A good day, Gill went out and I got a lot done on the computer ... did a lot of deleting from my inbox of over 1000 messages whilst offline and then, when online, dealt with some more composting enquiries through Facebook and looked at the first results for my questionnaire... so far just 12 answers, but some good quality answers with some really interesting info. I feel very pleased with the way the results are presented.
I got a phone call from my friend Pippa whom I've known for well over a decade but only get to see every two years on average... and she's coming up to visit us, which will be really good. She'll stay in a B+B for a night towards the end of the month.
I had lunch and then Gill came in and she had hers, we chatted and it was 2pm very soon... I had planned to go and plant some onion sets but there wasn't time as I also had to do some more digging at the Green Thumbs plot at school. As I arrived, the head-teacher came out and asked me into her room as she had something to tell me. The news is that the plot we have prepared may not be where the garden ends up, as the two mobile classrooms nearby are due to be demolished, and the new classroom may be built where the garden now is! So there's to be no more work on the plot until the surveyors tell the school where the classrooms are to be. Therefore she asked me to dig over an area next to the playground, where we might plant some stuff. I cut away some dead twiggy bits and removed lots of litter which had accumulated, mainly the dreaded assorted plastic. That didn't take long so I did some compost management of the school compost bins.
Then the children came out and Gill came down from home to pick up our boys and a friend's son... and I gathered the children who are part of the Gardening Club and took them to see the plot, along with Nigel who has offered to survey the area and make a computer-aided-plan of it. At about 4pm Kate from CVS who I'd invited to give us advice on making a Child Protection Policy arrived and three of us met with her and she talked us through what we should do, our obligations, the training we can get etc etc. But I had to rush off as soon as she was done, as I had my second meeting to get to.
I had a brief tea and went into the garden to collect samples of various types of compost, leafmould etc for my third meeting later, plus the rotaseive which I'll need.
I cycled down to Fulford Road where a Rotters enquiry has come from. A couple who moved in over a year ago and have a single dalek bin in their garden, which had been well used by the prevoius occupants and was full and pretty solid at the base. They'd watered it and added more stuff at the top, but hadn't managed to get it to go down at all. This I found was because it was almost full of mature compost... so I used my Compost Mate corkscrew thing to extract a huge amount of really good compost, the whole of the base of the heap, whilst they watched and picked out contraries (bits of plastic!) from the mature and fibrous mass. I think I must have pulled out about 100 litres of compost... they were well pleased, and will top-dress their borders with it. They were even more pleased when the bin contents settled down and I broke up the rest of it so there was plenty of space to add more stuff. That all took about 40 minutes and I then shot off to my third meeting, at the Scout Hut on Lorne St in Southbank.
My friend Jo was there, getting the two big old compost bins ready for the 'Panthers' (A type of cub/scout person) to have an 'activity' with. She'd brought her wormery and I'd brought a selection of composts and leafmould, also some very well rotted humanure/sawdust compost. I took half of the group and did a short talk on composting, then got them to have a go with the riddles (Jo had got her rotaseive too) but the job was difficult as firstly the heaps were mainly grass mowings and some layers were not rotted down at all, they were anaerobic and smelly and looked like sileage, and the rotted stuff was a little too moist to riddle well. The groups swapped over and I did it all again. That all came to a stop just before 8, I got packed up and shot off into town for my fourth meeting.
Which was at the Black Swan where I met my friend Chinky, propping up the bar and being jovial, as usual. The meeting was a group of five other earnest chaps, members of York Eco Action, three were from the student group 'People and Planet'. We had an agenda writing session and then spent a couple of hours going through, discussing various things including climate camp, the Fairtrade movement, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Kingsnorth Power Station, Heathrow, the Northern Green Gathering and quite a few more things. A good meeting, always lovely to be with Graham and Richard, and I think I've made another friend from P+P.
But glad when it finished as I was whacked! Knackeronied! Virtually shagged even... and when I got back I wanted to relax and watch Johnny Vegas in 'Ideal', my favourite current TV series, but also had got a Skype chat booked with K, who likes to be regular, every other day, to keep up with what's happening. I only just lasted the hour we have negotiated we have... and fell into bed so willingly afterwards!