Snow blanketed the cul de sac, covering everything in a deceptively neat, white glamour. With some trepidation I dug out the little Polo and skidded out into the main road. For three days I had been in the house, sent home from work on Thursday along with my colleagues to wait out the endless blizzard and the absence of the buses. Now here I was, parking up at Morrison’s in the hope of a full day’s driving and deliveries.
George was there, and since we were early we went for a cup of tea in the cafe. Good job too – I spent the next 45 minutes calling everyone to help out, as George revealed he had to leave at around 1pm for a job. A few stalwarts responded, although we weren’t sure how many had vehicles today which could be dug out. Off I went to find out about our haul.
Gillian being absent again this week, we had to await the arrival of the manager. She thought we might have something, but not being up on the activities of the project, she wasn’t sure. A warehouseman located five crates of fruit & veg for us. Added to the crates passed to us earlier on that week (before the snow) and some frozen soups from the delicatessen, we still had to go round for extras before we felt we could fill twenty-seven bags with much-needed veg. Spuds were an essential, and we got some of those immediately. Carrots were thin on the ground. We thought of bread for folk, but there wasn’t much to go around – possibly because of people panic-buying – or maybe the food trucks had trouble getting in. Armed with the spuds we packed out the cars and retired to the kindly-loaned lounge of our volunteer, Eve.
Cook-Inn volunteers on the delivery mission
Eve was waiting with a huge dust sheet already down, and four cute dogs hiding out in the back of the house so we had the chance to bag up the food. Eve worked out a plan (always helpful) involving how many spuds, salad bags, fruit items and other stuff each bag should have. One person wanted only fruit, so a separate bag was worked out for her. This kind of job is surprisingly complicated, because nobody ever has exactly a multiple of twenty-six potatoes – or anything else! As we neared completion we heard a wonderful sound. George, leaving hastily to do the big Musselburgh run with Adele and then go off to his job, had just missed the approach of Miriam and Clive, coming to help! Miriam’s car was soon loaded up, with us skidding and sliding on the ice as we carried the bags. I passed them a copy of the delivery sheet and they left, and Eve and I packed the little Polo with the bags for the Pilton run. Also the crates to take back to Morrison’s. Naturally, once Eve had safely re-entered the warmth of her home, my car refused to start.
Letting it stand for a while, I called George. He had been on the receiving end of this treatment from the Polo before, and although he was long gone to his job, he took the time to agree with me that the car might just need five minutes’ rest. Sure enough it started the second time; but the snow which had accumulated in that time, over the top of the ice that was there already, saw me just running my wheels uselessly. I could get no traction. I ruefully called on Eve’s phone, and her husband kindly came out. He backed the little polo down the hill a little bit – which worried me initially since the effort of going uphill as well as dealing with the ice and the piled snow might have made the polo worse. at least it had front wheel drive! As it happened, the snow was not piled quite as high lower down the hill (well thought out, that man) and somehow the car managed to pull away. Now, when it encountered the wee drift it had previously become stuck in, the polo took it with relative ease. Thanking Eve’s husband I resumed my journey; off home to pick up my husband to do his wee bit!
Howling Mad Romany, our elderly-but-impossibly-cute cat, was in full volume. Allowing Duncan twenty minutes to get ready, I gave both the cats a wee snack to hold them until tea time. Romy as usual turned away from the food, once offered; I had to put it in front of him a couple of times. When he did tuck in, he ate about half of it. This is why he is always hungry! Reiver, who knows his brother well, crept up and tried to intimidate him into donating the rest of his grub to a more dedicated glutton (himself). We could use Reiver’s talents in getting other stores to donate more food for Cook-Inn! Eventually Romy had eaten enough, and he settled down on the heat pad. Reiver, all rivalry forgotten, joined him. Duncan came through, and we set off.
In Granton and Pilton the snow seemed less, for once. Driving was easier. The last stop was our friend Fred, whom readers will know from the previous blogs. Fred has his own little run, comprised of disabled and elderly neighbours. We deliver him extra food, and he takes it round to their doors for them. Barney the bouncy dog greeted me, attempting both to lick me to death, and to raid the bags all at once. Fred helped me in, and I said hello to Linda and Richard (Fred’s wife and son) who were there as well. They took charge of the bags because Barney had taken charge of me! On the way home we thought about doing our own shopping, but the flat was warm. It had two cuddly cats. It could be reached in half an hour.