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Friday, 30 May 2014

a solitary llama and lots more

watched by a llama

Early in the month I was doing a voluntary ranger patrol near Saltergate on the North York Moors, www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/, when I came across this beautiful animal, all on its own in a very large field. It gazed at me, posing for the photo, then went on grazing. Earlier I had heard my first cuckoo of the season. Alas, I had also had to ask large numbers of dog owners to put their dogs on a lead. One man whose dog was quite out of control told me that yes he had seen the notices that the Police have put up, about dogs being under control.....................obviously not his dog though! I am afraid that this will be the pattern for the summer; how I wish a farmer with a shotgun would appear, the lambs threatened by the dogs are their livelihood.

The next day we were able to see how other volunteers operate. We went on an evening guided walk round Georgian Leeds with the Leeds Civic Trust, www.leedscivictrust.org.uk/. The walk, led by a volunteer, was fascinating, hidden corners that even local people were surprised by, and then an excellent light meal, also done by volunteers. It was good to be on the 'receiving' end of some else's 'small society'.

lunch time view
Later in the month Coasties was in the beautiful woods at Littlebeck, we were repairing and cleaning steps and board walks. It is a very popular path as it forms part of the Coast to Coast walk, so it is important that we keep it in good condition. Lunch was sitting in the sun looking down at this lovely view of the stream. It was the first dry day for some time, much of the path was thick with mud, so we really appreciated the dry spot we found for our break.


outside the church


all our goodies
Another Fairtrade event, this time a stall in St Michael's Church, stmichaelsmalton.org.uk, to coincide with Malton's Fine Food Festival.maltonyorkshire.co.uk/food-lovers-festival-2/. The weather was wet, again, so we were glad to be indoors. We had a range of different Fairtrade food as well as the usual coffee, tea and chocolate. Chutneys, marmalades, cooking sauces, quinoa, peanut butter and plantain crisps to name but a few. Many of our customers were amazed at the range of Fairtrade goods now available. Thanks to Fairer World in York for once again providing us with the items to sell, www.fairerworldyork.co.uk/.

LASSN, lassn.org.uk/ has asked me to befriend a young couple, asylum seekers from east Africa; I meet then for the first time on Thursday, two lovely people whom I am sure it will be as easy to be friends with as my previous 'befriendee' was. She and I are now 'normal' friends, and even though she has leave to remain I still see her on a regular basis. Hopefully this might be the same with my new friends.

Tomorrow I am doing another voluntary ranger patrol, this time in the Ravenscar area, the forecast is good, so I should have an enjoyable day. More in the next blog.


Sunday, 4 May 2014

what happened to April?

Well I don't know, I was not well, we were away and getting on with my various activities seemed to take up all my energy. So May is here and I am posting at last.

So, in no very particular order. I have been a couple of times to Leeds, once to see my now given leave to stay and therefore no-longer-an-asylum-seeker friend and once to see two other friends. Both times, lots of chatting and laughing, however I also have to spend hours on the phone for my 'given leave to stay' friend. She only has a pay as you go phone and she needs to cancel a hospital appointment, (she is conscientious and won't just not turn up), and speak to her housing provider. It takes forty five minutes altogether for me to finally speak to someone, on my contract that costs nothing, but on pay as you go................! I am glad that LASSN, lassn.org.uk, has not yet found me a new person to befriend, this friend still needs loads of support.


there is a path under all this
We have had a variety of Coasties, www.northyorkmoors.org.uk, tasks. The usual of repairing steps and cutting back blackthorn along footpaths, but a couple of different jobs too. One sunny day we were clearing paths near Reasty Bank where logging operations had left them blocked with felled trees and branches. The ranger needed to power saw them first then we were able to hand saw them into smaller pieces and drag them off the path. It was hard work, but satisfying when we could walk along the whole path that we had cleared.

the new paving
As usual the last Wednesday of the month we were with National Trust, www.nationaltrust.org.uk, this month at Hayburn Wyke, repairing a path that was eroding into the stream. The woods were really beautiful, a faery glen. But the work was hard and potentially wet and muddy, getting flat stones out of the stream to lay on the muddiest part of the path and then covering them with sand and gravel, also from the stream bed, to bed them in and also make them less slippery when wet.




keeping dry.
One Sunday I did a Voluntary Ranger patrol in the damp in Rosedale, the weather meant that I saw very few people, but I cut back some shrubs obscuring foot path signs and had a chat to a farmer about thoughtless dog owners allowing their dogs to worry sheep. I also spotted this retired goat, keeping dry in a brand new coat.


Two dancers decide what to buy
Finally yesterday, after  a cold start the sun shone, and Morris and other traditional dancing groups kicked off the Malton and Norton Folk Festival www.maltonfolk.co.uk in grand style. Our local Fairtrade group, www.fairtrade.org.uk/ had a stall of snacks, chocolate and crafts next to the dancing area and we did a brisk trade. Then in the evening most of us took the stall to the concert at a local pub, a fine end to the day. Our takings were significantly up on last year, a bonus for the Fairtrade producers, Fairer World in York, www.fairerworldyork.co.uk and the Folk Festival who will get a share of the takings.

So now my small society is back again the public domain, it always was functioning, just not on the blog.