Thursday, 1 November 2007

Thursday 1st November 07

A good day for me, took the kids to school and met the headteacher in the playground after the kids went in... she went to the kitchens and got a plastic dustbin she'd got some time ago as a collection receptacle for playground compostables, and I said I'd provide some words for a notice to put on the side of it, and some for the other playground bins, one of which should be for 'dry recyclables' such as tetrapacks/drinks cartons, plastic bottles, cans etc. I hope this is a new system!

Came home and spent some time managing my leafmould container, this is just a chicken wire enclosure about 1.5 metres square and about a metre high. Last year's leafmould was in the bottom, in a layer about 20 or 30 cm deep. I scraped this about with a garden fork and shovelled the nearly finished leafmould into plastic sacks, removing sticks for recomposting, contaminants (litter from the roads where I got the leafmould) for the bin and ground elder and nettle roots for the hot compost pile, where they will not be able to grow away like they could in a cold pile.

I collect freshly fallen autumn leaves in a curious way. They collect in gutters at the side of the road, Windmill Lane is a good example as it has loads of trees along one side, and it's on a slight slope. This helps with my collection method! I cycle quite fast and then put one foot down, usually with a wellington boot on it, and scrape it along the gutter, pushing several metres of leaves into a pile. I then get off the bike and shovel them into my trailer or into a plastic sack. Simple really, but a good method. These leaves then simply get piled up for a year to rot down, and they turn into something a bit like peat, low nutrient value, fibrous, good to handle, holds water well, and good to mix with nutrient rich garden compost and loam (from turves stacked up and left for at least a year) to make a potting medium for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers etc etc.

So I had a good day in the garden, and collected the children at 3... well I got one and waited for the other but he didn't appear. Then the other child told me he was in the school hall standing in a circle, so I went to look and eventually he came to tell me he was doing drama club, til 4.15. I didn't know about this, so went home with one child and then cycled back to pick the second up... lots of cycling and lots of opportunities to scrape up leaves for my newly emptied leafmould enclosure...

During the evening I did my usual email download, and one was rather interesting as it was a response to my blog on Community Care last Sunday, where I discussed wearing a white poppy instead of a red one. A person calling themself 'Walter Wall' posted a comment saying my stand was disgraceful.. and that both his grandfathers were badly injured during the war and that they fought so that I could lead the life I lead. He said that I might not agree with the fighting of wars but that they are fought and servicemen and women do their duty and many do not survive. He finishes with his view that wearing a white poppy is an insult to their memory. I decided to publish this comment as it shows the strength of opinion on this issue. I guess that Walter Wall represents many and as it's an ethical dilemma, well issue at least, I am happy to publish criticism.

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