And then I picked Beth up and we rather nervously and tentatively headed off for the Food Bank which turned out to be central with plenty of parking, thank goodness. As this is one of Alex's projects for his DoE work, he was well prepared with a whole list of questions he had written down ranging from factual information to personal responses. I thought they were a good set of questions - well done, Al.
Pippa and co were brilliant. They showed us round everything, explained how everything worked and was organised, plied us with coffee and biscuits much to Alex's satisfaction and answered all Alex's questions and more.
By the time we came out my head was reeling with it all. It's an amazing work, repeated in towns and cities all over the country but the tragedy is that in a country like ours it should not be necessary. Sadly, the fact is that as benefit cuts bite deeper and deeper, people have used up their small safety net of savings and when the benefits office plays silly devils with the timing/sending out of benefits people can be left with so little that they have to choose between paying the rent and buying food.
Pippa confirmed that the huge majority of their clients are not 'scrounging, workshy and lazy' (to quote someone who shall remain nameless) but are decent, honest people who want to work and pay their way (and sometimes have low-paid jobs) but the benefits system has let them down temporarily and they are highly distressed and embarassed (and often depressed too) to find themselves in this position.
Thank God for the food banks, for those lovely people who manage and run it on a voluntary basis and for those who support it in various ways. If you read this, please do consider if you could support their work. If everyone who could were to donate just one item per week it would make such a difference. It's not such a huge sacrifice, is it? You can find your nearest Food Bank on the Internet.
Once home, I had a rather scrappy lunch and then sat down to do some knitting. The shawl I am making which caused me such problems in the beginning is now going very nicely but, as every other row adds four stitches, the rows are getting longer and longer and the needles are getting more and more crowded. I think I'm going to have to invest in a circular needle or I will never cope!
When I woke up (!!!) I picked up my eggs and J treated me to half a dozen titchy little eggs for free, which was very kind of her. They are perfect for making one person pancakes! Then it was home to make pasta for the very first time. It was most satisfying! Next I want to see if I could use ordinary flour. I know it won't be the same but it will be so much more frugal - 3p for 100g as opposed to 16p.. I know one can grind corn into flour in Thermione so perhaps I could try giving ordinary flour a good long zizz to 'soften' it. I can but try - it won't be wasted anyway.
|Photo borrowed from Google Search|
Today I am out to have my eyes tested and then it's stay-at-home all day which will be very nice, because I seem to have been in and out, in and out most of the week.
But first of all - breakfast! Beans on toast, here I come!