Galileo goes in and out of water all day.
He has four places to choose from: two ponds, the basin where the spring comes out, and now the swimming pool, where he crouches down on top of the inside steps.
I reckon his last visit can’t have been to the swimming pool because he’d probably have been a bit cleaner.
He’s impossible to keep off the sofa, and he circumvents any protective coverings we put there.
His last bastion is the sofa arm.
The rainstorm today brought forth water everywhere: seeping in a lake under the front door, cascading from the blocked gutters, creeping in through the one little window we had open …
When it finally stopped and I thought I would do a tour of inspection, I had only to put an ear out the door to hear, three hundred yards away, the thunder of water pouring from the pipe under the road into the little rocky stream that normally has virtually nothing in it. The ravine at the foot of our land was loud with waterfalls as well.
The water tank into which our spring is channelled was overflowing, but instead of the water going down the roof tiles I’ve put there for it, it had invented its own course and was flowing in a merry torrent all the way down the bank. So I moved the top tiles to collect the start of the stream, connected them on to the original channel, then cleaned out the dead leaves in the rest of the run. It was one of those instances when something works and you go away quickly so as not to see when it stops.
I love predictable, controlled sounds of water. Also very small amounts of water – like the drops in the photo.
When I tried to run water through the outside hose the other day, only a dribble came out.
Then – kerflump, kerflump – one after the other out popped a whole series of icicles.
This is more-or-less how they landed, with only the slightest rearrangement.
They look like an icy hand with long icy fingers – a winter version of Edward Scissorhands.
This is a corner of our above-ground indoor pool where I swim in the winter.
The temperature of the water, which we don’t usually heat, averages 19 degrees C. Bearable but not luxurious!
Unlike the mosaic above, it contains no fish.
It does, however, contain other life from time to time apart from me: moths, spiders (which survive an extraordinarily long time under water), earwigs, shield bugs, wood lice, centipedes …
Nothing like the range of wildlife that ends up in the outside pool, of course, and what goes in here gets fished out pretty sharpish; I run a tight ship.
Very usefully, on two occasions I’ve found a queen hornet struggling in the water, though not for long as she was quickly put out of her misery. More convenient than having to chase her up the windows and round the back of the pictures!
Clive’s admission to the Rehabilitation Centre has been permanently cancelled owing to erroneous factual information being imparted to them by a mysterious third party. I haven’t been able to find out the identity of the third party, nor ascertain why they were given more credence than both the official report and my contradiction.
I spent all morning on the phone, and finally went for a walk in the afternoon.
One of the pleasures or annoyances (depending on how you view it) of going for a walk on your own land is that you inevitably find something to fix.
In this case it was the pipe which emerges from a little stone building cut into the hillside. It conducts water from the spring through various tubes and structures as far as the pond.
It’s possible I left one of the screw fittings loose to mitigate the onward flow last winter, but it’s also possible that a hunter wanted to give his dog some water and filled the little stainless steel bowl there.
In any case, there was a continuous stream of water coming out from the fitting, and the lime scale caked on the thread made it difficult to screw up tight. I spent some time on the case, and seem to have reduced the stream to a drip!
Today was the first time I’ve braved swimming in the outside pool since the middle of May.
As usual, Galileo came to the top of the outside steps to peek at me.
After taking off his bell, I lifted him gently into the water.
There was a bit of panic-stricken scrabbling (with scratches on my chest and arms to prove it) and then, in a flurry of splashes, he was doggy-paddling on his own.
He made for the side, obviously wanting to get out, so I lifted him back onto the outside steps.
But the important thing was – he swam!
I hope we can find him a more suitable place and that it will help to build his confidence.
In the meantime he balances on the edge of any water he can find and fishes out stones and dead leaves with his mouth.
He also dips his head and blows bubbles in his drinking water!
Telecomitalia has now called us at least half a dozen times offering us an ADSL line at our old address.
You’d think they might correct their information … well no, I don’t actually think they would.
The commission must be very worthwhile for them to be as aggressive as they are.
Today we received a call from our GPL supplier offering us a big discount.
We don’t use much GPL – really only for cooking as the wood pellet stove provides most of our heat – but our tank maintenance contract dictates a minimum consumption pattern. Given the minimum quantity they’ll deliver, and the fact that we were forced to buy some less than a year ago which we’ve hardly used, it doesn’t make sense to fill up now .
There will never be such a discount again. Do I realise how much we would save? We’re on a special list of customers to be offered the discount and if we refuse this time we may never be called again. Etc, etc.
It wouldn’t do me any good, but I’d love to tackle them about their maintenance. The tank was sunk so low in the ground that its top fills with water when there’s a lot of rain; only they could do something permanent about it.
As it is though, when the weather clears up, it’ll be muggins out there with a big sponge.