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They never warn you about the troll on top of the bridge.

Who goes there?” A voice came from behind the balustrade. “Can’t you see there’s loads of wet paint?” Ella was frightened. But then, she heard the poor troll sigh off camera. “All year long people use this bridge, but no one seems to care for it. And here I am, all alone, fixing it up a glorious red…Woe is me, woe is me, sad thing, etc. etc.”

As it turns out, fairy tale trolls are wildly misunderstood creatures and have been defamed by centuries of literature with creepy woodcut illustrations for little more reason that the fact they are lumpy and like to eat small children. Quite unfair. No one has ever considered their diligent maintenance of community facilities.

Until now. Little billy goat Ella was not eaten that day. Instead, she gave a much needed helping hand to the repainting of the bridge by the sea. It now shines as if brand new, and brightens up her walk to the village shop. The Troll was also befriended, and has joined the troupe of volunteers at the Bunkhouse. Small children, beware.

The other volunteers are humans. They are also quite skilled. Under the direction of our resident professional decorator, Amélie, two local houses are having their bedrooms transformed (not real magic, just painting). The 19th century Lime Kiln has been released from the clutches of the undergrowth, as have pathways around the village. A not very on-fire-bonfire cleared some of the woodland debris. Sanding and varnishing of the campsite shall ensue. Some volunteers are also teaching lessons with the school children. The class about the History of France was very successful, with almost every of the five children reciting the fact that the French kill their royalty.

Keeping everyone fuelled up, we’ve had freshly baked cheesecake, banana breads, sourdoughs, quiche, focaccias, pastas, curries – essentially, anything warm and beige. Life is good.


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