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Nellie Knows : The Wokingham Paper : 19 July 2018

Well that’s another school year nearly over and the long summer holidays are looming. I love the lack of routine and panic, clock watching and forgotten kit, not forgetting switching the alarm clock off and wondering where the school uniform is. All of that I LOVE!

Plus the roads will be quieter and the house will be full of happy laughter/screaming children, someone else to walk the dog and be in charge of the barbecue. I was shocked to hear of a child burning its foot on a bbq hidden in the sand recently. I mean why would you go to all that trouble of moving a boiling hot cooker and burying it under the sand which retains the heat?

This leads me nicely onto my meeting at the fire station where we talked about fire safety which you can find on my blog. There have been plenty of reports in the papers about Windmill Hill and the tireless effort of the fire services to contain the wildfires, often caused by negligence in the countryside. It is our responsibility to look after our countryside and maintain safety.

Who remembers Joe and Petunia from the Countryside Code?

​•​ Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work ​•​ Guard against all risk of fire ​•​ Leave all gates as you found them ​•​ Keep your pets under close control ​•​ Keep to public paths across farmland ​•​ Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls ​•​ Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone ​•​ Take your litter home ​•​ Help to keep all water clean ​•​ Protect wildlife, plants and trees ​•​ Take special care on country roads ​•​ Make no unnecessary noise

Failure to do this can lead to serious consequences as I saw myself on a recent visit to Wales, where fire crews had spent 3 days battling high winds and extreme temperatures in inaccessible peaks as they fought to maintain control of an unexplained wild fire. On the third day they brought in a specialist aerial fire fighting helicopter who for over an hour collected water from a nearby lake dumping several thousands of litres of the steep mountain flanks in a valiant attempt to quench the fire.

Of course the hazards are not only on our dry land but in our inland waterways as well. There are unseen and unknown risks in the water with dangerous undercurrents, low temperatures which can cause cold water shock, not forgetting the unseen hazards like dumped bikes and shopping trolleys, broken glass and river vegetation. I watched a video entitled “One Last Breath” some time ago, it’s difficult to watch and viewers might find scenes distressing but it is worth watching and reminding people not to swim in unknown waters just for fun.

I read this online in The Mail Online today

For some, the holidays are not fun and this weather is playing havoc with their life. Granny Valley was pleased with the rain but I haven’t dared phone her since St Swithin’s Day as it should be sunny for 40 days - here’s hoping. There’s nothing worse than waiting for the end of term and the long hot summer only to find it’s back into long sleeves and socks! I’m hoping it stays warm, dry and sunny long enough for me to make a dent in the book pile.

I am currently reading Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale which I am hugely enjoying.

Also for some this might be the end of the comfortable junior school before going to senior school in September. It is a daunting time, I remember it well when my three moved up which prompted me to write about it on my blog.

Nowadays I rarely go near the school but I have been doing the university tours which I can tell you is exhausting and another reminder that they grow up really really quickly. Slipping through your fingers.

Which leads me nicely onto Mamma Mia 2 at a cinema near you. Having grown up on a diet of Abba I loved Mamma Mia, I didn’t care one jot that others didn’t I just loved it. I loved the music, the cast, the energy, the sunshine. All of it! I can’t think of the last time I went to the cinema and didn’t fall asleep, I am now wondering if it was to see Mamma Mia at the Henley Regal!

And whilst I am on the subject of Henley it’s not long until the general ticket release for Henley Literary Festival, Friday 5th October Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE, just saying!


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