Joyce Lucas: A new year is the perfect time to say thanks

Photo: MSMP240812-004ow'Oakham In Bloom peacock, situated near Rutland County Library in Oakham. File picture. ENGEMN00120120824184011
Photo: MSMP240812-004ow'Oakham In Bloom peacock, situated near Rutland County Library in Oakham. File picture. ENGEMN00120120824184011

It started with defrosting the freezer! Went on to cleaning the fridge and then recycling unwanted items. I came across many folders of old postcards…Yes I used to collect postcards of churches. I was going to put them into the recycling bin until I came across an old postcard of Exton Church complete with a George V stamp. I then started to look more closely. We have come a long way since postcards were printed with ‘affix a halfpenny stamp here’.

My next two jobs will be to sort out my CDs (the unused ones will make good bird scarers) and to sort out the books. I say this last one with a certain amount of pride as my reading was very limited until last August. I was at a loss what to read while I was on holiday and picked up a book entitled Flora and Grace by Maureen Lee - a wonderful account of life in Liverpool during the Second World War. This led onto This Boy by Alan Johnson and the sequel Please, Mister Postman.

I am never far away from music and have finished Gareth Malone’s Choir and Wherever You Are, accounts by members of the Military Wives Choir. Now I call that record breaking for someone who never had time to read.

Everyone seems to hoard and our household is no exception.

The New Year is a time to take stock. Where are we going? What do we want to achieve in the next year?

As a community there is a lot to do and everyone could do their bit. We have to take ownership and not leave it to someone else. I have visited many self-help groups over the past year and ….oh boy! Do they make a difference!

Singing groups, knitting groups, support groups, sports groups and uniform groups (Brownies, Guides, Cadets) and they all have volunteers to organise or raise money for them. Where would Rutland be without the volunteers? Rutland County Council would be the first to recognise that they couldn’t function without them. So a call to everyone: Every little helps.

It is at this time of the year when we should say thank you. So my list starts with…

Thank you to the post men and women for getting the mail delivery through, no matter what the weather.

To the gritting personnel for all their work in the icy conditions and the ambulance, fire and paramedics who attended some horrific incidents recently.

To the ‘In Bloomers’ of Uppingham and Oakham who make our towns a tourist attraction as well as a good place to live.

Thanks to the many dog walkers who pick up their dog’s mess and the people who put their litter in the bins. That includes all the smokers who deposit their cigarette ends in the bins also.

To the many pedestrians who acknowledge motorists who stop whilst they cross the road.

To the motorists who DON’T park in the spaces allotted to the electric cars and thank you to the many people who give a cheery ‘hello’. It only takes a minute of their time but it helps in so many ways to make what the county of Rutland stands for….a community that cares.

Soon I will have limited time to do any reading as the garden will take priority. My project for this year will be the great front garden revival.

It is amazing how many people stop to speak when you are tending to a front garden, it is a sure fire way of making new friends. I was given some garden vouchers recently and I traded them in for plants for the front garden so that not only I can enjoy but other people can do so too.

Whilst I was enjoying a late afternoon cup of tea with my latest book by John Bishop - the Liverpudlian comedian (not to be enjoyed if you are a bit narrow-minded) when I noticed a commotion outside the house. A murmuration of starlings. In other words a ballet of a huge flock of birds, a truly magnificent sight and all for free.