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 Post subject: testify!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 5:21 pm 
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Hey hey kids!!

As you may know, the forest is dreaming of a a bigger, better and more fun-filled future involving more funding and more space in which to do more of the crazy, sexy, arty, animally things you love so much.

As part of our strategy to make this beautiful dream reality, we need your testimonies about what the forest is to you and how it has enhanced your life. If you can write a few words describing your own experience, you could be helping us to attract that mammoth grant which will enable us to soundproof all the neighbours or to get a brand new toilet or something.

Really, there is no limit to what your testimonies could help us achieve, so please write them and post them here, and please do it soon!

If you don't want your testimony to be public, you can email it to the_beev[at]yahoo.com or send it through this bb in a private message to "beev".

It would be great if you could include your name and some kind of address with your testimony. Maybe your age as well, it's up to you.

Below is a sample testimony. Yours doesn't have to be the same as this. It could be shorter, longer, funnier, whatever you want, as long as it's the truth!

Quote:
I first discovered the forest in 2003. It was a time in my life when I was becoming increasingly aware of the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health. I was starting to consume more fresh and organic foods, and I was interested in both the health and social aspects of organic, local and fairtrade food and drink.

I felt dismayed at how difficult it was to find places that were offering these kinds of products, and that is one reason why I was so excited when I found the Forest. Not only was it a vegetarian place with a very comfortable and relaxing, yet also dynamic and creative atmosphere, it was offering exactly the kinds of products I was looking for. Also - unusually for things that are healthy and produced in a socially conscious way - the prices were cheaper than elsewhere, with a further discount for people who volunteer.

This was a great start, but the Forest has offered me so much more. I became a volunteer because of my belief that it is a valuable use of one's time to serve one's community. I felt that a place like the Forest had immense value to both the local and wider community, and that without people like myself volunteering it not not be able to exist.

In almost four years of being a Forest volunteer, the rewards have been limitless. I have met a vast number of interesting people and formed many new friendships. I have learned many new skills and been able to experiment with different creative ideas. Perhaps most importantly, as a writer I have received a wealth of inspiration from the place and the people I have met within it.

Never in my life have I encountered a place which is so supportive and nurturing towards art at the grassroots level. I have found myself a part of a community of writers, which itself is part of a larger community of artists of all kinds. It is truly the ideal environment for stimulating my creativity and helping me to realise my goals in relation to my writing. I feel that my writing has improved immensely as a result of my involvement with the Forest and my interactions with the other writers who congregate here. For that one thing alone, I think the Forest is an invaluable resource, regardless of all the other wonderful things it provides.


Last edited by beev on Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:40 pm 
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Location: shoogle nifty, shark side up
So i came to the forest when it had just begun. The names of the people are remembered by few these days. Is it six years ago?
I came here because i thought this hippy cafe would be the only place kind enough to give me a cup of hot water (i had my own tea bags) and change up my busking money.
Busking was my life....the way i earned my keep.
No signing on. Just a weekend in Edinburgh on a drum at night with my Dog Keys (Loki) a rather handsome wize and distinguished labrador lurcher. A fine gentledog.
I made anything like 80 to 120 pounds--i said it was my life. Busked and travelled. But had settled in the borders of scotland, a cottage in the country.

Mathew charged me 20p for a cup of hot water.
These people were not hippies.

I met a chap named Ryan who really didn't actually mind changing up my endless coinage....i almost became his friend.
But he hit on my girlfriend.

I got involved.
Volunteered.
Wrote on blackboards alot and got in the way.

To this day i have never fallen out with Ryan.
THAT is AMAZING.

I felt respected by this place, felt it was interested to see what i had to give, who i was and where i was going. Even if that was nothing,no-one and no-where.

Reassuring.

Then i started creating events, putting my energy into the space creatively, expressing and exploring issues that concerned...us...i became an us.

