Volunteers Week


See the twitter feed for lots of ‘thanks to our volunteers’ on volunteers week links

This post is a little cryptic as volunteering is a precious resource to places like the National Trust and other organisations who can’t open places or hold events without their volunteers -and its with thanks to the spirit of the Olympics last year with good old Wenlock and his co-mascot and acknowledges the fact that the Olympics just wouldn’t have happened without volunteers giving up their time etc etc etc

A cautious note however, volunteering isn’t without its pitfalls and the few words quoted from Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy further down this post try to put the strange world of working for no pay into some kind of understanding (particularly for the kids and grand-kids of the manufacturing world north of Watford gap who struggle with unemployment and volunteering organisations who are run by the employed. Unless you are an enthusiast for the organisation you are volunteering with ‘try’ to understand is definitely the operative word:- How can it be work if its not paid???). but before the lovely book quote, a question and some thanks.

Question (puzzle?) to think on for Volunteers Week?

How much sci fi is good for you? How much volunteering is good for you?

Answer ….(there isn’t an answer)


To put a further view on our UK lifestyle and volunteering into context a little – grateful thanks to the local schools for

a) Teaching our kids to read and write
b) Putting up with them.
c) Being there.
d) Not teaching the kids that paid work is the be all and end all of life….

and with particular thanks to the lovely Mrs Morely at Middleton School in the 1960s with her chain smoking cigarettes (one lit from the end of the other), yellow stained fingers and overflowing ashtray – on her desk – the person who taught us Middleton kids so many things and encouraged us above all else to read and also have fun!


Here’s a quote from the lovely sci fi author Douglas Adams from Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy to get the feel of how the world is at the moment (well 1979 and later) and to entertain a little and get the feel of how volunteering might lead into all kinds of strange kinds of worlds.

starting at p80 and missing a few paragraphs here and there…

Tricia McMillan?’ he said. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘Same as you she said, ‘I hitched a lift. After all with a degree in Maths and another in astrophysics what else was there to do? It was either that or the dole queue again on Monday’
‘Infinity minus one,’ chattered the computer, ‘Improbability sum now complete’
Zaphod looked about him, at Ford, Arthur, and then at Trillian
‘Trillian,’ he said ‘ is this sort of thing going to happen every time we use the improbability drive?’
‘Very probably, I’m afraid,’ she said.

The Heart of Gold fled on silently through the night of space now on conventional photon drive. It’s crew of four were ill at ease knowing that they
had been brought together not out of their own volition or by simple co-incidence….

You recognise those Galactic Co-ordinates?’ said Zaphod.
‘I’ll give you a clue, Computer!’
‘Hi Gang!’ enthused the computer. ‘This is getting real sociable isn’t it?’….

‘What would you reckon to find here?’ urged Zaphod
‘No Stars or planets?’
‘Computer! shouted Zaphod, ‘rotate the angle of vision through one-eighty degrees and don’t talk about it!’

‘I’ve found it!’ cried Zaphod, thumping the console

Ford stared at it in astonishment.
‘What is it?’ he said
‘That …’ said Zaphod, ‘is the most improbable planet that ever existed.’

Chapter 15

(Excerpt from the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Page 634784, Section 5a. Entry: Magrathea)

Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich and largely
tax free

    Mighty starships piled their way between exotic suns, seeking adventure and reward amongst the farthest reaches of Galactic space. In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men and women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.

    And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before – and thus was the Empire forged.

    hoping the few words quoted are ok

    Author Info
    Grateful thanks to D Adams
    Douglas A Adams was born in Cambridge in 1952 (around the year of the coronation…)… Educated…Cambridge…read English
    (see the book flysheet for full data…)
    He has also worked at various times as a hospital porter, barn builder, chicken shed cleaner, bodyguard, radio producer and script editor of Doctor Who.

    Book Info
    The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy Pan publishers
    ISBN 0-330-25864-8
    available all kinds of places

    Back cover info …
    for Arthur Dent, earthling and homeowner, the severe case of planning blight announced above is the overture to a quite remarkable set of travels, guided en route by an equally remarkable book – a book more popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus, cheaper than the Encyclopedia Galactica… … …
    literally anything, is suddenly possible.

    only marginally less funny than the Harvard Lampoon’s re-run of Lord of the Rings.

    (of course the post should be included in the morrisminorarcana blog – link on the right – as its more that blog’s style…but its just too good to add on there for only the Austin A40 folks to read as they arrived for Autokarna!)

    Diamond Jubilee: Coronation Day Anniversary Celebrations next…

This entry was posted in Afternoon Tea, Around the Year, Blog Update 'Aside' posts, blogs, Books, Encouraging Reading. Bookmark the permalink.

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