Thursday, 23 September 2010

Thursday 23rd September 10

Up reasonably early in order to get to Leeds for the hospital appointment to remove my dressing and the stitches.  So I left home at about 9.15 and popped into Cycle Heaven as both disc brakes need tightening and the rear brake's plastic wheel with which it can be hand-tightened has disintegrated, and the socket to use to tighten it has become stripped, so I'm unable to tighten the rear one.  The front one is movable, but difficult.  I am not happy with these brakes.  I had a chat with Ash who said he'd do something about them.  I left my bike with him, and took a Cycle Heaven replacement. 

I took this on the train to Leeds, as I missed the fast 9.58 which would have got me into Leeds with time to walk to the hospital, so I got the 10.11 stop-everywhere, which takes over 30 minutes to get there.  So I put the bike on the train, and then cycled up to the LGI, and arrived at the Plastic Surgery dressing removal place at one minute past 11. 

I didn't have to wait long, and the nice nurse took just 5 minutes to deal with me.  I was really pleased to see that the scar is very well healed, is small and tidy, and already looks fairly invisible.  Amazing!

I cycled back through Leeds and got on a train before midday.  Cycle Heaven had sorted my brakes; Ash had dismantled and rebuilt the front one and removed the plastic disc from the rear, so that it can now be tightened with a spanner.  He said that next time I brought my bike in for servicing he'd consider putting brakes on which had bigger pads, which he hoped would last longer.

I got home via Country Fresh, and 3 sacks and two boxes, about 60kg, and had lunch at 1.30pm.

So, the afternoon went quickly as my next appointment was at 3pm, with Owen about 10 minutes cycle away, who had asked me to install two compost bins at his block of flats.  He'd had a neighbours meeting which I'd provided information for, and they'd then decided to get communal compost bins.  One week later, Owen was lucky enough to win a compost bin!  So he'd only needed to purchase one, and today I took a spade, a roll of chicken wire to make them rat-resistant, and pliers to cut the wire to size.  To install a 'dalek' bin, it is best to first find level ground, in a sunny corner if possible, and to place the bin on the ground and mark out where the base of the bin sits with a spade.  The bin is then moved away and a narrow trench made for the foot of the bin to sit in.  Then Owen helped me cut the wire into a square big enough to cover the whole of the base of the bin, and stick out each side.  This is put onto the ground, on top of the trench, and the bin carefully placed onto the wire and pushed into the trench, so the wire completely covers the base of the bin.  Then the soil from the trench is put back onto the foot of the bin, to help hold it down.  This makes it difficult for rats to get in through the base, although if they really want to, they can gnaw a hole in the side of the bin.  However, I've only seen this once.

So I was home soon after 4pm, and I did a bit in the garden, and after tea (the delicious carrot stew/soup, with extra pasta in it), popped over the road to deal with another pile of waste wood... chopped shrubs and bits of trees, which I pruned down to useful sticks.  Later, I went to collect a wheelbarrow full of them, and was accosted by a Woodlands staff member who was surprised to see me working there at that time in the evening.  I guess she didn't know I've been visiting that bit of woodland for about 9 years, and tidying up some of the detritus the gardeners throw in there.  I hope it doesn't put my becoming an official volunteer in jeopardy!

Later in the evening, I couldn't resist opening some of the windfall walnuts, and my fingers ended up black.  I also got a load of very ripe plums from Country Fresh, so I halved them and skinned them and put them on the drying rack....  I had time to do this as facebook was playing up and I couldn't have my usual chats and Scrabble...

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