On 17 December last year, 28 of us – members plus ones – gathered for our annual Christmas meal, made for the first time on site.

Christmas 2014 party: lamb on a spit in the front courtyard

The double-height space of unit 3, recently vacated and awaiting its new incarnation as a workshop-cum-office, became, with hastily assembled benches and an assortment of tables, a temporary staff canteen. Much effort was made: we nibbled on toasted almonds and black olives while plates of buttered sourdough with home-cured gravadlax, made by Simon, did the rounds. A whole spit-roast lamb, cooked over hot coals in the front courtyard since early afternoon was tended by Mike, Simon and Jack. Accompaniments included pungent salsa verde made by Jack and Jeannetta; fresh broad bean, fennel, tomato, cucumber, feta, dill and parsley salad made by Robert J and Peter; a warming aubergine pilaf was made by Dan. We drank two different kitchen-brewed beers made between November and December by Olly and labelled by Peter. Duncan lit brandy and poured it over three of his rich and fruity home-made Christmas puddings, while Jeannetta’s delicious mince pies were consumed with much appreciation.

Christmas 2014 party meal, in unit 3, viewed from above
Christmas 2014 party meal, in unit 3, seen from above, different view