One of those was a dear friend Diane from Norwich ringing me and asking if I could do a favour. Our mutual friend G., who has some quite severe disabilities, has found himself in a tight spot financially and has no food in the house. He is expecting to receive a fuel payment on Thursday, which will mean he can go shopping, but until then, he's no food. Diane asked me if I could go to Alligator, and she'd put £20 on an account, and could I buy him some provisions and cycle them up to him? I said I could do something like that, but would ring him and ask what he wanted, and get back to her about the arrangements.
G. was surprised and very grateful and eventually got me a shopping list organised, some of which I can get at Thomas the Baker with the Yesterbake deal, some at the Co-op, some at Country Fresh, and a few bits at Alligator. I rang Diane and said that she didn't need to send Alligator any money, I'd cover the cost.
I also got a phone call from a family member who feels strongly I shouldn't ever mention about when things get difficult with family life, with bringing up children. I have already agreed to not put too many details, but I feel like I'm being blackmailed. Although this blog is ostensibly about low carbon living, I happen to be a parent, and that sometimes means I mention good times and bad times as a parent. Not everything in this diary relates to carbon emissions... there's all sorts of ethical dilemmas, and other things going on in my life which I personally feel happy to share with any reader. So I now have another dilemma... do I kow tow to someone who wishes to control what I do, someone I'd like to please and make happy... but therefore not feeling free to do as I want, or do I continue writing this blog as I want to, with occasional references to some of the difficulties which families sometimes have to face, and risk losing some of the small benefits that remaining in contact with this person might give? Do I get stressed and unhappy trying to ensure that my writing is acceptable to them, or do I keep the freedom to be myself and do what I want to do and have the knowledge that they are critical of me and don't accept me as I am, and are threatening no contact with anyone in my family because of this?
I wish they could have contact with the rest of the family and just leave me alone to do what I want to do, and accept my aspergery ways and accept me as I am. But from experience, that is unlikely. I will try to keep the blog appropriate and not put lots of details of what the children get up to but I cannot promise to 'never mention the children in a negative way' as this would give a totally unrealistic view of family life!
I did eventually find the balloon workshop info, and got train times to Featherstone which is where it's being held. I then went and did some shopping, for us as well as G.
Gill and I had lunch together and at 3.30 went to a meeting at school, which was good. Our youngest went home with a friend and eldest let himself in, and when we got in at 4.30, I collected the shopping I'd done for G. and shot off to get some fresh veg he's requested from Country Fresh and something else from Alligator. I then cycled all the way to the other side of York to deliver this to G.... but when I got there, I discovered I'd left the bread and hummus behind, doh! So I promised G that I'd come back and deliver these later.
When I got back home, there had been some interesting times. Our youngest had been out cycling around the University with the friend, but the friend cycled faster than he did and left him behind. Our little boy was then slightly lost and came over all miserable, as he didn't know how to get back to the friend's house. A lady stopped and asked him if everything was alright, and suggested to him that he find his way to a friend's house he DID know how to get to. Which is exactly what he did... and ended up at another friend's house just up the road from us. He knew that we had planned to be out, and the second friend's Mum wasn't in, so they just played. When that Mum came back, she rang and said that our boy had turned up at her place. In the meantime, friend number one was very unhappy he's lost his buddy, and his Mum was going spare trying to find our son, and was on the verge of ringing the police. So a bit of a fright, but everything turned out fine in the end.
I heard all this when I got back... and all seemed very peaceful and calm!
I did a second round-trip at about half ten, taking my trailer off to speed things up. I collected our youngest's school bag from where it had been left at the friend's house, and then cycled over the Millennium Bridge and over to G's house, delivering bread and hummus, and back over Hob Moor and home, an hours cycling exactly. Came back drenched with sweat and feeling very healthy. Whilst I'm cycling I mull over the things which have happened recently, it's good therapy, thinking time. I realised that I cannot have my life revolving around trying to please everybody, some of whom are very difficult to please! I do plenty of good things, live an ethical life - although not to everyone's liking, and I am happy with 99% of what I do. I cannot help if a few folks out there are unhappy with me. I see it as their loss and I'll live with the consequences; I will have to as I am unable to be anybody else!
Bed after 2am, as usual.