Friday, 11 April 2008

Friday 11th April 08

A more relaxed day than yesterday's rather busy one...

I took the children into school and just before I was intending to leave the playground, the Headteacher came over to me and asked me if I'd time to have a meeting with her... she asked me to go to the office where she'd meet me in a few minutes. Whenever she asks me into her office I have strong memories of when I was a schoolboy, when my disruptive and naughty behaviour meant that I was often standing outside the Head's office, and I've had more talking to's in Senior Teachers' offices than I care to remember. I even got the cane once for some misdemeanour.

However, this time I wasn't being a telling off, it was a meeting with Julia to discuss the Green Thumbs Gardening Project and the slight change of direction we are going to have to accommodate this summer, due to the possible demolition and rebuilding of two mobile classrooms, which are near the plot we have started to prepare. The new classroom may be built on the plot. So we have to do our gardening in other parts of the school premises, in existing borders and possibly in containers. We discussed the numbers of children to be involved in the club, when it will take place, the meeting last night about child protection policy and other issues.

So got back home at nearly 10am, Gill worried that I'd got into some scrape or involved in an accident. But the rest of the morning went well... mainly housework, and then I had an early lunch and went to the veg shop to pick up a couple of sacks of material... and some very good news. Ever since I started helping the shop recycle their organic wastes, sorry, not waste, resources, only one of the employees has been absolutely behind me with the separation of the biodegradable materials. The boss is also happy with the arrangement, but the other employee just wasn't bothered with the recycling, and until yesterday, just put all the rubbish in one sack and binned it. I would sometimes tip out her bag and separate out the compostables, and leave the plastic etc in the bin. But, amazingly, my mate Richard, who is very appreciative of my recycling operations, had a little word with her and she has now switched to putting the fruit and veg materials in one sack and the landfillables in another bin... absolutely fantastic! I am so pleased! If only other shops did something similar!

There is one (I will leave it anonymous though!) which has a rota of composters who collect the daily resources and take them for their gardens or allotments. But there's another greengrocers in York which throws away loads of unsold fruit and veg, I used to collect but the grotty owner thought I was getting something for nothing, or scrounging, and forbade his staff to give me anything. They were quite upset, as they liked me doing the recycling, and think that their boss is a dinosaur. I do too! He's a grumpy and small-minded.

Anyway, I took the two sacks of green potatoes, cauliflower stalks, leek tops, mouldy oranges and rotten onions and went to the allotment and did about 30 minutes of compost heap management. It started to rain but I had to stay as I had some hoeing to do before putting in my onion sets. However, the rain meant that I couldn't plant the onions so I just did the weeding and building up the compost heaps with more brambles, dandelions, nettles etc. I really want to keep on top of it this year, after last year's not-so-good results!

At 3 went to school and picked up the children... infact just one of them as the other had been invited to a friends, so when I got home I did a bit of wooding and then at 6 went to collect him via a large area of chopped logs, where maybe 20 trees have been taken out, for thinning I think, and just left logged, scattered all over the place. There must be several tonnes of fuel just waiting to be rescued... so I came home with a trailer full, and one on my rack too. Oh, I did stop at our friends' house, had a beer and a chat, collected my son and came home.

Gill had made her favourite meal, stir fry veg with noodles, which was lovely. Then watched Gardeners World on telly, which was really good as it gave me inspiration to do better on my lottie and they visited the Centre for Alternative Technology in mid-Wales, and it was lovely to see that again. I'm a life member! What they do is so important, and it was good to see the composting and wormeries there.

Had a brief Googletalk conversation with K, about CRAGs and carbon footprints and how to reduce them, for a leaflet she's going to produce to advertise her CRAG. She has asked for some help drafting it... so I asked her to email me a list of questions which I will answer, so she can put together a brief intro on her leaflet.

Had a game of Scrabble with Gill, we both got a 7-letter word down (mine was the weird 'nooning') and Gill won by one point! Very satisfying!

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