Sunday, 3 June 2007

Saturday 2nd June 07

Woke at 5.30ish and lay listening to my wife breathing, and then we got up at 7, the boys still asleep so we had breakfast and I lit the stove from the embers from last night, to reheat my bathwater for later. When the boys awoke and were rowdy I went back to bed and slept for an hour, then took the bathwater up and washed my hair so I'm clean for my gig today.

We were expecting the BBC Inside Out team to come at 12ish as they're filming me at St Nicks today, but they rang and said could I meet them at St Nicks and they'd film me arriving at 12.45, as the event starts at 1pm.

So an early lunch and got into costume and was on time at Bull Lane, to meet Lucy the producer and Phil the Film. Phil took a couple of takes from different angles of me cycling towards the Environment Centre, and one of me entering the compound. The event was called The Big Recycle Day, or 'Junk Swap'. The idea is that people bring unwanted goods and items to the tables, and then can take stuff they want back with them... simple and very effective for keeping things out of landfill and getting them reused.

My role was to firstly do some 'junk juggling' to entertain the kids, I challenged them to find objects which I could juggle and they found it hilarious when I dropped them! I was 'miked up' before this, so the BBC could 'catch' what I was saying and use the footage in their film about my 'green' lifestyle. I was lucky to find a youngster who started off as a non-juggler, and learned the pattern of three throws quickly but because of his small hands had problems catching them, but he persevered and was well on the way to being a good juggler when I finished that part of the event. Next was the 'Compost Bin Drumming', samba rhythms bashed out on 'daleks' and caddies, again filmed by the Beeb. Then I did a composting talk for children, and then an hour or so of my full Circus Skills Show, with juggling, devilsticks, balancing, 'Derek the Diabolo' and unicycle, lots of participation and fun. I was glad to finish as it was hot, and I then had a look through the junk tables and found a video of Grace Jones, hope it's OK.

The junk swap finished at 4, and then Kate the Columnist held her food tasting which will provide some information for her book on Green Living. She had purchased a range of food, both organic and the same type of food in non-organic. She had labelled these A and B, and made forms for the tasters to make comments about which they preferred. We weren't trying to work out which was organic or not, just our preferences and why. I tried and compared carrot and red pepper, bread and hommous, crisp-breads, cheese, crisps and shortbread, plus some wine and orange juice. An interesting exercise. During this, I was delighted to overhear Kate talking to some of her neighbours whom she'd invited, telling them that they could bring their kitchen scraps round to put in her compost bin. I told her that I was very proud of her, as she's gone from being a non-composter, through the York Rotters training, to being a compost guru herself, just fantastic! I'll write to the Press about that!

Came home and Gill had made tea... more food! So I had a small baked potato and salad, then put together a birthday present for my friend Ste, who is having a 40th birthday party tonight in Barley Hall. I'd asked his wife Helen if some home-made dried fruit would be an acceptable present, so I did a jar of interesting mixed dried fruit.

At 7 I set off for Ste's party with just my balloon modelling stuff and a change of clothes so when I'd done my balloons I could get changed. Ste was around when I arrived and in a medieval costume, and was delighted with the dried fruit. I locked the bike and set up inside Barley Hall where there were already some children with their families, and started doing a selection of balloons and giving people a go doing their own. I suppose this bit lasted an hour, then Ste made a speech thanking people for coming and telling us a bit about Barley Hall and that the food was waiting upstairs. We sang 'Happy Birthday' and went to find the food. As most people were dressed up, I didn't feel the need to change out of my glad rags and stayed colourful and silly all evening. Enjoyed meeting my old friend Deborah, who about 15 years ago made it clear to me that my skills as an entertainer could make me some money. Also Thea and John, and a nice chap Dave who lives just round the corner from us, who is going to install a 'ground source heat pump' in his house and garden to replace his 1960's central heating. I learned from him a little bit more how these work, and I look forward to perhaps seeing this being installed and working. Also Rachel, whom I chatted to and she wants to come and see the composting in the garden.

A lovely social time. At 11, when it was due to close, I gathered together most of the empty bottles and cans and filled my cycle trailer to get them recycled. Helen and Ste were so pleased with my help during the evening they gave me a bottle of Mead that somone had brought along... one of my favourite drinks!

Got back and enjoyed watching a bit of 'Sgt. Pepper revisited' on TV with Gill. Didn't do my blog as too tired and tipsy.

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