Of fire circles and picnic tables

Day 5: 18 July 2005

Monday. Our first work day is another fine day, with the sun view over the Retzat mountains, it breaks through the window. Breakfast is at 8 o’clock and is traditional Romanian fare again. Afterwards we just have time to sap on suntan loation before we get  the car and landrover and head out to the first worksite.

Under the leadership of bibi and Adriane, we set to work. Four of us: Kat, Claudio and myself (and another Romanian volunteer) fetch rocks from the river whilst the others set about digging the frist two fire circles.

We quickly settle into a routine – forming a chains along the bank, and at one point I am lying amongst dragonfly skins under the bridge gathering rocks from the river, fetching them out for Jess to take along the chain.

At a tea break, Tom produces Green & Black’s chocolate, after which we work on digging a second two fire circles and collecting more rocks. We then set about sanding down one of the picnic tables and repainting it. We finish this as the sun clims hight into the sky – and with just enough enough time to do a little cement work on the fire circles. Adriane arrives back with Kat and Jess with our lunch, having ‘killed Jess’ in the dog pond with a beer bottle.

Lunch is Hungarian hot dogs with mustard between slices of thick bread served on square wood plates. This is followed by doughnuts – Romanian style. I have four, as does Jenny, and Kat and Tom both have five each. Jess settle to lick out the sugar bowl!

In a time of rest after lunch, an attempted murder is made on Kat by Claudio with a flower but it is a case of mistaken identiy and serves only to reveal to Jenny and Kat their respective killers, and for Jenny the murder weapon and location too.

Sanding down the second picnic table is the task for the afternoon and to pain the remaining table with an ever-decreasing amount of paint. We also work to cement some of the rocks into place in the fire circle. Joe arrives back with Bibi and some of the other Romainians with half a forest of hefty timbers in the back of the trailer. These will become seating and tables aorund the fire pits.

The British contingent, including Jenny but minus Neil, decide to walk back . After we are passed by the landrover, Claudia and Florine decide to walk with us. Stopping at the spring we refresh our water bottles.

Back at the motel we go our separate ways to showere and rest, returning one by one to the group down in the open air dining room for our 7.30pm dinner. Reading, diary writing, and a round of beer and wine courtesy of Joes for only a fiver, and games proceed into the night.

Day 6: A second worksite and forked lightning at dusk…