Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Fuschia movement and other winterisation

NB: all US and Brit readers should note Australia uses the Centigrade system where 0 degrees is freezing point not Fahrenheit in which freezing is +32. (The latter scale seemed quite sensible when I was growing up in the UK, but now seems totally daft.)

A few weeks back the ABC weather forecast suggested one night - about 4 days in the future would have a minimum of -4.  It was actually about +6 so I suspect someone in BoM got a sign wrong in their forecasting model.

However last night the forecast has been consistently for +1 in town which is equivalent to about-1 here.  So it was time to shift the fuschias into the shelter of the potting shed or into the house.  Here are a couple that came indoors.
Before the others went into the shed they were pruned, which apparently reduces stress on the plants.  It also provides some absolutely lovely vase flowers.

As there was a small amount of frost in the morning, I suspect the forecast was right on the money!

Other Winterising included lagging the pipes from our tank to the pump, in the hope that this will prevent them freezing when a -7 hits later in the year.  This was done with surprisingly little bad language.

Before moving on to the final item, which isn't really 'Winterising" but more like "recovering from non-Summer", here  is a small test.  How do you spell the name, which rhymes with "moose", of a large duck-like bird?  The answer is at the foot of the this post.

Our lawn has been rather soggy as a result of all the rain.  One patch seemed rather recalcitrant in staying wet, with water appearing to be draining out of a flower bed.  I was a tad curious about this until I found that one of our garden taps - a bit higher up the plot was not receiving any water.  Lower taps were still functioning so I calculated that soggy patch = burst pipe.  Our plumber couldn't come for a few days and I didn't want to excavate too far in advance in case I generated a flood which I couldn't control.

By the day before the plumber was due hardly any of the outdoor taps were working so I guessed a flood was unlikely and dug into the soggy patch.  Not a pipe in sight.  Que????

Down to the pump house (lower than any other tap) and run some water.  All good.  Then I suddenly realised that was not only good, but rather quiet: the pump hadn't cut in.  Drat - this could be expensive.    As I walked back to the house I suddenly remembered the marking on one of the circuit breakers in our main power board.  Oh faeces, and procreative verbs applied to a hot place.  One of the breakers - serving the pump had tripped.  Click it up and go to the highest tap: a sound of rushing air as the pipe refilled and then water, water everywhere.

One very embarrassed phone call to the plumber, who fortunately could fill his schedule with other work so didn't even charge us a call-out fee.

The answer to the quiz is M_A_R_T_I_N but you can still pronounce it "goose" if you wish.

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