Ruth sitting in an empty CF Cafe

After almost 10 weeks of working from home Joe and I are back working in the CF building.

Although the building was closed there was still work for us to do.  We launched our Urgent Appeal for fundraising, and we have been excited and grateful for the amazing response.  Our amazing community has so far donated £13,000 to help us ensure we can re-open when the time comes.

Working from home was strange, although I quickly got used to it.  Joe and I still talked regularly using zoom.  Many of you have probably been using zoom too.  In addition to using zoom for work, Joe does quizzes with his friends and every Saturday night I join our family quiz night.  (As an aside I won last week.  No prizes, just bragging rights!).

But coming back to work in the CF building has been very strange.

We are both used to the hustle and bustle of all the groups and friends who use CF regularly. 

So now the silence is deafening.

The place is so quiet.  Sometimes I want to go into the large hall and shout just to create some noise.  I haven’t done that yet and Joe would probably think it strange, so I’ll try and refrain from doing that.

But the silence is very unusual. 

Do you know that feeling when you wake up during the night and there is no human sounds, but you hear the sounds your house makes? Pipes making bubbling noises and little creaks here and there?

Those are the noises we hear.  It turns out the plumbing at CF is really very noisy!

The other noises we’ve heard are the road repairs and work happening over at the car park. So, we’re not the only ones getting back to work. I guess they wanted to get that done whilst it was quiet.

Clarke Foley is not just the building.

Clarke Foley is the people who use the venue.

We know we have been a second home for many people in the community and we are very much looking forward to being that second home again.  To being a big dysfunctional family and hearing everyone’s stories about self-isolation.

More importantly, we look forward to when we can hug again.

Many of our CF friends are a tactile bunch and they love a hug, or a kiss on the cheek or just being able to hold hands.  If you live on your own, it was very sad not to be able to do these things.  I am sure that many of our regulars are missing these things.

To all of our CF friends who are on their own, we’re sending you a virtual hug. 

Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you again.