Saturday, 6 September 2008

Saturday 6th September 08

Busy busy day... although a fairly relaxed morning.

I had to decide whether to do a gig in Haxby in aid of SNAPPY.. I'd been invited to go but the organiser rang back saying they couldn't afford to pay me even my (officially) lowest charity fundraiser fee. But I sometimes do my Fiddlesticks work for nothing and I said if the weather was ok, I could go up and do some balloon modelling to add fun and colour and perhaps make a few pounds on donations for the balloon models. Chris my contact said if I did go up and do that, he'd give me an 'expenses' type cheque, but I wasn't contracted to go up, and he wouldn't expect to see me if the weather was poor.

So as the weather was good I got myself into costume and at midday was ready to go to the charity football match on the Ethel Ward Memorial Playing Fields in Haxby, 5 miles North of York. The spot I had to work in was tiny, a bit of hard-standing in front of the changing rooms, but enough space to do some devilstick workshops and juggling, but only one person wanted a balloon model so I found Chris and told him I'd go. Everybody was there for the football!

I came home and decided to go to Anna's Street Party in aid if 20's Plenty and York in Transition with my colourful Fiddlesticks costume on, and taking my entertainment stuff with me. However, I knew that the City of York Council were installing their wind turbine at the eco-depot, something they've had planned for well over a year. The eco-depot is the biggest straw-bale building around (not sure if that's just UK, Europe or in the World, but it is big) and has a huge array of photovolteic cells on the roof. The wind turbine was planned to complement this design. When I arrived I met Kristina P, the ex-sustainability officer who has moved on to work for another authority and responsible for the installation. 'Twas good to see her again, she still lives in York but now commutes by train. The turbine is 15 metres tall to the nacelle (where the blades are attached) and will be 3 or 4 metres higher than the surrounding buildings. It has a maximum output of 15 Kw, and using electricity prices from a year and a half ago, was due to pay back it's financial cost in 16 to 20 years, based on the measured wind speeds at the site. But if it gets windier or electricity prices go up, this payback time will come down. And of course, it's giving us carbon neutral electricity (once the equivalent of it's embodied energy has been generated) and helps us reduce our carbon footprint. Excellent stuff.... I want one!

And so on to Anna's street party which turned out to be excellent, a big turn-out, lots of people watched the film The Power of Community and heard Edward Harland speak about the Transition movement and York in Transition in particular. The children had a fun time drawing in chalk on the road, and cycling up and down. Two police officers attended and gave out some information to help residents avoid being burgled. I unicycled and blew up balloon models for a donation to YiT... raising more than the SNAPPY event this morning! The event was supposed to be 4pm til 6, but I didn't leave til 6.45, when the rainclouds were ominously gathering...

Later in the evening, I spoke to my good friend Jonathan who I hardly ever see anymore and he invited me round to spend a couple of hours with him. I watched a couple of programmeswith my eldest son about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN on the French/Swiss border which is due to go live this week, and at 9.45 headed off to see my buddy. He earns his living as a nurse but has ambitions to be an artist, which seem to be coming true. There's lots of interest in his work, which aims to help people reminisce and remember their past. He's known as Dexter in the art world and his fun website can be seen here.

Had a lovely chat and a can of cider, got back soon after midnight.

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