Happy Monday to you all from a wet Monday morning here in England, but that’s okay because the garden needs watering and the new plants are thirsty. It also means that inside jobs that are usually a chore are so much more easily done when it is raining as I do not get the yen to be working on outside things which are far more exciting!
It has been a week of bitty things this week. Knowing that the community centre I have been working was opening in part on Wednesday. A lot of time was spent getting The Little Free Library ready to install for the event, so no pressure there. Actually, it’s not the LFL that takes the time, it is the installing it – the right post, brackets screws, container ……….. all need considering and everyone has a different idea of how it should be done. I am not convinced the method used to install at the centre was the right one but we shall see and at least for now, it is in place. The next morning, we arrived at the centre and I noticed ALL the books had disappeared….not a problem as such, I have built up a reserve of books to be used on such occasions. As I disappeared to collect the books, the lady from ice cream factory next door to the centre ( I know, what wonderful placement that was!!!!) came in carry an armful of books which had been rescued from the road outside, that was where the books had disappeared to! Well, I know that happens so filled the library up again and left a polite note this time explaining that the library was for use of the community and it had been placed there with love……so far the books have stayed in place woohoo!!! I know there will be lapses but if we can get the local community to appreciate the centre and understand that it is all for the use of the whole community, we are halfway to winning the battle. It is all about getting out there and chatting to people as well, in fact I gave out more information about the project when outside getting the new sign completed than when just sat inside working. My first customer at the LFL was this delightful youngster who was with her mum on the way home from shopping. She chose two books and promised to bring some of her books back to place in the library, which she did!
Talking about LFL’s, a project that was set up in a village about 25 miles away rang me and asked if I could paint a LFL for them, it had been in place outside the pub for nearly 2 years and was now in state of collapse, due I think to the library not been made as weatherproof as it could have been. I trundled off to the pub, found the library, took some photos and of course, had to pop in to have a quick drink and a chat with the landlord who was very nice, did not charge me for the beer when he knew what I was doing (must get more pub jobs) and I set off to look for the other libraries that were placed around the area. I loved finding them and looking at the designs. I picked up the new library for the pub and will start that in a couple of days, I will, of course keep you posted on the progress.
I attended Southend Soup this weekend, a great event which was actually started in Detroit many years ago. It works by getting people together for homemade soup and bread and whatever else happens to be on hand at the time. You pay £5 for the privilege and this money goes to a deserving charity or project which is chosen by all those attending. The projects range from community gardens to singing groups to trips out for underprivileged children to LFL’s…all great causes! The projects that won yesterday were the singing group, a group of four young women whose main aim in life is to bring joy to people through their singing. They were wonderful, kind of a female barbershop quartet, I think they will go far! And because there was a tie with the votes, the second winner was the community garden project which was fronted by a very enthusiastic guy who has amazing ideas for the community plot that he is creating. The money pot collected was worth £140 and splitting left very little for each group to make a the differences that they were hoping to make so Jack Monroe, our local celebrity chef matched the amount so both groups received the full amount, I have never known a tie between contenders before and this time it worked out well.
Speaking of Jack Monroe, you may want to google her, she is a very interesting person…..left school with few qualifications, did many mundane jobs along the way, found herself with a child as a single parent with huge financial problems. As a way of saving money she concentrated on making meals that were different and on a very small budget, namely £10 a week. She started a blog called ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’. This blog was eventually noticed by a local newspaper, then by a national newspaper which led to her writing a cookery book which resulted in a £25,000 deal, not a huge amount of money but enough to make a small difference. Suffice it to say that she now writes for the Guardian every week as well as appearing on tv and speaking on the radio, her circumstances have changed dramatically but she has not forgotten her roots and fights for causes connected with poverty and as she said yesterday she would not be where she is without the community in which she lives helping her on her way in terms of foodbanks. I am going to try her recipes for a week and see if I can live as cheaply and healthily as she says that we can, that should be interesting. I would recommend her spinach bread, it looks radioactive but is delicious!!! Have a go yourselves, see how you get on!
Next week I will bring you news of the referendum on in or out of Europe, it is really hotting up here and even President Obama came and spoke of the benefits of staying in Europe, namely we would be able to still trade with America!!!!!
Have a good week, I hope the sun shines and happiness abounds as you go on your way through each day, speak to you again next week.