Saturday 20 June 2009

Midsummer Transition Party

It poured with rain but the resilient Transition Party crew carried on having a good time. Our idea was to share ideas and have some fun in a low-carbon way. So most people cycled or walked up the hill towards Mousehold Heath where we gathered under the willow and apple trees of the Ranger’s House. Everyone brought a sustainable dish. Children made fabric sunflowers and flowery paper. We learned about making felt slippers and herbal highballs, drank home-made elderflower cup and ate home-grown strawberries and cherries. Tom sang with his cycle-powered dynamo and Su told stories. We swapped clothes and books at the “Old is the New New” stall and wrote our thoughts in the Norwich Green guide and the Writing in Transition diary. Later we had a jam session in the Triple Crunch tent and proved that a spot of stormy weather doesn’t need to get you down.

Kerry having a antipodean blast in the triple crunch tent. Bridget provided the info on all aspects of climate science and peak oil, as well as the best shelter.

Dan’s veggie BBQ. Everyone brought food to share. Dishes ranged from Home-made bread to Elena’s fierce and feisty pickled onions. People brought home-picked cherries and strawberries, We were gathering recipes from resilient cooks for TN’s Transition Cookbook – a collection of low-carbon dishes with info about food miles, fair-trade etc. for their main ingredients, which we hope to develop with the Food Group.

Getting serious about herbs. Mark W in the Triple Crunch tent teaches the key ingredients in his Herbal Highball – a mix of 22-odd plants and herbs that made the base of the Party’s Elderflower Cup. Here we are all tuning into Salad Burnet from the Rose Family, whose feathery leaves, as it’s name suggests, also made a good salad ingredient.

Sustainable tea anyone? Mark at the serving hatch with his home-made elderflower cordial and herbal highball. You could have it straight or with local organic cider. Or you could check out the crew’s fresh mint tea, or local apple juice from different apples.

Solstice circle and chill-out zone. Charlotte’s sunrise collection of wild flowers and midsummer medicine plants from the hedgerows and field margins in local honey jars, including yarrow, mugwort, field poppy, agrimony and st john’s wort.

The Ranger’s House is on the edge of the heath and fringed by heathland gorse and broom, foxgloves, red campions, herb robert, dog rose and elderflowers. Earlier this year, Heart and Soul arranged a walk around Mousehold with the heath’s community officer, Will to check out the history and restoration work of Norwich’s principle wild territory.

Once Upon A Time Under Jo’s rainbow umbrella we’re optimistically singing Here Comes the Sun (it should have been singing in rain) and We Can Work It Out, which we decided should be our Transition anthem. while Su keeps spinning those Transition tales.

Ptolemy (youngest member of NR3) stealing the show. Tom accompanying him with his cycle-powered dynamo and kept the party rocking.

All photographs by Helen Simpson Slapp