial sites, but I will make an exception here.

Lastly our Fairtrade group has gone to the folk festival, or more precisely the Malton and Norton folk festival . We had a stall during the day at the Blue Ball pub and in the evening at Suddabys for the main concert. We sold some things on behalf of Fairer World in York and had a good time as well.
Fairtrade stall at the Blue Ball
We were able to use the wall to display the small bags and purses.

As I said at the beginning an average sort of fortnight, but that is what volunteering usually is, just getting on with it, week in and week out.

Monday, 15 April 2013

a bit of a rubbish week

Sorry for the gap, I was away with my grandchildren and then a computer problem.

So, the rubbish week started in Troutsdale, an apparently lovely and peaceful dale on the eastern side of the National Park, I was doing a Voluntary Ranger patrol. However it didn't take long to start to see the rubbish. In the small car park and around it, I collected half a bag, mostly from a well know burger place. I walked through some mixed forest to the top of the escarpment, the remains of several bonfires, bottles, cans and take away BBQs made another bag. Then the worst, back down through another part of the forest to this:-
it had obviously been there for some time and the people would have needed a car to get it there. There are  two free Council sites to take it to within a 20 minute drive, so why dump it here? I discover that it has been reported before and that the police have been asked to take action, but it is still there! I am obviously not going to clear these bags.

The next day I was at Farndale, no rubbish here, but sadly still no daffodils; but there is a weather change in the air, although not very obvious to me and my colleagues. So perhaps in a week or so........................

Wednesday I missed Coasties to help my friend in Leeds move from her accommodation as an asylum seeker to new accommodation as a homeless person with the right to live here. It really doesn't make any sense, she has had to move from one publicly funded property to another, different budget heads, but still our taxes. I am very happy for my taxes to help her have a decent home, but not to support the pointlessness of this move. I take the small stuff and a lovely man with a van takes the bigger things that she has either collected from various dumps, cleaned up and put to good use, or things that people have given her. She is currently in a semi furnished flat, but soon she will have to move again, don't ask, this time to unfurnished accommodation, so nothing can be thrown away or left behind. We are all happy to help and overjoyed that she has permission to stay, but what a rubbish day, wasting fuel and time when we could all be doing so much better things.

I talk to people at LASSN (Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network) and Solace, who help with advocacy and counselling, about what to do if there is a gap in her financial support. We agree that I should contact the Trussell Trust, who run the food bank in central Leeds. They are very kind and tell me what to do to help my friend get a food parcel if it becomes necessary. So far she has been OK, as she is very careful about her food purchases and nothing ever goes to waste.

The week ends on a happier note. I help to clear away overgrown areas of the Castle Gardens in Malton,, this is a lovely area in the middle of the town. You may find the website a little out of date; this is because as with so many other local and voluntary organisations the people involved all have busy lives. So if you want to help bring it up to speed you can, by offering your time and your skills. Here are some new shrubs and a tree waiting to be planted.

So a mixed week, but by the end spring has finally arrived and the frogs in our pond are doing their bit for the future of the planet. We do our own local scavenging and have two meals using wild garlic as the vegetable.