Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

Things come to a head, everything changes.

20140823_152145-EFFECTSBlogging of late has been a Fail.
what a month!  We went to Dunbar Community woodlands conference, here is my sensible community woodland
hat on write up about it.
Then I had a battle of wits with thrushes, blackbirds & sparrows. Normally i get a couple of carrier bags worth of blueberries from my garden. But this year these birds were eating them before they even ripened. the more i tried to scare them off, the more they got tame & hung out with me. i hung mobiles, chimes, bunting, made ridiculous hawk scarecrows out of black plastic. Myself , the cat & the dog would just sit out there in the blueberry bushes, hanging out with the birds. In the end i was enjoying their company so this years supply of jam seemed a small price to pay. Next year! netting time !20140826_144017

then i picked a load of flowers to do art with, but i haven’t had time to complete it yet.

We all campaigned ourselves silly. I was going to write up my personal why’s and wherefores here, cautiously because i didn’t want to cause offense or alienate people, but i thought it would be okay to put my own perspective out there.  I wrote lots on twitter & social media, usually fast reactive rants. I wanted to write a calm considered piece about civic nationalism, grass roots movements, creativity , identity and communal positive togetherness, because there was one wonderful together buzz, with of course the less fun aspects of being shouted at when out canvassing etc. I got interviewed on Delaware radio, bizarre. I got critised by English people for being and English yes voter. But i didn’t have time to write about it all, too busy living it. then the crash came.
The devastating shock of hope dashed, lack of sleep, lack of meals, chaos & stress, it was the strangest thing, a nation ( or at least 45% )  in mourning, group hugs and grieving with strangers. Then within hours the energy came back up, the campaign picked itself up & started redefining itself, I felt i had to fight off the suddenly less silent 55% – who seemed to be keen to take offense and get their own back after all the fun the Yes campaigners had been having- some unpleasantness, some internet blocking required. I never like how speaking up makes you a target. But hey i’m not alone in aiming for democracy & social justice,  for those that lied to us to make good their promises or be held to account, to continue the positive push for social justice in whatever format, with whoever on board. the fall out continues to dominate the internet and conversations. Sorry i never got time to write articulately about it & not do an amazing bit of history justice with this scrambled paragraph. Maybe another day. I’m feeling positive about everything that happened, but tired,  I pinned all my personal work/ life uncertainties into a National hope for change, I want to re-focus & re-group myself now.
Every session in the pub seemed to turn into an international celebration of the YES vote to come. One night in particular, we ended up with one Scot, 2 English Scots, Dutch, Belgium guys, German, a dog & an american, all ready to change the world -via a vote for self rule for one small vibrant and much loved Nation.

20140918_091012We were expecting one heck of a Party the next day, but instead of  a Yes campaign celebration of waving flags,
Glasgow saw scenes of violence . No-one won anything that night.

20140920_225042But quickly, the positive mood, active mood returned, 45 became the immediate post referendum YES symbol, I got orders for hundreds of badges. Even ms Tiggywinkle wanted a 45 badge. What will the peoples badges say next week? who knows, this is far from over yet.


Then we went places & saw things, because what is the point if life cannot be lived?
The iGallery once day  a week shift continues to be hectic, chatting to visitors, meeting and brainstorming with others from the Woodlands group, we’re working on marketing leaflets, training programmes, woodland planning, arranging meetings, tree house bookings, market days, volunteer parties. I always come back from the long shift with a much bigger job list than when i started.

I made a thing, which will be an art thing. “what is it for?”… for ART. more later on this.

20140914_134216I made some wooden flowers, crude yet because i don’t have a workbench and my arm is still out of action.

Health? Well, I got steroids in the arm so it is getting better, but still hurts a lot. Have tablets which allow me to be able to eat relatively normally now, just occasional pain instead of constantly. The horrible hospital invasive tests are all done,the diagnosis varies between doctors, from the dismissive to the obvious, which is what I believe, I’ve inherited what my Mum has, i saw the liver scan, a liver like Gruyere cheese. so I am pretty certain I’ll have other nasty attacks at some point. It doesn’t get better & isn’t curable.
So the time came to finally make that big decision and Quit the fire service. I was more upset that i thought I would be. a lot of history. But really what i was sad to be leaving ended years ago, the team spirit we had has been broken by recent cuts & changes.  A two line e-mail acknowledgement after 12 years of being on call 120+ hours a week, kind of sums it up really.
I said to someone else recently, that what we do does not define who we are. But being a Firey, kind of did for me. It was a big part of my life. So what now?….
my first RTC many years ago. spent a few hours inside this car as casualty handler for the chap who’d had a front on collision with a lorry.

Incident management Foundation course at Morton on the Marsh 2006.

at the Local Games with some of the crew 2013

presentation of an Axe to Calum when he retired as Watch Manager. I then managed the station until I took ill October 2014.

One door closes, lets see where the journey takes things next !

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2014 by in Blog and tagged , , , , .

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