It was that time of the week again, when I finally got to go and play with all the other squatters!
Last week proved successful, regarding items I took to site, so this week, I took a small amount of food, a bottle of Vodka and tobacco with me! (Hey, I know its bad for us…but we all need some pleasures in life!!!!
I was once again greeted on site, only this time, it was to a familiar voice shouting…”Pixi’s real”!!!!
Which totally confused me, until it was explained to me, that as I had turned up the previous week, donning Whiskey, and food, and then proceeding to wash up all the dirty pots and pans on site….they just presumed they had dreamt me!
On entering the communal kitchen area, I was really pleasantly suprised to find so many more people there than last week! and the extra bodies only added to the atmosphere…and maybe the sweaty feet smell too!! lol
Spirits were once again, really high, and once the introductions had been made, and the site jobs had been done, another yummy meal was served, the alcohol started flowing and the site songs started up once again, with more humour and personalisation…mainly towards a certain man who I believe is the head of the impending Eviction Team…(I mention no names!!).
Whilst the others were singing away, me and 2 others fixed up the bender. (For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a shaped wooden construction, usually made from hazel or willow (as they are BENDABLE woods), with a tarp over it).
We resecured the poles, and used a drainpipe and wire to create a lifted entranceway, and hey presto….a lovely warm and fairly big bender!!! (Stop sniggering…..it’s not that funny). lol
That night, I was shattered, so I decided to crash out in the bender, as I figured that it would be empty…wrong! I ended up sleeping in the porchway, as the main area was full of bodies, on really hard ground, sharing my sleeping bag (opened up) with a guy from site, who was like a giant hot water bottle! which was actually good, as I was sooo cold!!!
I awoke the next morning, early hours, dying for a wee, so I trundled off, freezing cold, to the nearest bush and went…not ahhhhh (as in relief) but ARRRGGGHHH (as in a just nettled my fanny!!!!)
(Note to self….NEVER SQUAT FOR A WEE ON A NETTLE PLANT).
Nursing my particulars, I went back to sleep, wishing that I had some nice soothing dot leaves to stuff down my pants!!!! lol
The next day was incredibly busy, as everyone knuckled down, making the site ready for eviction. Both the inside, and outside of the cottage was being worked on, to make it more of a fortress than ever, and underground, the tunnel was growing rapidly bigger and more impressive!!!!
Whilst the work was taking place, a few of us, had wandered in the vicinity of the construction workers, and it was decided that we should do something to hinder/stop their work for the day.
After a brief trip back to site for provisions, 2 members of the group stepped onto the freshly laid tarmac, to stop the roller that was being driven over it. Obviously he was forced to stop to prevent injury, and luckily, he had stopped on the concrete not on the hot tarmac, so whilst the driver went to his workmates, one of the group was D locked by his neck (his choice) to the front of the roller!!
The workmen were very amicable really, and didn’t ask us to leave at all, they just called the police!
So whilst we were waiting for the coppers to eventually show up, I took a photo of the moment, including a banner which read “DON’T DO IT” for prosperity.
We had 2 lookouts on Bell lane and another at the Shipley side, and then the shouts of “pigs” came, and a large van came into view, so our friend was quickly unlocked, and we all made a mad dash to site!
(We had done our job, and stopped their work, so what was the point on getting arrested).
I, however, being the dilbert that I was, hadn’t thought on, that my boots were untied, and I ended up running (behind everyone else) as fast as I could, with my boots slopping around my feet, wheezing (asthma is a bitch) and trying like hell to outrun the coppers behind me who were chasing us and yelling us to stop……..
Luckily for me I reached the safety of the fence in time, and more of less dived into site, and headed to the communal where i sat getting my breath back!
(Second note to self……DO MY BOOTS UP BEFORE BEING CHASED BY THE POLICE)!!!!
