Archive for agosto 2010

Milking Bella

agosto 30, 2010

Yesterday I came back from my riding to lyme regis, and while i was having my supper alone in the dining room, Melanie and Maria got in the room. They were exited because they went to milk the cows with Simon. They showed me the pictures and explained me how milking works. Now i definately wanted to try. In fact this morning, when i met Simon in the dairy, i got the chance to tell him:

– Hi Simon, how are you doing?

– Hi Roberto, fine, thanks

– You know yesterday Melanie and Maria told me they milked the cows

– OH, yes, did they enjoy it?

– yes, they were very happy, they sayd you are a very good teacher

Simon Laughes, and keep on washing the jar for the milk that etwice a day he brings to the dairy.

– Anyway – I said teasing him – now I’m a bit jelaus about the spanish, since they are here since last sunday and they have already milked the cows, while I’ve been here for one month now and i still haven’t!!

– Well, you are right!! you are welcome anytime, I do the milking everyday at 8 in the evening.

I thanks Simon, we greet each other smiling.

When the evening come, I don’t know wether going or not. I’m a bit exited. Anyway, Melanie, Maria and Fritz are going to watch a film, likely Taxi Driver, and before joining them, I decide to go and check wether Simon is milking.

I go in the cows shed and Simon is milking, in the company of two children which are montkon’s guest, for the family week. They are talking friendly about the show they are setting for the performance on friday.

Simon welcomes me, and after a while gives me the instruction for milking. Bella is my cows, she’s very good and patient, all that i need!! I take a cloth to sterilize her tetties. With surprise, I notice that she has four of them, two bigger then the others. I smile at my ignorance and at my discover: after having cleaned the two big ones, i was almost to throw away the cloth. Then I have to use a kind of vaselline to help my hand slide on the tetties. Finally, i can start milking. It’s not easy, but not difficult neither. I am just very slow, and not as good with the left hand as with the right one. I hear Simon, behind me, milking milu way more efficiently. Anyway, I keep on milking, ejoinig it. Every so often Bella turns her head to watch me, I hope I m not hurting her, expecially when she moves her back legs. She goes back to her food, and forunaly, she doesn’t hit me with her tail.

After a while the young floyd get in the room running. He goes stright to his food.

Now it’s getting dark in the room, so i truly thank Simon and live him finish the job. I guess I would like to repeat this experience again before living. In the meanwhile, I m going to enjoy the best milk I’ve ever had in my whole life. I guess I m not going to drink milk any longer when i leave MW, or, at least, I m not going to enjoy drinking milk as mush as i do here.


Shove ha’penny

agosto 30, 2010

The first time i saw this game i was impressed at once. Mark and Guglielm were playing in he dining room, at one edge of the long table. Mark was still explaining the rules, which to be honest, are very easy. What i like about this game is its semplicity and the amazing way i can have playing it. It’s a board made from slate, with some stripes on it. The one Mark has got is very old, tens of years. Also he ‘s got six half penny coins, some of them dated back to the beginning of the xx century. With a hit of the hand each player has to place the coin between two string. The player who set three coins in each space between the strings win. It’s so easy, and rather slow and long to finish.

Mark told us about his youth years, when he saw people sat in some pub somewhere, two players, one left hand and the other right hand, on each part of the board, playing for hours, standing only to go to the loo, with the host bringing them their drinks, ad then, walking back home with difficulties. Mark talks about this smiling, and with kindness and semplicity shares all he knows about this game. After a while, I found myself playing with Melanie, just arrived from Spain to volunteer at MW for two weeks, Fritz and Mark. We spend a good hour in this rare way.

last week

agosto 25, 2010



agosto 20, 2010

Among  the residents at MW there’s a nice woman on her 60’s, Gil. She moved here few weeks ago to help Simon with the cows and his other tasks. She was living somewhere else in the north, working as a painter and an artist (she also wrote a book about painting). Now that her sons have growned up she’s free to do what she like, so when she was asked to stay long term at MW, she accepted. In these days she finished to put up her yurt and to move all her belongings and yesterday evening she orginized a really nice housewarming. She showed up after supper inviting everyone at her party. This was the first time, beside the evening at the pub, there was a chance to spend the evening together, in the community. The plan was to have a bonfire and spend some time together outdoor. In fact Gil prepared everything for it: the wood, the light around the yurt. Unfortunely the evening was very wet, so much wet I was afraid no one would go to the party. I was the first to go and check the situation, then I come back to the house trying to involve as much people as possible. Actually, many people came and we had a really nice evening. Time after time Fritz came, and then Lory, Mark, JP, Hannah, Simon, Silvia and Andrea. Anyone bringing something to drink, such as porto, cider, beer. Gil had already setting a couple of bottle of red spanish wine, and some snack. The yurt was so much cosy. I fall in love with that kind of round house. Gil made it by herself, with a wooden fraim and a water proof tent, with a transparent circle on the top, through which you can see the star in a clear night. She says it’s very warm in winter and you can easily live there also when in th enight the temperature goes minos zero. His son lives in a yurt, in a wood, and he didn’t have any problem the last very cold winter. Inside there was a matress, a table, a little camping kitchen, a fireplace which Gil and her son made from some Gas container. From the door it was possible looking the nice view on the hills around MW. The company was perfect, and we went on until midnight, when one by one, started to leave. I found out with great surprise Simon wrote a couple of books. One of them, which would be published next week, is about the sustainability of meat. Then, with Fritz, Silvia and Andrea, is always a great fun.

