Woke to sounds of anger from downstairs and came down to see if I could assist Gill with getting the boys ready for school. A bucket of greywater (ex-washing up water) had been kicked over in the kitchen and there definitely seemed a need for a firm, stern person to come and ensure that they got ready for school, as walking today and that takes longer than cycling.
I had breakfast once they'd gone, and at 8.55 set out on my bike for school as we've a meeting with the head teacher, to give us re-assurance about how the boys are getting on. She was so nice, confirming that we are doing the right thing and that what we are going through is quite normal, and that boys do push the boundaries like they are doing, and that everything is actually OK. We were greatly resurred and went away after over an hour feeling better.
I had aranged to go and see James to help him prune a Eucalyptus tree, which was the other half of a trade I did, as he had given me a petrol chainsaw to pass on to Jules, and Jules had promised me logs for the chainsaw.... so this morning I completed the James/John part of the bargain, and I pruned his 10 - 12 metre tree down to about 4 - 6 metres, cutting off about 10 large branches which were up to 5 metres long, and then processing them into twiggy bits and good branches for chopping up, drying and loading the stove with. James was delighted with the work, and I met his social workers, who come every day to make sure he's OK and ensure he eats. I left him happy, with a pile of branches to process and knowing that he has a friend.
I got home for lunch and Gill came in from town having ordered some red glasses frames. I spent some time washing up and post lunch stuff, and went on the computer before chopping up some of the wood I'd brought back from James's. Gill got the boys and took them to the dentist on the bus, getting in shortly before 5pm. She was doing eggy bread for them but had no baked beans, so I popped to the Co-op to get some... and then went down the garden to manage some compost heaps and cut a hedge, did some shredding and loading of the latest heap to be emptied. No compost heap ever lies empty for long here!
Came in for tea at about 7, and had the mushroom soup I made yesterday, it tastes like what I remember oxtail soup did, and has the same brown colour. Glad I knew it was made from mushrooms!
Spent some time with family before the kids went to bed, and watched a very moving Bruce Parry programme 'Tribe' with him visiting the Penan people from Sarawak in Borneo, an amazing portrait of people suffering from the West's insatiable desire for wood and palm oil.
Spent some time chatting with my friend in America, who is flying over to Manchester tomorrow, arriving Thursday morning. I am looking forward to meeting up with her, and am trying not to feel too responsible or guilty about the carbon cost of the trip. I'm not the only person she's coming over to see, but I do want to share the responsibility of offsetting the carbon emissions, even if this is a flawed idea.
Got an email from my friend Jessica the photographer who has has been mugged.