Sweet Chestnut Day 20th November 2005. Not a bad turnout for a cold day, somewhere between 20 and 30 people. By the time the cold set in the fire was well underway, but some of us resorted to leaning on the hot clay of the bread oven. There was a lovely dishing of soup as usual but I suppose the spirit of the day was captured by the poetry and role playing that followed. With the insurgence of a women’s group that aspect of the project is beginning to take off. Just what we needed on a cold day, but on this occasion it was marked by a couple of children joining in. The fun started with nominating yourself as a character, a personification of the environment. Then each had to talk about what one’s character is like, and then what followed was a word association game where one had to say a word that related to the last one being said and also to what type of character they were playing. This was to help one actively engage in their character and to counteract speaking-out shyness. Then an impromptu play was struck up after I read the lines of a short story I wrote; it lasted about thirty minutes and had the air of Shakespeare about it. The kids gave a modern twist. As for the sweet chestnuts, their importance must be emphasised. Considering we are growing a small amount of sweet chestnut coppice on site we will probably leave one to grow as a standard for cropping. The chestnuts were better done in a pan because we found it difficult to control the heat, as we did with the oven and the inherent problems of baking bread that day. Squiddley set up a mock control panel of knobs around the campfire as a joke. This day will obviously become an annual event, a nice interval until Yuletide/solstice celebrations but it wasn’t quite a dancing atmosphere.