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A touch of frost!

Welcome, Food Watchers! J Today began at minus 8c.

…It was the sparkliest, frostiest morning of the year so far. As I stuck my head out from the covers, I saw the frost patterns on our (double glazed) window. I also felt the biting cold of the morning, and I thought; ‘Wow… This will be a new experience’.

Crunching through frost in my winter boots, I filled the car with bags and crates ready for the food donation. I texted Gordon to say that Saty would meet me there, so he could have an extra hour in bed. Soon the brightly coloured front of Morrison’s blossomed in my windscreen. I parked up and ran inside before I risked sporting a patina of frost myself.

Freshly made soup from our Cook-Inn class at the Hollies in Musselburgh

The lovely Gillian was there, and she asked for time to get the crates ready. Ordering chips and a hot cup of tea and to drink while I awaited company, I settled down. Saty arrived, and we talked while I drank; about the Spring, and what we might sow in order to reap the benefits later. All about my wonderful fruit garden, from which we get reams of jam each year. Once the tea had warmed me up, we walked back to Customer Services to find 12  whole crates(!) …Of lovely fruit and veg.

Luckily, Saty is a skilled van driver. He loaded the food with ease, and followed me to Gordon’s where we all helped to divvy up the veg into 17 food parcels. Last Tuesday night we had been specially invited for an extra visit to Morrison’s; where Gillian had given us a special donation of sealed foods, which went to hostels all over Edinburgh. But one box of (gluten free) sweeties had been held back for today. Ann, a celiac in Musselburgh, has been missing out on rolls with her soup these last couple of weeks because they’re not gluten-free. A box of ‘safe’ sweets will hopefully redress the balance.

Much fresh produce from Morrisons

Adele and Susan arrived, and soon the Musselburgh run was going with a swing. We delivered to several referred addresses in minutes, making me think we’d get through today’s work quickly – note to self, never think that! The next house belonged to a disabled man, and (in these temperatures) his heating was on the fritz. All of us joined in, holding cupboard doors open and using phones as lights while Saty tried to fix a pilot light.

An awkward job. Eventually he managed to get it lit, and the heating boomed into life. We had won the battle but lost valuable time. Dusk, so early in winter, slowly began to creep in. A corresponding chill factor swiftly followed it. We began to shiver.

The run complete, Adele and Gordon peeled off. Susan, Saty and I tried to speed through the deliveries in Restalrig, only to find out that a stream of motorists returning from watching a footie match clogged up our road. By the time Saty left and I dropped Susan off at home it was pitch black and ice was trying hard to fill (and obscure) my car windows. I am no good at dark and cold. Needing support to deliver to Prestonpans (and someone warm to cuddle up to) I went home and picked up my gorgeous husband Duncan.

Having spent the day placating cute but crotchety cats, washing clothes and building a computer, Duncan was more than ready for a change. He remarked on the chill in the dark air (which means it was shocking) but he took over the driving nonetheless. The Prestonpans recipient was out, and a note indicated he’d be back later. We hid the bag in a likely place, retrieved last week’s soup container from the same place and headed off. Last week Duncan had gone visiting a friend after finishing the work, but this time it was so cold I feared the car wouldn’t make it. So we piled into the house and fed the cats, who tried to make us believe they’d been starving for hours. In no time the cuddly one, Romany, was curled up on my lap as I typed this discourse. Reiver, having eaten all that was edible, is now relaxing on the bed.

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Today a small donation of clothing was also made by one of our volunteers (thank you) and we remind everyone that we can also take blankets, pet foods, toys of all sorts and toiletries. All donations will be treated well until a nice new owner can be found for them. Please call 07531 436 389 to donate, volunteer, refer someone, book a cooking class on Sundays or for more information on any of the above. Many thanks to Morrison’s and to our volunteers, without whom nobody would get fed at all, and much good food would be needlessly thrown away.

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We will be operating on Christmas Eve, and – if enough volunteers can be found – New Year’s Eve as well. We hope everyone has a warm and enjoyable week, and we encourage folk to look up our website; Cook-Inn Musselburgh. Much love to all, and warm wishes for Christmas in every way. For now, God Bless.

Janine. J

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