Saturday, 6 February 2010

Saturday 6th February 10

Up at a reasonable time so that I could get to St Nicks for soon after 10am, as I'd promised to dig out the compost bay which is over-full, and it needed turning into the next bay.

I took my fork and spade down in the trailer and fully expected to have a couple of hours work by myself... peace and quiet, with the birds singing around me and an occasional dog walker passing by.

There was a lot of work to do; the composting area is a concrete base with 4 walls of breeze blocks, about 6 metres long, a metre high and about a metre between each wall. Each bay therefore is about 6 cubic metres of space. A pet shop regularly drops off sacks of sawdust and pet bedding, and this makes up the majority of the material, but I have on occasion added stuff and other people probably do too. But no-one is completely in charge or responsible.

So, I started getting the second bay ready for the contents of the first, and did about half an hour, with a short chat to Sue the Priest, out walking her dog, and anticipating the service in Doncaster this afternoon. Then I was joined by a 20 year old student, who offered to help and I let her have the fork, which is easier to use, and she worked at one end of the pile and I started towards the other, but in the middle whilst standing in the empty bay and adding to the pile that she was also adding to. We talked about all sorts of things, her history degree, her half Chinese ancestry and peoples' attitudes to race, lots of other subjects. We worked together for well over an hour. I think we shifted about a quarter or a fifth of the compost. Lots more needs doing!

I went into the Environment Centre at about 12.30 and the Eco-Active volunteers were all having lunch, and John invited me to have lunch too. I did, and chatted to a nice Chilean guy and a female student from Minnesota.

Home to a peaceful house... our youngest had gone to a birthday party and wasn't due back til 7pm. I busied myself in the front, trying to tidy up after the unwanted planks and packing wood had been almost tossed everywhere after yesterday's sorting of good from bad. I chainsawed up quite a bit more and built a good stack on the right of the door.

When I came in for a coffee I chopped up two huge onions, rejects because of surface blemishes, and slow-fried them on the stove, hoping that they would come in useful for tonight's meal.

Later, Gill decided to treat our eldest to a DVD from Blockbusters and a bag of chips from the Chinese takeaway just beyond it. So they ate together and I made myself a meal based on the onions. I had couscous (free as the bag had split), sweet red pepper paprika (made from thrown-away peppers) cooked in marmite water (to clean out the nearly empty jar) and a couple of, shock horror, bought mushrooms. Oh, and there was a 'crust' of Edam cheese left in the fridge because Gill cuts this cheese parallel to the rind, leaving a half centimetre of wasted cheese..... but not if I can help it, so I chopped that into small cubes and mixed them in just before I plonked it on my plate. Delicious! And 90% free materials... only the olive oil, mushrooms and cheese was paid-for. Even the heat to cook it was free. I really like meals like this!

A nothingy evening followed... bit of telly, kept the stove going as it's another cold night, played on the laptop for ages.

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