I decided to take the advice of my friend who told me to take a day off from time to time away from my responsibilities. So, there is no time like the present.
As it happens I had a number of reasons for visiting Frome, one of which was to see my acupuncturist for a treatment. Over the years I’ve been to see a number of therapists and I can say that the most important thing apart from competence is a rapport between myself and them which of course needs to be mutual. I can say that this is the case with Martin, the acupuncturist in question, and me. We seem to be getting on very well and understanding of each other. I think it has to do with our common attitude, for example to Covid, and our attitude to reality in general.
My session was at 11:30. We parked in front of the the green and cheese community hall which is bang slap in the centre of Frome next to the car park. The Treatment Rooms are only a short distance away so while I went for my appointment Francoise walked around some of the shops and sampled some of the cultural life of this small town (28,600). It is a very cultural place with I believe has three theatres and one cinema.
We then went to visit the Rye bakery which is in a road adjacent to Frome station and was repeated to be very good. Upon entering we realized that this was a gummy establishment with a pain au raisins costing £3. A charge of £4 for a loaf seemed about right for the quality of the ingredients. Francoise bought a sourdough loaf with organic wheat made with traditional and heritage rye grains and we did indeed pay £4 for the privilege.
I don’t mind paying for quality but in this case we found that the inside of the loaf was sticky and under cooked, as we discovered when after returning home we cut a slice. I rang them to make a complaint but the answering machine said that ‘we are closed for Christmas and Boxing Day’ so I wrote to them suggesting that they might consider updating their message.
We then found a Caribbean street food cafe as referred to in my previous communication. The very cheerful man was cooking fresh Roti which is vegetarian. The price was £6.50 and frankly I could not have finished it myself such was the quantity. Good to have fresh food. We sat around outside chatting to the other customers.
Nearby there was a machine selling pasteurized milk at £1.30 per liter so we bought a reusable bottle at £2 and then had a litre of milk.
We then returned to the car park and went up to see a new community type restaurant called the Good Heart where tea and coffee were offered free and meals were on offer. So far as I can understand it, you get meals (vegetarian) for nothing but if you can afford it you are asked to buy someone else’s meal which means you pay double price. So I would pay £13 including £6.50 towards the running of the place and of course subsidizing the poor.
I’m not sure about this model. I do not think it would work everywhere so I will go back to talk to one of the organisers, a very nice lady called Bridget. I would have captured her on the spot but she was just on her way out after what was obviously a long morning
We sat next to a chap whose name I did not get who came from Stoke-on-Trent. They are called Stokies. He appeared to be homeless and without employment. When we spoke to him about 2pm he had not had breakfast. When the food was bought to him he gobbled it down in a way that makes my fast eating look slow. We exchanged a few simple words. I will write about this cafe later when I’ve had a chance to speak to Bridget but it is a very interesting model.
If I were going to do the same in my own town I would offer free tea and coffee but also a donation for food. There are many reasons why people cannot pay to fill their stomachs. One is that they have literally no money especially towards the end of the month, another is that they cannot fend for themselves for various reasons. I remember when I was in India, free food was offered to anyone who lived within a certain radius of temple, cannot remember which religion it was (maybe Sikh) but I remember being very impressed.
So I know this was supposed to be my day off and I ended up by doing lots of things but it did feel like a rest day . It makes an enormous difference if my stomach is giving trouble or if it is not. Yesterday was a bad day because I over ate in the morning and I suffered from it until 4 a.m. this morning. Once I go off balance, all hell gets loose .
Today there was a rapid temperature rise going up from 1 degree C to 11 degree C so all the snow had melted. I was quite happy to go home where upon we had a lunch consisting of warmed up food, Food is often tasting better when it has rested for a while. I then switched on my computer for the first time today to maintain my sites and write this diary.
Frome has other offerings of a social nature.