Thursday, 5 November 2009

Thursday 5th November 09

An earlyish start as the builders came at 8.30am and started putting up the noisy scaffold tower. I got up and made them tea and coffee, and asked about the TV aerial which is attached to the chimney which is coming down. I was prepared to go and buy a new bracket/fixing, but realised that I'd need a new pole or pole extension... and might also need a cable extension, so I decided to ring round various areal people and see if a professional can do it.

After several phone calls, I found someone who can sort it tomorrow.

Then I had to get rid of a pile of compostables from the kitchen, and whilst I was doing this, collected a load of composting worms which conveniently put themselves in the bin lids... perfect fro harvesting and relocating into my new 'worm cafe' which is already filling up.

Then I cleaned myself up, had a wash and found a clean York Rotters tee shirt. I was due in town for midday for 5 hours of volunteering at the Parliament St and St Sampson's Square 'Big Green Market', where York Rotters and the Council's Waste Minimisation Team have a stall.

As I walked through the market stalls, I wondered why it was called a Big Green Market as the majority of the stalls were not what I'd call green.. Venison burgers and dead duck pate, trinkets from the other side of the world, lots of stuff to buy which had a huge embodied carbon footprint.

But then again, I'm a purist. I found the Rotters stall and locked up my bike nearby and got myself launched into the unsuspecting public, using the usual ruse 'Would you like to tell me about your compost heap?' when someone looks at our cut-out dalek with the perspex sheet in, behind which are examples of assorted compostables. These include a rubber glove and a cardboard box with coloured printing, plus some plastic fruit and veg, flowers, scrunched and shredded paper, some fabric, wool and other bits and bobs. This format is immensely successful... because punters expect you to try to offer them something ('do you want one of these?') but my question is the other way round. But it's a hook. They bite, mainly saying 'yes, my heap is '... and occasionally 'I haven't got one'. This then has a response 'What do you do with your banana skins and apple cores?' Those with compost bins are about half 'working well' and a quarter 'too dry' and a quarter 'too wet', each answer can elicit a question about what do they put in the bin. Anyway, I'm in my element during these kind of events, I really love them, my enthusiasm knowing no bounds.

After each meeting I logged the information about whether they were a 'non composter' or 'existing composter' and whether they were from York or out of York. It's important to record how many people we are engaging.

I went for a wander around for my lunch break at half past one, and got a pastie and a sandwich, and bought a 'turks turban' squash for a pound which will be delicious roasted in the next few days.

During the afternoon I met a young lady I met before on the train coming back from Sheffield Green Fair (she recognised me) and I chatted with her and her partner, who have moved to York... and I think I'll be meeting them again. Also floating around were Kate Lock, on the Oxfam stall, my old friend Mary Brandon, older friends Sue Lister and John Whitworth, Rakesh and quite a few others. Jo turned up, to be the next most enthusiastic Rotter, Candy came too. It was a good session.

I finished just before 5pm and went to the Oxfam shop on Goodramgate for coffee, and popped into Kyi-Po for a vegan mayonnaise but they didn't have the one I wanted. Then onto Sainsburys for a general groceries shop, including goats milk as the nearest Co-op is having problems with keeping enough stock, and have been running out of it. Somerfield never used to! I treated myself to a treat(!)... a few months ago my cafetiere glass got broken, and as I do now and again like 'real' ground coffee, I bought myself another one, for £9. But Gill had also asked me to try to get some sparklers for the boys. Sainsburys had run out. So I popped into the Co-op on the way home but they didn't have any. Quite by chance, Lynn was in there and overheard my request, and she said that she had some spare!

When I got home, Gill reported that some lads had come asking for some logs and she said to come back later when I was at home after the Rotters stall. So I bombed round to Lynns with a bag of dried fruit in swap for 20 sparklers, and cycled back just in time to catch the lads again (students?) who wanted a small bonfire in their back garden. I let them have two half sacks of kindling and about 15 or 20 split logs. They offered me £3.90 in loose change. Seemed reasonable!

Then as I was finishing that transaction, a lady cycled up and introduced herself as the person who had left a couple of messages on the answerphone as she has some apple logs she wants to get rid of and an apple trunk still standing which she wants cutting down. I agreed to go and do this for her next week.

By this time I needed to go in and warm up. I made my own tea... some finely chopped chicken of the woods which Simon found growing on a pile of woodchips near where he works, which he'd shared with me, with 'trombone' courgette/squash, green pepper and the last of our own tomatoes, with rems of nutloaf, with a baked bean and cheese sauce. Terrific! Delicious! The best meal since... well I don't know, but it was very very tasty. Cheers Simon. And I only had half of the mushroom he gave me!

Some nice chats with family before the boys went to bed and I settled down to some email deletion as my inbox is again full. Whoops.

An enjoyable day. Tiring, but I was still up til 2am doing assorted things round the kitchen and on the laptop...

1 comment:

Think(ing) Green Thursday said...

Hello John...You have a wonder blog here chock full of information and inspiration. I am adding your link to a blog meme called 'Think(ing) Green' so that more people can read what you have to say... Michelle