|Stepping Out Directory|
|Season 10 – Autumn 2021|
|Sunday 03rd October 2021|
|Approaches another winter of discontent … again!|
|There is fungi springing up everywhere – the conditions are right at the moment – very wet grounds, and this is coming in with the pathway chippings we spread.|
The world was already a bad place when l was a kid growing up to become an adult, l don’t look back on the good ol’ days through rose tinted glasses – facts are simpler – the world has always been a bad place. It’s always had the problems we are facing today, but l do think that if anything – 1] times change everything and 2] l do think that today things may be worse and in some and sadly many cases, exponentially worse than they were yesterday …… but the world today, is still a bad place. Let’s not kid ourselves.
I wouldn’t want to be a child growing up in today’s world – l had my hardships already and they were hard, l wouldn’t want to redo it or them, my once, was once enough. I have lived my life to the best of my ability, l have many life experiences, not all good, but not all bad either and some were very so so, which as l have already discussed with a friend this morning, a so so is better, way better than a no no, but not as good as a yes yes. It’s a so so and that is neutral, so that is fine.
I have always wanted to do more with my life, achieve more, make a statement and or make an impact and l have done that … but l am not yet done ‘on that’, there are still things l want to do. For many years l was without a solid direction .. but that’s changed, now l have a direction, a belief, and a determination to ‘go for it’, l don’t know where it’ll take me or what new paths it will open up, but that’s the risk of life – you don’t know anything till you reach out and grab it.
I am making a suggestion this week coming in the reserve to the volunteers – which is – we need more order, more regularity and above many things, l think we need more hands on deck. People are very good at saying yes, but not very good at actually working that yes into actionables. Things that can be achieved with an absolute yes, and not a half hearted yes, because the latter is a maybe and at worse, a sly no, but it looks good to say YES! On paper, but what good is a yes if that yes is not being worked at with real hands?
|We have had non-stop rains since Thursday evening, heralding the arrival of autumn and slowly the summer beauty of the reserve dies off to be replaced with the time of decomposition and fade away.|
At the reserve we have a lack of YES hands, but too many weak YES words. It’s the same crowd every Wednesday although there is one that works non-stop like it’s going out of fashion every day alongside the reserve warden and the conservation warden. I like him, although l suspect he might be on the autism spectrum like me, but he is different like we all are …. he is driven to the point of social exclusion – he sees no point to people and less point in people being social. He is not a real social spectrumite. I am not a party animal, but l am more social than he is. He doesn’t understand that if you have volunteers, they like to have a social chat on occasion … as you know, l am all for the sociality of the volunteers as long as work is being achieved at the same time.
Yet Greg, doesn’t believe volunteers should be there to be social, just to work and that it’s perfectly acceptable for him to act in an antisocial spectrumite fashion and yell at people who have given up their free time to work [volunteer their time] in the reserve. He doesn’t understand the difference between being asocial and antisocial or he just does not care .. he doesn’t understand that people need to be social, and they can work at the same time as being social. He doesn’t understand balance …
The world will not end because there is some bantering, laughter and smiling going on whilst we whistle and work our way through the bracken and weeded mountains of nature to beat down and cut through visible spaces for other people to enjoy … he doesn’t get that concept.
But he is a YES hand, a very able bodied mid 70’s year old YES hand. A few weeks back whilst we were in the closing stages of clearing the dreaded duckweed from the lake, we were all heaving and hoing and pulling ropes backwards and forwards and shovelling bloody great amounts of sodden green duckweed from wheelbarrows to dump off into a trench. But it wasn’t going his way, and he was NOT happy, and so Greg transformed from mid 70’s grumpy loner to snarling swearing leaf shaking and hollering troll and he yelled four letter worded abuse at several of the volunteers from across the lake.
|You can now see the great difference from the bridge on the clearer waters we all worked together to achieve – to free off the duckweed – whilst the first image is in fact on the other side of the bridge. We erected a board to prevent more duckweed entering the pond, but it didn’t restrict new waters coming in from sluice gate openings. The Duckweed is still present on the sludgy side of the channel.|
Now me, l am not bothered by grumpy trolls who swear, that’s life it ain’t pretty but it’s life, but l am more courteous and polite when in the company of others … l don’t scream and shout at people – l find more results are achieved by simply asking and suggesting. But grumpy troll Greg doesn’t think like that and after calling an elderly group of volunteers everything under the sun, he stormed off in a huff, threw his toys out of the pram and screamed loud enough for Mars to hear “I am here to effing work, not laugh and work with imbeciles!”
Oh yes, that’s the talk that wins you friends and fans and followers ………. in the days of the dinosaur wrestling cavemen – but not in the social quiet of the Gazen Salts reserve in Sandwich!
After that performance, l would have thought he was gone, l mean had that been a work, as in a real work situation – he would have twenty years ago been fired on the spot and twenty years later, probably cautioned and issued a third and final warning from his employer. That little incident lost us three volunteers .. they said they were there to NOT be sworn at.
|Slowly and surely the summer leaves die off from green to the new emerging autumnal colours.|
Now, the reserve has a total of thirty-five volunteers – on paper – but the reality is that we only actually had maybe 14 YES hands, actual boots on the ground people that turn up as regular as clock work … l am one of them … so is Greg, but that number also included the Reserve Warden and the Conservation Warden, which to the savvy calculator equals 12 boots on ground volunteers. if Greg had stayed gone that would have meant there was only 11 of us, but he then came back the next day – he apologised to the Conservation Warden, but no one else …. but the three that were called C##Ts – they never returned and they were never apologised to either ….. that’s wrong and l have voiced that.
Apparently it was best to keep one angry grumpy troll who was there daily, than it was to keep three that turned up every week ……..
I have recently suggested that we need to take a listing of people’s environmental interests because l think we might be able to achieve more if we know what people like, l am making this suggestion because l think we actually need a Volunteer Co-ordinator – someone who gives a damn about the volunteer’s not just one, but all of them and someone that can perhaps speak to people like they are people and motivate others to perhaps become YES hands over that of nothing hands. One of the volunteers is a retired event co-ordinator who would be very good in this position l feel. I also think somewhere in the future we might need an actual Volunteer Works Co-ordinator – someone who understands how to set ‘jobs/tasks’, which sadly is restrictive if we don’t have many people turn up.
The Reserve Warden is an apprentice and whilst very good at getting certain things done, he lacks management of people skills [but he is very friendly – unlike grumpy troll!] – this is where a works co-ordinator would be valuable at identifying the tasks in the reserve that need prioritising. Grumpy Greg has his good points [not in the social department] but he is a solid worker who just needs tasks of his own to accomplish and work through and NOT be in the general area of people who obviously piss him off immensely – l get it, l really do, but we need people and if they can socialise and work at the same time and not gather around gawking and doing nothing then that’s great and for the most of the time, they do work and talk and discuss things of general interest.
Like last week, we were discussing conservation issues and oddly enough The Handmaid’s Tale [which l hadn’t watched but have started to watch since that discussion] and the real question was ‘how long does humanity really have left alongside what world are we truly leaving our next generations, and does it matter or not what the state is?’
This led to some very interesting conversation and we all discovered that Grumpy Greg wasn’t in the slightest bit bothered about the state of the world, as a man, as a father as a grandfather or even great grandfather – he wasn’t bothered – it mattered not what state the world was left in after he had gone, his job was to make it good for him at the time he was living in it – afterwards – after he had left the planet – his children and their children could ‘sort the shit out’. He would be dead and what would it matter anyway? He worked in the reserve as a means to an end perhaps the end, to award him something to do, he loved nature, but detested people, detested everything they stood for, detested the very essence of their lives – detested the damage they had done. he used to be an idealist, but was now cynical to mankind, let them rot, let them die, let them burn!”
An interesting viewpoint l thought, displaying more to me about Geoff than l thought l knew, l could again understand what he was saying. I didn’t agree with the way he said it, but it does make you think.
The Handmaid’s Tale was quite the discussion and upon hearing the content couldn’t help but think about recent events in Afghanistan and have as said, started watching Series 1 . How very bizarre a series it is and yet, how very scary and sadly realistic l could see things like this happening.
From that we then talked of and about end of world scenario’s and how the world seemingly whilst always a bad place, has become far far worse than ever before, climatically, environmentally, politically, personally and socially – are we not already on the brink of our demise as we know it? Yes, probably but have we not been on the brink anyway and always?
They were interesting conversation topics last week and they were designed to make you think and l have been, all week. Society is on the edge of social collapse, civil unrest and change …………. what’s new? Another winter of discontent approaches … again.
|Winter is just around the corner …|