this year. Er yes, that is "had planned".
It is the first year in some years that I thought other work was not going to get in the way, that I might find a few hours each day to put my paws on the keyboard for my benefit and not that of someone else.
There are now six days when I am absolutely required to be doing other things - and that does not include my "day job". It is going to be difficult enough to write the blog post - but I will endeavour to do that.
One of the days I am required to be doing other things is tomorrow. Now I will admit I "volunteered" to do this - but it was only reluctantly. I am giving up a day to help the knitting guild at the craft fair.
For the past few years I have been helping a friend from another state and I have spent all four days at the same fair. It's been interesting, even challenging. This year she is not coming. Actually she won't be coming back at all. It no longer pays her to come. We will miss each other but I can fully understand her decision. This city simply doesn't have the population to support that sort of thing. I wonder how long the craft fair will last.
But the knitting guild has an information stall there and it needs to be "manned". And therein lies a problem. It is also a wider problem. The guild needs "public liability insurance" to be there. It is not paid for by the fair organisers - although they would have their own for other purposes. The guild has public liability insurance of course. It must by law have it but the insurance companies now demand extra to cover people over the age of eighty. The guild does not have that.
It means that some of our most able volunteers - several of whom turned eighty this year - cannot volunteer. They are not covered.
What about the younger ones you ask?
Well they are people at work or looking after their grandchildren or they can't be bothered and more. For the most part it is people at work and looking after their grandchildren.
It isn't just a problem for the guild. It is a problem for all similar organisations. The retirement age is now sixty-eight. People between sixty-eight and eighty are doing a lot of child minding. Even if their grandchildren are at school they are often the people who do the before and after school care. Even people over that age are doing a lot of the child care. Some would like to volunteer for other organisations but they are simply not free to do so. When they can there are obstacles like the public liability insurance being put in their way.
This has to change if we are to continue to have people doing some of the essential volunteering. Right now though I will do a day because I believe I should. There needs to be at least one person on the stand all the time.
And I will cheat a little and see if I can get the novel I have started finished instead. Is that okay?