Sunday, 26 August 2007

Melted waterbutts and diving

No not diving in my water butt.....
I'm on the hunt for a new water butt that doesn't melt. The old one was a dustbin, you know the type, the ones that say no hot ashes. Well they should also say "don't leave out in the sun" on them as well. It melted - not completely but enough for the water to all leak out !!!! And they don't seem to do the type you lot have back home - oh well I'll keep looking.
Some of my diving gear I brought back passed all the tests, but the regulators - the things that you breathe through (so they are quite important really) brought laughter from around the shop - apparently Jacques Cousteau used to have a set of them - the bloke said they'd probably work but that he wouldn't trust them. So seeing as how I don't fancy drowning I took his advice and bought some new ones. Very shiny they are too. The old ones were dead cheap so some you win and some you lose. Anyway went out on Thursday with Jeff - first time for both of us without an instructor - and what a couple of amateurs we looked. We had to do bouyancy checks to get our weight right - got it wrong - were both too light so it was a major effort to sink, which in normal circumstances is great, but when scuba diving isn't, then air just started free flowing out of my new shiny regulators. Took them back to the shop and was told "Oh that often happens with new ones - I'll adjust them for you now". So we tried again yesterday after helping out at the sub aqua club "try dive" day. I spent the morning squeezing people into wet suits - which was more fun with some people than others !!! When they'd all done in we went - and it all went well swimmingly - was down for around 45 minutes, and had a thoroughly good time. It's good having your own gear and just being able to go out and do it !
The seeds I'd sowed last time are starting to germinate, and I think I'll be getting comments like "loony" soon cos I'm planning on going back to the stables and getting several jeep fulls of manure to spread on the garden before I plant this lot out. I'm also picking up some timber today and will make some fancy planters to put the citrus and pomegranite trees in. I've got a new book about Mediterranean gardening - and instead of telling how the gardens at Alhambra or on the Cote D'Azure were designed actually tells me which plants will grow here, so that's good, but I have resisted the urge to go out and buy a whole garden full - I'lll wait until it's a bit cooler before I plant up - even lavenders I've planted out have died in the sun - I reckon it's cos the shops water them too regularly (so that they look good) but it means that they haven't been grown hard enough so can't cope when planted out. I'll be growing my stuff quite hard in future.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Back from holiday and need a rest

The title says it all, back in sunny Cyprus after two weeks in not so sunny Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and we've all pretty much slept and done nowt since we got back !!
To all those we saw - it was good to see you, to all those we didn't well there's always next time.

Arrived home to find all the toms dead and the chilli's gasping for water - they've had some and have perked up no end. The tomatoes are in the compost bins. As part of the "lets see what I can grow at strange times of the year" experiment - I've sown tomatoes, tomatillos, cucumbers, chives, carrots, courgettes, snake gourds and a whole bunch of annual flowers. We'll see how they go - I might have tomatoes at Christmas, who knows. And over the next couple of weeks I'll be back up to the stables to get more manure to improve the soil. I've written July and August off as productive moths - it's just too bloody hot, or more accurately it's too difficult to keep it all watered.
I returned home with a load of diving gear - it's being tested at the diving gear testing shop (run by diver Dave) to make sure I won't drown whilst using it. Hopefully I'll get out this week.
It's time to start studying again - this time learning how to draw stuff for the design part of the course - this is much more fun than plant physiology I can tell you. Intermediate Greek lessons in September and the FA course to do as well so busy busy busy.