Friday, 3 April 2009

Friday 3rd April 09

Gill did all the early stuff, I got up, breakfasted, Gill came back from delivering our youngest to school, and we went back to bed as this is the last chance we have for a lie in for a fortnight... both boys are early risers, like Gill. Got up again at 11, I went to Thomas the Baker for Yesterbake bread and some pasties for tea, and the Co-op for some other bits. Met Stephen and as usual, 'chewed the fat' with him, putting the world to rights.

Came back to find Ai's wormery has been delivered. WRAP has a deal with assorted local authorities, through the Recycle Now website, they offer reduced price composting equipment. You put in your postcode and a range of different compost bins and wormeries comes up, with different prices in different areas. In Ali's area, there wasn't a Can O Worms available, but there was in York and North Yorkshire, so she ordered one to be delivered here. Se did this just in time, as now I cannot find any wormeries available on this website! The best price deal that I've found today is in Lancashire, where a 'dalek' compost bin can be had for £3 or £5, with a delivery charge of £5. But I put in postcodes of people I know in Shropshire, Cambridge, Norwich, Hebden Bridge and Leeds, and there are good deals to be had in all of these. My 'top buy' is the 330 litre Compost Converter 'dalek' bin.

I had lunch with Gill and then got on with processing the large logs out the front. I just managed to saw through the really thick cherry trunk and split the chunks, stacking them by the side of the house to dry. One of my neighbours told me that he thought my logpiles were untidy, and that he sometimes smelt smoke from the stove. I apologised for the occasionally poor management of the stove, which only burns smoke free when burning hot and with the air coming through the turbobaffle. Sometimes Gill opens up the air under the grate to get it burning well, and then forgets to close it. Sometimes a log goes on which doesn't catch properly, and it smoulders rather than burn cleanly and heat up well. So these stoves are only smoke free if they are well managed. I didn't tell my neighbour that I found his cars ugly, but I did, in passing, mention the invisible and smell-free carbon dioxide pollution that cars emit in very large amounts, but this was dismissed. Depressing. We ought to live in a smallholding really, where having a few tonnes of logs stacked around the place wouldn't upset the neighbours.

Gill did the school run and the boys had some visitors to play with. Melody and Ros came to drink coffee and chat. I visited Country Fresh and Freshways, to collect my not very fresh stuff.

Melody left soon after I got back, and had been given some garlic bulbs by Gill as I've got dozens and she pickles them. Next to the front door were another 50? or so garlics, thrown out by the veg shops, and I'd been intending to pickle these. I gave them all to Melody, as she's far better at doing pickles than me, she was ecstatic. In return, she'll give me a jar or two of the finished product, yippee!

Tea was delicious... I cropped some of the Shiitake mushrooms and gently fried them in olive oil on the stove, appreciated by all the males in the house (don't think Gill's too keen) and some of yesterday's lasagna and pastie and potatoes.

A warm and cosy evening. Did more dried pears.

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