by Anita Graafland

On 6 November, we ran the first of our properly scheduled coffee mornings – every first Saturday of the month – and we immediately encountered our first problem: our street stall scheduled at the same time as our coffee morning. We’re a small team and couldn’t very well divide ourselves in half. So what to do? Cancelling either wasn’t an option. The solution was as easy as it was brilliant: our two EU-based members hosted the coffee morning and the team on the ground connected to the coffee morning via the Zoom link.

Two new people joined us for our coffee morning: Jacqui, who was itching to get back into the “for Europe” game, after moving to Cornwall from Cambridge, and Margie, who as a Polish-born EU citizen, had suffered terrible abuse from the public while doing her job working for Cornwall Council. Hailing from the more welcomed countries in the European Union, it still shocks me to learn how badly East Europeans are and have been treated – it’s really no wonder they have no desire to return to do the unwanted jobs and then be spat at. It’s people like Margie, though, who are married to Brits and can’t just “go home” who are suffering the brunt of the xenophobia that apparently is still raging in our beloved Cornwall.

Two new visitors, then, and even an apology from Keith, a previous visitor who unfortunately couldn’t make it. And getting the direct feed from the streets of Camborne, where our SOS stall was in full swing, was a tremendous boost. We ran a little late, in fact, which is when we spotted an issue that may have kept more people from joining us for a relaxed chat of a Saturday morning: Margie’s diary had flagged the meeting as starting at mid-day, whereas it was scheduled for 11.00 am. We think it has to do with the link having been created on the Continent, even if UK time is indicated. So please remember, our coffee mornings start at 11.00, regardless of what your electronic diary may think!

Why not join in next time and chat to some like-minded friends? There is no agenda so the subject matter changes every time. Everyone is welcome, whether you wish to contribute, or just listen in on the sidelines. Hope to see you there! (And an early heads-up for the January coffee morning after that: that will be held on 8 January 2022 instead of on the first Saturday of the month.)

We can’t say that there will be an outside broadcast at the next café on 4 December, but we are still hoping that we will continue to increase the number of members who attend. You can access the details from our Events page.