Sherlock Romes and the Missing Blog
The Great, feline detective, now an old and slightly frail cat, dozed on his favourite lap; that of Janine, blog author for the legendary ‘Cook-Inn’ food bank. A small movement startled him; his carer had poured yet more redbush tea into her cup; and now she sat back, a puzzled frown on her face.
“Romy,” she asked tiredly; “I need a new blog topic for the New Year”.
Here was a mystery indeed! In their fifteenth month of operation, with a blog being turned out every week, what would be a good way to start the New Year? He howled thoughtfully and stepped off Janine’s lap so she could bring him some tasty fish with which to chew the matter over. In thundered his ‘little’ brother, smelling the newly-opened sachet and about as subtle as a one-cat flash mob wearing hobnail boots. Janine, who knew Reiver well, had filled two bowls instead of one.
Once his plan was formulated, and he had eaten all the tuna he could digest for the moment, Sherlock began to do something he almost never did; he began to climb the bookshelf. To a cat of his small stature it was like attempting a Munro. Books and papers fell around him as he achieved the shelf he was after, while Janine and even Reiver stopped what they were doing to observe the strange spectacle.
On the highest-but-one shelf, tucked in behind a book titled ‘Prepare for Everything’, was a sheaf of papers contained in a clear envelope. With due deliberation Romes pawed at the documents until they came loose, and fluttered to the ground. Then he jumped off the shelf, curled up on his heat pad and went to sleep. The young ones could take it from there. He’d given them all the information they would need.
Janine picked up the file and opened it curiously. The first page was an old note, written to Janine by herself; the mobile number of Gillian, the groundbreaking Community Champion in Piersfield Morrison’s – who’d patiently helped the team set up a contract with Morrison’s through their Head Office. It had taken ten whole months before the ‘big shots’ in the company had decided to award ‘Cook-Inn’ the task of removing for them the food which – just a few days later – would have cost the store to get it into landfill. Beside the note was a transcript of a meeting between Janine, Clive and Gordon; the original founders of ‘Cook-Inn’ who met once a week in Gordon’s warm living room to talk about how they could help their community. Intrigued, Janine sat down and took a closer look at the file. Reiver curled up beside Sherlock on the heat pad and began snoring loudly, prompting the detective to cough sarcastically and to ‘accidentally’ brush his brother’s ear with a paw.
Contained in the file were pages of printed blogs. Did people remember the poor wee van ‘Arthur’, with which they had tried to run the project initially – but the old diesel had eventually just given up the ghost? Or the geese on the river on sunny days, outside the back of the Hollies with their chicks? Clive had even saved a lost duckling he found nestling beside the bins one Sunday night. And the time several food bags were stolen, but had been replaced the next day with new items from well-wishers. That had been last summer.
Notes of meetings at the old, Musselburgh base of ‘Strive’ East Lothian – whose expert Yvonne had helped the team come up with a plan to officially start the charity; one which followed the law as much as it followed the heart. Clive’s endless work creating and renewing the official ‘Cook-Inn’ website, containing colourful images of his food creations, and all the information needed for new viewers to understand our aims. Here was a blog from the time we found ourselves without a base for a couple of months, and were bagging up goods in the Morrison’s car park in the pouring-down rain, hidden under an awning with shoppers endlessly passing by and asking us what we were doing. This prompted the introduction of the new ‘hi-viz’ vests and banners to clearly identify us. The Granton Seventh Day Adventist Church subsequently opened its doors to the project, and welcomed us in. Not just one, but two Pastors are now lending their support.
Here were photos of some of the many volunteers, who came and went but always brightened up the day. Who could forget Pascal the pianist; or Lia and Andrea, or ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock? The professionally-made film of ‘Cook-Inn'(now on Youtube and of course our own website) made by a team of media students from Queen Margaret University. The equally numerous nurses, social workers and concerned neighbours who, even now, refer people to the project. Those service-users who come out and help whenever they are well enough to do so. Our expansion into new areas, which continues to this day. The time we were low on funds, and a store donated us enough compostable soup containers to serve our recipients for many months. Janine set up some gentle music, and then settled down to write.
Sherlock Romes sighed contentedly in his sleep, and would have smiled if he’d had human lips. That should do them for another year, he thought.
God bless, all. Enjoy 2019.
Janine, Reiver and that great detective, Sherlock Romes. xx