OK I know it’s Saturday now not Friday, but I have a fix for that: Six on Saturday. Which as it happens works perfectly, because I couldn’t post this week without mentioning no.6.
- Practicing optimism: two people I care a lot about have had troubled times in their working lives over the past year. Both have now managed to regain their health and control over their lives, and have found positive ways to either exit a damaging situation, or transform it into something less toxic. No easy task, and I admire them both for hanging on through very tough times and seeing light at the end of very dark tunnels. Both are now optimistic about being able to craft a better future.
- Another beautiful circuit walking around Bristol Docks, this time with three added pleasures: a visit to St Mary Redcliffe and admiring the 1960s stained glass windows designed by Harry Stammers; flurries of snow interspersed with clear blue sky; a poem about pessimism and optimisim on the outside of the Arnolfini – see above (thank you, Salena Godden)
3. Practicing ‘pressing the pause button’. Recently I’ve been involved in helping respond to a difficult situation arising from some tricky emotional stuff (other people’s not mine). I’ve been practicing resisting the urge to respond immediately, and instead taken some time to reflect. I’ve found that as a result, on the whole, my interventions have been more measured and more helpful. Also helps with yarny projects – sometimes putting it down and coming back later works a treat!
4. Adding a new goal for this year. Wanting to transform that stack of lanolin wool that’s been sitting in storage for decades (truly, no exaggeration here!) into funds for Bath City Farm cafe project, I’ve been mulling over what to knit with it. I’ve got a few ideas for simple (inexpensive) things I think new parents might find useful, so I’m having a go at some prototypes and may even test them out on our grandchild before long. If (or when??) we get planning permission for the cafe and launch our funding appeal, I’ll start to put things for sale on a page of this blog and see what happens. At the worst, nothing will sell and I’ll be no worse off (and my hands will be beautifully soft from knitting with all that lanolin wool). If it sells, every penny received will be donated to the cafe building fund. Another ‘watch this space’ good thing.
5. People power – as in many places right now, there’s been a long-running fight here in Bath to stop the housing association that runs the council’s social housing stock (Curo) from demolishing a perfectly good estate to rebuild more densely and more expensively under the guise of regeneration. This would have resulted in a net loss of over 200 social housing units – in a city where even so-called affordable rents are way beyond the means of most, and there are over 6,000 applicants on the council’s housing waiting list (and I assume that 6,000 applicants means an awful lot more people, as most of those eligible to be on the list will have families). Thanks to the hard work and persistence of the residents association the scheme has been halted – they succeeded in getting leave to apply for judicial review (JR) of the council’s decision to grant planning permission. The court found in their favour on all four of heads of the application for leave. It’s not over yet because the planning permission remains in place and that will only go if the council stop opposing the JR application, opening the way for the court to quash the planning consent. Here’s hoping that good sense will prevail, and the council won’t waste still more money throwing good money after bad. In the meantime, perhaps others will take hope from this success story.
6. SNOW!!!! I know that other people in other places have this every year and handle it well. But here in the UK (or at any rate where I live in the SW) it’s relatively rare, and so there’s little in place to deal with it. Yesterday everything motorised stopped (apart from a few emergency and 4×4 vehicles). Silence reigned, children and adults alike came out to play in the streets and parks. There were many stories of kindness of strangers (especially providing shelter food and clothing for the increasing numbers of rough sleepers on our streets). It was wonderful!