Friday, 1 May 2009

Friday 1st May 09

A good day. I got up at 9 or about that and our eldest had gone to school but youngest had not slept well so he was off for part of the morning and Mum was doing things with him, homework think.

I had a York Rotters meeting at 10 at St Nicks, with our worker, John the Saint, Pat the Saint and Rachel the Recycle. We have surpassed our targets for last year and have set new ones for this financial year. The WRAP compost bin offers finish in September as DEFRA have cut the funding to WRAP, so get your cheap compost bins in now! We're going to be working with a secondary school this year, for the first time, and I find that exciting, could be more challenging than with primary schools. We have a busy week ahead as it's compost awareness week next week.

After this meeting I spent a few minutes putting some compostables on the St Nicks composting area and covering it with sawdust from the many sacks of pet bedding which are regularly left there. I spotted some sacks of chopped pine logs mixed with twigs and lots of loose needles, so I sorted out one of them, harvesting the logs and chunks, and taking them home, leaving the pine needles and twigs for the compost pile. There's another 3 sacks of this material to sort through... another day!

Home just before midday, when I was expecting a visitor for a rather sad ceremony. My friend Andy has had to have his cat put down. It was originally rescued by Andy's friend Tony from the Cat's Protection League, as an already mature cat. However, it had developed a tumour on it's jaw and was gradually finding eating and drinking increasingly difficult. So Andy had seen me walking back through town yesterday and asked if he could use some of the ample space we have here to bury his cat. He did this with his last one, where the raspberries now are. So, Andy arrived with his euthanased cat wrapped in a sheet and in a City of York recycling bag, and I'd found an area with enough space for him to dig the hole and place his loved companion in. This area too will soon be a raised bed.. with his cat almost a metre underground. Tony arrived too, to see the hole being dug and to support his friend. It was reasonably solemn, not tearful, just matter of fact and a bit sad.

They had some lunch with me and left at 2pm. I popped down to Country Fresh and back via Freshways, and then had an early tea before the Mayday Critical Mass Cycle Celebration. I got to the Minster for 5.45 and over 30 people turned up. We headed down to Walmgate where we picked up Rich with the sound system and we then had a good tootle around, heading towards Clifton and then back into York via the Leeman Road area... where an impatient car driver tried to overtake and because of oncoming traffic pulled into the group of cyclists and got dangerously close to some of us. I banged on the side of the car as it was going along at about 10 miles an hour, and the driver swerved left deliberately pushing me into the kerb and off my bike. I yelled as I came off and Rich indicated to the driver to stop, pulling across the front of his vehicle. The driver continued to drive on, despite having knocked someone off, and rammed Rich so that he slid up the bonnet of the car. Fortunately this was enough contact to cause the driver to stop, where he was surrounded by cyclists. Someone rang the police and a few minutes later, a very sympathetic copper came and interviewed all three people involved. It turned out the car driver was going to the Rock Church, with several children in his car. I think he was showing off.

The policeman says he will be summonsed to court, but as there were no independent witnesses, he will get away with his stupidity. I ended up with a graze on my leg, which I could claim compensation for, but I probably won't. Rich said his leg hurt, and his bike was damaged, mine wasn't.

After this half hour break, we were free to cycle off and we headed on back to the Minster where we all parted company, and I cycled home. An eventful ride!

A peaceful evening followed. I invited Gill to have a game of Scrabble and she won... grrrrrrrrrr!

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