I don't know how to explain what the forest means to me.
The forest is a bunch of people attempting to influence their community in a positive way. They make mistakes ( we all do ) but they (we?) try to be open minded open hearted, ethical, moral (in a global way especially)....this all translates into activities like orgnic vegetarian food, free events, free workshops, free live music......i have learned to dance in more languages than i ever could imagined, learned yoga postures, sung with strangers, listened to such a varied scope of individuals involved in some good cause or noble endevour.....
learnt about the struggles of this world
and laughed till i hurt.
watched movies with big groups where we all laugh and enjoy...all for free.

I give my time, run occasional workshops and events, add art and cleaning to the building and over generous portions in the cafe.

I love this place.

This place is a group of people, open to all the world.
And people come (and go) and this space has something for all of them.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:08 am 
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Location: Edinburgh
THE FOREST
(and what it means to me)

I discovered the Forest Café roughly three or four years ago, stumbling through the door, under false pretences when a buffoon of a friend claimed I could purchase alcohol there easily, even though I was under-age. A drunken me hauled himself through the door, over some hippies, past some rather strange looking foreign people, discussing acid and the meadows, and made my way to the counter. What followed was a rather ridiculous conversation that swayed dangerously close to becoming an argument with the girl behind the counter, as she attempted to explain to my inebriated self that no alcohol could be purchased over the counter. This was the first and last time I visited the Forest for quite some time.

Anyway, talk is cheap. Here’s the poison…

Cut to me at eighteen. School’s a distant memory and all I care about is music, girls, booze, drugs and cigarettes. I can’t hold down a job and a job can’t hold down me. I’ve got a CV that jumps ridiculously from place to place, as every job just slams to a halt abruptly after three or four months, when I’m either thrown out on my arse, or I can’t take it anymore, and before I shoot myself in the face, I get out of there as fast as I fucking can.

Music is my life, but it doesn’t pay any bills yet, so I needed something to keep me occupied during the days, and stop me going insane and becoming agoraphobic in the four walls of my room. You see, all I have to look forward to in a day is about two hours of the entire twenty four, which will be spent in a gig, or a practise, or a recording. I needed some sort of structure, god help me.

So, there I was, drunker than Satan, standing somewhere on the Cowgate, perhaps outside Subway, or maybe somewhere even more hideous. Who knows! Anyway, I met someone, no idea who, as I was busy propping myself up against a wall, in case I fell down and shattered my skull. We danced around the usual terrible drunken spraff of a conversation- you know, the ‘oh what do you do?’ let’s pretend I’m interested in your shite life sort of conversation. I probably managed to struggle my way through a ‘music is my life’ spiel, as ever, and then they told me they were working at the Forest Café but they were volunteering. Volunteering? What rubbish is this? I thought. Working for no money? Ha! How I laughed myself to sleep that night.

But, the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became. Why would someone work for free? What would I get out of it? Maybe it would take the attention off my criminal convictions when I apply for a job? Maybe it would give me inspiration for songs? Maybe it would get me out the house and meeting new people? I carried on thinking.

Eventually, I plucked up the courage, and headed into town with a purpose. I walked straight in, past I’m sure, the same hippies, and the same strange looking foreign people discussing acid and the meadows as when I first stumbled in, and reached the counter. A sentence fell out of my mouth about wondering how I could possibly maybe go about meeting someone about working there. Shannon smiled and handed me the rota, informing me just to find a day that I was free, and I could just start then. It’s that easy?? I thought. So anyone can just work here?? Hmm. This sounds a bit suspect. But I smiled back, and wrote down my name and number, and this is where it all began my friend.

You see, since my first shift, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to keep away from the Forest. Whether it’s volunteering, or playing gigs, or watching gigs, or simply coming in to read, or eat something…. I just can’t help but find myself there. I can’t explain it, there’s just something about the place. It feels like a second home. Even after a shift, I find myself staying for days on end. I’ve met many amazing people there, and I truly believe it’s beginning to change my life.

God! Listen to me! If the drunken arsehole inside me all those years ago could see me now, he would laugh his head off, fall over and throw up all over his own shoes. What’s happened to me?? Billy Liar in a hippie café?? Bloody hell!

