A NEW BEGINNING

Hey everyone. How are you all? I hope this finds you all in good mental health. Today I’m going to be writing about the Burgh Castle Almanac Experience group – an offshoot of the Burgh Castle Almanac, set up by the Restoration Trust – which is now up and running.

We were awarded a pot of money from the National Lottery Community Fund just after Christmas. The steering committee, of which I’m a member, have been planning for a few of months and – trust me – we had loads of ideas for the first meeting, although we had to modify them due to cost and COVID-19 regulations. We also asked Ian Brownlie, the resident artist with the Burgh Castle Almanac, to become the Experience’s facilitator and to our delight he said yes.

We’ve planned ten events for the coming year: five at the Burgh Castle site and five showing our ‘The Return of Happy Times’ documentary, which shows what we’ve achieved and what other people can do if they put a project like ours in place.

For the first meeting of the BCAG, we decided to have Sam Brown, the wild flower expert, walk with us because when she came before she was very popular. Twelve people came along from the Herring House Trust, a Great Yarmouth charity that works with homeless people, which was brilliant. In total we had thirty people attending, which was amazing for a first meeting. A lady called Dolly, who does a lot of work around mental health, was very interesting to talk to and she may appear on one of my podcasts.

During the walk, I stopped by Breydon Water. It’s one of my thinking spots and I love being there. It gives me time to ground myself, relax and recharge. A couple of swans were gracefully swimming nearby, which I found very restful. Rejoining the group, it was good to hear all the positive things that were being said by both newcomers and people who had been members of the Burgh Castle Almanac before.

My two little friends at my thinking spot

On our next walk, on 13 July, we’ll be joined by local artist Sue Tyler and we’ll be making lanterns from willow. This is getting me stressed and cursing before we even start, as me and arts and crafts don’t get on. However, I’ve persevered in the past, and I know I’ll feel a sense of pride and really enjoy the experience when I start. Please, people, step out of your comfort zones – it’s good for you – and let me know how you get on.

We’re still planning the rest of our walks for later in the year, which I’m looking forward to, and I’ll let you all know when we’ve decided what we’re doing.

Thank you for reading. I wish you all good mental health and hope you have a good week.

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