Another good day... Up early as another phone call, and then at 11 a visit from Harrison Builders who had a chap walking around yesterday trying to interest people in having solar hot water... so today a team of 3 chaps came round and surveyed the place, looking at where the boiler is, and what kind of boiler it is, and the roof space, and they said it would be relatively simple. They were interested in the stoves, and enjoyed samples of dried fruit. I hope for a low quote!
The system they offer is by Alpha Innovation who offer 'flat plate collectors' ('Solar Smart') and I thought I wanted evacuated tubes... but I still haven't looked at all the possible options, and I've only had a couple of quotes so far. I'm keeping my mind open and wallet closed for the while!
Then sometime after 12, whilst I was riddling sawdust for the compost toilet, my next guests arrived, Ania and Lucas (pronounced Woo Cash, as he's Polish... they both are) who had asked if I might have some wood suitable for producing flavoured smoke. Lucas has got together with a friend and is purchasing a recently slaughtered pig, and is going to make sausages, hams and assorted other porky bits, including smoked stuff. Although I'm vegetarian, and have been now for 25 years or so, I am a realist and accept that 97% of the UK population do eat meat, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change that, apart from being an 'out' vegetarian and showing people that you can lead a healthy and very active life without eating dead flesh.
So, they wanted some of my recently acquired apple, and I agreed to sort some out for them, and they were delighted that I was happy to barter this for some potatoes and other produce. I gave then a tour and Lucas said he'd be back at 6pm to pick up the wood.
Then I had lunch and continued outside, until Ben arrived as he'd asked how I was and I'd told him about my email woes, so he had a poke around Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird and Tiscali Webmail. My problem was that I'd made a second account on T-bird, one with my name and the other with my email address.. so he sorted that. But, there is still a problem. When I delete an email on T-bird, it doesn't delete on the Tiscali server which means I have to go through and delete on Webmail when I've already deleted on my email client. Bummer. Ben said he'd have a poke around and see if he could find more info.
Then Lucas came back, with a large volume of vegetation for me as a swap for the logs I sorted... about 15 kg of home grown potatoes, dug up today, and some leeks, beetroot, onions, courgettes AND a large jar of raspberry jam! He took away a car boot full of green apple logs, cut and split and ready to, well, burn slowly and smokily!
I cycled down to Country Fresh and picked up 2 sacks and 2 boxes of compostables, and had a good chat to Richard, as well as buying veg off him.
Then towards 7pm, Ivana came round and she had a tour, and we sorted out a bit of help from her... what a very busy day!
Later, I watched a good film with my eldest son, and Gill watched quite a bit of it... a 2007 offering I heard about whilst it was being filmed, called 'Grow Your Own'. Set on a Liverpool allotment, it is a 'human condition' story and was a good 90 minutes. I recommend it.