But seriously, the Forest Café is the ONLY place I have ever been in that no-one judges anyone. Everyone’s welcome and I have a lot of respect for that. I have never been to a place like it, and I do not believe another place quite like it exists.

Long live the Forest! And may it never change, or Edinburgh, and indeed Scotland, will in fact lose a very important place.






Billy Liar xxx

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:38 am 
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Location: cyberspace. Berlin
I first came to Forest for the monthly acoustic open mic night Kin that was happening there. Kin gave a stage for fresh new talent from the Edinburgh acoustic underground. One of those musical multi-talents was the then "manager" of Forest, Matthew, whose band, Arctic Circle, I went on to join. He was obviously always overworked and always suggested i lend a hand or "do a shift".
What makes Forest unique from any other cafe is that it is volunteer run by an open collective made up of the "general public". Everyone is welcome to come and participate in any way they see fit - if they dont feel adept at serving coffee or making burritos in the kitchen, there are hundreds of other jobs that constantly need done from sound engineering, to joinery, to painting, cleaning, gardening and so on. Personally I gained alot of valuable d.i.y. (sanding floors, painting ceilings etc.) experience when we moved into the current location at Bristo Place.
Although i left Edinburgh just over three years ago I still feel an incredible bond with the Forest and its collective of volunteers. Forest offers a truly unique "service" to the community. Every town should have a place like Forest - such spaces are vital for the cultural development of a community spirit. Forest provides something you will not find anywhere else; it plays an important educational role by allowing people the freedom to learn new skills and meet people in a pleasant non-institutional environment. Often i miss the Forest but like to feel I still contribute through exchanges and artistic collaborations with the collective "members" and I always spend as much time as I can there whenever in Edinburgh. I feel quite privaledged to be involved with such an exceptional project and look forward to see what shape Forest will take in the future.

Dirk Markham, 29
Berlin, Germany /Aboyne, Aberdeenshire

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"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." --John Cage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:45 am 
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you guys are making me misty.... sniff

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:31 pm 
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THE FOREST IS A LEGEND!

and it's a legend in the making



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:10 pm 
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hi all:

I've taken the testimonials and put them in one document which we could / should add to the arts culture and comunity book (?) and maybe should have it's own lovely little book. anyone want to design that?

that would be very good.

here is the tesxtxt:

also

don't forget to add your testimonial if you haven't yet!
r


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:50 pm 
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heres the text in a book form , a bit boring but neat ! ,


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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:47 pm 
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The Swiss:

Quote:
Hey Dan,

The place we set up is called Kulturlokal KAFF, or just 'KAFF' which is short for 'Kulturarbeit für Frauenfeld' (Culture-work/labour for Frauenfeld). You can visit us on www.kaff.ch
Yes, you can say it came 'out of the Forest': I had such a great time during that month in Edinburgh, living, working, partying, organising stuff and meeting people from different parts the world. And I thought, a place like this is what is missing in my hometown. I took the forest as role model for our event space in small Frauenfeld, because the idea of a non-for-profit-organisation, where young people could take over responsibilities and learn how to manage a business, having their own space, where they could have fun and express themselves is just the perfect combination.
Our venue 'KAFF' is in it's 6th year by now and still running satisfyingly. Meanwhile the 'new genereation' of KAFFians has taken over control and making sure that there is still some good-qualitiy subculture going on in Frauenfeld (~23'000 inh.).

Fine for you?
All the best with the mega press release :-) Send me a copy if you can get one in digital form.

Robin

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when I get my chance I'm going to punch him in the nose, in the nose, in the nose


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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:34 pm 
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very good. want to ask robin to do something for the Guardian? That would help? Also, can we pilfer Billy's / ask him to update it. I think a lot of people will look at that page and so that would be a good place for the best ones.

the rest can go on our site.

x
r

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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:22 pm 
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Location: edinburgh
From Will Golding:


QUESTIONS:
1. How did you find out about, or first come to, the Forest?
Before moving to Edinburgh practically everyone I knew from London and the South of the Island told me that I should go and hang out at the Forest when I got to Edinburgh. Thus I came on my first day here, signed up to work there, hung out, met a girl there in passing who invited me to stay at hers as I had no where to stay - saw some awesome music - learnt how to make houmous, and as I only brought a bag with me her I got most of the clothes and books I now have from the sunday freeshop. Oh yeah, and free internet made it possible for me to actually sort out myself when I got here. Brilliant stuff.

