Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Wednesday 12th May 10

Well, an interesting day. The morning went quickly, dealing with emails and doing the first washing up of the day. I totally understand why people choose to have machines which take care of this chore. But I do the washing up in mainly wood-heated water, and now, if the stove isn't hot, solar-heated water to dissolve the grease and food residues. I'm very good at washing up in very limited water too... I'm not wasteful, as you'd expect... especially as I'm paying for it!

So, lunch at 1pm, as usual, and then at 1.45 a booked-in visit from Freecycling Julie, who offered a large tree root on Freecycle a few days ago, which I asked for and she offered it to me. When I was at her tidy garden, I asked her whether she composted, as I didn't see a compost bin. She told me she was about to get one from her mother, so I said that if she'd like any help installing it, I'd be happy to help.

So today she came with her fella, Justin, and they came in and saw the stove and dried fruit, then came down the garden to see the assorted compost systems. We collected some worms and I gave them a sack of twiggy bits for the base of their new heap. They left to go and do something else, and invited me to come round at 3.30 to help install the bin.

This meant that no-one would be in when our eldest was due to come home, so we put a little note on the door telling him to come round the back, where there's a hidden key to the back door.

I went to see Julie and Justin, and Julie had already dug a bit of a trench, as I suggested, to allow the 220 litre bin to be pushed down into the soil a bit. Justin found some chicken wire and cut it to a good size, and we installed the bin, which is as rodent-proof as a compost bin can get. Then the twiggy bits and worms were put in, and Julie had saved a couple of days worth of food scraps and paper, so they went in too. I am very happy that I've helped another household start reducing their waste footprint. And I think Julie is a potential Master Composter, as she wants to do the York Rotters training. They gave me some wood offcuts and ordered some compost and dried fruit.

I cycled home and the boys were in, and Gill ushered me into the back room to tell me something. As she'd been coming down the road, she'd seen a man on a push-bike turn into our shared driveway. When she got there a couple of minutes later, the bike was thrown down near our front door. Gill let our youngest in and put her bike into the hall, and he came out of the back room saying that there was a man in the conservatory. Gill told him to go in the front room and she'd deal with it.

As she was in the kitchen about to unlock the back door, he was facing away and looking around. When she put the key in the door, he turned around and when she opened the door, she said "Can I help you?" He replied politely that he was sorry to have frightened her and was looking for T***** R****, to which Gill said she'd never heard of that person and he didn't live here, and that she wasn't frightened. He said that he'd better go, and turned to go back out of the conservatory. Gill said, come through the house, and could he pull the conservatory outer door shut please. She asked again, who was he looking for, and he said the same name. She was firm and polite, and took control of the situation. He apologised again for causing alarm, and left.

A bit later, Gill was in the conservatory and asked me if I'd moved a box of wine glasses (which I'd found in a skip a few months ago) and, no, I hadn't, so our uninvited visitor must have. It was then that I suggested we ring the police and report what had happened. They were very interested, especially when Gill said the name of the person he was allegedly searching for. This name was well-known to the police. They asked us not to use the conservatory as they would dust it for fingerprints. So a bit later, two very sweet and young Community Support Officer girlies came round and took Gill's story, and then at 11pm, two 'real' police came to interview her, and warn us to be more careful with security. We told both our neighbours about what had happened. As nothing had been taken, they decided not to check for fingerprints.

So, an interesting day, not all of it nice though.


Anonymous said...

Just out of interest, why did you not think to call the police until hours later?

Whoever it was in your conservatory was clearly up to no good! "Looking for someone" - yeah, right!

And I've got to ask, why did you ask him to leave through the house? Surely that is asking for trouble?

Compost John said...

Not sure why we didn't call the police until half an hour later, but I think that sometimes it takes a little while to process information and to work out that yes, he was up to no good. Maybe we're too trusting!

As for Gill frogmarching him through the house... she didn't want him disappearing down the garden, and wanted him off the premises quickly. Gill used to be a publican and has dealt with plenty of ne'er do wells, and when I met her, was 'front of house' at the York Arts Centre. She's a tough lady who can look after herself. She has the ability to command respect!

But thank you for your concern, whoever you are!