A whirlwind week …

Frugal Cool at Portobello Organic Fair in September

We’ve had a whirlwind few days at Frugal Cool. A super-good Portobello Organic Fair followed by Start at St Andrew’s Square last Monday. Two very different events, yet both quite thrilling. In Portobello, the sun shone and the locals thronged in with enthusiasm and goodwill. I felt quite envious. How can we inspire Musselburgh to be positively green too? Prince Charles’ Start UK event was rather corporate but interesting nevertheless. The Prince himself (strong handshake, my curtsey under-rehearsed) was lovely and very well informed. Thanks to The Melting Pot for letting me join their table.

As if opening Frugal Cool’s Pop-Up Emporium last Wednesday wasn’t exciting enough – and a million thanks to everyone who visited and for the little cards and sweet peas – we got a call from East Lothian Council offering us the lease long-term. Too good a chance to miss? I think so and, pending signing the lease, it seems we will have a little shop. How wonderful. And how scarey.

In Frugal Cool’s handmade collection – displayed for the first time in one place – there is such beauty in re-discovered objects. Chapeau to our wonderful makers and designers for their immense talent and ingenuity. The challenge for me is to present it fabulously … that blue carpet will simply have to go!

Frugal Cool’s Pop-Up Emporium
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am to 3pm
Saturday, 10am to 1pm

Alongside made by hand gifts and accessories, you’ll find Herbidacious handmade natural ointments and creams. Joppa-based herbalist Brigid McCarthy has just launched a new range of soothing ointments and nourishing body creams and bath soaks. I tested the body cream during the last Eco Market. My dishpan hands now look and feel great, and if you come into the Pop-Up Emporium, I’ll tell you my secret to a full night’s sleep.

There are no photos of the Pop-Up Emporium yet (sigh). We have taken some snaps, but they’re not right. So until I get it sorted, you’ll just have to come and see yourself.

Children of Mae Sot on the Thai Burma border

As you may know, Frugal Cool is a social business. That means that we’re committed to trading fairly and giving back. This year, we’re supporting a special initiative for children. Campie School in Musselburgh is involved in the Global Schools Partnership, linking with Mae Sot school on the Thai-Burma border. Mae Sot provides education and care for children who have been displaced by the repressive regime in Burma. Some children are alone or orphans, others have fled with their families to escape persecution or forced labour. Following a visit to Mae Sot by Campie teachers this summer, they’ve decided to support the residential houses and provide money for food and other essential items. Frugal Cool Pop-Up Emporium will contribute to this fund with 5% of our takings. The current total is around £90. So thank you to everyone who has bought something this week. You’ve done good!

I’ve found a lovely publication which will be available at our Emporium next week. Spoonful – A Happiness Companion is my new favourite read for those quiet moments when I want to raise my spirits. I love the design as much as the words. Giving happiness is a special gift and Spoonful does just that.

Borrowed from spoonfulzine.com because it sometimes happens to me!

Other news … Greener Monday are calling for volunteers to help them run a Saturday organic stall at Out of the Blue’s Village Store (10am to 2pm). They’d love to hear from anyone interested in helping them once or twice a month, to help set-up and take down the stall, which takes about half an hour. Volunteers would receive 25% discount in Greener Monday’s online shop. As well as helping to promote locally sourced foods, it’s a great, sociable way to support an environmental project.

My friend Chechu Rubiera may be racing for the last time this week as a professional cyclist ( … or maybe not, his decision about retirement is days away). Supporting Chechu by creating his fan website has been a joy. Because of him, our family has new friends across the world and we’ve had such adventures. Five years ago, this was a crazy happenstance. How lucky was I. More about cycling next time.

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