Everyone had made it back to site safely, and the police loitered around the perimeter for ages, reading the section 6 notices we had up (to oocasional shouts of…if you can’t read, we will draw pictures for you) etc
We were told that if anyone was caught on the builders site again, then we would all be arrested…which was recieved with shrugs of the shoulders and …oh ok then. lol
The police presence didn’t seem to phaze anyone until another vehicle turned up and they started to approach site, where upon most of the people on the ground shimmied up the cottage as fast as they could (me included) and sat on the roof…waiting.
As it turned out, there was 6 pig…er, police officers on the ground, (some ranking ones) and they were donning video cameras, so we tried to pretty much keep our faces hidden, whilst singing loudly (and possibly childishly) about bacon…and a shout from a particularly cheeky protestor, loudly asking “who ordered the strippers”??? lol
We also got accused of stealing the van keys from the workmen, which was really amusing, as none of us had them….but wished we’d thought of it!!!!
(Third note to self…..BE MORE ASSERTIVE).
Needless to say, after wasting most of their own afternoon, the keys miraculously (genuinely nothing to do with us), turned up, and the police left.
Up to that point, that had been the highlight of the day, but the second one (for me anyway), was the ercetion of the site flag…a large blue flag with the Squatters symbol painted onto it, that was placed at the topmost part of the huge tripod that occupied the cottage roof.
It was one of the most heartfelt things I had seen, and from then on, it seemed to boost spirits, (espceially when a protestor did an impression of a pole dance for us all on the tripod)!!!!
Once site had calmed down a bit, most of us went to sit in the communal for reaxing time, and we had a visitor on site from the local Greenpeace group, who brought lots of lovely goodies…(you know who you are, and we thank you).
The evening was great again, but quieter than the previous one, as people were tired from the get together, so it was spent, all huddled together, in the communal, listening to the guitar playing, and songs being gently sung…….
(Fourth note to self….DON’T FALL ASLEEP TO THE SOOTHING SITE GUITAR, I HATE LULLABIES).
Two of my friends came to site for a few hours that night, to see what wewere up to, and to meet people, and although I was a little dissapointed that it wasn’t as lively as the previous night, I was really glad they got to meet some of the people I cared most about!
Eventually, they went home, and we went to bed….I actually had the bender to myself, so I snuggled down into my sleeping bag, and fell deeply asleep……..until a voice piercing my bloody eardrums was yelling my name….
It was one of the protestors, he was shouting me to wake up, as vans could be seen across the field with rotating orange lights….and the initail thought was…..EVICTION!!!!!
I have never got dressed so fast, grabbing my climbing harness and inhaler and phone, and getting on the roof of the building, my heart was racing, and the adrenaline was pumping…..I was ready to fight for my new home.
There were several others already on the roof, complete with rucksacks and head torches on…even one of the site Dogs was there (very safely secured I might add).
As we all waited with baited breath, we heard voices in the field and then familiar names were yelled out…..upon realisation, these people were friends of some of the protestors on site, the relief swept over us all!!!
So eventually, we all went back to bed, a little shaken, and (in a way) a little disappointed, as we were syked up for eviction.
But the night ent by with no further excitement, and I woke about 11.30am, cold and damp again, but having slept soundly, and went for a wee….(no nettles this time), and headed to the communal for a cigarette and a coffee.
That day we had the lady from Greenpeace come again, with more lovely things for us, and a message that she as requested climbing gear for me, and things for site…bless her and then she skidabbled off again with her cold..as she didn’t want to pass it on! awwww
People came and went off site all day, going to the local shops for supplies, and we lost 2 of them for a while, and later found out they had been to the pub!!!
Time flew quickly, and again, it was time for me to wave byebye to site for another week, but this time I was taking another protestor home with me, a lovely, dreadlocked, guitar playing girl, who fancied a bath and a decent nights sleep.
So I said my goodbyes, not sure if I would see these lovely people again, as the court case was the next day, and we weren’t sure if eviction would be called, so I shed a tear or two as I left to meet our lift home.