Friday, 19 November 2010

Thursday 18th November 10

A very peaceful day, although I had the headache again.  The day slid by with not a huge lot happening apart from a meeting in town in the afternoon, and on the way back I went to Alligator and picked up a trailer load of compostable resources... and then came back via Country Fresh where there were 3 boxes of the same for me, which I balanced on top of the trailer and bungeed on to my pannier rack.

I was pleased to see that Shirley had sorted out some Persimmons, or Sharon Fruit, or as I remember them from a Chinese girlfriend Wai Fong Cheng, back in Leicester in the 1980s, the Chinese Love Apple.  These are mainly yellowy orange, but have naturally occurring dark patches in the flesh.  The ones with the most dark patches on had been thrown out... 14 good solid fruits, plus two which were a bit soft.  So I had 16 persimmons to wash, remove the calyx, peel and slice into 4 slices, and put on the drying racks above the stove.  When they are dry they have a curious date-like texture.  They're delicious dried.

At 4pm, one of my LETS contacts sisters arrived, with a pre-arranged delivery of a big load of brewing equipment.  Her father, who's made wine all his life, has now got too old for continuing to do his hobby, and the demijohns and plastic buckets were taking up too much space.  So Vivienne contacted me and asked me if I'd be able to get rid of this for her.  I said yes, of course, and so today she brought round 20 demijohns, 10 buckets and barrels, 2 boxes of assorted equipment and 2 plastic crates which could fit 20 bottles each.  But fortunately I had seen a 'wanted' message yesterday on Freecycle for brewing stuff... so at 5pm, Rob came round and was really happy to pick up 3 demijohns, 3 plastic buckets and a selection of filters, muslin sheets, corks and a corking machine.  Later, I called on a neighbour, Charles, and he was delighted to have 7 demijohns and some straining bags for his fruit press.  I love Freecycling!

I put an 'offered' message on Freecycle and got 21 responses asking to be given the rest of the equipment.  I contacted the most local and said yes, come tomorrow early afternoon, and sent a copied/pasted message to all the others saying sorry, and I'd hang on to their details in case of non-collection.

I made tea for the family; I cooked some Bulgar wheat, grated a carrot into it, popped some home-made raisins in, and this was a basic salad which was enjoyed by all.  Gill and I had the last of the celery soup, and I had a waste avocado chopped up in with my Bulgar wheat.

At 6 I set out for the University of York People and Planet showing of McLibel.  I've got a copy of the film on DVD but I haven't had time to watch it.  The McLibel trial was big news in the early 90s, and the story is quite amazing.  I remember the leaflet from the late 1980s, when I was getting into green issues and activism, and still have a tee-shirt from that era with MuckDonalds on it.  This is a story that should inspire anybody wanting to make a better world or campaigning for a more just society.  It shows that ordinary people... like Helen Steel and Dave Morris, can change society, get laws changed, and damage multinationals such as McDonalds, which has suffered and lost business since the trial.  I do recommend watching this film, it can be ordered here.

I got back soon after 8 and did the washing up, kept the stoves going, dealt with fruit, and caught up with the email avalanche following the Freecycle offer of brewing equipment, and wrote my blog whilst watching Panorama about whether to tax fatty and sugary foods.

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