Monday, October 10, 2005

It was my day in the kitchen today . It's usually quite hard work, cooking for around 20, sometimes more, but hasn't been so bad today because several people wandered in and offered to help. I made bread rolls and onion, potato and herb soup for lunch. I was just trying to find some salad vegetables, and there wasn't very much in that line, when M came into the kitchen and offered to pick some from the garden. So lunch was sorted.

This afternoon was easy because P had made some nutroast yesterday, and there were two large tins of it, partly cooked, so I reheated it and prepared some vegetables to go with it. There was half a bottle of leftover wine to be incorporated in the meal somehow, so I made onion gravy with white wine, and M, who had been picking apples earlier in the day, made an apple and cinnamon crumble.

Tomorrow there is to be a wood run, something that happens once or twice a year. We have hired a large flatbed lorry, which E will drive backwards and forwards to the woodyard, picking up a load of wood for our woodburning stoves each time.

It looks as if the trouble at the supermarket may turn out to have been a storm in a teacup after all. Our immediate supervisor has been reinstated, and he has said that he will pay us at the higher rate. We will see what happens.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I saw an exceptionally large cat. I really did. I was driving back from the supermarket with K, and I went the wrong way. I found a small road to turn round in, and as I drove the car into it, I saw a very large cat. Larger than cats usually are. I thought it was a dog at first - in fact, I thought a man nearby was taking his dog for a walk - but then I realised that it wasn't a dog. It wasn't a fox, either, or a badger, or a deer. Its was quite definitely cat shaped, with a roundish head and the unmistakable pointy ears that say cat. It was just much bigger than an ordinary cat. About 50% bigger, at least. It was an indeterminate colour, sort of a dark greyish brownish tabby kind of colour. It just walked a little way down the road, and then it turned and walked straight into the hedge. I thought it was maybe some unusual local animal, and that K would know what it was. But he didn't.

(Later he decided that it was probably a hairy whippet sort of dog, but then his eyesight is not very good. Mine is better than average when I am wearing my glasses, which I was, for driving.)

When I got back to the commune, I mentioned it at dinner. There was a certain amount of scepticism, to say the least. Urban legends were mentioned. Myths were mentioned. Ghosts were mentioned. But I knew what I had seen, and later I looked around on the internet to see what I could find.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I see that B has attached a promotional tape measure from the local builders' merchants to his inbox. It says on it ' Growing with the community since 1770.'

This is vaguely amusing - I'm not sure why. The people who live here tend to refer to themselves as a community rather than a commune, for reasons which elude me at the moment.

There is trouble at the supermarket. Our immediate supervisor has been suspended, ie. sacked, and K and I have received letters informing us that our pay will be cut by around 30%. (I can't work out the exact percentage at the moment because someone has moved the calculator from its usual place in the office, and I have no idea were to look for it). Anyway, by too much, although any pay cut is too much

D works at the supermarket on Saturdays. He hasn't received a letter, probably because he gets paid at a lower rate anyway - not because he is Spanish, but because he doesn't work Sundays. Not usually, anyway. But he has come up with an idea. Struck by the similarity between the English words strike and streak, and inspired by a newspaper article about naked hikers, he suggested that we have a naked protest, carrying placards saying that are not paid enough to buy clothes.

K is not keen.

Rumours spread fast around the dining table. B was doing a crossword puzzle, and one of the clues was 'A famous diarist.' He asked for suggestions, and someone must have said 'Che Guevara'. Someone else said 'Ah, yes. The Motorcycle Diaries,' and this quickly turned into a rumour that B had out the video. Soon this had become a rumoured showing of The Motorcycle Diaries in the evening, and before long someone was asking what time it was going to be shown.

The answer to the crossword clue was actually 'Samuel Pepys.'

Friday, October 07, 2005

Latest news is the arrival of a gigantic new washing machine this morning. Everyone came to look, and the man who came to fit it said that he had never seen such interest in a washing machine. We are going to be remarkably clean for a hippie commune. The old washing machine didn't work very well, and sometimes I had to rewash my clothes because they came out of it smellier than when they went in.

I used to have a pair of Doc Marten shoes, with straps instead of laces. These would be just the thing for working in the supermarket, because the contract says that we are not allowed to wear trainers or backless shoes, which only leaves my hiking boots. I have asked S to look for them.

When T left, he gave away all his worldly possessions, except what he could carry. This may have been in order to gain sufficient merit to escape reincarnation as a lowly life form, or it may have been simply for practical reasons. One of the things he left behind was a very complicated rucksack, with a place to fix the sleeping bag on, and lots of little straps. I have offered it to S, for when she goes to India, perhaps. But on second thoughts, it is not as nice as the one she already has, with the War Is Not Good For Children And Other Living Things badge on it. T's rucksack is in the storeroom. P is threatening to clear out the storeroom on Monday, and get rid of anything without a specific owner.