Friday, 21 December 2007

Friday 21st December 07 Winter Solstice

Once again Gill was feeling grotty so I took the kids in, they are definitely needing some time off school and this the last day of term can't be over quickly enough!

I got permission to install the third compost bin next to the others, although I was asked not to do compost bin things whilst the children were in the playground as they crowd around wanting to know what's happening. So I went in after 11am after their morning playtime. I decided to donate one of mine, as the school compost bin is tiny, just about 200 litres and I have a 330 litre bin which I took off the top of a finished heap in the garden, cycled it down to school and cut out a circle of turf from the grass on the edge of the playground to partly bury the edge of the bin... stops it getting knocked over. I then put the stuff which has been collected and put in one of the two existing bins in the new one, with layers of sawdust to help, and then used the 'compost mate' tool to take out some nearly finished material from the other bin into the recently vacated one. This left a bin empty and ready for filling next term.... and starting with yesterday's and today's materials.

Good news from school, they have agreed to separate the blue paper towels from the toilets to compost them, and they are planning to have a gardening club... and I've been made 'vice chair'!
These two tidbits of info have made me happy.... the school now appears to be moving in the right direction. A long way to go before they're and 'ecoschool' but first steps are beginning to be taken towards being more sustainable.

I spent til after 12 doing the composting... well worth the time as already the school bins realise over 6kg/day of banana skins, orange peel, apple cores, pear, carrot etc, from the 'fruit4schools' scheme. The children aren't very efficient at eating the fruit, so much of the stuff which is put in the compost bin is good fruit only partly eaten, just a couple of bites nibbled out. It's a big waste and I would like to see the school give the children lessons in how to eat fruit. But one step at a time!

A lovely lunch and then helped Gill do some clearing up as we've got her sister and brother-in-law coming at 4pm to deliver and collect Chrismas stuff. They are far tidier and more conventional than us, and Gill feels the need to clean the house before they come. No bad thing really, but extra work.

I did some sorting out in the front garden which has developed a rash of plastic bags... mainly with bark which falls off some of the logs, and I collect it for shredding and composting or put it in paper sacks for using on the stove when dry, it's a good firelighter/kindling material.

I brought the little darlings home, after giving 4 of the teachers and the lovely crossing lady whom we're fond of a box of fair-trade chocolates from the Co-op as a thank you for being so good with our sons.

Our visitors came on time and we all got on well, they stayed for an hour and enjoyed the warmth of the stove and the boistrous behaviour from the boys.

For tea I had the remainders of the tomato and parsnip soup I made a couple of days ago on top of some pasta, very easy and filling. I tried to keep my head down during the evening as I am not coping very well with the noisy and rude behaviour, and telling them off just seems to amplify the noise and bad behaviour. I went to bed for an hour until woken up by them shouting, and just felt resigned to the role of a dad whom is ignored and disobeyed, which leaves me wondering how to instill good behaviour into them. Parenting is very difficult.

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