19 March – Saturday

It’s been a reasonably quiet day. Up at 6.30am to prepare for our 7am beans and eggs hand-out. Thirty tins of beans, 60 eggs. 40 eggs boiled and wrapped two-by-two in a sheet of newspaper, another 20 not boiled also in newspaper parcels of two.

We used to do pilchards and beans, but then there was a shortage of pilchards and when they were back in reasonable supply, they were too expensive. So we turned to eggs, 60 boiled. Then, one day, someone said they preferred their eggs uncooked. So now we boil 40 and leave 20 uncooked. Then each person states their preference.

It’s a complicated system, the system we use to decide who gets and who doesn’t, but it esseantially works on a first-come, first-(and only) served basis. I’m still not sure what motivates some people to come and stand, some from 6,30am, in summer and winter, waiting for this small offering. Some people really don’t look as if they need it. Others survive by moving from feeding scheme to feeding scheme.

When we publish Yeovue News, we insist that each takes a copy to read.

We’ve been doing this for about eight years now and some of the people have been here from the beginning. So last week I said I was unahppy with the situation. I wanted people to think about what we could do with the money instead which would be more productive. The old ‘give a person a fish and they eat for a day, give a person a fishing rod and they eat always’ issue. This week, one guy brought me something. A list of tools and materials he needs to do what he knows best – putting up pelmets. Right now, he is an unofficial car parker/car guard in the main business street. Not sure what exactly to do about his request. But at least he took the initiative.

The rest of the day has been reading the papers, writing a report, checking my emails, fielding phone calls, arranging to lend my car out again. Right now I have to leave to take Nicci ( my daughter) to some place way in the north and then fetch her later.

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