Quite a frustrating day in some ways.
Some interesting email feedback following the WeLoveTheEarthCentre meeting yesterday, some very positive, others less so. But nothing horrible, just stuff which took time to read, and as is my wont, I reply to everything, politely and carefully. Sometimes composing an appropriate reply takes a long time, but my view is that every individual is worthwhile, has a right to their views, and deserves a hearing and a polite but honest response.
Hey ho... was on the computer til midday.
But then I had a couple of Freecycle things to do, one person asking for cacti accepted my offer of a few Bryophyllum plantlets, which grow on the leaves of the parent plant. So I put some into a film canister and got my bike and set off to Burton Stone Lane, which is about 20 minutes cycle away. On the way I met John from St Nicks and had a nice chat, and then went on my way. I got to my destination... and realised I'd left the film canister at home! Duh! So, I cycled all the way back, collecting some logs on the way, so this journey wasn't completely wasted. But halfway back, my chain broke. Oh no! I had to walk the rest of the way home. Grrrr...
So, got home, admitted my error and bad luckto Gill, and borrowed her bike and did the whole journey again. I love cycling but I'd have preferred to do this 40 minute trip once, not twice, and not to have used Gill's bike as it isn't good for my knees.
When I eventually got home, after dark now, I went to pick up a broken colander which was offered on freecycle, which I'll use to do the University of Plymouth and Garden Organic 'compost beasties' survey. The idea is to put some compost in a colander, in a funnel, with the funnel in a jar of vodka. The compost is then subjected to several days of shining a warm light onto the top surface, which drives the beasties downwards, to their alcoholic death and then being sent through the post to be identified. This has never been done before, so I'm happy to be contributing (well, about to contribute to) this scientific research.
When I got in from this, we'd had a visit from the friendly Environmental Health Officer. Before Christmas, someone had complained they'd seen smoke coming out of our chimney, and complained. We live in a Clean Air Act zone so homes may not emit smoke except for the first 10 to 20 minutes of lighting the fire, and householders may only burn 'authorised fuel' or have an 'exempt appliance', which is what both of our stoves are. We hadn't responded to this letter... I had been busy and then the letter had got buried in a pile of stuff, and anyway, we knew we were ok, so we just let it go. The complainant had complained again, so she visited. She was happy to see which models of stove we had and my method of drying the wood, and she said that the occasional aroma of woodsmoke was not a problem, only actual smoke coming from the chimney. She also said that she had a woodstove, and understood why we had them. A good visit!
City of York Council have a leaflet explaining this here (pdf), on their webpage, and there's a list of exempt appliances here. If you want to see what other people think about your stove, or a make of stove you are considering getting, check out WhatStove which is an excellent resource.
Gill was experimenting with making pasta. We had her home-made tagliatelle for tea, with broccoli. It was very good.
I had a quiet evening in, more Earth Centre stuff, and other things including a Fiddlesticks booking in Malton at Easter and confirmation of another couple of bookings in the Summer in Leeds. Good, need the work! However cheaply we live, we do need some money to keep things going...