I woke up later than everyone else, cocooned between a lightly snoozing Vlad and amidst the tossle and tumble of the communal bender. I had a slight recollection of waking some hours earlier to the swish of a suffragette skirt and the soft voices of the other campers getting ready to outreach to the children on their way to school. I missed out on the porridge breakfast, receiving instead a warm cup of tea. I had only arrived on the rush two days ago and am still adjusting to the dynamic of the camp and the people, finding out the best way to stoke a fire or wash a fire blackened pot.
We are staying in Haddenham, a small village, complete with thatched cottages, a green and a pond. Our camp looks inkeeping with the place and almost all the villagers have been supportive and interested in our strange gypsy rabble. After a morning in the pub with Alice, a laptop and a pot of tea, compiling facts and questions about the Copenhagen meetings in December, I went back to the camp to cook lunch for the group. Deborah's parents had brought a small picnic of bread, humous, and a container of home-grown tomatoes which we ate as we collected ingredients for our rice and dhal lunch. While the food cooked, we welcomed back the Rushers who had come back from distributing our newly arrived zines (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1808930533) in Thame and Aylesbury. With the horses grazing out on the green in front of us we soon had a crowd of after-school children petting the horses and visiting the camp. Rushers painted faces, did fancy dress and half of our bender was converted into a cinema where they could watch child-friendly videos about climate change.
In the evening Dave from Transition Town Thame and District had called a meeting in the Red Lion Pub called 'What's Copenhagen All About?' Having a climate scientist in the room, we deferred to Martin Hodson (the vicar's husband) to give us a quick run-down of the international talks in December. Dave then spoke about his vision for Haddenham for the 5th December 'Stop Climate Chaos' march in London. He wants to get 2000 people from the local area to collectively protest, hoping to enthuse the community into taking action together. They agreed that though the Copenhagen talks may not be successful, it was an important thing in terms of building a mass movement. We ended it with Cordelia doing a banner-making workshop, showing them how to use a projector to trace out lettering. We made two signs saying 'SLOW DOWN CLIMATE CATASTROPHE AHEAD' to hold on the road the next day.
Much later on, a small team of us sat out on the grass, chopping up fine vegetables to cook a pasta with. A local man dropped by and gave us bags and bags of seasonal vegetables from his allotment, chillis, kale, tomatoes. Another woman brought us a jar of home-made plum jam. The mood of the camp was peaceful, it had been an easy day and the weather, as usual, pleasant. We ended the day much as we had started it, cocooned next to each other in the candlelight of the bender, anticipating the walk to Oxford the next day.