Thursday, 19 July 2007

Thursday 19th July 07

A tough day for me, although Gill took the boys to school which was good. I had several things to get done first thing, mainly yet more Green Festival things. Then at about 11am, loaded my Fiddlesticks stuff onto the bike trailer and set off to town, where I popped into The Anti-Gravity Shop to get a couple of Devilsticks for one of my clients next week, and from there onto Manor School for my last gig with the group I've been with since January. I just let them play freely, and made some balloon models for them.

Then on the way home I visited Graham's parents, who had my penknife which I'd lent to Graham at the last Critical Mass and forgot to get back off him. They were lovely, I've met them both before, York's a small place! They told me that Graham had recieved his degree confirmation yesterday, a 2.1 which is excellent, especially for someone so active in community matters. Well done Graham! Good chats about composting and other ethical issues over a fair-trade coffee.

Then went to pick up my prescription. On the way into the surgery, probably cycling too fast, my trailer overturned (probably on the kerb) and I came to a sudden halt, my groin landing on the handlebar stem, quite a bump. Still aching hours later. Silly fool, speeding!

Anyway, got home a little more slowly and carefully than I sometimes do, and was in time to pick up the kids.... and in the playground was greeted by 'IRA Bob' who's building the new Japanese garden, and he was very angry with me for saying to the school about the railway sleepers not being suitable. He accused me of trying to sabotage his work, called me lots of vulgar names very loudly and threatened to kill me if I ever got in his way again. This was the first time I had 'got involved' in one of his projects, and my feelings about the unsuitable sleepers were nothing to do with him as a person. They are because tarry sleepers aren't allowed to be used in playgrounds or where there might be regular skin contact. The tar is difficult to get off skin and clothes, smells horrible and can cause cancer. And as this garden is in memory of a pupil who died of leukemia, it is particularly inappropriate. So Bob was really out of order, I didn't lower myself to his level and didn't retaliate. I could not reply to him as he shouted over my attempts to explain. So, feeling shaky about his threat to kill me, I went to the office and complained to the very tolerant Mrs C and then the Headteacher, who told me that I'd done the right thing and she'd go and tell him that using that language and intimidation was wrong.

My eldest child asked if he could go to S's house with several other lads, to celebrate the last day of term. I said yes, and Maria took his bike home in her car, and was dropping it off when I arrived back home, with a trailer load of recyclables from the school bins.

I spent quite a while doing more YGF stuff, made a quick tea of tempeh and onion, potato salad and cabbage salad, and then went to town to the Blue Bell to pick up the keys for Space 109 for our last York Green Festival meeting there. The meeting was well attended, with representatives from three bands, several stewards and various others. We got a lot sorted, it is all coming together I think. However I still think the council will cancel the event because the ground will be too soggy.

Home to sort out a letter to local residents, neighbours of the park, and other email stuff.

Whilst on the computer, did a search for health and railway sleepers, and yes, there is an EU directive saying that they shouldn't be used in playgrounds or if they would be in contact with skin if they have been treated with creosote, which these had. I am relieved that my info was correct... previously I had objected because I had a memory of the subject coming up on a gardening programme. However, I reckon that IRA Bob may try to get his own back because of this... I hope not, but only time will tell.

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