A Day in Stroud
I began by borrowing another little Molly for an hour. Jenni, her mother, is my landlady and is selling the flat so I took Molly to the Farmers' Market which she loves. First we visited the tomato stall for a vine of delicious Sunstream organic plum tomatoes. They always sell out first. After buying a tub of heavenly double cream, some ham and olives we were ready for our pain au chocolats which we ate while listening to a busker playing Annie Laurie on her flute. We must have met at least half a dozen friends during this half hour.
Next stop was Hawkwood - a half hour walk via the woods - for farmday at Stroud Community Agriculture. Today around 12 of us were weeding the rows of onions and carrots and mucking out the pigs. The muck was mixed with weeds for rotting down over the next six months and improving the soil fertility next year.
Then is it was back to Springhill for work-share at Pete and Helen's wood-fired bread oven. The puddling had already been done - mixing clay with straw and making it into bricks - and the sand form that the oven was to be built around was in place. Under Sam Makumba's excellent supervision we slapped on clay and moulded it into place 'with love' - the key ingredient for a succesful oven it seems.
Meanwhile Sam explained the dependence of the global weather system on the equatorial belt and how the African fig can save the human species. Helen provided excellent cakes and Sylvia and Clare sorted tiles for creating the mosaic on the finished oven.
Tonight it's off to see Patsy Gamble at the Trinity Rooms - a fund-raiser for the Green Party. With a day like that who would want a foreign holiday?!