Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Monday 14th February 11

A good day, despite most of it being inside and doing assorted paperwork and admin stuff.

At 10, Will came to meet our eldest and to see if they could work together... Will is a maths enthusiast and we've asked him to help us home educate our eldest.  He's coached two GCSE students already, so we discussed that too.  They just had various discussions and tried out various number games, but next week I'll start paying Will 10 Yorkys for the hour's tuition. 

Just before lunch I had a good telephone conversation with Nathan from Promessa UK, sorting out a few facts to help me write clearly about it on Novaterium.com

I also had some conversations with Keith, whom I know from Freecycle.  He responded to my 'wanted' post, where I asked if anyone had a spare electric chainsaw as mine had ceased to be able to be used.  I explained what had happened, and he said he'd have a go at fixing it.  However he was having a busy day himself, so we arranged to meet later.

I got a message from a teacher in France asking if I'd be willing to talk to her students about being a 'freegan'.  I replied immediately and said yes, she was delighted and found me on skype, and at about 3pm we connected and I answered questions about my green lifestyle.  They were a group of 20 year olds, not sure what lesson it was, but that didn't matter.  I had their questions relayed to me by the teacher and they listened to my answers.  One student later found me on facebook, saying he'd lived as a freegan for a couple of years.

I did a couple of hours work in the garden, and sorted out some Mediterranean-grown new potatoes which had been thrown out as they had blemishes and damage from the harvesting.  Later, I washed them and trimmed them, and cut them into cubes and made a potato salad on the stove.

Gill made a celery soup (just 2 potatoes, an onion and a whole head of celery) and an apple crumble with stewed apple from the freezer.  This was a delicious tea.

Justin called to pick up his cheque from the two days work he did, and to leave us the certificates and circuit diagrams of the house wiring, so that anybody doing any further work knows what is what, as this house has really weird wiring.  I told Justin that the lights he said wouldn't work after he removed some crappy flex were actually still working, so he'll need to come tomorrow and check the status of that wire, to check there isn't some problem there....

Then I cycled round to Keith's house in Tang Hall/Heworth, to see if he could fix the chainsaw.  The problem was that I could not undo the nut securing the blade, to tension the chain, as the bolt was turning with the nut as I tried to undo it.  Somehow the bolt had come loose.  He had a good poke around, trying to see if he could get to the base of the bolt to hold that still, but no.  So he undid the screw/bolt things holding the plastic casing together, which then showed that the base of the bolt was encased in the plastic casing.  After some thought, he reckoned that putting a blow torch on the bolt would enable him to pull it out of the casing as the plastic would soften.  This worked, once he'd found the blow torch!  The hole that was left was the right size for a bolt he had in his extensive collection.  He decided to anchor this two ways... by drilling a hole across the head and also into the casing of the saw, and sliding a pin through both case and bolt.  He also had some glue called Sticks Like Sh*t which he used to fix the bolt head into the hole and the pin in place.  We then had a bit of bother getting the case back in place as there were a couple of springs which needed easing into place, and the on-switch was difficult too.  BUT we got everything back in place AND the machine worked!  Whether the chain stays taut when I'm cutting is another matter, but we shall see!

Keith didn't want anything in return... as he'd offered to help me.  I said that if I ever asked him for help, I'd expect to give him something.  I asked again if there was anything I could do by way of thanking him, and he said, well, he was looking for a rhubarb crown.  I said I'd be able to help him with that!

Keith is an example of a person I would like more of in the community around me.  If more people were like him, the world would definitely be a better place.

I got home and did more washing up, cooked potato salad, helped Gill open a PayPal account as she wants to buy something tomorrow, and I found out I won't be in York tomorrow as Ali has two ill PAs and wants me to go over and work... hence Gill needing to open the PayPal thing, as I was going to do that transaction for her, but won't be around.

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