Gill took our youngest into school and I had a slow start, doing a bit of paperwork (rewriting an invoice which got ripped up by someone with a temper) and writing my Community Care Blog, which I'm very happy with, and thanks to reader James who suggested I do something on Earth Hour. Gill went out to the dentist as part of a filling had broken off, so I had a quiet lunchtime and then went to get our youngest, walking back through the woods along Windmill Lane chatting.
I washed and blanched a load of grapes when I got in, putting them for drying on the stove, and then took 4 sacks of rubbish from the composting operations down to Country Fresh to put in their bin... after all, it would have gone there much earlier if I hadn't have taken it home wrapping up all the biodegradables, sorted it out to recycle the compostable stuff and bagging up the waste, mainly plastic film and packaging.
Richard was visibly upset when I arrived... there'd been an incident in the street which had saddened him. A member of the public had gone into the Spar shop just up the road from his greengrocers, leaving their little daughter's pet Staffordshire bull terrier dog attached to the railings outside. When they came back out, the pet had been taken. Now this in itself is upsetting, but more so when the reason is inferred. Apparently, docile domestic pet Staffies are targeted by people who get a kick out of watching dog fighting, and they use the non-fighting dog as 'bait', for training purposes. Absolutely sickening. I'm not keen on dogs but I dislike animal abuse a lot more, and I think that anyone who gains pleasure from using animals as entertainment, or seeing animals getting hurt or killed is pretty low. I include fox and deer hunters, badger baiters, hare coursers, dog racers, horse racing enthusiasts, dog fighters, people who go to watch animals in circuses and more. I think we should completely rethink our relationship with animals. We can have ethical relationships with animals, there are plenty of well-kept pets and companion animals which have their needs met and do not suffer. Then there are 'working' animals such as draft horses, sniffer dogs and guide dogs/hearing dogs, truffle-hunting pigs, pigeon-scaring birds of prey... there are so many species of animal we use, and there is heated debate about the rights and wrongs of this. I haven't even mentioned laboratory animals, used to test drugs, vaccines and cosmetics, and many other procedures... it's an ethical minefield! I've been vegetarian for well over 20 years and have opinions about the millions of animals which are kept specifically for slaughter... another ethical dilemma.
Anyway, diatribe over... life goes on despite all the suffering, and I came home with a new garden fork and spade which were on sale in the greengrocers, a buy-one-get-one-free deal, for £8, plus a penny's worth of compostable resources. Called in on Freshways on the way back for more.
Gill and I had the last of the amazing tomato soup she made yesterday, plus a mix of mashed swede, potato and butternut squash, and a rice-loaf thingy with red pepper, done in the microwave, and mushroom sauce on top! Restaurant Cossham is a good place to get fed! And I didn't mention stewed pears with chocolate sauce and a slice of lemon cake... no wonder I'm a bit tubby round the middle....
Evening... a York Green Festival meeting at St John's College/University or whatever it is now, with just 10 of us there... quite a good turn out, I think we're a strong team! We have a team leader on Music, Kids area, Infrastructure and Council liaison, Publicity, Finances and Stalls. Excellent! This meeting lasted less than two hours and I got home, with logs in the trailer, at 10pm. To a peaceful house, hooray!