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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Forge Valley board walk - job done

the board walk in the sun
I have blogged previously about 'cleaning' the board walk in Forge Valley. Well last Sunday the sun shone and I completed scraping the edges and trying to clear as much as possible of the detritus between the boards. After my comments earlier in the year about gaps between boards I have had a positive response from the 'powers that be', so I am hoping that new board walks will drain better and thus last longer. It was a lovely day and I had to take off my coat and woolly hat!

Earlier in the week Coasties, , had got very cold and wet at Sandsend. We were repairing steps on the Cleveland Way and in a lovely circular walk off the Way through old quarries. However by 2pm it was not just raining, we can cope with that, but blowing a gale too, so tools away and home for a hot shower. Before the rain has really got going two of us had cut back a tall hedge of gorse that was blocking a lovely view point from a memorial bench. No photos though, by the time we had finished it was pouring with rain and my hands were far too cold to take photos.

Yesterday was my last week as a Coordinator for Short Stop,‎ . I have been doing it for about two years and felt it was time for a break. Numbers are dropping as I have referred to in previous posts, and I am hoping to have a new person to befriend in the next couple of months. So if any of you lovely hosts are reading this it has been an honour to work with you.

No more posts for nearly a month, we are off on holiday (again you may well say). I cannot say too many times that that is why essential public services cannot be run by volunteers.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

same old stuff, but boring, never

The usual topics, but never the same every week. Short Stop,,  is suddenly busy, three referrals, all from Iran. Does a regime there which looks to us in the west, a little more free, mean that it is easier for people to escape, or is it all an illusion? I manage to place them all, the first two with just one call each, the other takes longer, but finally I strike lucky. One host agonises over saying no, eventually I convince her that I will ring her back if there is any chance he will have to sleep on the street. I don't need to and all is well.

Wednesday is Coasties,,  it starts wet, but the drizzle soon eases, just as an easterly wind gets up and we are on the beach. The task is litter picking for the National Trust at Hayburn Wyke.
Hayburn Wyke waterfall
The usually quite placid waterfall is pouring over the edge and two of my colleagues cross the beck with great caution to collect all the large plastic containers that the recent high tides have thrown up. We pick up the usual dreadful detritus: bottles, cans, old rusting bolts, a large tyre, an old car seat and more polystyrene that can be imagined. Most of it has obviously come in from the sea, either dumped by shipping or dropped on another beach along the coast.
After a quick, cold lunch sitting on the huge boulders that pass for beach here, we do a bit more litter picking as the tide starts to come in.
look what we have here
Then we pile it into large dumpy bags and drag it up the hill to where a quad bike can tow the bags further up to the car park. We survey what we have collected with a mixture of horror and pride. There are still masses of tiny pieces of polystyrene on the beach and the ground at the top of the beach, it is almost impossible to pick up. Future archaeologists will call this time the polystyrene age, from the layer they will find fossilised on the beach!

On Monday I had gone over to Leeds on the bus, my friend had a break in recently and the council have fitted her a lovely security gate at the side of the house. Well it would be lovely if it hadn't been installed where any future intruders can hop over into her garden from next door over a one metre fence. She did ask them to move it back, but no that would be too sensible. I make various phone calls and arrange to ring her next week to check on progress. Her phone is pay as you go, and constant hanging on is costing her a fortune, mine is a contract and is much cheaper, but until she can get a credit history she has to continue with this huge expense.

come to the Fair
Every day I am busy emailing and phoning to sort out our local and Fairtrade Craft Fair, the posters have been done by a very talented new member of our group and the stalls are now finalised.
Unfortunately I am away for the Fair, so I am trying to sort it all well in advance.

I now just need to email one of our suppliers, Fairer World in York, about the things we would like for one of the stalls.

Tomorrow after Coasties I am off again, family this time, but I will be back in time for Short Stop next Tuesday.