Sunday, 10 May 2009

Saturday 9th May 09

A good morning... Gill and I did some gardening together, sorting out one of the raised beds, removing 'poached egg' (Limnanthes douglasii) which is seeding itself all over the place, and some self seeded hawthorn, docks, brambles and other weeds. This bed will soon be ready for the broad beans and possibly some other stuff.

I then riddled a large load of compost, leafmould and loam (from turves from a skip a year or more ago) to make the perfect planting medium for the containers which are going to get the various tomatoes etc in the conservatory.

But all too soon it was lunchtime and soon after that, time to go to the Ruby Milnes Memorial Cycle Ride, which was due to start at 2pm from near Baile Hill in Bishophill, which is where the Milnes family live. Ruby was killed a year ago whilst cycling back from college along the cycle path near the Racecourse. A lorry travelling along the service road which crosses the path hit her and killed her, more or less instantly. She was very well known and loved, although I didn't know her. However, I was very moved by what happened, and I know dozens of people who knew her and loved her. I met David, her father, and Michael Brian Nugent, a cycling paramedic who organised the Facebook group 'RIP Ruby Milnes' and today's ride. He has got to know the family and stayed with them last night. I knew lots of people on the ride, it was good to see so many riders.

We all set off for the spot where the accident happened, and when we got there, David gave a moving speech about Ruby's life and how she died. Someone played 'The Last Post' on a trumpet and there was at least a minute's silence. I counted about 85 cyclists leaving this and head up to Bishopthorpe, but there were pedestrians too. Mike Tipping the Press photographer was there as this was as big an event for York (and for me, more important than York City losing the match in London...). I cycled down to Bishopthorpe with Tony, one of the organisers of the World Naked Cycle Ride. He was clothed.

Had a pint with Dylan and others in Bishopthorpe, but didn't stay long as wanted to get into town to go to the Guildhall where some of Gill's artwork is on show, along with lots of other artists. I met Tim Morrison, her tutor, and had a good chat with him. She'd been in earlier with the boys.

As I left just before 4pm, it began to rain, glad it held off for Ruby's ride. I went to Country Fresh, and then to Peter's house to meet with Andy and discuss the York in Transition Arbitration Group. Good coffee and a very productive meeting. I took some notes and will type these up and send them around. I got home at about 7pm.

Gill had made cauliflower cheese, and a Brazil-nut and rice loaf thing... quite delicious!

We watched a curious film called The Big White with Robin Williams.


James said...


I read with interest your work with the Transition Towns Initiative. Do you think it is feasible to undertake the transition of a small village where I live, population 547 (1991)?

Compost John said...

Yes, definitely... and somewhat easier than with a city such as York with c160,000!
I'd start with a leaflet to every house, outlining the issues, so mention climate change but also make sure that peak oil and energy security are there, and mention saving money and the community aspects of it, and book a local venue (school hall? village hall? or even a marquee on the green) and invite some speakers to do short talks about the TT initiatives, and a facilitator to take the process forward.
Ideally, you'd have a few working groups set up, maybe one on transport, one on local food, one on energy, all of which could come up with positive ways forward, projects etc.
Good luck, and if you want any help, please feel free to ask!