Dailies: September 29, 2013

While everyone was busy watching Breaking Bad, I was writing this blog post. Cool, right?

But it has been an excellent weekend in Stanbridge East, to be sure! It started with the info session on Thursday night at the Community Centre behind which our bus is parked. The building, which is now anchored by the Stanbridge East Sports Association, is the former French school. It backs onto a field and playground that is shared by the building that is now the town hall and library and which also used to be the English school. While they maintained separate facilities, the common recreation space allowed the children to play together. Now, of course, the children are bussed to nearby Bedford or Frelighsburg to join larger student populations and the buildings have been repurposed.

We had great turnout at the info session, and so far our theory that summer adversely affects participation levels is holding true (according to our projection, involvement should go up as winter nears, probably out of a greater need for distractions). We have a good demographic spread, and I am really looking forward to seeing what turns up here! It was one of my favourite kinds of info sessions–one in which everyone sits around for a little while after the presentation and we all socialize. There is also lots of interest in the processing aspect…can’t wait to break that stuff out, too.

Since then, much of our time has been focused around preparing for our upcoming fundraiser (to catch up, check out the page on our site or indiegogo.com/canadian-framelines-2013). As always, we are a little bit nervous, but we have the benefit of having really extended our networks on this trip so we are hoping for the best! There is a lot of strategizing going on here at Canadian Frame(lines) HQ, though.

Our friend Pam invited us over to watch as she and her friend Phil pressed grapes for wine yesterday, so around midday we packed up our work and went over to Phil’s house. He is the village baker, with his handmade oven right on his property, but he has also been making his own wine for over 20 years. Since it is easier to work in volume, a few people in the community buy in on the grapes and then lend a hand with the production – the product is divvied up at the end. The smell of wine grapes was thick as we walked into the basement where Pam and Phil were turning the cast iron bar atop a wooden press (a device much like a barrel with some of the staves missing, allowing a large, threaded platform to compress grapes inside and let the juice run out where it may). We stayed much longer than we intended to because the process was so fascinating and the company so enjoyable. After we get home, we want to do our own beer…but wine might be next on the DIY list!

Today was our first workshop day. We pushed back from our typical Saturday-at-ten timeslot to Sunday at noon for scheduling reasons, and I remembered that Pam and Phil had been talking about harvesting potatoes and needing extra hands. So in order to shake off some of my nervous energy, and because it was such a lovely day, I went over and helped out for an hour picking up the freshly unearthed spuds and putting them into sacks. It was hardly backbreaking, and I even got to drive a tractor briefly (though no pictures were taken, sadly). Best of all, Alexandra and I had very fresh roasted potatoes for supper. Delicious.

The workshop itself went off without a hitch. As in many places, we’ve split this one into two sections, with a crash course to be held on Wednesday. Some of our participants today are even going to be having “production meetings” over the next couple of days to work out their filming…next thing you know, they’ll have the big lights set up!

Tomorrow is a big day, because not only are we going to launch our Indiegogo fundraiser, but we are also going to say hello to the Quebec provincial healthcare system and might even get to see an old old friend from back west. Looking forward to it.

Time for sleep! The race is on.

Yours,

Ryder

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