EDITORIAL: March 25th 2012 Another week has rushed by, the clocks have gone back and it’s Spring and the sun has been shining! So, it’s been a good week! Wherever you go there is blossom, trees budding and early flowers that suddenly appear. Yes, I like the swathes of daffodils all over the place, but it’s the odd little flower that appears here or there that seems to carry additional beauty simply by its uniqueness. Now you may think I’m going over the top but, every now and then, rooting around the town, you seem to come across places that are just like this. For instance, wandering down behind the Fire Station, near the end of that little side access road, I came across the Forget me not Day Centre, run by two ladies who provide a loving and accepting environment for the disabled. What a gem! Then up in the town, down West Street, we were invited into Iceblue Legal, Solicitors. I mean, the legal profession normally doesn’t carry a very modern image, but Iceblue Legal, how cool is that! Not only that, these are offices in one of those very olde worlde buildings, nicely done up, that Rochford sometimes does so well! Again, what a gem! If you drive out of Rochford on the Stambridge Road, when you come to the end of the houses on the left, turn left, drive on for half a mile and on the farm there, again almost unexpectedly, you’ll find a little place that carries out servicing repairs on Caravans -M.K.Caravans Ltd. How useful for the local caravanning fraternity to have such a service so close at hand! As we mentioned last week, the District Council were holding one of their question and answer evenings so we decided to go along again and listen in. They’ve developed a bit since we first reported one out at Canewdon at the end of 2010, so if you’d like to know what goes on at such times and what sort of questions are asked, have a look at our summary report: East Forum - March 2012. Interesting reading! As we are rushing towards Easter, may we remind you there is a link on the front page to the Easter Activities Programme. Get booked up quickly. At particular times of the year, we invite the local churches to tell us what Services they will be laying on, and so as it’s coming up to Easter you’ll find their Easter Services here. Finally, we’ve got Part 2 of Penny Glen’s New Films series on line now for the film buffs among us. We’re anticipating a slowing down of new additions. Yes, we’ve still got some groups or organisations to go but most shops are here online (if they’re not it’s probably because they requested not to be) as with a good number of businesses etc. So, yes, we will still keep adding whatever comes along, but possibly not so rapidly as in the past, so from this week, our weekly record summary that we call our ‘editorial’ will only appear fortnightly, so have a good couple of weeks. See you again on Easter weekend. EDITORIAL: March 18th 2012 I think the expression, “A slow news week” is sufficiently well known so as not to need any explanation. Well of course Rochford Life is not so much about news as about gathering information about the community, although sometimes that does take on rather a ‘news feel’. If these editorials are to be a true record in terms of what has gone on in Rochford Life each week, then honesty compels me to record this has been ‘a slow news week’, and the reason? ‘Life’ has intruded or ‘other things’ have got in the way and so neither have we been out hunting new information nor have people been coming to us requesting they be included (well not this week at least although next week will have at least one of those requests in it.) Yes, other run-of the mill things have continued this week. For instance the Council continue to send us information and so there is what used to be called an Eastern Region Forum Meeting being held this coming Tuesday for you to find out what is happening in the District. If you hadn’t noticed we now have a link to the Council’s Easter Programme for children and young people on the front page, so if you want to book your children in, then act quickly. We also received a brief note from Neighbourhood Watch about Scrap Dealers which you’ll find on our ‘Scam Page’. We really would encourage you to keep an eye on this page because without doubt there are things we all need to know about how to stop being ripped off by less than scrupulous characters who seek to lighten our wallets and bank balances. Especially if you have elderly relatives living on their own, you would do them a great service if you sat them down and gave them basic guidance on how not to be taken in, e.g. Don’t invite strangers into their home, whoever they purport to be, never give out personal details over the phone, ditto. There are some nasty people out there! (We’ve had experience of them!) Well, the week has been about making future contacts, planning new series of ‘help pages’ and adding new pages to our ‘Learning to be a Learner’ series (this one especially for the over sixties), a new Puzzle Page, and another page on our ‘Growing Stuff’ pages (this one on change and Projects). We were once asked why we provide these ‘Recreational Pages’ (of which there are seven different sorts) and the answer has to be, to help or encourage people in the community in some way. A web-site has the potential of being an endless source of information and so while we have Rochford Life, one of our primary aims is to provide a service that helps and encourages as many people as possible in the community. We hope that is what it does. Have a good week, EDITORIAL: March 11th 2012 I have just watched the sun rise this morning. First it appeared as an incredible red ball, and then it disappeared behind cloud low on the horizon and then, half an hour later it appeared out the top of this cloud as an incredibly white ball. This week has been