Thursday, 26 February 2009

Thursday 26th February 09

A really productive day. However it started with some difficulty, one child not wanting to go to school, but eventually cajoled him along and we got to school just before the doors closed so he wasn't technically late.

I had a chat with he head teacher in the playground and then put my boy's bike away... and near the bike shed there was a discarded banana skin, which I decided to put straight in the compost bin which is close to the bike shed. In the compost bin some lazy or stupid person had put a plastic bag with some dog poo, so I took that over to the main big bins... where I discovered a discarded resource which was in the wrong bin. The school have a waste paper bin, but it doesn't get used much, often has other materials in it and lots of paper goes in the 'to landfill' bins. In one of the landfill bins were eight dustbin liner sacks of glossy pamphlets, catalogues, advertising materials from 2008.. all totally recyclable paper.

I hoicked them out and packed them carefully in my trailer, panniers and on my rack... an extremely heavy load. My guess is that it was about 100Kg... I know how much a 20Kg sack feels like, and three of them, and this was considerably more than my usual heavy load of compostables (often 60+ Kilos). Anyway, struggled home with this and decided to take it direct to the Hazel Court Depot on James St... and took a pile of tetrapak/drinks cartons too, in re-usable bags.

I was expecting the staff there to try to stop me using the facilities as I'm not a motorist, but luckily I was ignored, so no confrontation between a 'jobsworth' and a militant cyclist recycler. Phew. I decided to count the number of publications the school had thoughtlessly thrown away... 240, with 31 still in their plastic wrappings (which I took off, of course!). I also removed some reply envelopes as the gum on envelopes messes up the paper recycling machinery... they are better composted.

Cycled back feeling buoyant, via St Nicks, to see if Catherine the head Rotter had any teaching material that I could use on Monday for Wigginton School. She had some wordsearch things and various other materials which will be very useful, and make it more interesting and accessible for the youngsters.

Got home to find Gill wrestling with the concertina clothes dryer which was refusing to stay stood up. We tried to fix it but the plastic thing which held it up wasn't particularly well designed and wasn't working. So a repair solution was needed. I found a short bungee (found on the road a few weeks ago) and tried to make that keep the rack up, but the stretchiness meant that the rack just flopped down. So I got a nice clean 6cm x 6cm length of wood and measured that up, cutting it to the right length. Then cut a couple of narrow notches in it which fitted over two of the bottom horizontals, preventing them from moving outwards and therefore keeping the rack stood up and extended. Hooray! Gill then sanded the length of wood down so there were no splinters. We like repairs!

Maria then rang... I'd offered to show her St Nicks some time ago, and now she's not teaching she has more time so she asked me to take her there and give her the tour. I agreed to go round to her at 1pm and we'd walk down together. Good discussion about aluminium cans and scrap metal, living roofs and more. A fairly quick toddle round the Environment Centre and then round the nature reserve... and back towards home, I left her at Scummerfields and was home for just after 2.

Riddled lots more sawdust.

Got my little boy at 3.15.

Came home and went on the computer to see if there was any message from Franny at The Age of Stupid about coming up to York, but nothing. Edward rang and we decided to have the special showing plus Question and Answer on 26th April, whether or not Franny can come.

Tea was good... a mix of the remains of carrot soup, tomato-based stew and some other bits, Gill made dumplings and then cooked the lot on the roaring woodstove... totally yummy! Our eldest was having tea with a friend and didn't come back til 7ish... came home bearing some flapjack he'd made at school. We were all very enthusiastic about this, despite it not holding together, and this put him in a good mood.

I went out to the York in Transition meeting which I was due to chair. I had not prepared a printed agenda but got one together at the start of the meeting. We had a quite vibrant session, including a stroke of genius from Peter, suggesting that we might get Franny to do the introduction and/or Q and A via videolink. We had two new attendees, one of whom was doing some research about the Transition movement, the other a student studying for a Ph.D in a really obscure subject which I've forgotten... but want to know more about...

We managed to finish on the dot of 9.30 and slowly made our way to the Slip Inn for a pint and a chat, and helped the researcher with pages and pages of notes....

I got back at 11pm and filled the log baskets, had a bowl of home-made muesli and settled down to dealing with emails and half-watching a programme on the recent snow and how it affected the nation, on C4+1.

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