Monday, 20 February 2017

Saturday 18th February 17

I had a relaxing but hard working day, trying to get the front garden tidied up, ready for the removal of the pointless 'Spirea' shrubs which have grotty pink flowers on them but don't serve any purpose, so that I can put in some fruit trees.

I took advantage of a Radio Times offer and bought two Victoria Plum trees, a single one was £15 but the offer was to throw in a free one, so including the postage, two trees for under £22. I'm happy with that, and spent some time looking up how to train them along wires.

I also did some composting and log stacking, and had two facebook video conversations in the evening, one planned and the other a surprise.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Friday 17th February 17

Woken early by low flying jet planes which made me think back to my childhood when there was a lot of fear about conflict, with the 'Iron Curtain' between the Communist Bloc countries and the West, and a nuclear arsenal which seemed ready to be used at a moments notice. Over the intervening decades things have become a bit more peaceful, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and a relatively peaceful European situation, despite conflicts in the Balkans.  But with Trump with his finger on the trigger in the US, I'm not feeling as safe as I used to, and the UK 'leaving Europe' doesn't help either.

But they were just planes, not warheads or bombers..........

The rest of the day was peaceful.  I went to buy Yesterbake bread and get something from the chemist, did some log stacking and then took Howard's bike to Cycle Heaven to see if I could get a new back wheel or have the axle replaced, then visited Pauline who was pleased to see me and gave me her compostables to deal with. I picked up more compostables on the way home and did assorted outdoors work.

In the evening I re-arranged this blog a bit and started putting together a new segment for Extinction Radio.

Thursday 16th February 17

Today I only had one appointment, up in Huntington to meet with Jon in the Flag and Whistle, to check out the room they have for hire there.  We spoke to Nathan, one of the staff, and he took down details to discuss with his colleague who does the event nights.

I picked up some wood on the way back.  I did a lot of chainsawing during the day, of the bits I brought home over the past couple of days.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Tuesday 19th May 15

I had a reasonably good day, did a lot in the garden, preparing the raised bed for the rhubarb, and sorting compost.

I cycled into town via St Nicks, and gave Ivana a cheque for £1000 which was the remaining funds from York Green Festival.

I also paid in a cheque from DAD last summer, which somehow hadn't been sent to me, and paid the water bill... and the best thing was that Michelle saw my bike and trailer and came to see me, and we went and sat and chatted, and she's very happy with an exciting relationship, and this made me very happy.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Tuesday 31st January 12

A thoughtful day, not feeling 100% positive about myself... it's not a feeling I'm that used to, and recognise it from when I've done something silly or reprehensible.

However, I kept busy, and went to buy bread before lunch.  I cycled back through Hull Road Park to look at the plot which Marie Birbeck from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust told us about last night.  The plot had been 'done' with a chainsaw gang and there were a few smallish logs on the ground from an elm tree which had been trimmed.  I spoke to a gardener who said that he'd be really happy if I took the logs, as he thought that they were going to be taken away by the chainsaw people.

So I loaded up the trailer and took a load home, and went back with an empty trailer twice.  Later in the day I chopped all this up and split it... elm does not split easily, especially when dry, so doing it whilst green is the best option.  I also split a few more bits of the giant logs delivered last week, and did some stacking too.

I unwrapped the 'hotbin' composter which was delivered yesterday morning.  I now see how it keeps the materials so warm; it is made of an expanded plastic, looking a bit like expanded polystyrene but the much tougher expanded polypropylene.  So the claim that the walls are 96% air I now understand.  I'll start using it later this week.

I cycled up to see Carolyn, who wanted to offload some sacks of leaves my way, and to ask my opinion about a tree which one of her neighbours might want trimming or removing.  I persuaded her to leave the tree for a bit, but offered to do a bit of pruning work.  Also I learned about her electric trip-switch in case she calls on me to rescue her from her lift which she occasionally gets stuck in.

I also visited Debbie over the road and heard about her short trip up to see her folks and I'm glad she's still getting on with Philip, who's back from seeing his parents in the West Country.

I heard a chainsaw down the road and it was a chap trying to chop up the big Beech trunk in the garden just over Milson Grove.  I spoke to him and he suggested I speak to the householder, who's name is Paula, and she said, yes, I could have some of the wood.  The chap attempting to do the log seemed really happy for me to take the job on, so later I contacted Ian, my chainsawing friend, and asked him if he'd help me, or if I could pay him to make the trunk into rounds.... There's a lot of wood there, way over a tonne I'd say.  I do hope he can help.

I finished the day feeling a lot more positive.

Monday 30th January 12

Quite a mixed day... some of it was taken up with dealing with the aftermath of a post I put on facebook without thinking of the consequences.  It was a photo of what is colloquially known as a 'ladyboy'; a person, usually from a far-eastern country such as Thailand, who was born male and has chosen to live as a woman, a situation known as 'transgender'.  I have several transgender friends and therefore I should have known better to share a picture which used an image to get some cheap humour. I got several comments from friends and people I know who were horrified by what I'd done. There were other comments from people who thought it was hilarious.  This only enraged the offended group more.  Others chimed in and said that the Politically Correct crew were over-reacting. The response to this was a claim that trans people suffered more bullying and attacks than any other identifiable group in society, and many trans people commit suicide. I apologised for any offence given and hoped that some good might have come of the discussion, that people might have learned some facts about transgender people.  I have certainly learned to think before sharing things, and to stop and think if it might be offensive.  I don't mind discussing controversial subjects, but I don't set out to upset people... unless I want to deliberately upset people, of course.  The picture was later removed by facebook from everyone's walls who had shared it, probably because of complaints.

More of the day was taken up with organising the York in Transition Energy Event on March 10th, inviting renewable energy installers to come and have a stall.  I rang at least 8 different organisations.

I also got a welcome phone call from The Phone Co-op who said they thought I was spending too much on my phone bill, and that they thought I could, should, change my tariff. How nice of them!

Sunday 29th January 12

A nondescript morning but had been asked to provide balloon entertainment at a social event in Leeds, at A Nation of Shopkeepers from about 1pm.  So I went over on the train and arrived on the dot of 1.  My friend from Manchester, Simon, had come over and we chatted, before Alexa, the main organiser, turned up, and we managed to commandeer a couple of sofas and several chairs, moving a table to enable us all to sit together.

I had some good chats with a chap called Ben, who had a shared interest in compost toilets and green funerals, and his wife Lea who was very nice too.  There was Edafe and Mercedes, Bluebell and Riley, plus about another 10 people who I didn't get to know names of. The balloon models were appreciated, I think most people had a go and it added to the fun.

I left at 5pm and was home by 6.30, having stopped off at a logpile with my trailer, and I had rice for tea, did an enormous pile of washing up and prepared two racks of apples for drying.