the week of the giant solar flare that didn’t live up to its expectations! Solar pundits were prophesying possible complete disruption of power supplies but in the event it came and went with not even a flicker of the computer screen! But the weather has continued to be a complete hotch-potch of grey leaden skies and bright blue skies, in no particular order. As a gardener I don’t do grey leaden skies; I am a bright blue sky man myself and working in drab looking conditions, when it is grey, brings no joy, despite the fact that the early signs of Spring are around. Working in the garden the other afternoon under those grey leaden skies that I’ve already grumbled about, my wife appeared and rapturously declared, “Isn’t this wonderful!” I think she referred to the temperature that had climbed out of low single digits. “Wonderful,” I replied, with the gloom of Eeyore, “is a blue sky that makes everything come alive!” (Not being sure how to spell Eeyore, I Googled it, only to find the top article was about gardening asking, “Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?” I want to to be known that I’m a Tigger; it’s just that I prefer sunshine!” ) As I read back over this, I think something of the spirit of Penny must over me this morning and the latest of her ‘rants’ is online now under the title of Impressive Actors. By way of complete contrast, but very much in the back of my mind as I have had my little rant, there is the activity on the Allotments that is just about to get under way, providing new water pipe runs and “Dip-tanks” for all the allotments (well one between two at least.) It was a grey day when I visited yesterday which may account for another Eeeyore-type muttering to Chairman Dave Patmore, “How come you guys will have constant water on hand while I suffer a hose pipe ban any minute?” Dave smiled sweetly and replied, “We don’t have any hose pipes.” Nothing was going to deflate his enthusiasm for becoming, as he said, one of the most progressive allotments around with their wonderful new water supplies. Yes, well! Earlier in the week we paid a visit to the Southend & District Archery Club which shoots at the King Edmund School. A flourishing group with over sixty members, but remarkably relaxed, I felt. Possibly because as Secretary Jackie put it, “We’ve got what we might call more mature members here.” Not far away, yesterday, we had the joy of meeting Sally, who is the captain of First Hawkwell Girls Brigade. With over a hundred girls, including thirty five regular teenagers (!!!!), this is another flourishing group, and if you are a young person or a parent with young girls, you want to read this interview. Eye opening stuff!! This week there’s also been an update of the Essex Wildlife Trust’s March Activities and I continue to wonder at the number of things that go on in the area. I also continue to wonder at the number of Scams reported to us by the Neighbourhood Watch team. This is really essential reading. Well, that’s enough, I think. Happy reading. Have a good week, EDITORIAL: March 4th 2012 I sat there the other day and, prompted by a newspaper’s magazine insert that reminded me that it “comes out on the first Thursday of each month,” found myself with a profound feeling and even more profound pronouncement, “Oh my goodness, it’s March!” Why should there be such a response to that artificial construct, the calendar? I suppose it has got to be that sense of time moving on and particularly the hope of a change of season. As our March Seasonal Reflection points out, later this month will be the Vernal Equinox (20th March according to our ‘General Dates’ information page) and Spring officially arrives. A few days later on the 25th (so that same page tells me) the clocks go forward. So, yes, the year is moving on and changes are coming. Change is the name of the game here at Rochford Life as you’ll have gathered if you have followed this page over the last seventeen months, but as we look over the past week we’d like to expand our scope to cover all of the things Rochford Life covers, not just the business and group additions. Yes the biggest part of Rochford Life covers the shops, businesses, clubs, groups, organisations, churches, schools and local government, but there is more. So this week, yes we have added two businesses, Quincy Photography and Quincy Bookkeeping, both run by Carol Burgess, and yes we have added another group to the directory, the Ashingdon Art & Social Group. But as we said, Rochford Life seeks to be more than that. Every month we add a ‘Review’ page and so the March Review Page brings together the four art groups that now run in Rochford and Ashingdon, so you can see them all together and use that page as a jumping off point to the individual groups. We also now provide monthly a Thought for the Month page, linked to the Churches pages for Christian believers or would-be believers. But then we also have four sets or series of help or teaching pages and so to the recently added, ‘Learning to be a Learner’ series we have just added, ‘Basic Rules for Writing Essays etc.’, for those who struggle with those sorts of things.
As well as these things we also provide a number of series of recreational pages and so this week there’s been a new Quiz added, and also added to the computing pages an article entitled Crossing the Boundarties (Google Aware), while on our ‘Growing Stuff’ pages we have added a page on ‘Pruning’. We already, in the first paragraph, subtly or not so subtly reminded you of our ‘Seasonal Reflections’ pages and also our general information pages. All these things are here, we hope, to provide a useful service for the community. As we’ve often said, if there are other things you would find useful here in this compendium of information, please do let us know. In the meantime, have a good week,