Friday, 23 July 2010

Friday 23rd July 10

Up early, as had to be getting going soon after 9am for an appointment, and had an achy neck...the sign of a good gig last night!

Gathered a couple of sacks of compost, to swap for logs, and loaded up the trailer with this, the wrecking bar and fork. I headed over to the other side of town, I thought I'd memorised the route but I missed the turning and had to ask a local who had a map. I soon found Tara's house and she showed me her back garden and told me her vision for it. She trusts my knowledge when it comes to gardens (don't know why!) and I told her that in my view, her vision was do-able. We've known each other for a while but haven't seen each other socially for a couple of years.

Part of her vision is a vegetable patch, currently part of a lawn of couch grass surrounding a large block of concrete which once held a washing line. I'd offered to help break up or remove this concrete. Hence the wrecking bar. So I got busy excavating around the offending lump and dug down until I reached the base, about a foot down, and then I started to lever it up, Tara pushing down on the bar and me inserting bits of broken concrete slab which she conveniently had available. After a bit of time we had the thing out of the hole, and the hole full of bits of broken slabs and half bricks. The lump of concrete was about 2 feet by 2 feet by a foot deep, and I was unable to break it up other than to chip some bits off the edge. I gave up as my hands started to blister. We had lunch, a veg stew, baguette and nutloaf, very nice! We spent a bit of time sorting through some beech hedge offcuts, which provided me with a trailer load of fuel and a green bin of compostables for the Council compost system.

I had to get back as I had other things to do; 4 cheques to put into the building society, a York in Transition cheque to give to the Council re the Mansion House Alternative Energy event in October, and then to Alligator to pick up a lot of not very nice sacks of materials which had sat far too long, and were 'fragrant'.

Home to get them into two tumblers with lots of shredded twigs, and then a bath, as I was going out tonight and working tomorrow. Lovely to have a bath with the gas not kicking in at all, a 100% solar heated bath. Gill wasn't happy with the stuff I'm bringing home, and if I'm to do it, it needs to be regular as it gets horrible quite quickly. I guess my ankle being broken might have affected my collections a bit, but that's no excuse really.

A quick bit to eat and then cycled over to Lord Mayors Walk to St John's, where I'd booked two tickets to see Satish Kumar's lecture called 'Soil, Soul and Society'. Gill didn't feel like going, so I offered my spare ticket to Ivana.

As one would expect in a small city like York and such an inspirational speaker as Satish Kumar, I knew lots of the attendees and it was good to see some old friends, and newer ones!

Satish Kumar was born in India and in 1962 he heard about Bertrand Russel's 8 day protest walk from Aldermaston to London, his response to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the lunacy of the nuclear arms race. He decided he couldn't just let this situation happen, and thought he ought to walk to Moscow, Paris, London and then to Washington to protest about the madness which was/is the nuclear weapon situation.

On the way out of India, crossing the border to Pakistan, a friend wanted to give him money and food, but Kumar refused, as he was determined to do the whole journey without money, and just accepting whatever nourishment was offered. On the way to Moscow, he met a couple of women who worked in a tea factory, who offered him and his friend a cup of tea. Because of their support of his mission, one of them had a bright idea.... and gave him 4 boxes of tea, saying they weren't for him, but for each of the leaders who had their finger on the nuclear button. She asked him to pass on this message: 'If you are about to push the button, please just stop and have a cup of tea and think about what you are about to do.'

So, Kumar walked to Moscow, Paris and London, delivering the tea and message, and in London met Russel, who bought the travellers a ticket to New York on the Queen Mary.

Another unfinished blog post... I WILL write out my notes as this meeting was excellent, but not now.

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