Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunday 20th September 09

A work day, but didn't have to leave til midday. This allowed me to indulge in a lie-in which was good... just til 10am though, nothing exorbitant!

Gill ironed my costume as I had breakfast, and at 11.30 I got my stuff together, but then got a phone call from a friend who had hit rock bottom, wanting a few minutes of my time, so I said I would be able to come round at 11.55 just for a few minutes. My friend suffered some horrible abuse many years ago and hasn't had any counselling or help overcoming or dealing with the memories and the emotions they stir up. This friend has a serious (legal) drug problem and the information I learned today makes that much more understandable. I offered to support them if they wanted to access counselling or get help from their GP, but I could only spend 10 minutes with them as I had to be at Millers Yard by 12.25.

I set up my stuff in the studio there, and walked round towards the ceramic-painting shop, where many of the party-goers had spent some of the morning. They were just coming out and heading for Millers Yard, so I turned round and led the crocodile of children to the venue.

The show went like clockwork, a really good show which I thoroughly enjoyed, as did the kids and their parents. I did the circus first, then prepared the balloon show and had my sandwiches, then did the balloon animal workshop. There were two girls celebrating their birthdays, so I think that my fee was probably shared by the two families, but I'm not sure. I got paid at the end, and several parents told me very complementary things before I cycled off with my trailer full of circus stuff and burst balloons for putting on the compost heap.

I got home at 4pm, via Country Fresh which is looking very nice with a new shop-front. All the old rotten wood has been replaced, but the original huge windows kept, which halved the cost of the job.

I had half an hour on the computer but when I'd dealt with the emails I got changed and went into the garden as I've had my eye on a length of hedge which has got a bit bushy, and needed a radical haircut.

I had nearly finished this job when our neighbour started chatting to me about the proposed removal of this length of hedge, and replacement with a fence, or a low wall and fence. We agreed that in a couple of weeks I would start taking out the hedge, and I would take care of that. My neighbour would put in some foundations and use the bricks I salvaged from when I took the coal-house out. The fence would probably be the one which I was given by another neighbour a few months back, a lovely oak fence.

Putting a wall/fence there will allow my neighbours to grow vegetables up it, and will mean that our veg patch doesn't have such dry soil where it is now depleted by the hedge roots. Removing the hedge will also allow me to remove the Ground Elder which is in the hedge and growing into the raised beds.

I came in at about 7pm, pretty tired but having cut the hedge (which will make it easier to take out) and riddled some more compost.

Tea had been made by our youngest... a rice and noodle nut loaf, with sprouts, carrots and roast potatoes. Impressive stuff! Delicious stuff too...

During the evening I enjoyed a programme on Coldplay, featuring my musical hero, Brian Eno, who produced their most recent album. I also jarred-up loads of dried apple rings and pear slices, and prepared loads more for drying.

Also today I received a phone call from my wonderful activist friend in Scarborough, Jane Gresham, who invited me to go and speak at the Scarborough 10:10 launch on Friday. 10:10 is a project launched by the good people behind The Age of Stupid, the aim of which is to encourage individuals to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% in 2010, AND lobby government to do the same. There is a pledge that people can sign... the movement is supported by a large number of organisations. I'm going through to Scarborough on Friday 26th to the Stephen Joseph Theatre to do a short talk before the film The Age of Stupid (which is having it's global premiere this week), and be on the panel for a Q+A afterwards. It's not a paid-for gig, but my train fare will be covered.

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