Busy woman stays home

Last update: 5.03.12 First posted: 3.03.12 by in

The busy woman got grounded , the wrong sort of grounded .
The dream of lying in bed reading and surfing is rather dull if you have to do it. Listening to the phone ring and seeing sunshine and hearing birds sing is enough to drive any busy women bonkers if she is grounded.
Still I have had a chance to reflect and plan, sort of. Based on reading the side affects of current medication I have decided to do stand up comedy for my 60th year based on the proposition that the medication will cure me or kill me. Its best never to look at those bits of paper but if you do, don’t take it lying down use that information for future entertainment when you feel better.
Today is a great day for incredible edible in our local paper, even right winger Bernard Ingham hasn’t dished us in his article about going green. Two entries in the letters page both good and big article about bees.
It’s often harder to get positive local news than it is national and increasingly international. Yesterday we had a beautiful letter from Hebden Royd council that pleased us all. Local is what we care most about and local is often the hardest thing to pull off.
Every one is getting ready for spring, the recent sunshine has created a real feeling of expectation of what may lay ahead this year.

In 4 years we have hosted so many visitors, visited folk up and down the country. Now we have our French comrades knocking out grub and creating a real stir in France.

Steve Hay was promised money from me to make a film, I messed up and could not pay him, he did what few folk do, he carried on knowing there was no money.

The film he has made is pure and simple, a story well told and made with love, it’s very much an Incredible film. already it has been translated into French for projects in the Alsace region and for use in Canada, the BBC have also used some of the footage . thanks Steve .

The 50 new radicals a joint thing with NESTA and the Guardian , Incredibles on the list number 3. Did we get a prize? No we did not! we get the pleasure of knowing we are on the list. I don’t want to seem ungrateful but an evening of champers and little things to eat reception in Londinium does not rock my boat. A wheel Barrow is what I want, or good wellies, or even a badge?
Anyway I hope the other 49 enjoyed their evening, as we were most probably the only organisation with no paid staff at all, I reckon it never entered anyone’s head who would pay train fares and how do you get home to the sticks after a late do. The world of London, is beginning to bug me, a lot of people running big stuff need to come up north and see what it means to do stuff sustainably, like without big bucks, big grants, fancy evening tiny food parties. Moan over.

Hooray to Yorkshire water, my Heroes. Told them I needed a wheel barrow and they said I shall have one!
Pam and I have spent the last week traveling to Hull to speak at the Leak Technicians training event.
What an opportunity, we get money to buy stuff, do stuff in town, we get water barrels, we hopefully will get some land to grow on.
Best of all we get a tour around a poo plant or the technical phrase- water treatment works, Yorkshire water wanted us to visit their visitors Center poo plant, oh no, I want to see where my own poo goes, I am not interested in how other towns process the stuff, we have one here in Todmorden and it’s been an ambition of mine to see it, and see it I will.
Another great thing about Yorkshire Water, I had a lift with a great woman, Kate who is in charge of leaks strategy, I had plenty of time to grill her in all things water, I learnt beautiful phrases from her like ‘calming the system’ I learnt about pressure and water capture, water stress, pipelines, it was good to know that women are making their mark in water engineering.
I sat in on a couple of the workshops and I know it’s pushing my luck Yorkshire water – I so do need a listening stick………

In February being the polite generous northerners that we are , we did a photo shoot for a women’s mag on growing , ok so what you are thinking , well we had to pretend it was spring !
The mag brought herbs from a supermarket to plant in the frozen ground and we had to not look freezing as it actually was a bitter day.
I got a distinct feeling that a certain look was required and certain body shapes must not be shown, of course denied vehemently at the same time as requesting two women to stand as far away as possible. Well blow me the article is out, busy woman got a text to say she is a Center fold spread! I sure am, right underneath the staple yipppeeee!
Pam has been air brushed she looks incredible, she has holly wood smile and I am sure they have touched her up elsewhere. It all goes to show that we will do almost anything if it spreads the word about growing and doing.
I won’t be buying the mag myself as I am under a staple, but if I was Pam I would get a copy and cut out and scan the Hollywood image and use it on all future publicity.


last weekend the Pi people came and I did feasting on a budget, I say it myself I am getting to be a good cook, mainly because I have eaten plenty of Pam’s food and she knows her stuff. I used a 37pence tin of chestnut puree to make soup and add to apple crumbles. I made some very good grub from chucked out veg and bread, I love the challenge of less, having chickens means loads of eggs which always helps.
We had one of those lunches where guests stuck stuff on the table, posh local cheese and chocolate gingers.
In the evening we had trifle and after 8 chocolates such decadence.
Bec is here as an intern at goldsmiths from Australia, she is the perfect guest, she brought her own wellies and ate anything in front of her, she is without doubt a busy woman in the making, smart and full of energy. She has been set an enormous design task by our growers for labelling ideas and I know she will do it.

Wakefield Incredibles sent through there program of events, seeing the other areas making progress brings so much joy.
I often google the other projects to remind myself of the value of what we are doing.
It often feels for me, that I have less to do with growing and more to do with message , I miss the growing bit , but love the passing of batons , we have two great women heading up town Center planting and knowing they are on the case makes it easier to let go.
The more we can let go to others the stronger we will be .
The walsden project has turned into a ltd company and is setting out on the road to independence to provide learning and growing opportunities.
it’s a hard time for us to get through , the public need to catch up with how it all works .
It is a small town and we now have two ltd companies providing growing and learning which is amazing in a tiny place, decisions have to be made about customers, clients and territories , the good thing is that this area is the birth place of co-operation so we will work it out .
The school food hub is the other LTD and bye heck it’s moving, it looked like it might not happen, but good folk and an enlightened head have stuck at it and it is now emerging from the ground.

Wonderful stuff is happening at that school with kids, with fish and plants, soon every head with any nouse will be hot footing it to Todmorden to see what can be achieved.
We have also learnt some really painful lessons that can be shared in private , if the dream is precious enough you can work through any amount of pain to get there and getting there we definitely are.

Today two things are happening in Tod, Oopps three things.
Anthony from BIG BARN is here, having a tour with Ever Ready Estelle

and also meeting local growers and producers. Pam providing lunch and discussion afterwards, how I wish I was not grounded! the loved one forgets the small matter of food would be nice now and then.
The marvellous Michaela and Sally are cooking in the health centre car park, showing folk how to do simple things with good food.
Helena is heading up the IET stall at the made in Tod event . The business association show case all the great products made in town, it’s a lot of work for a few people but so important to expose the local people to local stuff. Yes it’s hard to believe that so much happens , but that’s the joy of this thing called community.

Tomorrow is gardening Sunday and I shall have to miss it, we also have a documentary photographer coming and a tour is booked so again it’s all go .

I leave you with this funny quote from the medicine packet
5 in every 100 people taking this Medicine report feeling, seeing or hearing things which do not exist. having strange and frightening thoughts, changing how you act or have feelings of being alone.
What about feeling crap about being grounded and hungry? Who writes the doom laden tiny flyers stuffed slyly in the box? Find them and bring them to Todmorden to be re-educated about what really matters!

I can’t wait until I am sixty to do my tablet box comedy routine, it’s too funny, I am going to practice now.

Want to help?

There are loads of ways you can help us in our work. For more information click here. Or email Estelle.