Monday, 1 February 2010

Monday 1st February 10

A good day. I walked down towards school with our youngest but left him at Field Lane to walk the last bit on his own. Later this year he'll walk to school by himself, or probably with a couple of local friends. When he goes to secondary school in September, he'll have to walk in either by himself, with friends or with his elder brother.

I cycled back to this end of Windmill Lane (picking up the weekend's aluminium beer can harvest!) and turned right to go and deliver a letter to the other school. On the way back from there, I saw a large pile of packing case wood in someone's front garden, so I cycled in and rang the doorbell. I asked if the wood was unwanted, and if it wasn't, could I have it as some of it would be great for helping to construct the beehives. I have no idea what had been packed in this, but there was loads... in fact, so far today, seven trailer loads of clean softwood pallet-type planks.

At 11.30 I was back at school to have a meeting with the headteacher. We discussed various educational matters, and also how the school is attempting to deal with the green agenda. We spent just over an hour talking, and I went away reassured and feeling a lot more comfortable with going there. I look forward to hearing about the green audit and to seeing how they change their waste and recycling situation, currently poor, and having gone backwards since I was forced to stop composting last year. I made several suggestions including weblinks to some rotating composters and ideas about renewable power generation. I remain optimistic.

Home for lunch, more wood collecting, cycled down to school for a third time to collect our youngest... but he wanted to come back with a friend in their car, so I cycled back and picked up another load of packing case wood.

A simple tea of baked potato and cauliflower cheese, and then out to the LETS EGM, an 'Extraordinary General Meeting' which I chaired. We debated two issues... whether York Local Exchange Trading System needed to change its membership fees structure, and whether we should have a Co-ordinator post at the next AGM. Currently, we charge £5 or Y5 (five pounds sterling or five Yorkys) as an annual membership, plus Y12 as an annual admin fee. But this meeting decided that we would simplify this to an annual fee of £12 or Y12 or any combination of the two currencies adding up to 12, with the membership due in April, with reminders to non-payers sent out with the AGM info (held in July)and if not paid by the AGM, the membership would cease. We agreed that we would have the post of Co-ordinator available at the next AGM.

It was a good meeting, two new members and several old friends. It was a quick meeting, I was back by 9.30.

I had my pudding which I'd helped Gill make, but hadn't had time to eat before the LETS meeting: bread and butter pudding with extra fruit. We had a waste loaf... white sliced bread just past it's sell-by date, obviously still edible but unwanted by one of the shops I help with their recycling. So, a greased bowl. Margarine (or other grease of your choice!) on bread. We put a bit of sliced fruit in amongst the bread slices, and a bit of sugar sprinkled over, only this time Gill used maple syrup, and the fruit was banana and kiwifruit slices. Then Gill mixed 3 eggs with a similar volume of milk, whisked it up and poured it over, and bunged it in the oven on Gas Mark 5 or 6 until it was cooked. Delicious!

I watched the lecture by Sir Terry Pratchett about how his Alzheimer's has made him look at how society deals with death, and arguing for a dignified system for people to be able to end their own lives legally when faced with a terminal/debilitating illness. Having been thinking about my friend Jean's demise, I have to agree that if that is what someone wants, then a civilised society should respect that, and facilitate a way for people to die before they are in such a state to not be able to express their pain, frustration and poor quality of life. I am not scared of death, but certainly don't want to experience the long slow deterioration that affects so many. I'm fearful of that kind of 'pre-death' experience. I would choose a self-induced demise if I could see the inevitable future of incurable cancer, or Alzheimer's, or any other terminally degenerative disease. But I know that many people don't agree with this view, and I understand it is a difficult debate. The programme left me thoughtful.

1 comment:

Middle Cottage Diary said...

John, I was touched by your post yesterday. A loving tribute to what sounded like a formidable woman. I am a strong supporter of euthanasia.

Interesting to hear about your LETS scheme, I think it was once tried and failed here in Hehxam. I am looking at setting something similar up through Transition Tynedale. If you have time look at my recent post and if you have any advice it would be appreciated.