Thursday, 8 March 2007

Wednesday 7th March 07

Another very full day. Got up at 8.30 as I heard the kids getting ready to go, and said goodbye to them and Gill, and thanked her for taking them as she'll be picking them up too. Got a phone call from Keely at York Rotters advising me that at 10ish this morning she was expecting a delegation from Hull (a visit I'd organised, because of my attending a Recycling Action Yorkshire event in Leeds in Jan where Id asked around if any local authorities might be interested in setting up a Rotters type scheme). She apologised for this being short notice, but she's been unwell and busy on some funding courses. Fortunately I was able to attend, and I'm very glad I could.

The Hullites were the Council's Waste Minimisation Officer, the head of Parks, the organiser of the Environment Forum and a new volunteer from Friends of the Earth, all keen to hear about York Rotters. I was able to give them a mini-tour of St Nicks, explaining about the site history, the passive solar design of the building and its photovolteic panels, hot water panels, sedum roof with drinking water harvesting, compost toilets, waterless urinal for both sexes, kerbside recycling collections, employment of various groups to help sort recyclables and the composting demonstration site, as well as the straw-bale urinal and hibernaculum for overwintering beasties. The mating frogs in the pond were also pretty spectacular!

Keely and I provided lots of useful info about how York Rotters was set up, funded and what it does and has achieved. I have been invited to give a presentation in Hull at the end of this month by Hull Organic Gardeners, and this may be a perfect opportunity to start the process of launching a Hull Master Composter project. I hope so.

That meeting was nearly 2 hours, so I shot home (via the St Nicks communal logpile, always a good place to find a few kilos of free fuel!) and had lunch before my scheduled meeting with Liz Topi at the City of York Council. This went well, she's happy to say yes to the Green Gala on July 29th, and she gave me some very helpful pointers and ideas. Then a quick visit to Out Of This World, to pick up a small volume of compostables.

Then I went to the Merchant Taylor's Hall to give blood as it's been over a year since I did so. This always entails a lot of waiting, but they always have some good magazines, I read Men's Health and Psychologies Magazine, the latter being very good. Actually giving blood only took 5 and a half minutes, the waiting and tests, nearly 2 hours. Worth it, though.

Zoom home via Richard and the veg shop, where I disobeyed instructions to not lift anything and loaded up my trailer and bike rack with about 6 sacks of biodegradables, including loads of grapes destined for raisinhood. Gill had cooked some potatoes and I made a yellow pepper and cheese omlette to go with them, and a simple coleslaw salad and some dead baked beans left over from the boys tea.

Believe it or not, I then went out again, to the Cafe Scientifique meeting at City Screen, which was an interesting talk about English Partnerships work on their (allegedly) zero carbon housing projects. Should be low carbon housing, as they are not counting the embodied energy in the building materials, just the energy used in the use of the house. Good work, though.

A long day, but finished the game of superscrabble I started yesterday with Gill, and then did my blog, finishing at 1.30am....

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