Thursday, 22 March 2007

Thursday 22 March 07

A pretty mega day.... lots of activity. When I awoke I got up immediately as I knew I had some preparation still to do... So before breakfast I built o logpile on the side of the porch which ran out last night. The wood I stack there has 'air dried' in the open, uncovered, and needs to spend a short while finishing off in a covered position before coming into the house and drying some more before being converted into heat, or use for bathwater, or fried pumpkin slices. So it's a type of rotation, we're now on the carefully stacked pile on the right of the door as we look out of the front, and I'm rebuilding the left. It's quite tricky, as I have to leave air spaces AND ensure it stands up. I have to interlock and leave gaps... an art. And they still fall down occasionally!

Breakfast, hurried the childern to get ready, another fine art as too much chivvying results in the eldest one shouting back at me and having a paddy, and our youngest also doesn't like being told again and again. But why do we have to tell them several times? Because they seem not to listen, ignore us and carry on doing what they were doing rather than getting dressed, washing face, brushing teeth, shoes on, go and get bikes etc etc. If we didn't push them they wouldn't get to school on time, and that is a parental responsibility. They will sometimes question why they have to go to school at all, or refuse to go, and so the morning routine is rarely easy and chilled. It is most often rushed and bad tempered. However once on their bikes they cycle like the wind and appear to want to get to school. Weird, I don't understand.

So when I came back from delivering them, Gill was just leaving with Jane and Mike, her sister and brother in law's car to go to Scarborough to help her Uncle Tom move out of his sheltered accommodation and into a care home, as he's been in hospital after a fall and cannot go back to where he was before. A sad day for him, it must be difficult realising that you are going downhill, always towards death. He has to sell some of his furniture as it isn't fire resistant, and to raise money for a new armchair. Gill's going to empty a dresser of crockery and catalogue it, ready for sale.

I got on with preparing for the Ethical Man team to come and invade the garden and use me to do a tiny segment of their programme. I took straw and sacks of fruit and veg down to the coffin-like composter I've prepared. Got a phone call from Sara the producer, they were on the train, four of them... two cameramen as they've a boom and tripod this time. I put my huge ladder (6 metres unsupported, or 9 metres propped up against something solid) down the garden in case it would be useful, and waited til midday when the taxi arrived. During the wait I created another load of banana and lime leather, as the first lot seems to be a success, and warmed the soup Gill made last night for their lunch. They enjoyed the soup, and we got to working out what was going to happen. The first take was Justin and I walking towards the Compostumbler and then, in turn, rotating it (no pun intended!) and then with Matt the cameraman off the ladder and at ground level, opening the composter and witnessing the water vapour (it's not steam as steam isn't visible...) and Justin over-reacting to the smell, which was rather strong. Matt was brave and filmed the fruit-fly larvae in close up, he admitted to having a phobia of maggots. Then several takes with Justin trying to get me to explain the difference between aerobic composting and anaerobic rotting, with mentions of methane and the fact that anaerobic decomposition (in absence of oxygen) is more polluting re global warming, whereas composting releases only carbon dioxide and water, and results in a usable material great for gardens.

The next take was walking towards the coffin-composter and Justin getting in and discussing the legalities of this disposal method, and then the fun bit, pouring chopped-up and decomposing fruit and veg all over him, and then layers of shredded twigs and woody materials, with me explaining why the mix is needed. Then the gross bit, at J's request, putting composting worms on his face. This is going to be an image that some people never forget, and I don't think Justin will forget it either. It was so weird a thing to see I couldn't help laughing, especially when the worms tried to go in his mouth and ears.

Finally, when he'd got out and got changed, he brought his suit back down and it was laid out on the coffin, sorry, composter, and a 'fruit-face' was created for him... a humerous 'end of Ethical Man'.

Gill arrived back just as Justin was coping with worms doing lots of takes on his face, and was disgusted. Matt also disgusted as he has a worm phobia too! I'm suprised he was willing to come up here again.

Gill went to school as our eldest was in his class assembly, on The Amazon, and he was a sloth. He had lost his script and was the only child to not read his lines, he did them from memory, good lad!

They came back just as the team were preparing to go, which was nice as they met Justin (famous!) and Sara (sweet).

When the Press came Iread it then scanned the small ads in the back, and someone was offering 4 waterbutts for £20, a bargain. I rang and was pleased to find I was the first person to contact them, ring back at 5.30 when husband home. I popped out and got some signatures for the election, and got back in time to ring the waterbutt man. He was insistant that it would be 'first come, first served' so if I wanted them, I had to visit soon as other people had rung up. They live the other side of York, a good 25 minutes cycle away, but I reckoned I'd have time so at 5.40 I set out. The waterbutts were good, I paid and suprised the chap by fitting two on my bike... one lengthways on the trailer and the other accross the rack on the bike. Home by 6.45!

Wolfed the last of yesterday's nutloaf and by 7.10 set off for the CrUST/ Green Festival meeting in Stonegate. A very nice welcome from Tom in The Evil Eye, and a good meeting with Mark and Tracey. Agreed future dates and several ways forward. Work to do, but it's coming on nicely. I like being an organiser, and I feel that they like working with me.

Home at 915 with a load of nice dry St Nick's logs (St Nicked logs?) (No, John said I could!)
Gill had recorded the first of the new 'It's Not Easy Being Green' with the Strawbridge chaps, but I didn't watch it as I was too engrossed with emails. Several finalising ones with Community Care, Graham being very welcoming and explaining about my blog for them. They have a website, I'll have to visit it! Nice email from my friend K in the US (yes the one who asked about composting in a comment on this blog... I asked her to post a comment to see how it worked, and so far she's the only one to read AND post... this may change!) Good to know there's a CRAG group being started in York, Carbon Rationing Action Group..something I'm keen on. Lots of Green Party stuff too, as elections approach there's always lots of activity.

On computer til well after midnight.

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