2. What has been your favourite or most memorable moment at the Forest?
Forest's 10th Birthday - enviously amazing - helicopter bingo, a rave with cakes and 10 ferocious courses, so much stuff. Plus the free markets - scenes of the most free flowing exchange of random stuff to the sound of Irish banjos and Sting.

3. If applicable, what practical experiences or skills have you gained from the Forest?
Practically - um, food prep, self defence/qi gong training, creative writing and creative reading, Health and Safety of course.

4. What do you think Forest offers the Edinburgh community?
- A space that brings together artists from all across the city as a space to meet, eat, think, and act as a central hub of that sort of activity - every time I get see someone else I know from Edinburgh, and it almost always acts as the space to meet for whatever reason that may be.
- Genuinely makes Edinburgh more well known in other cities through Forest Fringe and also the thousands of friends and artists who come here to play, display their art, go to a workshop or eat a vegan wrap.
- Creates essential Free activities that offer the chance to try something out, but also try out running a workshop or session, or new song or whatever - which is barely available anywhere else
- Experiment with whatever possibilities your mind lets you imagine - looking back on what Forest has done, I cannot see any limit on that. Inspire new thoughts, actions and art from this.
- A way to bring people from Edinburgh together with kindred folk from around the world.
- The chance to have first hand practical experience in any things you would otherwise have to pay for, or not get the chance to have such flexibility of - cooking, sound engineering, event running, theatre performances
- Offers an actual alternative approach for people from Edinburgh at the Meadows Festival and during the Fringe when some of the more polished and mainstream performances, music and art don't satisfy your insatiable cravings for something more challenging.

5. Where would you go should the Forest close?
- Away from Edinburgh - maybe. I don't know - move to Leith, or just not go out.

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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:10 pm 
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from Caroline Murdoch


I was first introduced to Forest in October 2009, when my friend Jo took me in and showed me around.
My most memorable moment in Forest would have to be sitting with Jo, and her greyhound Blue in the cafe in October 2010, eating nachos. Blue stole the sofa, so I had to sit on a stool!

As a member of the Forest Choir since September 2010, I have learnt how to use my voice to make myself heard above the crowd. This is an invaluable skill to have gained, and I am thankful for it every day.

Forest offers the Edinburgh community a place to chill out with friends, experience new things, and learn new skills. All lifeforms are welcome at Forest, which is how it should be ;o)
Where would I go if the Forest closed? That is a very good question, and one that I have been struggling with. Currently there is nowhere quite like the Forest, and I know that myself and others would feel a bit lost and out of the loop if it closed.

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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Hy everyone,

Firstly I want to apologize for my bad English.

My name is Anna ( but everybody knows me like Putxi) and I am from Catalonia. I was living in Edinburgh during 7 months in 2008. I came in Edinburgh without friends, job and my level of English was under zero ( now I am sorry but I forget again the language properly). I went to Edinburgh to looking for new adventures.

