My first real day back to regular blogging was yesterday. My new writing schedule is 3 days a week – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and after a month of reshuffling this blog backwards and forwards l can finally say, that aside from a small amount of fine tuning that will be continued on throughout the year – l have done as much as l can do with this blog, it’s at the place l need it to be. Whilst l will be back ‘blogging’, due to the nature of this current month’s schedule – there might not be three posts every week for the first few weeks. I guess we shall see.
I have had a busy couple of weeks in addition to the blogging journey also, in so far as Suze is in the process of moving into Willow on a full time basis and will be here ‘officially’ from the 01st October, although she has been living here since Tuesday of last week 24th August. She handed in her end of tenancy to her agents end of last month.
So now begins the stressful adventure of moving once more. Suze’s will be different this time around because she is not moving all of her household here, but only bits with the rest going into a secure lock up. Suze and l are friends and that is all this is about, we were friends before we were a couple, we remained friends throughout and we are still friends afterwards. So, l am merely helping her out as a friend and she is welcome to stay here as my guest for as long as is required.
Her daughter lives out in Australia and also offered her a full time residency to live with her and her husband and the children, meaning that Suze could if she wished to – emigrate down under for the remainder of her years and l know this is something she has been giving a lot of thought to in recent weeks. But with the arrival of anxiety and stress due to sleep problems and side effects following the cancer treatments, Suze started to feel quite vulnerable and alone, so l suggested she move here for a time, no fixed period, just enough for her to recover and repair and make the decisions needed to progress with her life.
I think what Suze wants is a mixture of both worlds – to be here with friends, as well as closer to her grandchildren and daughter – perfectly understandable, but whatever Suze decides to do, l will support her as best as l can.
The last few weeks has been both busy and stressful on each of us, which has all kinds of side effects of its own. For me, the stress hits at my stomach and digestive problems, and making matters worse, with the pandemic and Brexit and life as we know it there are additional problems currently which are leading to food shortages on regular items which in turn causes me to suffer more due to increasing dietary stresses – so it’s been kind of rough!
My diet is now low on actual ingredients of what l 1] can eat and 2] more importantly what l can actually digest and trying to marry the two is proving quite the hardship. My blood sugars are dropping continuously and l feel faint on a regular basis combined with many aches and pains due to my body simply not getting all the nutrients it needs. i have sadly come to the conclusion that even with my teeth fixed, it’ll not make the slightest bit of difference, that the problems are now seriously detrimental internally and yet trying to get a doctor’s appointment is practically impossible – but not an issue if you don’t mind waiting up to four weeks and some ….
The month of September isn’t looking any less stressful either in so far as all the things l have to sort out. I have had to place the marketing course on hold for a while yet again, whilst l help Suze with the move, as well as organise and rearrange the house here to make room for a second person. The house is big enough to accommodate Suze and the 25% of her house she wishes to move in with. The garden is a slightly different matter, but this weekend, l will be working in this garden and Suze’s to try and see what can be squeezed into here comfortably as well as ‘still’ trying to introduce my two new worm farms for the business model.
After this post is published , l have several hours of gardening and digging to perform as well as take photos of the stuff in the house that needs a new home through either a change in style for me, or things that simply need to go. The houses are both going through a major declutter and what isn’t going to be sold will be gifted to charity shops.
I have also been very busy with my voluntary work this week, l worked an additional three days to the Wednesday and next week l will be giving a few more additional hours as well. So far this week l have worked [Incl Wednesday’s 3 hours] 12 hours with between 3 – 4 other people and we have been working on one project only and that is Operation Duckweed.
The main pond needed the duckweed taken out and we decided several weeks ago that rowing a boat in the pond and netting – that was defeatist and simply not effective, so a new style hashed job invention was created using an ‘oil slick’ bit of kit and we drag this ‘ballooned bar’ via the use of ropes across the pond which gathers up a lot more duckweed at once, and then we net it out and wheelbarrow it away to a purpose built trench which is now filling up fast.. It’s hard backbreaking work, but we are now starting to see a distinct difference in the pond itself.
Last week a board was placed beneath a bridge that fed waters into the main pond, this meant that we could still feed water into the pond BUT no more duckweed would enter the area. At that point, the thickness of the duckweed on the central pond was 6″ or 15cm and since we started in earnest of Operation Duckweed’ – we saw yesterday that 90% of the central pond now only holds a thickness depth of around a mere cm, whilst the remaining 10% of the pond holds a depth of around 5cm, so we are finally winning the ‘thinning’ battle! By the end of next week, we should start to see larger clear patches of water in the pond again as opposed to the patches now that are only there when we drag or the wind is in our favour.
To show you what l mean …. in the gallery below, these were images taken in the end of May 2021 …. and the duckweed at that point, was only just starting to become visible … at this period of time, the reserve had not long been open to …. more ducks! But as the recovery works began and more water spaced areas opened up, more ducks arrived from the ramparts and so they brought the duckweed contagion in with them to the clear waters of the reserve. In May and June, the reserve only had between 7 – 15 resident ducks – whilst currently we have 87+ resident ducks …. you can see exactly how the clear waters of the reserve became overwhelmed with rampart duckweed.
[Below] This is the channel that feeds water from the sluice off the River Stour into the reserve and then feeds the main central pond.
The diagram below clearly displays all the waterways we have in the reserve – including all the ponds [visible and invisible]
Below you can see what the process briefly involves although l will write in more detail on how the reserve is coming along soon. Principally, the main bit of kit is a dragging boom, which is pulled out to selected spots across the pond and then reeled back in slowly to catch up as much of the duckweed as we can, Once with us again, we then have to net up the contents, drain off surplus waters, tip into a wheelbarrow to search for silver fish species like sticklebacks and so which are to put back into the pond and then dump the content into the ditch, see last image.
This ditch was dug to a depth of 3 feet and now the contents are two feet higher than the path. It measures 35 feet long x 3 feet wide and has had perhaps 100 barrowloads of duckweed emptied into it over the last two weeks. Once it settles and the water content has drained off it shrinks back down to the same level as the path. I have been bringing home a couple of bags of duckweed every day as l utilise it as a ‘green’ into my compost and also as a form of feed for the worm farms.
So, this task has been keeping me busy and out of mischief for the last week, keeping my mind active and more so my body hence why l am additionally achy to boot.
Anyway gotta go and see a garden about some digging, thanks for reading. See you next time.