A big ‘hello’ to all our members, volunteers and supporters out there. Yesterday we successfully completed the third week of our project, and as you see we now have headed paper! Thanks to the brilliant Steve of ‘Print by Prestige’ signage in London for designing it for us; and to my husband Duncan for putting it on my computer so I can write with it as headed paper.
At 9.45am I drove Duncan to the Hollies; there to meet with our chef, Clive, who is going to prepare and cook the food we bring in from Morrison’s at Piersfield. Thanks to their generous weekly food donation, and to the Hollies allowing use of their kitchen from now on every Sunday, lovely food can be cooked up by Clive the chef, and by his team of helpers and eager cookery students. I picked up the ever-reliable Gordon next, and we headed off to Piersfield.
Gillian, our magic Community Champion, introduced us to the fruit & veg manager. He had prepared a nice big pile of food which is good but near its ‘sell-by’ date, for us to take away and use to feed our referred clients – people who are elderly, or disabled, or just have to deal with illness or mobility problems, and can’t make ends meet. In a couple of weeks we’ll be ready (as long as we have enough helpers) to also put the table out in Musselburgh High Street, where anyone including homeless people might sample our food and freshly made morning rolls.
Wow! So much food that my little car barely could hold it all. Good job by next week we have hope that ‘Arthur’ the van will be ready and insured for service. His boot is like a Tardis, and could hold this lot with ease. Off we sped for the Hollies, where Duncan and Clive had been joined by the charming Susan and her son Jamie. They helped unload the car, and we all had a wee bit of fruit juice I had brought to start the day. As the cooking progressed, I had to bow out; I am allergic to even the smell of onion, and some nice fresh onions had been donated, and were going in the big stew. I checked on the car, and called our pedestrian arm – Adele – on the mobile, stating that if she had any new people to deliver for, we could make up as many portions as necessary.
Adele had three new people for us, on the Musselburgh run – and the person she had delivered to last week. She texted first names and addresses. After a wee helping of soup for late lunch (one cooked onion-free for me by my loving husband) I dropped Gordon off with the first of the packages of stew, bread and fresh food – and delivered Adele’s run with her. Normally we go two by two, but Gordon knows his neighbour well enough to drop this one donation off alone when we are short of volunteers. Several food drops later Adele and I were finished. A text from my friend Dave, who had volunteered to help, said he had made it to my house! Off I drove to pick him up, finding him bedraggled and cold. A quick, revitalising cup of tea and he headed off on his bike with two portions in the pannier.
About to double back, I got a text from Duncan that the kitchen clear-up had nearly finished. After cooking they discovered that the Hollies had a glut of apples, added to by the generosity of Morrison’s; and no more fridge space – so they had peeled, cored and blanched the apples ready for cooling and freezing for use later. I picked Duncan up and we went about the old Edinburgh run.
“You look tired”, he said. “I can drive”.
Gratefully handing over the keys I slunk into the passenger seat. Having driven to Ayr for our gorgeous god-daughter Evelyn’s 18th birthday party yesterday, (and getting back late) I was a bit creamed after all the driving and lifting today. Duncan drove round and we delivered to all except the last man, who wasn’t home. I will try him again this afternoon. He is a retired chef, and a mystery fresh veg delivery holds no fear for him! In the pitch black of night now, we headed for home, and to feed our last recipients – our two hungry rescue cats Reiver and Romany.
Many, many thanks to Gillian and Morrison’s; to all the team and all the volunteers. Without you it would not be possible. God bless you all. I will send up pictures of the day in a separate email, as Duncan (tech expert) said they won’t all send at once. Too many megabytes or something. Also to Ozz and Helen, Evelyn’s mum & dad; who helped me with advice, paperwork, food and cups of tea when I was trying to wade through all the red tape at the planning stages of this project.