Friday 15 June 2018

Alive and Kicking...?

Image courtesy of Yvonne Roberts

I was recently walking through Leeds  when I met a former colleague. 
“Hello,” she greeted. “It’s good to know you're still alive and kicking – how’s the business doing?” 
This struck me as strange as I haven’t seen her in years - well in my world, Canal Connections is doing very well, but I do have a rose coloured glasses view, as I am constantly told by Howard.
”It's OK but how do you know about that?” I replied.      
“I used to love reading your blog but it went quiet about Xmas - 3 years ago!!”   
 Some said that was the only time of year I worked because I had the figure to imitate Father Christmas and I was grumpy.

Again the comment about the blog struck me as strange as I used to enjoy doing it but it took a lot of time and who was really interested? Also, I could never grasp this new technology!
I went on to explain about our forays:
Building on my experiences with the EU funded “Waterways for Growth” – Canal Connections was highlighted as an outcome from that project,
We were a Creative Community partner in the AHRC Connecting Communities funded “Hydro-Citizenship -  using waterways to envision and (re-)connect Communities,
We were a delivery partner in a Yorkshire wide Heritage Lottery funded Kick the Dust programme – engaging 14-19 year olds in a Heritage focused environment,
We have been commissioned by Time to Shine to deliver “Float your Boat”  - a 3 yr programme of engaging older people (over 50!!!) with a focus on men who are at risk of social isolation.
This does not take into account our other work on the Heritage Canal Zone (a stretch of waterway connecting Armley Mills and Thwaite Mill Industrial Museums) which includes  work with the Corporate sector, our transition into a Community Interest Company,  involvement with the Leeds Waterfront Festival and our week cruise as a floating studio for BBC Radio Leeds plus other bits and bobs.      

“Wow you have been busy!“ 
But her eyes were glazing over and she was trying to find a way to extricate herself … until I mentioned I had a second grandson - well he is now over 4 years old. Her interest was re-kindled particularly when I mentioned his mother was going to home learn him. I explained that I wanted to spend more time with him and my family but so much was happening at Canal Connections…. “perhaps you could involve him with what you do? That it is very educational. ” 
We said our good byes – “Don’t forget to update your blog – people are interested in what you do.”
That set me off thinking, how could I spend more time with my family? keep involved with my business? and document my journey into this fascinating canal environment?  - write a blog…….