Sunday, 22 August 2010

Tuesday 17th August 10

Well, a super day; my first job was to go and find somewhere to do some 'guerrilla composting'. We'd generated a small bag full of compostables and I wanted to dispose of this in as appropriate way as possible. So I took it just a few minutes walk from the back door and found a place in the woods where I could make a little heap and place a few rotten sticks over them as camouflage. This will just add a little bit extra to the leaf litter and fertility of the woodland, and avoids the only other disposal route open to us, landfill.

Then I went down to Mumbles to get cherry tomatoes, a cucumber, soya and goats milk. I came back in good time to get myself some lunch and get that eaten before Gill's Uncle George came to pick us up. But I was in the middle of making my sandwiches when there was a knock at the door and it was Karl. He wanted to find out from me how I earned a living as a self-employed entertainer/educator. I finished making my sandwiches and as I ate them, answered his questions and suggested how he might be able to do his creative 'thing' and make some money. I hope we keep in touch, he seemed like an interesting and nice guy.

Then George came, and Karl left. George is Gill's Father's younger brother. He is very much like what Gill remembers her father Brinley to be like, so this was a lovely meeting. He drove us via Langlands Bay, where we got out and had a quick look at the beach, and then on to Caswell Bay, Bishopton, Kittle and then onto the main road across the Common past the airport and into Killay, where he and Auntie Rhona live. We last saw them at our wedding in 1999, and it was really lovely to see them again.

We were shown a load of photos, including some of when Gill was pregnant with our first child. We had a laugh at this... the boys were amused at her hair colour, which was brown, whereas it's now white, and Gill was amused to see that in the photo she was wearing a blue denim dress and red woolen cardigan. She still has both items of clothing, and has them with her now here on holiday!

Then we went into the garden where George grows leeks, runner beans, more leeks, a few potatoes and courgettes, and more leeks. I offered to do a bit of weeding for him, as his compost bin needed some more materials. I said I'd swap the weeding for half an hour on his computer so I could catch up with my emails. So I pulled out lots of spindly brambles, lots of small rose bay willow herb and some bindweed. I joined in with a game of boules and did some more weeding/Rotol Bin filling.

Then it was tea time; we'd brought a few bits with us, a plum and apple crumble, some pasta salad and a kind of nutloaf made with the excess Bulgar wheat from yesterday's stuffed courgettes. Rhona had provided potato salad, lettuce and coleslaw. After this George showed me his computer and I signed into Tiscali webmail, where there were some messages I was really glad to get and to reply to, and I went on facebook too and got up to date with a few messages there. I finished just as George and Rhona's daughter in law Diane arrived, and soon after, their son and her husband Jonathan. Gill hasn't seen these cousins for decades, so this was really nice too.

As it was getting dark Jonathan took us back to Mumbles. Although it hadn't rained much today, it was fairly cool this evening so Gill said yes to me lighting the stove, which is a Nestor Martin approx 4kw jobbie, with a top-loading facility. The glass in the door was quite well sooted up so I used the old method of cleaning it... screw up a sheet of newspaper, spit on it and dip the wet area in the ashes in the grate. This has the right amount of abrasion to easily remove the soot, and the window came up clean very nicely. The stove worked reasonably well and was fun to have a go with. I'm glad I collected some fuel.

I was really pleased to see the first episode of the latest series of my favourite comedy 'Ideal' which is completely surreal and very funny. Gill loves it too.

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