My plan to go and take the super off the lively bees straight after breakfast today, before we could all get hot and bothered, was scuppered yesterday morning when I looked in my diary and discovered I was due to do a woodland charity talk this morning in Braintree. I knew I had a couple coming up, but had vaguely thought the first of them was next week. Normally the organisers contact me a week beforehand, or at least a few days, to check that all is well and I am expecting to be there on the day.
The talk was due to be to a support group for people with caring responsibilities. I remembered it being fixed up, because the person from the caring charity gave the volunteer coordinator at the woodland charity a whole raft of possible dates across four different venues in Essex, and I offered to do two of them. An email to the caring charity enquiring if they were expecting me tomorrow, since I hadn't heard anything more about it, produced a further flurry of emails and I was left with the distinct impression that they had forgotten all about me. They would be happy to see me on Friday, she said, though her group organiser on the ground said I needn't do next week as well as it would be a lot of the same people.
I must admit to experiencing a sense of relief at finding I didn't have to do a second talk, like being given an unexpected day off. What with the honey and one thing and another this week has felt rather truncated and I seem to have got remarkably little done. There again, I always seem to get terribly little done in August, as hot weather reduces me to a crawl. Braintree is not a town I know awfully well, and I recalled that parts of the one way system were utterly baffling. I asked the caring charity for any directions I might need to help me navigate my way to the hall, but the local group organiser said that the only way she could think of telling me was via Sainsbury's. Coming out of Sainsbury's I should do a right, go across some funny little roundabouts and turn right into the street with the hall. Since I was coming from the A120 and did not know how to get to Sainsbury either that was not a great help.
After studying Google maps some more I decided the one way section I remembered did not start until after the road I needed to take. I only drove past the hall once without seeing it, and there were still two spaces left in the tiny parking area. The group was very nice and rather small. The blinds across the skylights would not close so you could barely see the slides. The local organiser admitted she had indeed forgotten all about me until contacted by her manager yesterday. The drive home was extraordinarily hot. I suppose it was all worth it. The people with caring responsibilities seemed to enjoy the talk, and psychological research shows that volunteering is good for our well-being. But really I could have done with the day to sort out the honey and the cleaning.