Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Tuesday 10th February 09

I cycled down to school with our youngest son as the roads were clear, and came back to get going with the large pile of washing up. Then jarred up some dried fruit and did emails, and before lunch took three wheelbarrows-worth of split logs down to the covered logpile, and did a good job of building a couple of self-supporting walls. It's like a jigsaw... there's definitely ways which the different shapes will fit snugly together.. and plenty which will result in the stack falling over. I love doing it!

Lunch was lovely, apart from seeing the distressing scenes over in Australia with the Bushfires destroying so many lives, livelihoods and homes. We should, however, expect more of this as the climate shifts and we experience more droughts and extreme weather. It's not going to be easy.

After lunch I got a phone call from a TV producer up in Middlesborough looking for a 'Freegan' to interview. Spent at least half an hour talking to him about the various ways in which I live cheaply, get things for free, collect aluminium cans and occasional scrap metal and sell it, use the LETS and Freecycle networks, and give stuff for free too, such as composting advice, and many hours voluntary work with a plethora of local groups, and more. It looks like I'll be going up to Middlesborough next week, but nothing's been agreed yet.

I collected our son from school, on the way delivering 5 litres of Ecover Clothes Washing Liquid to one of our friends who participates in our Food Co-op.

I did a final (hahahahaha) load of chainsawing and wooding in the front... and finished the current pile! Just gives more space to put more there....

Ben came round as our eldest had emailed him asking for help with accessing the games bought a few days ago... they aren't loading and neither son knows why. Ben, however, arrived with a large polystyrene box and asked us if we'd like a 'science treat'? Well, we're all up for some science fun... so he opened the box and revealed a thick layer of 'dry ice' chunks at the bottom. This had arrived with a delivery of chemicals to the place he works, and the dry ice was surplus to requirements. Dry ice is frozen solid carbon dioxide, which keeps the temperature of the inside of the container at about -100 degrees Celsius. He showed us several tricks... including putting some pellets of dry ice in a glass of warm water, which then proceeds to bubble away and gives off lots of cold water vapour which looks like smoke or steam flowing out of the glass and down the sides. This could be modified by adding washing up liquid to the warm water... the large volume of bubbles generated can be popped, releasing the smoke-like water vapour. I found some balloons, held the nozzle open wide and slipped a pellet of dry ice into the balloon, and tied it to seal the initially flaccid balloon. As the ice sublimes (changes from solid direct to gas) the balloon inflates, as solid CO2 takes much less space than the same weight of gaseous CO2.

After all this fun, Ben tried to fix the computer problem... the boys computer might need a new graphics card. Ben left with a job-lot of lychees and two banana and chocolate chip buns which Gill made yesterday.

Gill did one of the best evening meals I've had for quite a while. We had a leek and potato soup which was delicious, and she used up some macaroni/cauliflower cheese and some tomato/onion pizza topping by putting the pasta in the base of an oven-proof dish, then a layer of sliced mushrooms, then a layer of tomato stuff, then a layer of wholemeal breadcrumbs and grated carrot, topped with small halved tomatoes and grated goats' cheese... and baked this. Absolutely Fantastic!

I then went to the Hull Road Ward Committee, chaired by the elected Councillors. A good presentation from the NHS Trust, and discussion about the Ward Committee budget and where it should be spent. I did a short presentation about the Planning Panel work, and there was an 'election' where those who wanted to be on the Panel were given the nod by the citizens present. We got three new members and lost two. I remain the Clerk, a role I am now happy with.

Home soon after 9pm, watched Horizon on dreams. I spent a couple of hours shelling the remaining lychees, then liquidizing the flesh, added 10 bananas, re-liquidized, pushed through a sieve and carefully placed the fragrant liquid in a baking tray balanced on the stove. Within a couple of days, this will be well on the way to being wonderful fruit leather.

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