After a somewhat make shift breakfast of fresh bread & honey we head off in a north westerly direction towards Shropshire. Great drive along the coast road where we stopped to take in the view of Cardigan Bay before stopping for a full veggie brunch at the Centre for Alternative Technology café in Machynlleth. Where Mike tells me the story of his involvement with CAT as the shareholders rep.
Looking at the map Mike realises that one of our possible routes will take us past the house of two old friends of both of us Clive and June. So we decide to give them a call and drop in out of the blue for a tea break. I first met June in Milton Keynes back in the errr…..late 70’s early80s?….. working as a volunteer on a directory called In The Making, doing actual cut-and-paste, getting the directory ready to go to the printers. The directory was a sort of analogue search engine for alternative projects across the UK. A forerunner of the bigger and more comprehensive Alternative England and Wales produced by Nicholas Saunders.
I met both June and Clive again as part of the fabled Rapid Transformations crew; a motely band of communards and alternative builders who would turn up at a community for two weeks in the summer months of the late 70’s & 1980’s and proceed to reroof your main house/terrace/barn roof for the cost of the materials, food, a bottle of scotch and somewhere to construct a mobile sauna. And disburse again to await the call from another leaky communal roof.
It turns out that habits of generosity are hard to shake off and Clive and June, now semi-retired, still provide an FFFF service – Fast Fix for Friends & Family – whereby when you have moved house they will turn up a day or two later with tools at the ready and proceed to put up shelves and hang curtains for you – all for the price of a – well not sure if you have to provide space for a mobile sauna anymore, but you get the picture.