I remember the first day, when I arrived in Waverly Station I didn't know if to go to right or left, It was one of the best moments in my life.
And I remember my second day in Edinburgh. I was in the Library and one guy from Argentina said to me: Are you Spanish? I said to him: Yes...well Catalan. Then we started to speak, and I said to him: I meet a guy from hostel that he tells me that there is a place that it calls The Forest. Do you know this place?... And then my adventure started... Argentinian guy was Aldebaran a mythic and amazing guy that he knew a lot of people from Forest. We went together till Forest Cafe, and he introduced me Xabina, a E IV’s girl from the south of France. Then Xabina introduced to me Carlos from Lisboa and Olivier from Normandia... And this afternoon when I arrived to hostel I told to my new friends from High Street Hostel: Marta, Bruno and Lucy " I see an amazing place. It is a kind of cafeteria but all the people that works there is volunteer and every day they make live music, gigs, theater,... and the place is awesome... I had never seen nothing similar in any place."
And after this our Edinburgh experience starts: every afternoon or morning we went to Forest, we met the people from Forest, firstly the E IV’s, then Alex, Garret, Tomala, Nepali guy, Milk, Ryan, the new volunteers: Jonathan, Nerea, Charlotte, Emi, Sabine, Jonasty, another people like Adam, Tim,...and more people than now I can't remember the names ( sorry, I am have bad memory for names). I worked like volunteer, we ate the vegetarian food, we took and left staff in the Free Shop, I saw the exhibitions in the gallery, we made parties in the second floor, we celebrate the birthday of Forest in August, I met people from Catalonia there and another old friends from Ireland, I listened amazing groups and music, I saw good performances, I learn English, I saw films on Monday, ... I have a lot of moments from Forest: I lived Forest.

Really, I can't think in Edinburgh without Forest, for me it is the same, they need each other.

Now I am living in Barcelona and it is so sad cause I cant find a similar place. I explain to everybody about Forest. For the people that we looking for something different in this grey life, something with soul, something authentically Forest is a big referent for us.

Please, don't kill Forest cause you will kill a thousand of adventures for many people.


From Barcelona, and again sorry for my mistakes

Molts petons i molta força!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( many kisses and be strong)





Putxi


--
Anna Pujol Reig

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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:44 pm 
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I don't go to Edinburgh on a regular basis, but when I do a visit to The Forest Cafe is normally part of the deal. I've got three children, and without the Forest I'd be stuck in some massed produced fast food outlet feeding them something dodgy in a bun. The youngest girl has a milk allergy, and it's nice to be go somewhere where dairy-free is normal rather than awkward, she really enjoys the vegan chocolate cake, not something you get everywhere.

We've even managed to win my older girl over to the Forest, the first time I took them in she sat with her arms folded and refused to eat any of that "hippy muck", now she fights with her brother over a large plate of nachos. Although she still insist on asking for Coke to drink.

My favourite memory of the Forest happened a couple of summers back. There was a bee in the kitchen area, and one of the guys serving was trying to get rid of it. The bee was quite happy where it was, and the attempts to encourage it out of the window became more and more Chaplinesque, this being the forest you can't just whack it with a rolled up newspaper. In the end the guy chasing gave up the hunt, stood on a chair and sang to the bee in Italian, at which point the bee flew out the window, as if on cue. The pair of them received a standing ovation from all those present, you wouldn't get that in a burger bar.

Doug Sheehan.

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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:33 am 
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1. How did you find out about, or first come to, the Forest?

Well, I'm not from Edinburgh, I'm from Montreal, Quebec and I went in UK to learn english. In my first travel of 2 month, I really enjoy Edinburgh, and I decide to come back to work here for another 6 month in 2008. Then some people talked to me about the Forest, and I went there. That was awesome, I was soo impress that a thing like this could exist; good vege food, people really nice, art, music, sofa, swap library, activities, etc. It's like if all the nice idea had come togother in one place.

2. What has been your favourite or most memorable moment at the Forest?

I was siting on one couch, and I don't remember how it's strated, but I began to talk with a girl about rednose, then we just put them and had fun together until we had to left.

3. If applicable, what practical experiences or skills have you gained from the Forest?

In the library, I found a book about color, it's was really helpfull for me as I'm a light designer.

4. What do you think Forest offers the Edinburgh community?

I think the Forest bring a living social and artistic live. It's allow small projet to exist and help people to devellop skill in these projet. In edinburgh, you got a lots of artistic institution, but to get there, young artist need to devolp skill before, and The Forest is a good place. Everyone can propose a project, it's the voluntary. And more than that, I think it's form a social tissus very strong between people and motivation by seeing what could be done. It's bring something unique to Edinburgh. In all my travel, I went in more than 40 cities in europe and more in Quebec and I had never seen somthing as complete as the Forest. The Forest integrated all it can have.

