Today is an important day because we have a morning visit from the Hillingdon Borough Conservation Officer. This conservation officer has not visited us before and he must be quite new because Patrick has not met him yet on other jobs that he is working on. He starts by saying he can only stay for half an hour which is a shame as he has a lot to look at and we have a lot of things we wish to discuss with him. As he walks around the walls (out next planning application includes repair/rebuilding work to orchard walls, some of which will need new foundations and buttresses) he is quietly positive about what we have done so far. By the end of the visit he was sounding quite enthusiastic and complementary which is encouraging. There was not enough time to discuss much more than the walls, but we did mention the pond and alluded to our new building for visits/small events. It is a good thing that he has now seen the property so when our new application arrives it will make much more sense and he promised to visit again soon.
Despite the storm and downpour yesterday, it is still horrendously hot and humid. However, I’m not complaining because the soil has had a good soaking and my watering duties for the day are confined to the polytunnel. It is still too hot for proper gardening so I am still working away inside…I now have much more room to accommodate Aideen and her harp in the music room.
I have my firsts attempt at syphoning today, normally I leave this to Patrick. Unfortunately, our beloved pool has gone green and we have not managed to resolve the problem…we now speak of going for ‘green swims’…however, in this heat any swim is appreciated. We have therefore decided to drain the pool (allowing the water to refresh the poor grass) and start again. The syphon that Patrick set up had stopped draining so I set about restarting that and putting another three syphoning pipes in the pool. The syphon is made using a short section of hose pipe. One end goes in the water and you suck the other…when the water reaches your mouth (don’t swallow) it will continue to flow out of the pool. Patricks original syphon was obviously blocked and I soon found out why when I ended up with three dead water beetles in my mouth! I spat them out with a scream which then turned to laughter…no wonder that it wasn’t working! Patrick thought it was very amusing!
Tonight, James is cooking and he is making a chilli and he comes to me to ask if I can go and find some veg because there is nothing in the fridge. I come back with some peppers which are not very big (green and yellow), two chillies (bright red) and surprise, surprise, five courgettes of various sizes. The peppers are a mixture of shapes and sizes and I am slightly concerned that one might be a big chilli…but I don’t think so! James comes and asks me “how hot are the chillies, should I use both of them?”. I’m not sure of the ‘heat scale’ of the red chillies, but I say confidently, “oh yes, I’d use both!”. If the mystery pepper turns out to be a chilli as well, we might need extra water with our dinner!