Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gift Economy is alive and kicking in Somerset

Interesting day. It helps that the sun shone, even more that I had reclaimed timber to scrounge from a neighbour's builder. Dragged it up hill, sawed some up and assemble into the burgeoning Humanure Hacienda. It is a known scientific fact (one that I have just made up) that making things out of wood is a cause of happiness.

Set off on shopping trip - milk from the Post Office, then down Honey Hall to scrounge some straw. Had a nice chat with the farmers, starting with the nonagenarian who is still fit as a fiddle (though troubled with indigestion, I advised to see the docs at Congresbury surgery). And the younger had leg eczema (advised see doc for steroid cream as keeping him awake at night with itching, and to try a sock to keep the wellie off the area).  We stuffed bags with straw while we discussed rabbits, deer, slugs, drenching with cider as a cure for stroke, and the pleasant architecture of the old stone barn, though we all agree that it would work better if it had a roof.

Then to Yatton, to pick up mended glasses. The charge was waived. Second time this week. Very kind opticians.

Then to Wrington Motors, finally with the fan belt which I had been meaning to bring in for months. They pop out back and after 10 minutes (I get to skim Somerset Life magazine), come back with a pulley to fit the belt. No charge.

Then to Travis Perkins for a kicker. I pay up. Fair enough, it's a business.

Then to Blagdon to get a butt to collect the water off the roof of the Humanure Hacienda when it gets built. And then - I lose my keys! Nowhere. Retrace my path, ask the shop assistants, get concerned help with searching. Nada. Niente. Gone. Dematerialised. Obviously I search all my pockets (I have 10 of them, as I am wearing overalls on my trousers) several times. Nowhere. So I set off to walk 2 miles through the woods back home for the spare keys. But a nice man gives me a lift back, and I scrounge 2 more planks from the neighbour's lumber pile go back up the hill, get on bike, cycle back to Blagdon, open car, take wheel off bike, stuff it in back, put water butt on front seat, drive back home, and then find keys. They were in the 11th (yes eleventh pocket -  a long deep straight one on the overalls where you can put your ruler.

So that was five items I got for free today, and one apparent loss that was not a loss. Derek Wall writes about the "gift economy". The Gift Economy is alive and kicking in Somerset, Derek.

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