Firstly let me apologise although why I should I don’t know as it’s not my fault. The website has been down for some hours for reasons I cannot fathom.
This finds me at a bit of a loose end albeit one of my own choosing. Earlier this week my back started playing up again and there really is only one way to get that right and that’s to rest it so I had a couple of days off and enforced house rest. I even employed one of those deliver to the door shopping services. Sue, bless her, has been a brick although she too has been suffering from a cold she kept working through it and looked after me as well. I hate being wimpish but at the same time it’s easy to succumb to. Anyway all that apart I have managed to get some stuff done.
On Thursday, feeling a little better, I decided to return to work for just half a day although it was in an office 60 miles away so the drive was the most uncomfortable part. Sue, bless her, being on her rest day came along too and went shopping whilst I did my bit for Queen and country. After work we wound our way around the Suffolk / Essex border to the village of Little Cornard where I gave a talk on the Bure Navigation Conservation Trust and the Aylsham Navigation Project 2012 to the local conservation society. I was surprised at how many of them there were but they were a friendly bunch and the audience included a volunteer from the Bure Valley Railway so he knew the area well and also a retired officer from Trinity House. They are an organisation I have had a few dealings with over the years and respect their work greatly. Safety at sea just wouldn’t exist without them and (not many people know this is possible) I have always had a hankering for a cruise on one of their boats. The talk went well I think, they were certainly kind and I felt OK about it although my back insisted I sat down for the Q&A stage of the evening. The day before another one of of our founding members, Elaine, gave a talk in Aylsham Library which also went well by all accounts although I could not make it myself. If you or an organisation you are a member of would like a talk then please let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what we can do. We do not charge any fees but donations to BNCT are always welcomed. There are a few booked in for the future but I’m sure we can accommodate you.
Yesterday I attended a retirement do which I also greatly enjoyed and not for the first time was so pleased to see old colleagues who had already retired and couldn’t help but notice the positive effects the change had on them as all the stress was gone. When retiring it is very important to keep active in some way and volunteering can be one way of doing that. We will shortly be considering forward looking projects for which we will need the help of volunteers so how about it?
As we approach the autumn it is a good time to take stock of the footpath and its condition between Burgh and Coltishall. As part of the cuts agenda Norfolk County Council have withdrawn from routinely maintaining footpaths and this means that a growing list of little jobs need doing. I have sympathy with the Council, they have very tough decisions to make; I happen to think they have called this one wrong but if they reversed it something else would have to fall off the table and it’s all very valuable expenditure. Such maintainence that is being done is now falling to highways and with the best will in the world they see footpaths as extremely low priority. My concern, bluntly, is that our path runs alongside a river that is, in parts, deep and fast flowing. The growth of ground vegetation, lack of surface covering leading to mud, overgrown and fallen trees coupled with poorly maintained stiles and bridges is a recipe for an accident that I do not even want to contemplate. The path in places is that accident waiting to happen. As a charity we may be able to make a difference by spending some of our funds to effect repairs that really should come from the public purse but should we is the question? Would it not be better to use our funds to improve the environment rather than replace public funds? These are decisions we will have to make very soon but in the meantime I do strongly urge every user of the river to keep the pressure on by reporting through the PROW form system on the NCC website each and every fault of incident. By keeping the pressure on we can make our feelings known to County and possibly get some of the work done. This is an approach that has already worked in places but we need you to help keep the pressure on.
Now ……. where did I put my walking stick?