Alright, alright, alright. It’s been a while, I know. I swear I’m still alive.
As seems to happen when I don’t write for a while, I’m not entirely sure where to start. How exactly do I tell you all about the exciting things that I do every day?
After the Big Tent festival I took the bus down, down, down to a town called East Linton in East Lothian to a farm called Phantassie. I’ve been here since the 23rd, and I simply love it. It is an organic farm that does commercial selling to restaurants, at markets, and through box schemes. They have chickens that they use for compost and for selling the eggs. There is a field where they grow all sorts of veg, a walled garden with fruits and herbs, poly tunnels for the more sensitive varieties, and green houses for the babes. There are about ten people on staff here and at the busy times about 4, 5, or even 6 wwoofers. Needless to say this is quite the switch from Carol and Graham’s farm where I was the solo wwoofer. I have quite the social group, which started out as 3 Americans, 1 German, a Brit and a Welsh and has morphed recently into an American, a German, an Italian, a Brit, a Welsh, and soon a Scot. I wasn’t completely lonely at Carol and Graham’s, but here I am not wanting for friends.
The day starts at 8, so I usually sleep til 7:15 (cause, well, I love sleep), get ready, have breakfast, and head to the meeting place. About that time the staff are showing up and give us directions as to what to do for the day. Sometimes it’s picking, sometimes it’s weeding, and sometimes it’s planting. The work varies greatly and definitely keeps us entertained, although I’m ever so slightly disappointed it’s not nearly as heavy as the work at Carol and Graham’s where I was moving loads of firewood and stone on a regular basis. No, I’m actually not kidding, I miss the heavy work.
We work til 5, but at 10:30 is a tea break (yes, that’s right, a TEA break) where we gather in the community kitchen and eating area, called the goddess (don’t ask me why), for tea and snacks. After approximately a half an hour we head back out to the field save one wwoofer who stays to make lunch for the crew. It’s pretty intimidating cooking for about 10-12 people, in a kitchen where you may or may not have what you need and you may or may not know where things are. But I’ve done it a few times and gotten the job done, and the staff is usually polite as can be, regardless of what you make.
While I enjoy all the work we do, I have to say picking fruit is my favorite. And they do have a good variety of fruit here.
They have black, red and white currants; white gooseberries and red gooseberries; and red raspberries and golden raspberries. Me and my German friend Lino like to pick currants together while I correct him on his English (he’s studying it in University) and he teaches me useful phrases such as, “Ich habe ein huhn sehr geleibt. Sie war mein freund,” which can be translated to say, “I have loved a chicken very much. She was my friend.”
After work everyone is usually a little tired and hungry, mostly from being outside in the
sun all day. We tend sit around in the goddess, have snacks, and decide what we want to do. More often than not (especially since the Italian arrived) we eat together. We tend to shift around who leads the cooking, but usually every one pitches in. Then afterwards we might light the bonfire, we might play a card game, or we might go for a swim in the North Sea, which isn’t too far away. The first time I went I was so excited I ran full steam ahead into the sea only to come to a halt with a scream because there was a jelly fish floating right in front of me. It was truly beautiful, and a little terrifying.
Considering that we only work four days a week (yes, that’s right), there is plenty of time to go and do things. For example, last weekend we went to the Highland Games in North Berwick. It was a fun little event and I felt like a true Scot watching both men and women throw logs and watching marching bands play traditional Scottish music. It was lovely.
Something else we did was go to Edinburgh. We walked around the Royal Mile and checked out the Fringe Fest, which is going on right now, if you didn’t know. The Royal Mile is full of people passing out fliers for plays and comedy acts as well as those determined souls who set up a type of sample of their performance out on the street. This usually involves people dressed in their respective costumes and acting out bits of the play. And then there is, of course, the street performers, one of which we stopped to see. It was a man wearing a kilt balancing on a ladder holding machetes. After some bantering he took all his clothes off, except his underwear and juggled the machetes while spinning around on the ladder. It was quite entertaining.
Please excuse my cat calling and stranger laughter.
Well, I hope this update does it for you. My time here is growing short so I’m sure that I’ll be on a little bit more than I have been.