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  • I woke up at 6 am to make breakfast for two hundred and fifty people who were living in a spiritual community in Scotland.

    As usual I put the porridge on to simmer, started boiling 20 eggs, prepared the tray of seeds and dried fruit, and checked to see if the yoghurt I made the day before was nice and thick.

    This was a routine that I could do in my sleep and usually I managed to have breakfast ready with no mishaps. But that Wednesday morning nothing went right. I burnt the porridge, so I had to throw it away in the waste bin, lined with an extra strong plastic bag, find another saucepan and start again.

    As I bent over to remove the plastic bag and put it in the outside waste bin, I smelled the eggs boiling dry. I picked the bin bag up and it split, so that the burnt porridge poured into the metal bin.

    I rushed over to the eggs, managed to save them before the shells started burning and placed forty eggs into some more water to soft boil.

    Martha, a friendly Australian woman, entered the kitchen to prepare some food for lunch and found me cursing and rushing to get all the food out to the dining room buffet table. She was surprised, I was usually so calm and prepared at seven thirty. She had never heard me swear before.

    I returned to the kitchen and started scrubbing the burnt saucepan; when the head chef strode in sniffed the air, screwing his face up and opened the bin lid.

    “Who split the bin bag?” he snarled.

    “Kiss my ass!” I shouted back; I had always wanted to say that.

    He reeled back in shock.


    Martha told him, “She’s had a bad morning;” giggling behind her hand.

    I strode out the back entrance in a huff.

    “Do you think she will let me?” the head chef said.
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