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The Lone Ranger

COOK – INN Musselburgh operating in Edinburgh & East Lothian

Scottish Charity Number: SCO40701

                                                            10th March 2019.

The Lone Ranger.

Today we tell the (more-or-less truthful) tale of the Lone Ranger, who keeps the peace of the town with weekly food donations to widows, orphans and other nice folks. Supported by his friend George, the Ranger has ridden into many a sunset with only a few Morrison’s crates and the odd bag of tatties. Also present in the story are his loving wife Janine, and several other, supporting characters whose parts will shine out as this tale is told.

 Separated from his friend George (who was celebrating his birthday by visiting family in Ireland) the Ranger heaved a sigh of resignation and put his key into the ignition. He and his beloved wife, the charming Janine, were heading out to Morrison’s again; there to receive the weekly food donation.

Traffic was kind, and as they reached the venue of the showdown, two more allies  arrived. Rhoda, who visited from the outlying regions of Dunfermline; and Sandra, hailing from the Heartlands (of the town centre). A cold wind blew the wild plastic bags around the no-man’s-land of the car park as they trailed into the Store. Over a cup of tea they discussed their strategy.

“There’s only one car today” began the Ranger, whose name was Duncan. “With the provisions loaded, I can only take one more to Granton Church Kitchens”.

The others sucked in their cheeks at the news. A discarded receipt blew like a tumbleweed over the dry shopfloor. You could almost hear a pin drop, until the wailing tones of the Store’s radio started up a tune; ‘Nya-nya-nya-nya-nya, neow, neow, neow…’. Finally, Janine broke the silence; “How about one of you two comes home with me? I’ll be feeding cats and heading out again to help with deliveries. Be warned,” she added, “it’s a Sunday bus service”.

The girls divided up the territory. Sandra would be staying with the Ranger; Rhoda would be leaving with Janine. Veg was sorted in the car park, and the two groups made for their destinations. A soft rain had begun to fall as Rhoda and Janine moseyed along to the bus stop. Soon, a number 26 came – they were on their way.

Once the Ranger arrived at Granton, he found his worst fears confirmed; his was the only vehicle! He could smell the cooking soup as he entered the church. Clive the Chef was hard at work. A loud noise, like a gunshot, came from the kitchen…                                                    The Ranger, fearless and huge, stalked into the cooking area – to find a spent film cartridge rolling on the floor. This could only mean one thing; the Pastor and his son Eoin had ridden into town, and were filming the ‘Cook-Inn’ working day!

Eoin helped Sandra and Ranger Duncan bag up the 31 gifts of veg and fruit for this week’s recipients, using the ‘hot-table method’ described in previous blogs. Meanwhile, in the kitchens, the Pastor and Clive worked on. Pretty soon a clearer picture of the group’s endeavours began to shine forth. Soup was served to the intrepid clan, and the Pastor and Duncan delivered the first run. This was to the ever-ready Fred, whose family took in several veg-filled bags and soup for subsequent delivery around the local area. The huge, barking dog Barney signalled his excitement at having visitors; but soon, the Pastor had to go.

‘We had no time’ (he might’ve said). And the Ranger might have replied;

‘Don’t let the sun go down on you here’…(but they probably didn’t).

Back at the Ranch, after catching a lucky second bus home, Janine phoned the Ranger to tell him the unfortunate news – after feeding cats, the expected transport into town did not arrive! Such is life on the frontier (of an East Lothian village). Their first chance to get back to assist the troops was going to be 4pm. Duncan made a brave (or impetuous) decision: ‘Stay there. I’ll finish the runs with Adele (Musselburgh’s Pedestrian Powerhouse) and the faithful Sandra. I will see you both later. Look after old Sherlock Romes for me.

Perhaps brushing away a sentimental tear (but probably not), Janine conveyed the Ranger’s decision to her friend. They decided to… give the ancient cat a couple of treats to cheer him, and to put the kettle on. Sherlock’s huge brother, Reiver, thundered gratefully in and out of the catflap while the women brewed. Romes himself, having a ‘slow’ day, settled in for a quiet nap.

Hours passed until, at dusk, the sound of a Volkswagen Polo erupted into the cul de sac. The Ranger got out and staggered into the Ranch. ‘It’s done’, he called. The women heaved a sigh of relief. Nevermore (until next weekend) would a dastardly deficit of volunteers trouble the town.

‘Great’, said Janine. ‘Now you can drop the girls off after a wee cuppa’!

And this, of course, the faithful Ranger did… 

God bless, all. See you next week – Janine and Cats. xx

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