The day after, sunday, Hannah organized another party, in her bedroom. Anyone here lives in their own buildings, or bedrooms, or caravans. And in some way is even stronger the sense of inviting the community in one own place, like it happens outside with the flat and houses. Again, everyone showed, one after the other, from 8 o clock. This time also Linden, Ibar, and Rachel was present. In fact, it was a party organized for Ibar departure. Ibar stayed 2 weeks. She asked to volunteer only in the kitchen, since Hannah is leaving soon, and the community is looking for a cook. Ibar already worked in a community as a cook, and was looking for a job and a place to stay. Unfortunaly, after two weeks, she decided to move, mainly because she needs to save money to spend the winter in India. She’s a very nice woman, very kind, deep and sensitive, with some original views. I would have loved her to stay more here.

After a week we had another two parties. The first in Lorys room, and the second for Hannah leaving, in her bedroom, with some music, drinks and lots of chatting.

When i came at MW, the first two weeks i found the community rather quite after supper, which is early here, at 6 o clock. By 7 everyone disapperars. Now, it seems that it’s changing. Actually, the fact is also that for a while there was up to 7 volunteers here, and the evenings were more enjoyable thanks to them.

I want to name also Guglielm, Anna and their little son Hugo. They were a very nice family and it was a pleasure volunteer with them. I remember the dy in the garden with Guglielm, the evening in Seaton, the time together in Lyme Regis and the spanish conversation with Hugo. Maybe one day I m going to visit them in Spain, nearby Madrid.

car boot sales

fish and chips and ice cream

panecakes and BBQ, 5 pennyes

Music at MW

Lyme Regis

agosto 15, 2010


Volunteering at MWC

agosto 14, 2010

This morning I’ve slept in. I awake up early, from the window in front of me I see it’s going to be another grey day. It really seems that the summer is already over!! Since I know I’m going to work in the Kitchen with Hannah and Inba, i decide that missing the morning meeting at 8.30 is not a great crime, so I take a shower and then I go to have breakfast. Clive is with me, and he’s the last to leave the dining room. He’s waiting for Shawn, for they work together today. But Shawn is not around. He’s gone to the pub yesterday evening, and he drunk way too much (the cider here is blody strong!!). I guess he’s not going to work today.

In the kitchen today there’s a tiny army: Hanna, Inba, Lory and Mark are there for the lunch. Actually Lory is covering Hanna for a while, for she’s going for the singing course.

I don’t have a lot to do, I don’t know the menu, everything seems not properly organized. I mainly end doing the washing up!! The lunch is rich for the guest, with potatoes, vegetarian sassages, carrots and bitroots. For us there are the left over from yesterday. I find the polenta really nice.

The lunch is very quite, people hardly speak. I see it’s nearly always like this.Charlotte is reading, the french volunteers are talking in french, the other are silents. Yesterday Clive told me he thinks the residents are not that happy, looking the dining room right now, it seems he’s right.

It’s a quarter to 2, and I have the time for a cigarette, before going back to the kitchen. Here I have to smoke in the smokers corner, which is not the very best place to smoke. In fact, every so often, I go to smoke where i have a much better view. Anyway, I go back to the kitchen and I have a nice news: the guest are going to have a BBQ in the courtyard, so the supper is going to be very easy. And I take the chance to cook!! I decide with Hanna I m going to make some scones. And the afternoon passes doing that. At 6, like usual, we have supper. Hanna rings the bell, I bring th efood in the dining room, where some of the residents is already waiting. For supper, we have more leftover, and the famous vegetarian saussages, which to be honest, are not bad at all. Also the supper is silent, but likely after it I have a nice chat with Lynden and Clive. They travelled a lot in the last 4 years, and they have plenty of story to share. This time, the story are also about the strange, funny, unusual and dangerous animals Clive saw in Thailand and Australia. There are also some good tips about walks in England and in the Pirenee which Linden and his girlfriends made in the last couple of years. I can see him throwing away some of the goods he had with him, on the spanish mountain, since he had 20 kilos of luggages, way too much to walk for such a long time!!

So, it’s smoking time, with Clive again. But before this, I meet Charlotte, a volunteer who has already been here before, and has just come back, with her young kid. They are lovely, I already ike them. Mark told me they live in a community nearby, and in fact, the little kid is very used to be with people and after a second start to play with me and Clive.

After smooking i go for a walk, trying to find the way to the sea, but it’s quite difficult. I think that i should go there by car, with the french volunteer.

I come back after one hour, more or less, and after cheeking the e mails ad facebook, I go to prepare the dough for tomorrow morning i m going to make some more bread. The next time, I want to make the double amount of bread.