5. Where would you go should the Forest close?

It will not affect my life, as I live in Montreal, but for shure I will be sad. Edinburgh is a nice city and very living, but without the forest, without small place like this isn't the Edinburgh that I know. And it will bring more problem to the city too. Right now, there is place to express underground art, after they will have the street, there is place to get warm, even went you have no money, they is place to chill out late, without alcool. After, you will lose this. And most important, you will love a place where art and grassroot project can began small, before coming to all people. Kept the Forest alive and your environement will live.


Good luck!

Louis-Philippe Bell
Montréal, Québec.

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"We all tend to idealise kindness and tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nutcases." Sebastian Horsley


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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:34 am 
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Hello,

I found out about The Forest Cafe as I was looking for a cheap place (at least, an available one) to practice my flamenco dancing.
I take classes on the same street where I live, but the dance studio is usually busy with other classes, performances, our teacher rehearsing, or being used as an extension of the restaurant. So, I booked The Forests's "Hall" for an hour and had the wooden floor all to myself and my dance.

One of my most memorable moments at the Cafe was celebrating the national day of Catalunya, meeting Catalans and other hispanics at a very nice fiesta with wonderful music.

All the above pales compared to the skills I am earning right now thanks to two FREE life drawing workshops being offered currently at The Forest Cafe: a two hour class taught (for free) by an Italian professional, including a life model, and a 4-hour (free) workshop which also includes a life model. In the latter we utilise a combination of our own materials and drawing boards and paper that we borrow there to practice and learn how to draw. The moderator of this workshop is a very skilled artist herself and has shared with us her knowledge of different techniques as well as tips on how to use drawing materials.

Many of us would not be able to afford classes if these volunteers where not there lending their knowledge, time and services to us. The significance and enrichment this has brought into my life are invaluable, since these activities complement perfectly my academic studies and will be key for developing my future career.

I am not foreign to economics and the laws of supply and demand, but I am willing to assert that no one we know of is ready to match this offerings in Edinburgh, much less, with such amazing facilities. Also, the Cafe area itself offers and atmosphere unmatched in the rest of Edinburgh welcoming people to share their hobby's and simply share with one another in a friendly way.

It will be a great loss for the community, especially the young, if the Cafe goes. A great loss. And I see no replacement.

Silvana Palacios Guberti

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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:35 am 
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I still remember the day i first got to the Forest Café! It was quite a while ago, during the winter. I was so thrilled to realise the existence of such an alternative place, where you can get to meet very interesting characters, ideas and vibe!
Everytime i would get there would be a pleasure, to just be there, sipping coffee or eating some veggie, chatting around, part of the routine also includes a tour at the free shop... I even got to paint some walls downstairs!!!
I got too many recollections of that place and I am so frankly sad to hear i may never go back to that place again. This would be a true loss for the city of Edinburgh, there is absolutely no other place like this in that city!
This place is the most community-spirited of Edinburgh, there is everything there! Flats offers, all kinds of workshops, shows and nights, beautiful-people-point-of-meeting, exhibitions, cheap food and organic drinks, information, free use of internet... so much more i cannot be exhaustive... It is a NECESSITY TO HAVE SUCH A PLACE, every city should have one to enhance a community feel, which is so important to all!!
I am not in Scotland anymore, but every time i do come back to scotland, i have to go to the Forest Café! You just can't mess around with such place, i really do hope they'll think twice before they kick The Forest Café out! That just can't be!!! Money is nothing compared to what happens at the Forest, but do "they" only care about that ??
Stand up! keep on rocking the city!
and tell me if there's any other way i could help from the distance!

Marie

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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:35 am 
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The Forest Cafe must be saved. Granted, I haven't been there in a while but my memories of the place are special and I would feel terrible if it wasn't part of Edinburghs underground scene anymore.

The reason why the Forest has such a special place in my heart is that this is where I actually had my first date's with my (now ex) boyfriend. The place is hap-hazard, ramshackle, twisted and best of all, BYOB. One night we'd go and catch a random magnificent band, the next, a crazy twisted film on a large screen. There are no lights, so candles only made the place seem mystical and undiscovered. You never knew who you would meet there, or what book you'd end up finding in the random box of junk.

