Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Tuesday 23rd February 10

A peaceful start to the day and at 10, Michael, a German chap who has a son at our son's school arrived, as he had invited himself round to find out how to make a compost heap which didn't attract rats. He lives near a farm which has lots of rats and his 'dalek' bin has regular rodent visitors.

So we went down the garden and I showed him the various 'dalek' bins which are on concrete or paving stones, and one on a proprietory plastic base, all of which are rat proof (OK, rat resistant!) and haven't ever been gnawed through or tunneled into. I showed him the GreenCone, which has (or had, as I set a trap) a rat living in the basket under the cone, having tunnelled through the soil and munched through the basket. I showed him the 'New Zealand Bins' made of pallets, which I construct on top of several pallets to raise them off the ground, and line with chicken wire. These are also rat deterrant, as the only way they can get in is through the top. I showed him the Compost Mate tool which I use to disturb the heaps, making rat peace and quiet impossible.

Then I showed him the four sorts of tumbler, all of which are either rat proof or would be really difficult for a rat to get into. He really liked the Sun Mar Compost Flow 400 litre jobbie, and I asked him to let me know which one he decided to get.

So then the next 'feature' of the day was lunch, and whilst having lunch and after, I contacted several organisations through their websites, to ask about using some photos for the website I am working on.

Then I emptied the wheelbarrow (sacks of compostables) and used it to take the logs I cut yesterday and took them to the new logpile for fresh logs which is on a pallet in the shared pathway between us and our neighbour. Some needed splitting too, which not only helps the thick ones dry faster, but makes the stacking easier and safer.

I had tea early, a pile of pasta parcels, broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkin, as the Hull Road Ward Planning Panel was at 6pm today, rather than the usual 6.30. We had a lot to deal with, including some quite complicated applications, and ones where we disagreed.

We finished at 7.10 and my next meeting was at 7.30 in the Black Swan, the first planning meeting of the 2010 York World Naked Bike Ride. Tony and Hugh came... Tony is the main organiser, and he'd prepared a check list/agenda which we worked through, including the route, publicity, police/council liason and assorted other bits and bobs. A good meeting, and on the way back I checked out a logpile, some of which found it's way into my trailer.

On the way out of St Nicks Fields, I saw two youths running off up one of the paths, from a rubbish bin which they had just set light to. There was another chap there, just standing and using his mobile phone. I stopped and looked into the bin, saw that it did indeed have some contents on fire. I parked the bike and said to the chap standing around that it ought to be put out, but I'd just had a pee so could he help? He declined, so I scrabbld around to find enough snow to chuck into the bin to eventually put out the small fire. The only thing the chap said was in response to my saying 'I wish there was more snow'.. and he just said 'you don't hear that very often'. I tried to chat to him a bit more but he was in a world of his own.

I came home, unloaded logs, put the bike away and came in, tired but happy that the meetings had been productive.

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