My name is Lynne and I’m a National Trust member
You can tell a lot about people from their car stickers. As I smoothed the National Trust car sticker on to the inside of the windscreen I was a tiny bit concerned that I might now be considered a National Trust type – and the organisation will have to forgive me for the following confession.
Although, obviously, I am a youthful and trendy member of the NT, the image I have is of sensible shoes, binoculars and something waterproof in countryside green.
Membership was a Christmas present. We are now at that “funny age” where the gifts we receive are a mixture of “young at heart” and “quite old, really”.
We still get sexy underwear... only not from each other. I suspect these items, when gifted by friends, are intended to act as encouragement rather than to tantalise. The best thing about weeny knickers is that they roll up small in the lingerie drawer, leaving plenty of room for the big stuff I wear.
While some presents are aimed at keeping us young, others acknowledge that our preferences may now tend towards historical buildings and sites of special scientific interest.
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In fact, I am thinking of handing myself over, gratis, to the National Trust as a site of special scientific interest. I think I could benefit from some sensitive micro-management, a diligent warden and being open at weekends for the public to look around (sticking to the marked routes, of course).
I did attempt to put the National Trust sticker in the rear side window but my husband, who as usual had read the instructions, said it must go in the windscreen.
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I proposed we could at least limit the reputational damage by putting one of those green strips along the top of the windscreen with Him and Her written on it, like the Jezza and Shazza I once saw at Lakeside (not a National Trust property... not yet, anyway).
Other stickers that give you some idea of the vehicle owners include the revelatory “Baby on board” which has little meaning as most people try to be courteous to other road users whether or not they have babies in their cars.
There is the irritating “If you can read this, you’re too close”. And the reason I am too close? Because I needed to know what was written on the bumper sticker.
After The Wedding... after our son’s wedding, that is, we had a week off to recuperate and decided to visit Wicken Fen. It was to be our debut outing as National Trust members. Beyond the fact it is at Wicken and it is a fen and we guessed there would be a shop and a cafe, we knew little about it.
In the event we were spot on.
The cafe provided a welcome cheese scone and we enjoyed the interchange between a woman and her two or three-year old grandson. He was having the children’s lunch which offers a choice between a ham or cheese sandwich.
“Do you want ham or cheese in your sandwich?”
He looked askance.
“Ham or cheese?”
He looked uncertain.
“Ham or cheese? Sandwich.”
“Marmite,” he decided.
“No, you can have ham or cheese?” Grandma turned to me: “Never again,” she said despairingly as small boy finally makes up his mind and declares: “Jam.”
We walked the medium-length route alongside the dykes and saw reed buntings and some other birds, a swan on a nest, roe deer and a lot insects. As outdoor types go, I am an indoor type. The weather was unseasonably warm and my feet got hot inside my thick socks and sensible shoes.
My husband wore the binoculars.
Lots of young families were out there too and many of them had brought grandparents... probably as they had the car park sticker.
But although I have a natural antipathy towards too much nature, it was peaceful out there on the fen. The boardwalks make it feel a bit American and exotic and the bouncy peat is soft underfoot. It was restful in a slightly sweaty way.
So, having survived one outdoor experience, we also went for a walk at Orford, following the line of the Ness southwards towards Hollesley. Here apart from experiencing a plague of St Mark’s flies (winged not zipped), we saw a Peewit. It has, as my husband explained, the distinctive call: “Peewit”.
It was a restful week off. We had afternoon naps, painted the garden furniture and... oh, good grief... I can’t believe what I’m saying... quick, hand me something waterproof in countryside green so I can complete the stereotype.