Friday, 18 January 2008

Friday 18th January 08

Woken by shouting downstairs... the testosterone levels in our two boys are obviously getting higher. I went downstairs in my dressing gown and sat silently and groggily inbetween them, and my presence seemed to reduce (not stop) the aggression.

Gill took them to school and as she left, my delivery happened... a Scheppach Rotary Soil Sifter, for speedily riddling compost, which is the most labour-intensive part of the composting process which is easily mechanised. It hasn't got a big motor, it's electric but our supply comes from renewables, so on balance, I'm happy to have got this machine. I signed for it and took it to the garage to put it together... which took a couple of hours, the instructions were less than comprehensive. However, by midday I had done it and checked that it worked, although everything's far too wet at the moment to do anything with it now... perhaps in a week or two.

I did my emails at lunchtime and got a nice thank-you from the Castle Howard person for my info on compost interpretive boards. I'll have to visit the site where she got the original info ( a WRAP website apparently) and if they go on about earwigs in compost heaps, I'll have to put them right, as I've never found them in an ordinary compost bin... perhaps in a pile of dryish cardboard and sticks, but not a working compost pile!

Gill got in from Art having done a re-creation of Michaelangelo's David, minus willy... not sure why she didn't put this in! I don't think it was significant.... well the real David didn't have a significant one, so it's not missing much! I actually just found out that the exercise was to learn to draw a figure with accurate proportions, and Gill didn't get time to finish him off!

I got the boys back from school, they're exhausted at the end of the week and it was a slow cycle home for the younger one.

Just before shop-closing time I cycled down to Martin's and picked up a sack from them... and also the wholesaler had savad a pile of stuff... infact no ordinary pile of just a few sacks and boxes, but about 4 boxes and several sacks, including over 60 golden delicious apples, 20 pineapples, 5 butternut squashes, celery, leeks and lots more, none of which would be acceptable to his customers but more than acceptable to me. Got the feeling that I used to have whilst working at the Council Skip Site (then on Foss Islands Road in 1999) that I was so lucky to be able to get all this free stuff, but what a freaking wasteful world we live in, and I'm doing my best to reduce it, but it's just a drop in the ocean, as how many wholesalers are throwing away tonnes and tonnes of this kind of stuff? A kind of duality of feeling lucky and virtuous and sad and angry at the same time.

The evening was good food-wise, Gill made a salad platter with about 10 different items on it, including some home-made pickled onions I made about 3 years ago and have just surfaced after a cupboard tidy out.

The evening was good too, family-wise, as we asked the children to watch a lovely telly programme with us, about Satish Kumar's experiences of Dartmoor. Getting the kids to watch this was part of our 'Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities' homework, which asked us to explore something 'Spiritual'. I dislike the word spiritual as I have no adequate definition and cannot easily get my rather literal head around the concept. However, the commentary by Satish was as close to spiritual as I can imagine, and the kids managed to watch all of it, although the youngest was also looking at his 'Beano' comic! We had a very good conversation afterwards about the 'homework', it was very moving and lovely.

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