Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Tuesday 22nd February 11

A really lovely day... doing one of my favourite activities, working in a 'special school'.

So I had a small lie-in but got up before 10 and packed up all my gear, my backpack with costume, balloons, feathers, 4 wheel and 2 wheel unicycles, my kit bag with sticks, juggling balls and diabolos, my small unicycle and big unicycle, plus my 'handbag' with reading matter, diary, and sandwiches.  Gill plaited my hair, which I washed last night so it was lovely and shiny.

Packed the bike and headed to the station at about 11, as I needed to get my tickets for my trip to London at the end of March.  I am travelling down on the Friday morning and back on Saturday evening; my talk is Saturday afternoon.  I got my ticket to Brough too, and headed to platform 7 for the 11.53 train.  I'd ordered a taxi last night to pick me up from Brough and take me to St Anne's School, and it was waiting for me.

I was ready to do my show by 1.10, and I had about 20 children come along, with a good number of adults with them, as many of them needed support and help; some needed preventing from coming out of the audience area and interfering with the equipment behind me.  However, a core group were happy to watch and interact, I got 4 children up to do devilsticks, maybe 10 to balance feathers, they loved 'Derek the Diabolo' especially when I had to tell him off for misbehaviour, and several volunteers had a go on the 4 wheel unicycle.  The balloon show and workshop was fun too.  We finished sometime after 3pm, I got changed again and Kay sorted out my paperwork, and I got a lift with Carol who was going back into Brough.  I had to wait for the 4.22 but I read my NewScientist. On the train, though, I dozed.

I had been invited to go and see Caroline Lucas on her flying visit to York, scheduled to be at 4.45 at the library.  I knew my train wasn't supposed to get in til 5.15, so I thought I'd miss half of her talk.  We got in early at 5.08, i loaded my trailer and cycled like the wind along to the library, locked up, gathered all my clobber, and as I walked in, Caroline was just walking through the library into the side room where the Green Party meeting was.  She'd just finished giving an interview with Radio York (interview here, 2 hours 6 minutes in).  She spoke very eloquently to the group who had come to hear her speak, about the Green alternative to the ConDem cuts.  The Greens would invest in green jobs, such as the 100 jobs created in Kirklees, insulating peoples' houses and fitting energy efficiency measures, which help people keep warmer for less money.  These workers pay tax and their income means they are able to buy goods, which also raises revenue... the work they are doing cuts carbon emissions and improves quality of life.  This scheme was brought in by Green Councillors.  There are countless other green jobs.... for instance, we have one of the World's best wind and wave resources, and we could be heading towards energy security if we invested heavily.  The Greens would not renew the nuclear submarine Trident scheme, saving £100 billion over 30 years, and would introduce the 'Robin Hood Tax' which wouldn't take away from ordinary people at all, but big financial transactions between banks and traders would have a very very tiny tax slapped on.... raising £20 billion a year, just in this country! 

In the questions at the end, I asked about whether she thought that in the referendum about electoral reform, whether the Alternative Vote system would help the Greens.  Her answer was that it might, to a limited extent, but that if we get AV this time, we are far more likely to get proper fair Proportional Representation in the future.  So I'll be voting for change, for AV, despite not liking AV that much, as it is not nearly as good as PR... but we haven't been given the choice of voting for that.

Caroline left to go and visit Leeds and Wakefield, and after a bit of chatting, loaded up my bike again and cycled over to Bishophill to meet a Freecycler, Tracy, who'd offered a packet of dried kidney beans.  I'd been chosen as the lucky recipient... her reason for giving it away was that whenever she thought to have them, they needed soaking first, and she never got around to doing this the previous day!  Well Gill and I often plan meals a day or two in advance, so this won't be a problem for us.  Thank you Tracy!

Then I came home, via 2 sacks of recycling from Freshways, getting in at 7pm.  For tea I had some rissoles Gill had made from the remains of yesterday's rice, some new potatoes, and the unusual mushrooms found thrown away on Friday night.  They were quite nice.... the texture was rather soft, and I wouldn't buy them, although rescuing them from a bin is a completely different matter!

A happy evening; my New Zealand relative Wendy hasn't been squashed in an earthquake, and I'm deeply saddened for those who have, or rather their families and friends.  So I watched YouTube vids of that quake and the devastation (for instance, this), and other online things, and then caught a programme about David Nash, a sculptor who works in wood, and I think he probably becomes my 3rd favourite sculptor, after Peter Randall-Page and Andy Goldsworthy.

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