Thursday, 14 July 2011

Thursday 14th July 11

A busy morning getting ready to go to Hampshire for the Little Green Gathering, where Professor Fiddlesticks and John the Composter are appearing.

I'll be back on Monday, and therefore there'll be a rare gap in the daily updates here.

I had a bit of a pile of compostables to put on a heap so I went down the garden in my dressing gown to do that, and as it was such a nice warm day, discarded the gown and worked naked in the privacy of our own garden for maybe an hour. I was taking stuff out of sacks and chopping it up with the big knife I've had had since I worked in an abattoir when I was 20, and taking plastic wrappers off, and making sure that there were plenty of layers of woodchips and shredded hedge in between the layers of putrescible carrot and melon.  I really enjoy the peace and quiet down the garden, and the way the robins come and check out what I'm doing, and if I get apples or grapes, that I can throw these a short distance away and blackbirds will come and feast on them.  This feels very close to nature and it is wonderful.  And of course, I'm processing stuff which would have gone to landfill otherwise, and turning it into a valuable resource which is good for the planet and its biosphere.   I don't often go naked in the garden, this was only the second time this year, but I like the feel of the air and sun on my skin, it's very sensual... not sexual or erotic though, as some people who haven't tried 'naturism' might think.

I came back in at 10 and got my rucksack sorted, chose enough circus stuff to do shows and freeplay workshops and a balloon activity on the final day, plus tent and airbed and sleeping bag, and an LED lamp Gill got as she worries about my using a candle in a jar as lighting.

I had a bath and hair wash, and then at about 1 I set off on the bike with my rather heavy rucksack, my juggle-kit bag, my unicycle and my diary and reading matter bag down to town, put in a pile of cheques to my building society and headed to the station.

I got the 1.55 to London and had a trouble-free and easy trip to Kings Cross, then the tube to Leicester Square and on to Waterloo, where I got an earlier train than expected, and sat in the First Class of the Petersfield train as my equipment was in the lobby of that carriage and the First Class had plenty of space.

I got to Petersfield at about 5.30 and waited for Serena to pick me up.  I got a call to say her little car had overheated in a traffic jam and she'd be late.  I didn't mind; I went to the nearby Tesco and got some bread and hommous, and a couple of bottles of perry, and had sandwiches sitting in the bus stop.  I had a nice conversation with an unusual woman who was travelling through the country using just her free pensioner bus pass.

Serena turned up, with her 2 year old son who I met on this year's World Naked Bike Ride.... not a naked rider though, too young to make that decision!

I only just managed to squeeze into the car and the satnav took us to the village of East Meon and on to The Sustainability Centre.

This is an ex-military site, with some ugly buildings and lots and lots of beautiful trees, some open glades, and a view of the sea in the far distance.  There's a small woodworking site, making green oak wooden frames and chestnut shingles for roofs. There's a natural burial site in amongst the woodland. They have a hostel where people can stay and self-cater, or school groups can stay to explore the area, or learn about sustainability.  There are some lived-in yurts and a couple of
tepees and yurts which can be hired to stay in.  And there's a wonderful outdoor classroom, built by Ben Law.  And a project called Rural Crafts which has people with learning difficulties doing gardening, and a cafe which anyone can visit.... it's a wonderful place!

We looked for someone on site to ask where to camp, and I rang the phone number I'd been given when I booked the extra days camping.  There was no answer.  We had a wander around and met some of the people who lived on site, in one of the yurts.  They showed us some camping areas, but because I snore I didn't want to inflict my noise on anyone else so I found a place in the woods and put my tent up there.

Later a few LGG people showed up and we agreed to help put the main stage up in the morning.

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