The tarpaulins which cover the pool get a pounding over the course of the winter.
Their worst enemy is the wind, followed by the sun.
For the first time ever, we’ve actually put 3 tarpaulins on:
The bottom one, dark green, is one year old and reasonably sound but too lightweight to work on its own.
The middle one, red, is brand new this year and not quite big enough in one dimension.
The top one is at least 3 years old with several holes in it.
Let’s hope they all work together well!
The photo shows a tarpaulin previously covering the pool and now stretched out to dry. (The pool isn’t uncovered yet, though; there was another tarpaulin underneath.)
Anyone would think I put it there for the dogs’ benefit.
Taylor sees it as a venue for stick-chewing.
Galileo enjoys digging holes through gaps in the folds.
Florence has adopted it as her personal race track and is sprinting up and down its shining silver length.
This is the second day of high wind.
Leaves have been spiralling joyfully in the vortex created by the sheltered corner where the front door is.
Going upstairs in the tower is a wild experience as the buffets boom against the exposed walls.
I’ve had to right and refill a number of the tubs of gravel, stones and rubble which weigh down the pool tarpaulin. Even the heavy concrete lintels which we also use can actually be seen shifting a little.
The tarpaulin itself is an ocean of billowing waves. The spray it sends out, hurling cumulated rainwater into the air, completes the impression of being at sea.
I would love strong winds if I weren’t always conscious of the potential for damage.
Lucky old Galileo has no such worries. You can see from his expression that he enjoys the wind whipping his fur and tossing his ears like a whirly windmill.
With all the recent rain, the spring is still flowing abundantly.
Today Chokri and I overhauled my Japanese water cascade so that the bulk of the water escaping from the blue pig runs right away.
First we took out one section of the pipe that goes into the blue pig, and sent the water directly from the broad pipe into the top, wrapping a piece of tarpaulin round it to prevent debris going in.
Then we built a snake of roof tiles, weaving in and out of the violets, down to the foot of the bank.
At the end of the channel we put a tray for the dogs to drink out of.
It wasn’t long before we had our first customers.
I’m not a great one for what’s called ‘winter interest’ in shrubs.
I prefer plants to go nuts in summer and supply a visual feast that lasts all year in the memory.
This evergreen bush was sited in order to eventually, partially, conceal the blue pig water tank which isn’t exactly an aesthetic feature.
It rather gets in the way for putting the winter tarpaulin on.
But when I re-fixed the tarpaulin after the high winds, I noticed how lovely it is.
Yesterday morning I spent a happy half hour or so in my dressing gown anchoring down a flapping corner of the pool tarpaulin.
It now has, weighing it down, a supremely heavy concrete kerb (hidden under the folds in the photo), 2 pieces of heavy concrete coping, some plant tubs full of rubble, an old paint tub filled with stones and water, and a log.
Several of these items, including the log, are extra to what there was before so it had better not DARE to come loose again.
Today I was walking near the house with the dogs when suddenly the tarpaulin which had been covering the blue pig flew up in the air and nearly took off.
Rather than battle with it in the teeth of the gale, I pinned it on the ground with a wooden pallet.
I noticed that the pipe which is taking the spring water to the blue pig (and thence to the pond) was all disjointed and water was flying out of the joints on the wind.
However, given that the pipe into the pond is still running full bore plus there’s water coming out of the top of the blue pig itself, the pipes are obviously managing to pass along a good part of their load.
Bearing in mind the adage ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ I’ve let them be for now!
This is the water on the pool tarpaulin, part way through being syphoned off.
You can see how much it’s gone down already from the black/grey tideline.
Clive reckons several thousand gallons of water came off via the hose, which was running for 5 or 6 hours.