Wednesday, April 26, 2017


You know, after a week away from the blog, its hard to start up again. 

It's been such a busy time - first my fantastic 26 hour trip to London in which I packed in lots of talking, lunch overlooking the Thames, the ballet, more talking, the Howard Hodgkin exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery's me on the river:

Then on Friday I cooked for the refugee hospitality day on Saturday and learned how to make earrings.

It was Bakewell churches second hospitality day and it was just as successful as last October’s, though different. The October day was sedate and peaceful. Last Saturday was lively, noisy, full of fun and exhausting. There were more visitors, a lot of younger children, and more boys. 

It was a dry sunny day, and Bakewell was looking its best. Bakewell is a small, old market town with a river running through it, and a riverside park. 

It's set in the Peak District National Park, and attracts a lot of visitors - day-trippers, walkers, climbers, and cyclists. So when we were thinking about how we could show support for refugees and asylum seekers, one of our ideas was to host day-trips for women and children who can't afford to get out of the city. We aim for a day not of giving and receiving, but a day of sharing.

We pay for a coach to bring them out from Sheffield, and we provide activities and a home cooked lunch and afternoon tea. 

Last Saturday there was a range of things to do – glass painting, seed planting, bubbles, a treasure hunt, table tennis, badminton, football, a walk by the river to see the foot-long rainbow trout and the swans, and a trip to the park. Building towers with 300 family-sized yoghurt cartons was also a big hit. (Regular readers will know who ate the yoghurt.)  

We also made jewellery from beads, some bought and many recycled: 

The jewellery making was so popular our bead stocks were decimated and now I'm begging everyone I know for their unwanted beads. The earrings below on the left were my practice piece and the pair on the right were made for me by one of our guests:

We all had a wonderful day - guests and hosts alike. A Ugandan woman with three children said at lunch it was her ‘best day ever.’ She also got up at the end of the afternoon to express her gratitude, but after one sentence she was overcome with emotion, and could not continue.

Now we're planning our day in July.

And I am getting back to writing the new novel.

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