July

Another month is drwaing to a close and life carries on running away with us.

At the start of the ‘season’ a few of us decided that as a fundraising venture we would open our village hall kitchen on a Sunday and run a Community Teashop. We’ve done six of them now and they are building in busyness every week. The idea is simple – there are six teams of volunteers who take it in turns to open the hall up for refreshments between 11am and 3pm on a Sunday. You have a £10 budget (more if you think you can do really well and recoup your costs) to spend and need to offer something sweet and something savoury along with tea, coffee and squash.

Every week has been a really different offering so far. Ady and I did the first week and brought along home made soup, freshly baked bread rolls, quiche as an offering from the croft (made with our free range eggs), two types of cakes and some flapjacks. It was a fairly traditional home made tea shop type deal and we did pretty well.

We took our second turn last weekend and had morphed a little into more sophisticated flatbreads served hot or cold, a different home made soup with rolls and a choice of cakes again. If we do a third turn we have a plan to do a foraged teashop option serving up wild foods from the island.

We’ve had all sorts of different pop up teashops for the duration of the venture so far, really reflecting the personality, culinary and hosting skills of the islanders running it. We’ve had different music playing according to taste, a variety of hot and cold specialist dishes with more or less ambitious options. We’ve had people drafting in family members who were visiting and putting on really impressive menus.

Best of all though we have so far raised about £500 towards repairing our village hall.

It’s not been without it’s frustrations; a shared use hall and kitchen space means different people feel differing levels of ownership towards the space and there are the inevitable quibbles about who left things in what state. There have been issues with people being unable to take their turn when they were supposed to so others standing in for them.There have been minor moans and groans about the advertised Monday to Saturday teashop menu not being available and people appearing after the Sunday teashop is closed hoping for a cup of tea and finding everything packed up and the residents who have already given five hours of their Sunday up for nothing ready to go home rather than unpack everything for the sake a quid for a cup of tea.

But it’s been a victory overall. A fabulous community spirit building, money making, fun enterprise for those who have been involved. Either in volunteering and running it or as has increasingly been happening as the weeks have gone by in coming along to patronise and support it.

It’s another of the many things on Rum I am very proud to be part of and be involved in.

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