A truly special venue which must be saved. Not least for my own unique, special memories, but for the simple fact that the world needs more places like this. Where there are no boundaries in art, film or music and where people's walls come crashing down and their perceptions can be altered drastically by such a small, special little venue.

Anon.
Edinburgh.

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"We all tend to idealise kindness and tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nutcases." Sebastian Horsley


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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:36 am 
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Wed, 24 November, 2010 13:16:44
about the forest
...
From:
saeko lin <saeko-lin@hotmail.fr>
...
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To: edinburgh.local@guardian.co.uk; press@theforest.org.uk
Hello,
I wanted to participate to thoses stories about the forest, even though I'm not a long time fan. I arrvie in Edinburgh in august, and discovred the forest in September. I heard about this place thanks to a person I work with. I was looking for a nice place to meet interesting artistic people, for a nice place to spend a longtime without feeling that youre occuping a seat that the owner would rather have for another costumer who would buy more than youre little fruit juice.
When i first arrived to the forest, I found first that the place, the building was amazing. everything, the stairs, the decorations, the cafe, the hairdressers,
I couldnt explain in what, but everything mademe feel really confortable!And still nowwhen Im in the cafe, its a bit of a homely place.
asi saidivebeen going to the forest every week but juste for 2months now, still I have a favorite moment, it was like 2 week ago, on a wednesday afternoon there were those people from the Scottish Opera who had cameto play and sing extracts from the opera The Mariage of Figaro, operain the forest, it wasjust awesome!
I think the forest is a very good place in edinburgh to meet people from everywhere, to find some people with common taste, to discover new bands, new forms of arts, to learn differents things thanks to the workshops, its is a true sociable place and if it would have to close, a lot of people would feel lost. And if it would close, of course i could go to any other cafe, but i will never have the same comfortable and friendly feeling that i have when im in the forest!

thank you for reading my story,
Pauline

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"We all tend to idealise kindness and tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nutcases." Sebastian Horsley


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 Post subject: Re: testify!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:36 am 
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Wed, 24 November, 2010 11:46:42
Opinions and experience of Forest Cafe
...
From:
L Hendry <linda@anamika.freeserve.co.uk>
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To: press@theforest.org.uk
How did you find out about, or first come to, the Forest?

I first came to the old / origional Forest Cafe which was on the other side of the Grassmarket. I thought 'Wow this is like being back in San Fransisco'. That time it would be to see a film about a green issue. I'm not sure if you moved straight to the new location or not but the present location was my old friend the Adventist Vegan Restaurant where I had many happy meals in its hay day (Can't remember dates 1980's maybe). So the memories are of remembered places and existing ones plus good vibes.

2. What has been your favourite or most memorable moment at the Forest?
Dancing, particularly some Sunday with Rastas. Meeting up with old friends either by coincidence or by arrangement, indoors or on the pavement. It's great to take new people there who have not been before. Then I love the fact that the Art Exhibition is still open after 10:00 pm when I'm walking home from some political event in the centre of town. The whole atmosphere apart from the couches.

3. If applicable, what practical experiences or skills have you gained from the Forest?
Sorry none. But it has been the recipient of crockery that needed recycled from a charity shop bin.

4. What do you think Forest offers the Edinburgh community?
I liked it best when the Forest offerred a free shop all the time. I know it had its drawbacks and when I had time I'd tidy it up a bit. The Xmas Free Shop was even better.
The Forest has done a great job in the last three years to help the revived Meadows Festival by running its Music and Beer tents there. Thank you guys.

5. Where would you go should the Forest close?
There is nowhere really. Himalaya shop does a bit of the same in its cafe and garden but on a far smaller scale. The Pavilion cafe but its only open in the summer months.
I hope the Forest will find new premises and that they will be in Central / South Edinburgh. The City Council used to have premises it would rent out, mostly shop fronts so not as much space as the present location. What about the former Odeon Cinema?! My other worry is storage if you are between places at some stage and transport to a new venue.
Linda

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