"Belinda," Rob said, when we spoke by phone yesterday, "They must be putting in new carpeting in the community hall, and on Friday--you won't believe it--but workmen left a big roll of industrial carpeting outside the hall--about a thousand pounds worth, as well as two large tubs of adhesive and it's still just lying there outside."
England is in the grip of such deep cold and snow that Mum's carers didn't even make it out to her last night. The adhesive, which probably costs 50 pounds a tub, is likely frozen now and unusable, as well as the carpeting being left outside covered only by plastic sheeting.
Today I had reason to call Rob again and he continued with more news. Word has gone around the close about the parking issue and there is widespread concern about the planned change to the signs.
I respected Rob's decision that I had done all he wanted me to, and let it go, but he said today, "You've started the ball rolling with your emails and it's for us to take it up."
One of the women is putting together a petition and a letter of protest. Some people who have lived there longer than Rob and Mum, remember when the community of sheltered housing was owned by the local council. When the local housing trust took over from the council in 2000, a letter was sent to all of the residents explaining the changeover, with an assurance that nothing would change. One of Rob's neighbours still has her letter. Someone else has a letter referring to the fact that the parking is for the residents and their visitors.
Rob said that when the housing trust gets the letter and petition, a letter will be sent back to each resident of the close acknowledging it and a meeting will have to be arranged to hear their concerns.
"And of course, there are the white stones, now invisible and dangerous in the snow, and a thousand pounds worth of carpet left out for the weekend," he said.
A voice is rising in the close and together this group of older and disabled people are taking on a system that seems to have lost its senses.
Something heartening is afoot in Alvechurch! Come to think of it, some of these people, were, like me, young in the 1960's--the era of protest movements! Who knows what will happen next. :)