It is Friday night. I am serving up apple crumble. The hands come up holding bowls to be filled. Strong, working hands. Adolescent girls hands with glittery finger-nails. Beautifully manicured hands of the arthritic oldies. The grubby hands of the gardeners and street homeless. Doubtful hands, ‘is this really for me’, and greedy hands ‘I am ready for seconds, and thirds’. The liver spots. The tattoos. The podgy hands of toddlers.
Diversity is in front of me, so hard to genuinely create, so important to make this work well.
It is Camerados Neighbourhood Kitchen night at the Oxford Living Room. The living room is our idea. We are stealing the neighbourhood kitchen from Marsha Smith who inspires others to create food surplus nights.
Lots of people, local people coming together to source, cook and eat together on a Friday night. 140 people in all.
We are not here to serve up crumble. Or to admire hands. Or to eat. We 140 strangers are here to meet, talk and, where necessary, put the world to rights.
Maybe you want to come and join us on the last Friday of next month (or any month) at the Oxford living room. Or perhaps find out more about our other living rooms, our teepees or our soon to be released ‘living rooms in a box’. Or maybe you just want to wear the badge and chat to the next stranger who passes you by. Whatever your interest in Camerados, check us out and join the movement at camerados.org