0 Month Streak
14 Month Streak
Wed 30th Nov at 6:00pm
It was a chilly night for a litter pick, with winter starting to make itself felt, but we turned out in force at Rose Hill Community Centre.
Our litter picks in the area around the Community Centre and the estates surrounding The Oval are always highly appreciated by the staff at the community centre and the local Low Carbon group - we were even joined by a member of Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon group last night.
With quite a large area to cover we find it's best to split into smaller groups to tackle different streets - divide and conquer! We set ourselves an hour limit so that no one got completely chilled to the bone and scattered across Rose Hill, litter pickers and yellow rubbish sacks in hand. We got heckled by a local who appeared to think that we were the Council and should clean up the area more often (the big 'Community Litter Pick' stamp on our bin bags not seeming to give them the clue that we were volunteers), found masks, cigarette butts, hedges full of cans, and all the other usual suspects. Aladdin put us in a cheery mood when we got back to the community centre with his gold sequin shirt, very Pro photo taking, and appreciation for the clean-up job we'd undertaken.
Our litter picking conversations included possible updates for the GoodGym litter bingo cards (newspapers are out, wet wipes are in), whether squirrels really get addicted to nicotine from littered cigarette butts, and favourite festive treats. Clearly we need to be supplying panettone, cheese and biscuits, and mince pies at our Christmas 'do'!
Wed 21st Sep at 5:45pm
There's a slight autumnal chill to the air, which can only mean one thing - it's time to get bulbs in the ground in preparation for lots of cheery spring flowers. In previous years we've planted bulbs along many of the main roads into Oxford, and they've been one of the most popular gardening tasks we've done. People comment on how lovely it is when the flowers pop up in the spring all the time.
NGL, the struggle was real to get the spades deep enough in the ground to plant bulbs last night!
A summer of drought and heat waves has baked the ground hard, so there was a lot of pogo-ing on spades to try and get holes a few inches deep to give the flowers the best chance of actually sprouting. Despite the challenges we did manage to plant a decent patchwork of bulbs from the OXSRAD entrance up towards the ring road junction on both sides of the road.
Looking forward to seeing them flower in the spring already!
Congratulations on reaching the 10 Good Deed milestone Fred.
Sun 11th Sep at 9:30am
Our once-regular GoodGym Bromley tourist Tim devised a route several years ago taking in all the View Cones of Oxford - places from which the view of Oxford’s historic centre are meant to be protected. Having often talked about attempting the circuit this weekend we finally gave it a go.
The View Cone locations are:
We covered the 24 miles in 5 hours 40 minutes, discovering paths and parks we didn't know existed.
Number of view points - 10
Number of runners - 11
Number of (human) walkers - 4
Number of puppies - 1
Number of icecreams consumed - 6
Number of views missed due to mist - 3
Number of near face plants (just about saved) - 1
Overall pace of the runners - 14 minutes 10 per mile
Last walker standing went as far as Rose Hill
Number of people attempting further than they were really prepared for - all of us!!
It was lovely to spend the day exploring with the group, and fun to have people join for sections at a time as suited their schedule/distance they wanted to do. When the morning mist cleared the views were good, some even quite surprising, although we're really not sure where we're meant to go in Rose Hill for a view across Oxford! To our knowledge no-one other than us has attempted the route since this run in 2018, so we're now part of a very select group mad enough to try it! Great to get cheered into The Perch at the end by Julia and Vicky, and to have Samantha waiting there with a table already reserved.
Wed 7th Sep at 5:45pm
Last night a group of intrepid GoodGymers set off on an expedition to the frozen North of Oxfordshire desperately seeking their fortune in apples. Scrumping poles, litter picks and tarpaulins at the ready, they were a veritable trail of Dick Whittingtons.
Alighting in Lower Heyford to a warm welcome from the hardy locals they set to work filling their boots (crates) with apples from the heavily laden trees. With plenty to go around competition was not fierce, and team work prevailed between the ground crews and climbers. Various iterations of 'shake the branches of the tree and catch the apples in a tarpaulin' yielded 580kg of apples in a mixture of cookers and eaters. In a win for the Health and Safety executive (but a loss for science?) no-one got hit on the head by a falling apple Newton-style. Shona the unicorn-esque horse seemed happy to have company for the evening, and while the possibility of a ladder-based disaster was ever-present it never actually materialised.
The Cherwell Collective will be giving half of the apple haul to the Oxford Food Hub for distribution to various local food banks and larders. Some of the rest of the apple harvest will be turned into chutney by the Wonky Food Company and sold to raise funds for Cherwell Larder. A load of the remaining apples will be cooked up into delicious crumble to serve in the Cherwell Collective's Climatarian Kitchen, which is a food surplus cafe operating on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at Exeter Hall, Kidlington. They also provide culinary courses, meal kits, and flexible recipes to help the community reduce food waste and promote well being. They feed between 150 and 300 people per week. Finally, the Cherwell Larder will take the rest of the apples to distribute to users of the larder. The Larder operates very similarly to a food bank, providing food and other essentials to the community.
Noted for future apple picking: hard hats or bike helmets would be useful apple picking kit!
Thanks for the title pun Henry!