Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Volunteers everywhere!

The people I met at Lammas are just the most extraordinary bunch - the residents and also the VOLUNTEERS! This is Stefan who was fired up by an article about Lammas he read in the Independent. He made the excellent doors for Simon's house out of some of the roughest wood you could hope to find, all full of nails and using some very dodgy machinery - one of the most amazing bits of woodwork I have ever seen and a lot harder than making a guitar or something with beautiful wood and a well equipped workshop.

This is Jo clutching her porridge and getting ready for another session climbing all over the roof fixing up bits of wood.
Above is Ailsa washing up outside under an awning by head torch light. She helped loads with wall and was going on to Copenhagen to join the climate demonstrations there - let's hope our glorious leaders come up with something useful there.

This is Espion who has come over from Denmark and helped Simon right from the start of the building work on his roundhouse. Another great guy!
And these are three students, (left to right), Henryk, Martha and Steven who gave tremendous help for several days gathering more sticks from the woods than you could shake a stick at and working up on the roof. It was also wonderful for Nigel and Cssie's morale to have all these committed eco people helping them.

There were yet more volunteers whose photos I didn't get, one in particular (who preferred to remain anonymous) is one of the most extraordinary people I've ever met. She travels around hitching with all her stuff in a backpack from one wwoofing/volunteering site to another or joining demonstrations. She lives almost without money and is also one of the happiest I've ever met - a true eco-nomad.

That's my tent in the foreground above, and what a brilliant bit of equipment it is too surviving gales and torrential rain for two weeks. While I was at Lammas four other tents were flattened by the wind and Stefan's "Pleasure Dome" was relentlessly eaten up a panel at a time until he took to sleeping in his car.

It's quite awesome to lie beneath the flimsy membranes of a tent flapping away just above you with rain sloshing against it like dozens of hosepipes on full and to hear each fresh barrage of wind travelling across the hillside roaring through the trees as it goes. I had strange half-awake, half asleep semi-dreams of being in a boat on a stormy sea. I almost bailed out after the first couple of nights feeling it was all a bit too hard core for me but I'm really glad I stuck it out. One of the other volunteers had lived for a while in a bender on the West coast of Ireland during a long demonstration and even she found it hard core at Lammas, so I don't feel such a wimp now.

I did dream of hot baths and lager a though and it was absolute bliss to treat myself to that for a couple of nights.

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