04 November 2021

Campfire in the forest

From shop to campfire. In July, I wrote that we had a new shop in town. It's little shop where local producers sell their wares. The local cheesemaker uses it, and a local organic farm, and a local photographer, and lots of other people. It is a great initiative, and I go there every week (it is open for two hours on Friday and four hours on Saturday) unless I am unavailable for some reason or other.

One day I went there, and a man handed out soup table for some reason or other. I like soup! So I had some. And a chat. 

From then on he was there every Friday, so I saw him every week. I found out his name was Harri, he lived high up on a local hill, and he was running an initiative that fights food waste and food poverty at the same time. That sounded like a very laudable initiative! And it explained the soup as well. I even bumped into him and his girlfriend on the top of Moel Faban during my sunset run. It's not a big community!

One Friday he told me he was organising a Halloween bonfire night in the nearby piece of woodland, and he invited me to join. It sounded good! I did intend to keep an eye on the forecast; if it was bucketing down it didn't sound like a particularly good idea. But on the day it was actually beautiful, and I thought I'd show my face. So after dinner and buckets of tea and jumped on my bike and set off. I decided to park my bike against a lamppost. I put my head torch on and wandered into the trees! I was certain I was at the right place, as I saw a plausible bloke with a bag going in the same direction. And I was also certain I would find the fire; they tend to attract attention after dark. And I was right!

I found the fire with some ten people around it. I only recognised Harri, but that was exactly what I expected. I sat down and had a drink. Some people were making music. On the other side of the circle I people construct sentences with phrases like "phytonutrients" and I thought I should join that discussion. One of them turned out to be a PhD student in our brother-like College of Natural Sciences. That made sense of the jargon that was in use there! They were pondering sustainable aqua- and agriculture. 

I also chatted with a well-travelled lady from Deiniolen who knew one of my colleagues, a France-bound Bristolian who knew the joiner who had lain my floor, a Spanish graphic designer, and a few more people. It was nice bunch! And various foodstuffs such as vegetarian sausages and home-made flapjacks were doing the rounds. Someone else was making chai, and doing it well. But I had a lot on and I didn't want to stay long. And I ended up saying goodbye before I had exchanged much more than a sentence with Harri. But that's how things go I suppose. He's probably back next Friday with his soup. And it was nice to have a few drinks around the campfire with people I might come across more often. There is bit of a local scene with left-leaning people, and my favourite shops Cadwyn Ogwen and the Whole Foods Co-operative, which I frequent, are part of it. I might start recognising more faces in there!

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