Today’s blog will focus on the wonderful, wild variety of people the Cook-Inn team consist of; and of those we interact with. Many cultures, walks of life and states of being are represented by our diverse Cook-Inn community. Along the way, we will try to bring to mind aspects of the diversities we are bringing to your attention. EG, as some of you may know, I am an old cockney. I hail from East London, and anyone who has heard my voice will tell you that you can’t take London out of the girl.
My lovely husband Duncan, free from work and driving today for my personal comfort (and no small amusement) cranked up the poor old Polo and we set off in encouraging sunlight. (‘Any old Iron?)’ Duncan describes himself as a ‘half-German Haggis-basher’ whose celiac condition means that he has to be careful with most things traditionally Scottish. Whisky, porridge and the aforementioned haggis are all gluten-containing products. He has to substitute other, non-gluten things like soya if he wants to imbibe (‘Flour of Scotland…’)
Morrison’s kindly produced around seven crates, and off we went. So much onion had been donated that I travelled back on the bus, the better to avoid the smell. When I arrived at theHolliesI discovered that the indomitable Fred, and the unstoppable George, were already there. Fred is from the Granton area (North West Edinburgh) and George, of course, hails from Ireland (Insert theme tune from ‘Father Ted’ here). 30-odd bags and one crate for the Pilmeny Youth Project were slowly created from the piles of fresh food, while I avoided being too much in the onions’ presence by being sent out to find more plastic bags in the local shops. Please give bags back, people – sometimes the recycling boxes which the stores let us rifle through are not sufficient.
Clive the stalwart chef was labouring in the kitchen. He hails from Jamaica, and produces a range of ‘Jerk’ meals as well as the usual, Scottish fayre (‘Boiled Beef & Carrots‘ by Harry Champion). Clive holds a degree in health studies which led him in the field of health promotion. Helping him this morning were Gordon from England, and Susan from Edinburgh (‘There’ll Always be an England’; and ‘Caledonia‘ by Dougie Maclean). Together they always manage to create a ‘special’ meal, for me and any other multiple allergics among the recipients (No ‘Green Onions‘ – Booker T & the MGs).
I nipped briefly home and fed my two cute cats (The Cure’s ‘Love Cats’) . After we had our own share of lovely food together, and Claire from the Pilmeny youth Project had collected their crate of goodies (‘Sunshine On Leith‘), the reality of having two cars to do four diverse runs set in. It was arranged that Duncan would drop me off with Adele the Pedestrian Powerhouse – there to perform her big run on foot, hiding the as-yet-undelivered bags in the relative safety of her stair. A small risk, we knew; but what could you do? We went round to the referred houses, handing over bags, rolls and containers of steaming hot food. One of the first people we delivered to was a man called Donald, whose picture should be up along with this blog. A gregarious man, very supportive of Cook-Inn as a project, Donald felt that he wanted to advertise his involvement. As a user of the service he says he appreciates a hot meal of a Sunday afternoon, living alone as he does and not always wanting to spend a long time cooking. He and his pet white cockatiel while away the warm afternoons with (in his case) a cigarette and a cup of tea, with Donald occasionally coming out of the house to talk to familiar passers-by and to swap home-made jams and other sundries at this harvest time of year (‘Surfin’ Bird’ – by the Trashmen. Also any song by The Jam). Other recipients included older people with various health conditions and varied personal backgrounds, including another celiac. This lady never gets the rolls unless ‘freefrom’ rolls are available, and may receive an extra food item to make up for it. To the annoyance of her gorgeous cat Flash, to date this has not included tins of tuna.
While we worked in Musselburgh, Duncan and Susan completed two more runs in East Lothian (Album; ‘Songs of East Lothian and theForth‘). Fred and George delivered to Joppa, Craigmillar and Restalrig on the way to the last few places in Pilton (Youtube; ‘The Edinburgh Song’ by Tony Goodacre). Dropping the crates off at the end of the runs, we thanked God for the mercifully much drier day we’d had this week – and for all the fun we’d had together (‘With a Little Help From my Friends‘ – The Beatles) Safe at home, each of us with a cat on our knee, we talked about how I would write this blog (‘The Book of My Life’ Sting)!