Friday, 23 January 2009

Friday 23rd January 09

I took our youngest into school. Came back and Gill was feeling very poorly and was wondering what to do. I told her to ring the hospital and/or her GP and she was offered an appointment for 3.40, but really she was so ill that I thought she needed something sooner, as she thought she was going to die. Our neighbour Marion has just retired from nursing, but is still qualified, so Gill went to ask her opinion. Dave, Marion's husband, offered to drive Gill to the surgery (shows how ill she was, as it's less than 10 mins walk but she couldn't face it. The doctor gave her a prescription for some strong antibiotics as she has an infection in her abdomen.

Somewhere in amongst this lot, we had a visit from our friend Maria who has just handed in her resignation to the school where she's recently started working. She found that the combination of so much prep and marking, having loads of different classes shared amongst relatively few teachers, and various other pressures was too much. Very sad, as she is in fact an excellent teacher... but it wasn't the teaching which she found to much, it was all the surrounding stuff. But she knows we are sympathetic and always have a cuppa and listening ear for her. I'm sure she'll find something else.

I also did a compostables collection by request from Freshways and came away with some interesting tubers which I might have a go at growing. Today I also harvested some Oca from the molasses drum at the side of the house... it's a frost-sensitive plant and the recent cold spell has rendered the tops into a collapsed state, but the soil was completely full of lovely shiny pink tubers, which can be eaten raw or stir-fried, and have a tangy lemony flavour and are crunchy. Latin name is Oxalis tuberosa, for pictures of Oca, see and there's an excellent article with photos here: I will eat some and replant the smallest ones in pots so that I can grow them on in the conservatory for a few months before planting them out or letting other people have them.

At 2.30 I went down to school and helped prepare for the Blue Peter Mission Nutrition Bring and Buy. I got a load of tables out of the hall and put them up in the playground... Julia suggested a circular shape which did work well. One of the mums brought a load of fairy cakes and Julia had already collected some stuff to sell from a previous Mission Nutrition sale (afterwards, the stuff which hadn't sold) and parents brought stuff in today. By 3.15 we were ready to sell and it was a very busy few minutes. We hadn't put prices on anything... we just asked for offers and reminded people that it was for Mission Nutrition, and many parents and children were very generous. Lots of people got some fantastic bargains though. Later during the evening, I got an email saying we'd taken about £120. I was delighted!

I helped pack up and took some clothes which will be OK in the forthcoming York in Transition Clothes Swap, on 14th February. Then I cycled home with our little one who was pleased with his little computer game (50p) a laughing furry ball, a paper clip holder and a wooden snake for a pound, he also bought two buns, ate one and brought one back for his older brother.

Gill was back in the house when I got back but went to bed. I prepared the boys' tea on the woodstove: sliced and fried butternut squash, pasta parcels and shells with a leek, cabbage, tomato and cashew nut stew/sauce. Gill had a little bit afterwards... we all enjoyed this nosh.

At 8 our friend Will came round, as agreed during the week. He had wanted to play a game of 'co-operative Scrabble' but we also had a funding application form to fill in for the new LETS software, so we did that instead. Will left at 10.30 and I did a bit of wire stripping and Gill came down after midnight needing painkillers.

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