11 MAY 2020
Although the weather is cooler there is no rain, and when I check the brassica corner my little plantlets were looking unhappy again, also some had been blown sideways by the wind. I plugged in my hose to the rainwater harvesting system and switched on the pump but only a few drips were forthcoming. The pump was making a lot of noise, but not moving any water. James investigated but drew a blank, so Patrick will have to check it out. I sadly returned to long hose pipes and watering cans.
I spent ages nipping the growing tips out of my stock of flowering plants in the cold frames, to encourage them to bush out. I then returned to the lettuce beds to continue weeding, but I got distracted by the potato beds. The potatoes are coming up beautifully but so are lots of tiny weed seedlings (the joys of homemade compost). I think I should hoe those beds before the weeds get too big… that would be the sensible thing to do. I trot off to find my hoe… two sheds, one polytunnel and a basement later, there is no sign of the hoe, it has disappeared and no on knows where it is – obviously because no one else would ever be using it… well not for weeding anyway! I return with one of my grandad’s old tools – a small fork (no bigger than a hand fork) on a long handle, I use this to turn over the weed seedlings and it does a great job, “thank you grandad”!
I then ask James to help me set up the surface skimmer on the pool. The pool is now full and I would like to get the filtration system working. We soon discover that the in/out hoses from the pool to the filtration pump are the wrong way round. The boys had no instructions to follow when installing the pump, I then realise the instructions are at the back of the general pool instructions, upside down – very confusing and also badly eaten by the slugs.
James and I manage to swap the fittings, by plunging our arms into the freezing water – goodness knows how we are going to swim in it! When we switch the pump on, water goes everywhere because the lid isn’t screwed on properly. Finally, we get things working, skimmer skimming, pump pumping and I even show James how to use the clever pool vacuum – wahey! We’ve ordered a more human friendly type of pool cleaning chemical (rather than chlorine) so we are almost set to go – that’s if anyone can brave the temperature. We finish by putting the pool cover over the surface, because I am worried about the cats jumping in the pool by accident – they are very curious. Immediately Minxy runs across the pool cover, fortunately it bears her weight but she is quite disconcerted by the feel of the cover under her paws.
Altogether it was not a particularly productive day.