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Student journalists from Queen Margaret University

Hello again, and welcome to today’s Food Tales.

Today was both eventful and fun. Knackering, but fun. Firstly, our wonderful Pastor Jimmy called in with the ‘flu. He and his car were going nowhere. George had a job on this morning, so I bid farewell to my poor husband (his back is still out, and quite painful) and I headed off to do the collection alone. Right away, Gillian the lovely Community Champion was there. Really excited as there were a lot of things to take away. Valentine’s day had seen roses stocked in their thousands, and now there were lots which were only just a little bit past their best. Today the older ladies (and the tables at the Hollies) could each get a rose!

Fred arrived, along with the two student journalists. The girls did some filming as we packed the car, helping me unload the trolley and taking it back to the store. It was decided I would go, unload, then come back for them. My poor wee Polo packed out to the gunnels, Fred and I thundered off into traffic. Once we reached the Hollies Clive brought us out hot tea! He knows us so well. Eve, our newest volunteer, was helping load the bags despite a broken toe! Amazingly, she soldiered on. Because Clive was already cooking up the rolls, we unloaded the car and Fred went to help in the kitchen as I drove back.

Two more loads later, it was 1.30pm (I got there at 11am). George arrived and kindly gave the ladies a lift back so they could film more activities. Back at my house, my poorly husband Duncan had given our too-thin, elderly cat Howling Mad Romy his appetite pill from the vet! Brave and foolhardy in equal measure, this meant that Duncan got as much exercise as me throughout the afternoon. Romy would howl for food every half hour for at least a couple of hours. Duncan would find something he hadn’t eaten yet that day. Reiver, Romy’s plump black & white little brother, would nose up and try to intimidate Romes out of his grub. Romy, for his part, only ever eats about two thirds max of whatever is put in front of him. This enables Reiver to contort himself into all manner of shapes to try and get past Duncan and scoff the food before Romy gets a second wind. So the afternoon went, with me feeding clients and Duncan feeding cats (trying not to overfeed one of them). Various techniques like letting Reive into the back garden were employed. By these means we aim to keep our two rescue cats alive and relatively well. So far, at eleven and sixteen, with good veterinary care we are succeeding.

Soup was finished, and we sat down to a nice hot bowl with bread rolls on the side. As usual, Clive kindly made some separately without any leek – and a roll or two minus dairy. Having identified it, I ate happily along with all the rest; thinking about how Romy might finally put on a much-needed ounce or two himself. 😊

Food gone, we divvied up the runs. The journalists, Julia and Daisy, came with me to meet Adele and take part in the big Musselburgh run. George and Fred delivered Restalrig and Pilton. Several of the older folk in Adele’s run were happy to be interviewed, and we hope to see the result when it’s all put together. It was nice to see folk enjoying the company of new people, and telling old stories of their earlier lives. From such connections are the threads of past experience woven into the future.

Having no other vehicles, George and I returned to do Wallyford and Prestonpans, finish the other half of Musselburgh and to take Clive home. He’s here before any of us on a Sunday morning, after all. Susan and Murdock had arrived and been kitchen helps all afternoon. Now Susan agreed to take five bags round to the addresses near her home while Murdock accompanied George to Prestonpans and Wallyford. I dropped off Susan’s bags gratefully, and let Clive direct me.

We caught up on each others’ day as we travelled. Clive began cooking the rolls as soon as he got into the kitchen, which must mean he prepared all the dough last night. That’s dedication for you. He was alone in the kitchens for a couple of hours, as I had been on those collection runs. Then, as I dragged heavy vegetable bags and hot soups around Musselburgh, Clive had been cleaning up the kitchen and mopping floors. It’s easy to see what you’ve done yourself; but understanding what other people have done to help you realise your dream is a humbling experience. Adele, in the week, will go round as ever, to all the homes she dropped food off to. She will collect as many bags and soup containers as our vulnerable older people can remember to keep for us. Susan might well still be delivering the odd veg bag on Wednesday, if she can’t catch people in. Me, I’m a wordsmith. I write the blog.

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