Fiddliest and smelliest job I've ever had to do in that garden, and I've done poop patrol!
The baseplate for the composter arrived, finally, after one lost delivery and one delivered broken. I could not get that thing to fit on. Nope. No fitting on for that baseplate. I chalked it up to the fact that it was cold outside, the composter body was at 0ºC while the baseplate was at room temperature, and so Physics has a thing to say. In reality, this was my excuse for saying "sod it, it's 0º out here and this smelly thing is making my hands wet in 0º!" I ended up laying the baseplate on the ground and standing the composter over it. The weight of proto-compost should hold it all together.
Sliding the body of the composter up over the contents was a bit tense - would it stay together like a putrid blancmange or would it go everywhere? It stayed! The rest was work for a fork, a shovel, and eventually a hose. The contents were somewhere below half the height, but as the thing is slightly conical I reckon it's full to about half the volume, or 165 litres. Whilst I was forking out compost I took the opportunity to study the strata within. Some bits seem to decompose faster than others. Things that are watery (like cucumber) or mushy (like banana) seem to go first. Things with a hard shell (like the pumpkin from Halloween) appear to take a lot longer. Eggshells break down surprisingly readily. Any leaves that get in there seem to turn slimy.
I've taken a photo of some of the strata, laid out on one of my favourite childhood building materials: the knackered, rusty sheet of wriggly tin (of dubious acquisition). For the sake of your breakfast I've left out the bits where putrefying is actively taking place. Upper layers on the left, lower layers in the right. Rightmost is damn near compost!
This time next year, Rodney, we'll have compost.