Sunday, 24 April 2011

Saturday 23rd April 11

I got up early as was expecting Tracey Smith to be here at about 10am.  The plan was to walk into town and to go to El Piano, and maybe meet up with people who wanted to meet her.. but only one person had responded with a 'maybe', and then I got a message to say she was running late, so I cancelled the cafe meeting and waited for her to arrive.

As it was, I don't think she'd have wanted to go into town... she wanted to have a cuppa, a chat, and a wander down the garden.  She was making a film with her camcorder about people who were either downshifted or in the process of downshifting, so she interviewed me in our front room, and then took more footage down the garden.  I was showing her one of my wormeries, which has some adult drone flies emerging... their larvae are one of my favourite compost beasties... they're 'rat tailed maggots' and they like the wet areas at the base of my fruit and veg rich compost bins, and, apparently, wormeries.  Anyway, I found a newly emerged adult, with wings not yet inflated.  I had it on my thumb... and a robin swooped in and snatched it.  For me, it wasn't that surprising, as the garden is full of robins which follow me around and love me for the invertebrates I uncover and make available.  However, Tracey was delighted, and said she'd like to try to capture it on her camera.  I found another fly (which don't actually do a lot of flying; they seem to prefer to walk, certainly when newly emerged, even with fully pumped-up wings) and put it on my hand... and within less than a second, the robin had had it again!  Luckily (or unluckily for the fly) I found a third, and waited for Trace to get her camera ready... and bingo, she got the shot... followed by the robin very close to her, eating the hover fly.  I really love the way I help turn unwanted waste into robins!

So, we moved down to the riddling machine, and beyond to the radiator beds and the current New-Zealand bin which is running at close to 60 Celsius.  I think she was quite impressed!

I gave her a bag of riddled compost and she took me to her car where she had a present for me... some freshly laid eggs from the chickens belonging to her previous host, Denise Nesbitt.  Near her car was a table top sale run by two young children... they were getting rid of unwanted toys and things they'd grown out of, so  I suggested Tracey add this to her downshifting and recycling film.  I found Jo, their  mum, and Tracey interviewed her and the children.

And soon it was time for her to go.... I'd have loved to spend more time with her, show her St Nicks, and the best bits of York... but another time maybe!

After lunch I cycled up to the house with the shredded wood available, as the owner there had asked if I wanted any more of the shredded tree.  He was wrestling with a huge base of a holly tree, and had quite a bit of root material and other wood, so I took a load of woodchip and on the next journey, the burnable stuff. He hadn't sawn up the huge holly trunk, but said to come back later.

Then I visited Richard at Country Fresh... and he had some tomato plants in; I bought 4 different types.  I got potatoes and tomatoes, and 5 boxes or bags of gunk for the hot heap.

The Press was delivered, and we paid our weekly bill.  I was surprised to see that on page 3 there was a photo of the Easter procession of the cross being taken through the streets of York, with Dr. Sentamu at the front just behind the cross carrier.  I had said hello to him whilst pushing David up Spurriergate... and the Press photographer had caught this and today, the picture was published.  I rang David to tell him... he was about to ring me as he too gets the Press.  He asked if I could get a copy of this picture for him.

Then I did a load more riddling and when it was cooler, I started work on the raised beds which have become a bit neglected, and need planting up with crops.  I have potatoes chitting so I took out lots of weeds (bramble seedlings, goose grass and others)  and I found that the ultra tough winter has killed our fennel, which has been growing really well there for many years.

Just before tea I visited the house up the road and picked up the holly trunk... about a metre long and over 30 cm diameter, I could only just lift it into my trailer, it must have been over 50kg.  And I popped into see Debbie and picked up a load of aluminium cans she's saved for me.

So a busy day, hot and sweaty, so lit the stove and got bathwater ready for a 1am bath before bed...

1 comment:

mrsnesbitt said...

Hi John, yes what a whirlwind eh? Good to know you received and enjoyed the eggs. I know Sentamu's right hand man - Glyn, through another friend. We often come to York will look you up.