I did think that not working and being at home would be a bit of a struggle, but it turns out not to be the case. We seem to have slowly and carefully adjusted our routine to the day starting with the alarm going off at 8 to the gentle commentary of Chris Evans (not sure on reflection that gentle is the best adjective to use, but I’ll move on) bringing us to life with a lovely cup of tea. (So glad that the spare plug for the kettle is on Roger’s side of the bed!) The day then seems to progress with tasks or outings that leave us gently tired, satisfied and happy by the end of the day.
We’ve completed one of our ‘list’ walks which was the Clarendon Way between Salisbury Cathedral and Winchester Cathedral. We took the train to Salisbury and then walked towards Winchester in wonderful hot sunshine. We stopped after 13.7 miles in Broughton, in the Test Valley and were glad of the well placed Greyhound Pub for a resting place while we waited for our son Jack to collect us. With only two blisters between us, we were dropped out at Broughton the next morning and completed our walk into Winchester having walked a further 13.2 miles. We touched the cathedrals at both ends and enjoyed the whole walk in the sun, with not a speck of rain.
We were blessed with large swathes of bluebells in the woods which I’ve tried to capture for you. For anyone planning to walk it, watch out for the signs, you go through large parts of it with no signs at all, so a good mapping app on the phone helped us out several times
Other activities that I’ve embarked on over the last couple of weeks, include completing a recording of ghostly singing to assist in a final project for one of my nearly graduated friends – I’m promised that I’ll receive a credit in the final cut. Was all a bit weird to be recorded singing adhoc notes in what was quite a random series of oohs, and aahs. We wait with bated breath for the final cut to see if I make it!
Easter was lovely, and we managed to spend time with both sides of the family sharing fun, laughter and too much food which seems to mark most family occasions. We also managed a trip to the Bishop’s Palace in Wells which is where we celebrated our wedding reception. We have a lovely photo of most of our guests with us on our wedding day and it was nice to reproduce in a small way after 22 very happy years. Not sure that my hair didn’t clash a bit with the other participants!
Last week I put my Christian aid activist training into use and attended the AstraZenica AGM to ask a question about paying the living wage to all staff working within their premises in the UK. It was a strange process to be there and be asking the board of trustees a question in front of a large collection of their shareholders. The trustees weren’t very forthcoming to any of the questions asked by anyone and I felt were inclined to give sweeping comments rather than actually answer the question. On reflection I can’t think of one that they did answer. In relation to my question, they do pay the living wage to all of their directly employed staff, but not to their staff who are employed under contracts by them which typically would include catering staff, drivers and cleaners. The chair of the trustees stated that he knew nothing about this, but did state that they would look at this. We’ll wait with baited breath to see if they make any changes and I’m sure that Share Action will keep on top of them by reminding them of their assurance to look at it.
Since that excitement, both children have gone back to their respective universities, we’ve had our 22nd wedding anniversary, collected our new (to us) car, I’ve played in a brass band concert and had lunch out with a couple of friends. Oh the joy of being a lady that lunches! The back garden is now looking very passable with appropriate veg planted that won’t mind being left in the ground a bit, the house is passable, and a bit less cluttered although a trip to a charity shop is much needed. We have a week with a few pressing commitments and then next week we’re off to Guernsey to stay with old friends. Liberation weekend should be great, but is clearly the story of another blog…..