On Monday March 7th I went to Ripley County Primary school for 1 0’clock, where I met Beverley and Rosie to do our Fair-trade activities. We worked with a mixed year 3 and 4 group in a small classroom. I took my team outside to do the football activity, but we had to keep rescuing the pieces of jigsaw as the wind delighted in blowing them away! On one occasion I had to send a boy out to find a missing piece of jigsaw! Time soon passed for each activity.
We had an even busier day on Tuesday as we visited two schools with our Fair-trade activities. At 10.30 I was fortunately driven to Dacre Braithwaite School, as it is a school in the middle of nowhere and would have been very difficult to find. The school was lovely and again we had a mixed age group of year 3 and 4. The pupils seemed to get a great deal from the activities and their input was excellent. The morning is a time when the pupils are less tired. Rosie, Erica and I went for a quick lunch at Darley Mill. I enjoyed a toasted sandwich after suddenly realising how hungry I was. We were all glad to have a relaxed lunch before going to do our final Fair-trade activities lesson in Richard Taylor C of E Primary School. Bernadette was able to join us at Richard Taylor School, which meant we had a complete team of 4. We were with a year 3 class group and they were very enthusiastic and time flew again. I must admit, although I enjoyed doing the lessons, I was glad we had finished them for this year. We were glad to be able to visit 5 schools over the three weeks; we went to two class groups at the Richard Taylor C of E Primary School.
I was pleased to have a quieter day on the Wednesday. I don’t know how I would have managed to do my activities and go out to work, although I was not involved in the school Fair-trade lessons at that time.
I began to sort out the food I had and realised I had quite a stock of tins, sugar, flour and only needed to replenish fresh food. Out of date food was disposed of. I realised it was important to sort out what I had in the kitchen cupboards ready for when the walls were to be knocked down. It is amazing how much I have accumulated since I had had the new kitchen after Stephen died. I just began to sort things gradually in the back room and or the kitchen, a little each day.
On Thursday afternoon the new season of the Guild started. The talk was led by Mr David Wilberforce on the subject of ‘Yorkshire Hymns’. He thanked God for the gift of music which helps him praise him for the blessings he has received this week. Either the lyrics or the tunes of each of the hymns we sang were written by Yorkshire people. I cannot now remember whether it was the tune or the lyrics of each individual hymn he chose so I will just tell you the ones we sang. The first hymn was ‘Stand up and bless the Lord’ by James Montgomery (1771-1854). The second hymn was ‘When morning gilds the skies’ by Edward Caswell’ followed by ‘All things praise thee’ by George William Conder (1821-1874). In between playing the hymns David talked about the origins of the lyrics and or the tunes. I read some verses of praise from Psalm 96.1-2, 8, 11, 12. It was then good to sing, ‘Lo! He comes, with clouds descending’ by Charles Wesley (1707-1788). We sat to sing otherwise we would have been getting up and down every few minutes. We sang, ‘Father of heaven, whose love profound’ by Edward Cooper (1770-1833). I really enjoyed singing the chosen hymns. I had not sung the next hymn before; ‘O Praise him’ (Song of Caedmon) but found it good to sing. The hymn ‘Sweet is the work’ by Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was sung next; that hymn reminded me of my late husband’s funeral. Stephen had been a member of the Harrogate Male Voice Choir and it was their signature song. Members would go to sing at the funeral of a former member of their choir. I found it very moving.
We then sang ‘Father hear the prayer we offer’ by Love Maria Willis (1824-1908) a hymn I have not sung recently. We sang another hymn I had not sung before, ‘Believe not those who say the upward path is smooth’, by Anne Bronte (1820-49). The words were profound. If I did not know the words the tunes were easy to sing. We sang another new hymn to me; ‘Now let us see thy beauty, Lord’ by Benjamin Waugh (1839-1908). We sang, ‘For the fruits of all creation’ by Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000) a favourite hymn of mine. The last hymn we sang was ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ by Sabine Baring- Gould, (1834-1924) which took me straight back to my childhood. Mum used to chase us upstairs to bed singing ‘Onward Christian soldiers.’ It made me happy to remember that. I really enjoyed the singing and being with my friends again.
On Monday our builder had come to begin work on our new extension. They started promptly and began to set out the boundaries for the wall. They began to break up the concrete and remove loads of rubbish accumulated behind our house and move our table and chairs and bins to be able to work. An enormous skip arrived ready to take rubble and soil in preparation for the footings. The team worked steadily removing soil and rubble by wheelbarrow to the skip. The young lad worked like a Trojan moving soil and rubble and then sitting in the skip compounding the rubble so that they could fill it to maximum level. Our clay-like soil and rubble soon filled the skip, so it had to be emptied and replaced. On Thursday when building materials were being delivered it poured with rain all day! The next day they were busy emptying the water from the dug clay pit to get ready for the concrete to be added. The concrete was delivered already made and transported by wheelbarrow to fill in the footings; it was an amazing feat of teamwork. By the end of the week the foundations were ready for the wall to be built on.