A fairly quiet day... I cycled round to the bread shop to get Yesterbake, and then to the Co-op to get goats milk for the people in the house who like dairy, cereal for me, margarine and paracetamol for the painful people, which today includes me, with a headache.
Stress today helped by a phone call from the school, asking where was our son? I was absolutely gobsmacked... I'd given in a letter, by hand, yesterday, explaining why he was away before Christmas and why he hadn't gone in yesterday. The communication within that school is abysmal! So my head was full of schooling problems... I really don't want to have to deal with this.... the school should be good enough to send our children to without them feeling so much fear they can't go in.
I usually feel better if I'm doing something outside the house, so I dismembered 4 waste pallets with my chainsaw and pure muscle, pulling the bits of wood apart to make stackable planks and nice long-burning cubes of wood with easy-to-pull-out nails in, once the cube is mostly charcoal.
In the afternoon, Gill had an appointment and I was just settling down for a late lunch when there was a knock at the door and there was my old friend Maggie, whom I haven't seen for ages, with two small dogs on lengths of string! She said she'd walked up to B+Q for something and had walked past our house and recognised the logpiles. She put the dogs in the back garden, tied to a bench, and came in for a coffee and chat. We got to talking about a chap we both know, called Andy S. whom we both called a friend at one time. However, he stole a bike from Maggie, and he's borrowed a large sum of money from one of my friends and not paid it back. Maggie told me about someone else who Andy had possibly hoodwinked, so I sent this person a message on facebook to find out more. What I want to do is to alert the police about this abuser so no-one else suffers in the future. I'm wondering how to get the message out without being accused of slander/defamation or getting a brick through the window.
I did a favour for Maggie who had taken out a stainless steel sink from somewhere and had it sitting in her back garden, and she asked me to put it on Freecycle. By the evening I'd had 4 replies and sent them Maggie's phone number. So I hope one of them gets it!
Anyway, Maggie stayed quite a long time and so I was unable to work with the boys as I'd planned to, after lunch, to get emails and letters sent off to family members to thank them for Christmas gifts. However, our eldest didn't need much persuasion to email some thank yous, but letter writing is a completely different thing. More stress.
Anyway, Gill came back, I did some more work outside til it got dark, and for tea I had a pile of old rice with a pool of pumpkin and parsnip soup in the centre, with some unidentified pickle on the side.
The highlights of the evening were watching a good programme on BBC4 about the brain, and finding an interesting forum called SelfSufficientish, which I joined, and read quite a few posts. The site is run all or partly by my friend John Headstrong, whom I met whilst getting involved with the (We Love The) Earth Centre thing in spring 2010, and I loved this YouTube video about the Robin Hood Tax which he's put on his blog.
Finally, I was pleased to find out today who the mystery visitor was, with the Internet Service Provider based in Buckingham. It is the spouse of an old friend whom I've known for a very long time, dealing with insomnia and getting ideas about domestic food and energy security, Transition communities and peak oil. I'm delighted to have been 'useful' and to have helped an old friend. So, 'hello' and your message made me smile!