This is a busy time. Most people are back from their hols, it’s conference season for the political parties and DCN has a national meeting just outside Leeds this Saturday and a meeting of our Trustee/Steering Group the following one. After that Walter and I go away for two weeks, having not been away since we went to France with friends at Easter.
Our national meetings have been held twice a year, once in London and once in another town outside of the capital, for the last eighteen years. I think Walter is the only person to have attended every single one. At the meeting in Nottingham this time last year Walter and I were presented with the most wonderful memory book containing tributes from members to the part we have played in creating and sustaining the Network over the years. There were flowers, cake, speeches and many tears (mostly from me). It was lovely. Over the past year our roles have changed, we have stepped back but not away and although we will not be playing a prominent part on Saturday we will be there. It’s partly emotional and partly practical. We have a huge basement in our house in London and this is where most of DCN’s ‘meeting equipment’ plus boxes of books for sale are kept. On the agenda at the meeting the following week will be the question of how else ‘the equipment’ could be conveyed to national meetings if Walter and I do not attend. Not the most riveting item to discuss but nevertheless part of the business of a small charity when the founders move on. So far I think we have been very successful in handing over areas of responsibility to others…but no takers for Chairman yet. Luckily Walter is in good nick and likely to be up for the role for a good few years yet but never too early to plan for succession.
It’s a funny melancholy time of year. I always feel this way about autumn. Resonances from going back to school I think. When the sun shines it has a very different soft and golden quality to that of a summer sun (not that we’ve had much of that this year). It will be interesting to see if this very different quality of light is also present in Turkey or whether it takes longer to change that much further south. We will be on a boat sailing round the Lycian coast, stopping each day to visit ancient sites, but otherwise swimming, reading or chatting with our cabin mates. Haven’t been on a whole two week holiday for about four years now and just can’t wait!