Thursday, 2 April 2009

Thursday 2nd April 09

Gill left to go to visit her sister in West Yorkshire at just after 8am, so I took our youngest into school and came back via Fastpack on Lilac Avenue, which has an impressive range of nuts and bolts, tools and building materials. They sell bow saw blades, and I'd agreed to get a new one for Pauline's 24 inch bow saw as hers was blunt. Then I cycled down to Cycle Heaven where they have had a new wheel hub waiting for me for ages, and I left my bike with them whilst I walked round to Pauline's, had coffee and chats, chopped a little bit of firewood for her, and got back to the bike shop by 10.40. They had sorted out my back wheel, brakes and a brake cable.

Then to the main Post Office, as someone has sent me a package with not enough postage on it, and to the Council to give in the Planning Panel paperwork. Walked through the footstreets and then, cycling down Walmgate, saw a 'ripe' skip containing some good-looking wood, so stopped and chatted to the builders who were happy to help me load up some very old oak beams. Then, on Hull Road, as I was pulling up to the traffic lights, a van overtook me with a good pile of tree-prunings in the back, including some huge cherry logs. I pulled up alongside and asked them if they would like to drop off some of them just up the road. They asked where, and when I said it was just a minute away, they said they'd follow me, so I sped off, despite my heavy load, and they followed. Well worth it, as they gave me some massive chunky and dead-dry cherry logs, one trunk is about 50cm in diameter!

Stopped for a few minutes for lunch, but then got going again, sorting out some of the wood at the front and then started to prepare tea, ingredients for a lasagna. I did a roux and added lumps of cheese for a cheese sauce, and brought some sliced carrot and cauliflower up to the boil to take off the crunch before adding it to the lasagna. When I got back from school I layered up the sheets of pasta (no-pre-cook type), dollops of butternut and leek soup, slices of tomato, slices of carrot and cauliflower florets and the cheese sauce. I only put the cheese sauce in one of the bottom layers and all over the top, and then microwaved it for 10 minutes. Then, to finish it off and crisp the top, I bunged it in the gas oven for a few minutes. Gill arrived in and after saying hi to us all, tottered off upstairs to go to bed; she needed an hour's rest after going over to Ilkley and seeing her nephew's new baby and their delightful toddler too.

The lasagna was really good, both boys loved it, and so did I. I don't cook as often as I used to, and should do more really. At least I don't leave it all to Gill to do... and I won't let her do any washing up as I'm definitely better than her at that!

We had some fruit for pudding and then the boys went outside to play. Gill came down and I put the remains of the soup on the stove for her, this is what she had said she wanted. I went out to finish off the shredding. I was nearly done when our next-door neighbour Ken shouted at me to come and look at something. He showed me his lawn, which had two patches of pigeon feathers on it, and Diane, his wife, told me she'd watched a Sparrowhawk pulling the feathers off the pigeon and eating the whole thing up. There were literally only feathers left. It is fantastic to know that this urban environment supports a top predator like this. I've not seen the Sparrowhawk here, but Gill saw it swoop towards our bird table a while ago, but it didn't get anything that time.

I showed the boys the evidence of the Sparrowhawk, and then it was time for their supper, and at about 9 they were both heading for bed, having had a happy day. Looking forward to the holidays!

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