Not an easy start to the day but everyone got out of the house on time. I cycled our youngest to school, with him sitting on the luggage rack, as there was snow forecast for the afternoon and Gill didn't want him having to cycle back in that. However, my drive-cog wheel (sprocket?) is somehow slipping under the chain when I push hard on it... which was more than a bit of a nuisance. I had to walk up the hill away from our house but once on the level, so long as I didn't accelerate hard, I could cycle relatively easily and got to school on time. Time for a service, methinks!
I then cycled gingerly into town and dumped the machine at the station and got my ticket to Sheffield, where I was due to help Ali with a day of interviews for new personal assistants. I had a really good chat with a lovely South African woman from Harrogate, called Julie, who was heading to a conference in Birmingham. We discussed any number of interesting subjects... religion and evolution, polyamoury and cheating, Zimbabwe and politics.... a train trip which helped me feel a whole lot better!
Ali met me at the station and we went up to Blue Moon Cafe to look at all the applications and discuss the questions to be asked in the interviews. One of Ali's other carers Sarah arrived to help, and we had coffee and cake to help us with our deliberations. At midday we toddled up to the Friends Meeting House where Ali had hired a room for the day, as a neutral space in which to interview the six applicants. One phone call message arrived saying one had withdrawn, but we interviewed five really lovely people, including two Poles and two Africans, one a refugee pleased with recent residency papers. All of them had the ability to do the work and fit in with Ali's family and their care needs. Because all of the applicants were good, choosing who got the jobs was difficult, but Ali was glad to have the two of us to bounce ideas off. Over lunch, another of Ali's friends arrived and stayed for an hour, and he joined in one of the interviews too!
We finished the interviews and spent nearly another hour discussing the notes we'd made and who might fit best in Ali's household.
We left at 5.30 an I got a lift to quite close to the station... and grabbed a baguette for tea before getting on the 5.47 to York via Wakefield and Leeds. This 'CrossCountry' was rammed full... standing room only, and it was a cold hour in the lobby area between the main part of the carriages. However, I got a seat from Leeds to York, and had a nice chat with Zena, travelling fro Oxford to Durham to see her boyfriend.
Once in York I had no time to go home before the Transition meeting started, so I struggled in the snow with my poorly bike along to the Stables, where just five of us came for our regular fortnight meeting. I was really tired and cold, but had a good meeting, getting a lot done. The Carbon Detox Show tickets are selling well, and our Transition Initiative project is moving forward.
I was glad when it finished though, at 9.40, and got home for 10pm. Gill had had a tough day and was happy to see me to tell me all about it. I had over 70 emails to deal with and was up til nearly 2am doing that and this blog, having a bowl of pasta and soup supper and watching BBC News 24.