Sunday, August 21, 2022


We have hosted three Refugee Hospitality Days this year in Bakewell after two Covid years without. 

There is a lot of organisation required in terms of food and volunteers and activities but what makes them nerve racking is the uncertainties.

First, we never know until the day itself exactly who is going to come. Will the minibus be full and worth the huge expense? Will our visitors be men, women or children? and what activities will appeal to them and therefore what equipment do we need to bring? Lastly, will it be fine or will it rain?

This latter is more important to some groups than others. We once held a day for women and small children when it rained all day, and they were all nevertheless very happy. The women enjoyed the crafts and the social side and the fact that the volunteers played with their toddlers. Some of them also slipped out to look at the charity shops while we occupied the children.

But as our best gift to our visitors apart from the warm welcome and the lovely lunch is Bakewell itself, you'll see that the weather really matters. A walk by the river and across the water meadows is not appealing in pouring rain. So it's been a blessing that this year that the three days were warm and dry when most of our visitors have been adults.

Yesterday one of the crafts was decorating fabric tote bags. Look at these stunners:

The key fobs turned out to be a dud, but two women painted lovely coasters, which I forgot to photograph. 😞

I'm feeling really blessed this morning. It's good to have three successful days under our belts when we'd had two years lying fallow, with the government getting more and more hostile to asylum seekers in the meantime. 

The Home Office is so slow in processing claims that people who have fled their home countries because of war or persecution can be waiting years to be able to settle properly. In the meantime they are not allowed to work and although they are given some kind of accommodation - grotty flat, hotel or hostel - they have to live on £40.85 a week which has to pay for food, clothing and toiletries.

This morning it feels gently autumnal in the garden, but not so autumnal as to make me feel the year outside is over. So I was out in my pyjamas picking flowers - amongst them just 6 sweet peas. I told you they were disappointing this year.

The biggest blessing in the garden in this hot hot summer has been the wild flowers Dave sowed. 

We always have posies on the lunch tables on Hospitality Days and without the wild flowers, it would have been a poor showing this August:

Next week I'm going to paint.

No comments: