It is warm at the moment, today I was away from Birmingham for work in Oxford. I walked from my meeting in the centre of town to the office I work in just outside of Oxford city centre. I support the operations of the team who are based there. It was a sweaty walk, touristy too. Summer attracts a lot of people from all over the world into Oxford – visitors marvel at the architecture, history and academia on show. It is a beautiful city which feels more like a town, the limestone spires are enchanting and fairytale like.
My work also allows me to see the more hidden aspects of the UK, I have not mentioned this on Self and Roots before but as a job I work with the homeless, people who have to sleep on the streets, people who live in hostels or people who live on their friends sofa. I manage three services in three cities which is part of a small but busy national charity. The contact I make with homeless people is a daily occurrence. It is a tough job that is hard but thankfully at times very rewarding, even in the Summer heat the shine of a town isn’t present for me all the time and I do notice the harder lives people are living even whilst appreciating the charms of provincial England. Working in the homelessness sector gives you a juxtaposition of England and its many paradoxes – beautiful cities and towns where sadly there are people in these cities that are living such hard lives they do not have the time or the outlook to enjoy them.
I got home today and sat in the garden, glad to be in the shade – I had a reheated bean stew with a poached egg from the chickens, it was nice to be calm for a while. Not really thinking but just being quiet. The red currants at the back of the garden are about to go red, the 2 bushes could do with cutting back and pruning this year, the red currant season is so short it will probably be this weekend that I harvest them.
The gooseberry bush that I moved to a sunnier part of the garden has fruited also and has fruited all it’s going to fruit this year. These garden growths are blessed distractions and in truth are petty far from the real world I know of in my day job. I am glad that I have these things in a world which seems fairly nuts at the moment. Even though the red currants are just red currants, I am still truly thankful.