Because the Earth Pathways clan are dispersed across the country; from Derbyshire to Gloucestershire and all the way up to Tyne and Wear, (and, in the case of Jaine, wherever her whim and trusty camper van may take her)…. the times we are all together are rare and always a time for celebration!
So, when my friend remarked to me, “You are the only person I know who goes off to an AGM with a huge smile on her face,” she well understood the cause.
Saturday dawned bright and breezy; Debs was up at the crack of dawn for her cross-country drive from Stroud in order to be in Wirksworth for our very civilised 10.30 a.m. start; Jaine emerged bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from a wonderful night’s sleep in her camper by the side of a secluded Derbyshire country lane; Glennie and Brian stoked up the fire, plumped up the cushions and filled their cottage with the mouth-watering smells of vegan leek and mushroom pie (made with vegan cheese sauce and spelt flour pastry – to die for, believe me, recipe below) and gluten free fruit cake; and Annie and I made the arduous journey all the way from Belper, a full 15 minute drive, loaded up with salad goodies and more cake. O.K., that’s the Gloucestershire, Derbyshire and wandering nomad contingent all accounted for I hear you say, what about Tyne and Wear? Good question. Where, oh where, was Lucille? How would we manage without her? Never fear! Thanks to the wonders of technology, even though a last minute change of plans didn’t allow her to be there in person, we didn’t have to manage without her – as she was able to join us, all the way from Newcastle, on Skype (though the virtual chocolate cake was a bit of a let-down unfortunately I fear) 😉
Fast forward a few hours … hugs and exclamations of joy at being together again ‘in the flesh’, comparisons of journeys, family news updates, and, of course, the nitty-gritty of AGM business dealt with – re-election of officers agreed, financial and sales reports reported and celebrated, delicious lunch consumed and … we were off! ..to visit our brand new office space! How grown-up we have become in our tenth year! No longer do Glennie and Brian have to surrender their conservatory to packing cases, giant reels of parcel tape, rolls of brown paper, mountains of diaries and calendars and compliment slips…yipee! Cue a fabulous photo opportunity! Get your camera out Jaine! We have a beautiful office in the picturesque surroundings of Cromford Railway Station (which is henceforth famous as Earth Pathways diary distribution hub, and not merely for being the location of the photo on the cover of the very first 1995 number one Oasis single “Some Might Say”). Yes, Postie B. can spend his days dreaming of Thomas the Tank Engine and bird watching with maybe some packaging of diaries and calendars thrown in for good measure and Glennie gets her conservatory back to draw and paint in to her heart’s content. Huge smiles all round. 🙂
Post lunch diversion and photo shoot behind us we returned to Earth Pathways HQ for more serious business – the consideration of applications for our Seed Fund allocations for next year. It’s always fascinating to read about the inspirational projects that the Earth Pathways community are involved with. There is so much innovation and creativity out there. It is a difficult decision to make, and one that we devote much discussion and thought to, but in the end we are honoured and proud to be in a position to support the successful applicants who are part of the growing community of people who are willing to actively create positive change in their lives and the lives of others for the benefit of the Earth and to join us in inspiring our connection to the land.
Our lovely day was topped off with a visit from a splendid female Greater Spotted Woodpecker on the bird feeder outside the window (beautifully photographed by Brian) as we made plans to plant and care for ten native trees in celebration of our tenth edition of our fabulous diary in 2018 and… a take-away curry … because we also need to support the local Indian Take-away restaurant, of course!
Here’s to the next ten years! Love to you all, Sue and the Earth Pathways clan <3
Glennie’s spectacular vegan leek and mushroom pie
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 – 3/4 pint plant milk
1 piled teaspoon Bouillon/or stockcube + soya sauce/salt/peper
2/3 tablespoons Ground Almonds or flour
* Rough chop and fry the mushrooms and onion in a large frying pan
* Rough chop the leeks and add them in, turn down the heat, put a lid on the frying pan and let them sweat for 10 mins, stirring occasionally
* sprinkle over the mix with ground almonds or flour, stir in
* pour over 1/2 pint/3/4 pint stock made with plant milk, and simmer for 10 mins until it thickens. You may need to add more milk to get a creamy consistency…
* Give a generous swirl of soya cream
* If not vegan, you can add 2oz strong cheese
* Turn off the heat and let it go cold
6oz plain spelt flour
Make in the usual way, line a deep pie dish and fill with cold mixture
cook 25 mins on a med-high oven 175 fan
Delicious hot or cold!
Another vegan alternative …. instead of putting the ground almonds/flour in, make up 3/4 pint of ‘Free and Easy Non Dairy Cheese Sauce’ using a plant milk – per instructions on the box – and add the bullion or stock cube to that