Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Monday 20th February 17

A fairly early start, 8.30 on the alarm, left Anna's house soon after 9, and enjoyed zooming down to the valley the railway line and station sits in... takes about 10 minutes as it's all downhill, and then about another 20 minutes to get to the venue in Darnall, I arrived at 9.40, before Ava did.  I was made welcome by the staff member and I got myself ready for an unusual mix of balloon show and composting workshop.

It was a tough gig.  I prefer a bigger audience as that gives a certain ambience which is lacking if there's under 10 people watching. All four children were under 5, and there were 3 mums and two people connected with the project. The venue wasn't really set up for me to demonstrate my circus stuff, but I did what I could.

The balloon show went well, but the compost info session was made difficult by the children who weren't interested in compost, and were making a lot of noise.  However, I was reasonably happy with how it went and I had a delicious lunch at the centre.I also popped round to one of the participants' house to see her compost bin.  She's just moved in, never had a garden before. The bin was full of grass mowings, hay-like, dry and not composting. I gave her some advice!

Then I cycled up to the allotment and started on the border which still has one end not de-nettled. I did 3 and 3/4 hours there. and stopped because it started to drizzle. It took 53 minutes to get back to Anna's.

Anna said 'would I like a bath?' and I was really glad to be able to have one as I was achy and mucky. And after a good soak, she fed me, pie, potato and peas, with gravy. The pie was goats cheese, spinach and sweet potato.  Lovely. What a pampered evening....

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Sunday 19th February 17

As I've got work in Sheffield tomorrow I'm going to go through this afternoon and stay with Anna, my sister, for a couple of nights.  I was getting a few things together when Ben and his fiancĂ©e Karen turned up.  This was the first time I'd met her and it was so good to see them together.  We chatted about the wedding and a few other things, but they didn't stay long.

I left before 4 to get the 4.25 train which got into Sheffield at 5.15, and it only took me 25 minutes to cycle up to Walkley, despite having a large shrub hanging from the handlebars, my laptop, day-bag and a rucksack with circus stuff in.  Anna cooked up a wholesome pasta dish and we watched a bit of telly and chatted before she got to bed.

I did the washing up and got to bed before 2am. Early for me... but I've a relatively early start tomorrow. I have to be over in Darnall before 10, and I've memorised the map so I know my route. I'll go to the station and up behind it near to where Thomas lives, and the route from there is easy.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Saturday 18th February 17

I had a relaxing but hard working day, trying to get the front garden tidied up, ready for the removal of the pointless 'Spirea' shrubs which have grotty pink flowers on them but don't serve any purpose, so that I can put in some fruit trees.

I took advantage of a Radio Times offer and bought two Victoria Plum trees, a single one was £15 but the offer was to throw in a free one, so including the postage, two trees for under £22. I'm happy with that, and spent some time looking up how to train them along wires.

I also did some composting and log stacking, and had two facebook video conversations in the evening, one planned and the other a surprise.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Friday 17th February 17

Woken early by low flying jet planes which made me think back to my childhood when there was a lot of fear about conflict, with the 'Iron Curtain' between the Communist Bloc countries and the West, and a nuclear arsenal which seemed ready to be used at a moments notice. Over the intervening decades things have become a bit more peaceful, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and a relatively peaceful European situation, despite conflicts in the Balkans.  But with Trump with his finger on the trigger in the US, I'm not feeling as safe as I used to, and the UK 'leaving Europe' doesn't help either.

But they were just planes, not warheads or bombers..........

The rest of the day was peaceful.  I went to buy Yesterbake bread and get something from the chemist, did some log stacking and then took Howard's bike to Cycle Heaven to see if I could get a new back wheel or have the axle replaced, then visited Pauline who was pleased to see me and gave me her compostables to deal with. I picked up more compostables on the way home and did assorted outdoors work.

In the evening I re-arranged this blog a bit and started putting together a new segment for Extinction Radio.

Thursday 16th February 17

Today I only had one appointment, up in Huntington to meet with Jon in the Flag and Whistle, to check out the room they have for hire there.  We spoke to Nathan, one of the staff, and he took down details to discuss with his colleague who does the event nights.

I picked up some wood on the way back.  I did a lot of chainsawing during the day, of the bits I brought home over the past couple of days.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Tuesday 19th May 15

I had a reasonably good day, did a lot in the garden, preparing the raised bed for the rhubarb, and sorting compost.

I cycled into town via St Nicks, and gave Ivana a cheque for £1000 which was the remaining funds from York Green Festival.

I also paid in a cheque from DAD last summer, which somehow hadn't been sent to me, and paid the water bill... and the best thing was that Michelle saw my bike and trailer and came to see me, and we went and sat and chatted, and she's very happy with an exciting relationship, and this made me very happy.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Tuesday 31st January 12

A thoughtful day, not feeling 100% positive about myself... it's not a feeling I'm that used to, and recognise it from when I've done something silly or reprehensible.

However, I kept busy, and went to buy bread before lunch.  I cycled back through Hull Road Park to look at the plot which Marie Birbeck from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust told us about last night.  The plot had been 'done' with a chainsaw gang and there were a few smallish logs on the ground from an elm tree which had been trimmed.  I spoke to a gardener who said that he'd be really happy if I took the logs, as he thought that they were going to be taken away by the chainsaw people.

So I loaded up the trailer and took a load home, and went back with an empty trailer twice.  Later in the day I chopped all this up and split it... elm does not split easily, especially when dry, so doing it whilst green is the best option.  I also split a few more bits of the giant logs delivered last week, and did some stacking too.

I unwrapped the 'hotbin' composter which was delivered yesterday morning.  I now see how it keeps the materials so warm; it is made of an expanded plastic, looking a bit like expanded polystyrene but the much tougher expanded polypropylene.  So the claim that the walls are 96% air I now understand.  I'll start using it later this week.

I cycled up to see Carolyn, who wanted to offload some sacks of leaves my way, and to ask my opinion about a tree which one of her neighbours might want trimming or removing.  I persuaded her to leave the tree for a bit, but offered to do a bit of pruning work.  Also I learned about her electric trip-switch in case she calls on me to rescue her from her lift which she occasionally gets stuck in.

I also visited Debbie over the road and heard about her short trip up to see her folks and I'm glad she's still getting on with Philip, who's back from seeing his parents in the West Country.

I heard a chainsaw down the road and it was a chap trying to chop up the big Beech trunk in the garden just over Milson Grove.  I spoke to him and he suggested I speak to the householder, who's name is Paula, and she said, yes, I could have some of the wood.  The chap attempting to do the log seemed really happy for me to take the job on, so later I contacted Ian, my chainsawing friend, and asked him if he'd help me, or if I could pay him to make the trunk into rounds.... There's a lot of wood there, way over a tonne I'd say.  I do hope he can help.

I finished the day feeling a lot more positive.