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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Back from Palestine

A new place to walk, in the olive groves and wadis of Palestine. It was too late for wild flowers, but we caught the end of the olive harvest. It is a small and encircled place, with a wall and the Jordan river as its effective boundaries. But the people we met were kind and generous, both the guides who led us and the people in whose homes we stayed. We also met many volunteers, mostly women, encouraging and leading other women to become economically independent. It made me feel rather inadequate; in their circumstances, water cut off without warning, constant harassment from illegal 'neighbours', their olive trees cut down, would I still be as resilient as they are? I am not at all sure. I will do a separate post of my musings.

this beautiful rowan tree
will be in a glade where
several of the new paths
will meet up
I returned home tired and rather dispirited, but luckily the first day back after a few happy days with my family was Coasties, www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/. The weather was perfect, and we were in Ravenscar with the National Trust, www.nationaltrust.org.uk, as regular readers will know one of my favourite places. It was an exciting new project, opening up an area of bracken and dense undergrowth so that new paths can be laid for families to walk and cycle in and other wilder tracks for intrepid mountain bikers. It is part of the National Trust's programme of encouraging more visitors to use their country side properties as much as the 'big houses' that some people associate with them. So we cut and lopped and laughed and joked the day away. By the 2 o'clock, nearly an hour before we usually finish we had all worked so hard that the day's task was complete. Once again Coasties had exceeded expectations!
fair trade toys for sale

I can't decide what
to buy
Then two days in the Friends' Meeting House in Malton www.quaker.org.uk/malton ‎for our annual Fairtrade shop, all the goods from Fairer World in York, www.fairerworldyork.co.uk/.



Both mornings a colleague and I tied arrows and signs to lampposts in the town, it seemed to draw people in on Saturday, but not so well on Friday, maybe the rain didn't help. However we still sold over £1500 of food and crafts, all fairly traded, giving the producers in developing countries a fair return for their labours. If you live locally you can see even more lovely crafts at the shop itself.

sloes, I had left it a bit late,
but the ones left were very big!
Then on Sunday the rain blew itself away and the sun came out and luckily I was being a voluntary ranger on the coast. I was blown along from Hayburn Wyke almost to Ravenscar and then back in the comparative shelter of the old railway line. On the way I managed to pick enough sloes for several bottles of sloe gin.




So lucky me, a safe and open country in which to do my bit for my small society. I listen to Joan Baez singing Jerusalem as I drive home and try not to cry.

The next post will be my second political post in this series.