So Carers Week 2010 starts on Monday 14th and its very likely you won’t see any blogs, tweets or Facebook messages from me.
It isn’t that I don’t care.
The reason for my silence is that for this year’s Carers Week we’ll be on holiday.
So although I won’t be taking part in any online campaigning or awareness raising, I will still be caring – that never stops.
I’ve started the ball rolling early with a couple of letters to Michael Fabricant, our local MP. And I’ll be maintaining the correspondence – and seeing if he will engage with me on Twitter too – once Carers Week and our holiday come to an end.
After all, carers aren’t just for one week. We are a 24/7, 365 days a year free service.
But for the next 10 days my priority is getting away from it all with Rachel for a holiday we both really need and are certainly looking forward to.
It is a chance to break the routine that we inevitably slip into. An opportunity to see new things, go to new places, try different things.
We did sit down and weigh up the pros and cons of going away – and the financial implications. But we knew the break is something we both want and will benefit from far longer than the 10 days we are away.
Some things will be the same. I’ll still be carrying out my caring role.
But even the familiar will be different.
But different is good. Different is something to celebrate and we certainly plan to make the most of our time away from home.
All time we spend away from home together is precious. That isn’t because we don’t like our house, but it means we are breaking that routine where Rachel spends days on end at home while I’m working.
As the new coalition Government offers a few drips of policy proposal here and there, or just simply fails to mention carers at all, Carers Week offers all carers a welcome break from the norm.
It allows our voice to be heard and enables us to highlight the priority areas that those of us at the sharp end believe government should concentrate policy on.
Whether our political leaders listen is, obviously, another matter entirely.
And call me cynical, but I am planning to play a little Soundbite Bingo during Carers Week. I’ll try to keep a record of how many times the phrase “Unsung Heroes” is used when politicians talk about carers.
So I hope everyone has a happy and productive Carers Week.
I’ll be thinking of you all when I’m busy doing something different on holiday with Rachel.