Before going to sleep, i drink a glass of milk, from the fridge. Today I saw Simon bringing the milk, really fresh, from the cowshed to the fridge. It’s so nice having the chance to drink this incredibly healthy organic fresh milk!!


agosto 10, 2010

Today finally I have the day off, I’m planning to go with Loor and Clive to the five panny farm to buy some meat and cider for we’re going to have a BBQ this evening. Then, in the afternoon, we go by car to lyme regis, on the seaside, for a wolk, hopefully through the south west coast pathway.
Unfortunaly at launch Loor says she can’t come to the sea, because she has to talk with a friend of her in France, for they have to choose a flat to rent for the next university year. So goodbye to the seaside, for today. At least we can go to “shopping”. Getting to five penny is easy, since the farm is few minutes by car from MWC. Still, our plan seems not supposed to be. The farmer is in Axminster, for the market. A couple receive us, saying that maybe we should come back in the late afternoon. Clive ask for some cider, and we are told we have to go to stubb farm for that.
Here we are on the road again. Stubb farm is even closer to MWC. We get there, and the owner is just in the courtyard.
– Hi, we are looking for some cider. Have you got any? We come from Monkton Wyld. We’ve been to five penny and they say maybe you can sell us some cider.
– Well, I don’t sell cider. I just make some cider for myself. But, do you have any container?
– No, we don’t.
– Ok, maybe we can use this.
And he pick up from the ground a plastic container
– It’s 5 litres. I m going to wash it with some hot water.
It’s just perfect. He lead us to the barn, behind his house. The barn is just amazing.
– How old is this building?
– It was made in the XVI century, it’s very nice, isn’t it?
– Yes, it’s amazing
We come in the building. We get in a small room, which smells like my old cellar in the house at Porto Sant’Elpidio.
By the door there are some barrels, on a corner there is a very old press, made with oak, another machine is in front of the press. Then, a curious chair from some barbier shop, and a very long old dasty couch. The place is very peculiar. I can imagine the owner and his friends spending the cold winter afternoon in there, by the stove. When we live, Clive tell me that also for him that place is special and that we ve been lucky to find it.
But we don’t leave before drinking a couple of glass of different cider. The one that we buy is rather young, that means not very strong, but anyway not lighter than 8 degree. It’s kept in a barrel which came from portugal, and was used for red wine. That give a special color and taste to the cider, now.
So we don’t have any meat for the BBQ, and we’re not going to see any sea, but we have something to have good time with.
We came back walking to MWC, we fetch a couple of glass and we go down the courtyard, by the pond, where we can have our privacy. We sit there, by the pound, on a wood banch, and we drink, and we talk , and it’s just lovely. Clive is a nice man, very funny, with a past as a DJ. Unfortunaly  he also had some big trauma four years ago, and he’s still trying to find his way. He told me about his journey to Thailand and Asia, to recover from all the accident he had in a very short time,  his time and adventures there, the story with his partner, or better, his wife, showing me also some pictures.
The day goes in this way. We hear the bell that call for the supper, but we stay. We come back only at 9ish, when starts to be chilly, and in the house there’s nobody else.
Tomorrow Clive is leaving, I’m glad to have spent my first day off with him.

See you in September

agosto 9, 2010

July is gone and it’s already time to move to Monkton Wyld. After those strange days made difficult by all my thoughs, the last two weeks at BP were a bit more lighter and pleasent. With Julie I visited john buckley for a afternoon in his garden with some friends of him, lovely people. Then there was the BBQ with the CSers in Reading, and Claudio, who we stayd overnight with. And then more evenings at the King Williams, and a day off in Oxford with John again. The BBQ at BP few days before i left. All these time spent together in some way refresh the relation with Julie. Also, my birthday, spent in the kitchen cooking pizza for 40 people, and then to the pub. Also, lots of ciclying, and some good walk. And the day with Sergio and Manuela, who came to visit me at BP. The kindness of Kelly, very sweet, the breakfast at her caravan, when she felt so sad for her friend death. And the time spent in the garden together watching the first vegetable, tomatoes, curgette, pepper, squash. And the plum jam. And the pleasure in seeing again Ian, who was so funny this time. Maybe last time he was concerned about something, and this time he was more relaxed. And the surprise in meeting Irena from bristol, who i met at LSF for the wwoof weekend. And Samantha, Celine, Philip, Miry, Carolyn and Lucy, and the time spent with them. And the clown week, the query week end. And all the plan to give a sense to my journey ending it volunteering at stroud and in totnes, and looking for a job in bristol, hosted by irena. Good idea, but in the end, like many time already, i ended to deal with dani that i would be back at braziers in september, until the 21st of october. Then, who knows. At the moment, i guess i will look for a job nearby braziers, maybe in oxford, in the ecobuilding area. Maybe, if i find a job, i can apply to stay at BP as a resident, since everyone seems to like that. And then, the weeds, or the medicine, as Claudio says. Maybe is the summer effect. Ah, i was forgetting, the summer seem to be gone. It last just a couple of weeks in june, unbelievable.