Upon an autumn day it so transpired that I, Chadders, the lowly son of a librarian's assistant, was tasked to accompany The Most Esteemed Lady Petersen on a journey of some several hundred miles. We were to travel from Leeds, a small city in the north of England, to the Scottish town of St.Andrews. Our purpose was to proclaim the message of food justice to the town's inhabitants.
The journey, undertaken by carraige, was a long but pleasant one. For the most part our spirits were high, and there was much amusing conversation and merriment. There were moments, however, in which we were afflicted somewhat by that weariness that falls upon all travelers occasionally. Nevertheless, we reached St.Andrews promptly, and in good humour.
There the weather is cold and the nights are long, and yet the streets are well lit and peopled by youngsters of an unpretentious, courteous and helpful ilk. The buildings are old, stately and grand in appearance; at the sight of them one is disposed to pine for the blessings of a forgotten time, when the activity of men was dedicated solely to the noble pursuit of knowledge, and wizards roamed freely in the local countryside. Or something like that.
We wandered for some time before being pointed in the way of our final destination- the university chaplaincy- by a friendly band of charity fundraisers. Once safely ensconced within the chaplaincy walls we met with our audience for the evening, a quiet and thoughtful group of young men and women - some drawn from the local chapter of the Student Christian Movement. Inevitably tea and biscuits were served.
Henceforth the main business of the evening was commenced. This consisted in a talk given by Lady Petersen to the group on the subject of food justice. She spoke with a remarkable eloquence and passion, displaying a thorough knowledge of the myriad and complex issues relating to the topic at hand. It was indeed most impressive and pleasurable to witness, both for myself and I suspect for the rest of the group also. At various points during the proceedings, discussions were held amongst the group, each of which was conducted with the utmost grace and civility.
Following a serving of apple crumble and ice cream, which was most well received by all, the time came for us to part company. Many kind and gracious words were exchanged amongst the group before we each made our separate ways into the night.
Who knows what will come of such a gathering? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps, on the other hand, a passion for food justice shall be kindled in the heart of one who was present. Perhaps over time this passion shall be manifested in a great many virtuous and noble deeds. In any case, I shall retain a memory of an evening spent in good conversation, with pleasant company, in most agreeable and comfortable surroundings. That memory in itself, I believe, is a thing to cherish.