I have come to realise I am definitely on the Autistic Spectrum... not sure where, but I suppose it’s worth getting checked out, I will have to speak to my Psychiatrist about it!
I have a penchant for elastic bands. I know where it comes from. As a child, all the drawers in our house were jammed full of stuff. There would always be a tantalising bit of string escaping from the drawer. The trouble is, this string would have somehow got itself tangled up in everything in the drawer. Don’t ask me how it did it. All sorts of things would become an unholy mess out of their packets.
Anyway I used to get into trouble for pulling the string! As a small child I could not open the drawer by myself, and my Mother would not allow me to sort out the drawers for some reason. She said I was poking my nose into something I had no business touching! Strange how memories come back.
Anyway I have a solution. I keep all the elastic bands that come on flowers or post in my cutlery drawer. When I open a packet, or have things that jumble easily I put one of these elastic bands round it. Especially string. I might even put a bit of sellotape on the end of it in future! I like string.
I also equate thoughts with Items. Perhaps a little glass jug of my Mother in Law will remind me of something we shared together when I pick it up. The dinner plates that belonged to My Husbands dearest Aunt always make me think of Her. I suppose other people would say I pick up vibes from the things I touch, or study for a long time.
For instance I was fascinated by a very old and beautiful marriage carpet tucked away in a basement room at the Hermitage. It seemed so very familiar. The other day I started to think the knotting represented genes from the two people getting married. A sort of pictorial reference to their ancestry, and the sort of pattern of their joining would make for future generations. I don’t think I actually think about things, they just sort of mull around until I can sort them out in my head... then I mentally put an elastic band round the idea. This blog I suppose is that elastic band. I sort of write things down and they become clearer, then I forget about them! A bit like doing a huge mental jigsaw.
When I first became Manic after an operation, which I now realise I am very allergic to anaesthetic and it sends my brain haywire, I remember putting all my belongings very neatly into a vanity case, that was a wedding gift. As I put things in, I mentally logged each thing and put my memories in with each item. I know I was losing my mind, and I needed something I could unpack to jog my memory, and how I store information. Don’t ask me... I used to have needle sharp recall. Now it’s a sort of fuzzy logic that percolates up to my conscious mind. God did give me a new mind. Before all this happened I think my brains were pretty F****d up if you ask me! Probably something to do with a mis-spent youth!
Sadly my Husband opened it, and got everything out, so I lost the process. Still other things remind me in seeing them. For instance the Maze symbol, like the Minotaur story with the string, and the Celtic Maze symbols. The Celtic ones were a symbol of journeys taken. A sort of mnemonic journey. Seeing that bit of leather from King TuT ank Amun reminded me of something the other day. I have always been fascinated with Pharos.
Anyway, I am fascinated with mortar, concrete, soap making, ground amendments, fresco painting, you guessed it... gypsum. Or rather organic stuff made from burning either chalk, or seashells.
Anyway, I want to build a low rough stone wall this year, to retain some Earth in my garden. Skulking around just out of realisation was that method the Romans had of making sea defences, that have stood the test of time. Oh and Bell Founderies. I am not quite sure, but I have an idea how this is going to work!
There are lots of threads woven together here in this little ball of string, so I am going to give myself a few headings and fil them in afterwards.
Organic grow bags.
Well I started weeding yesterday, and have a nice haul of weeds to start with. I was wondering how to kill the seeds and make the organic matter quicker to compost down in the bags. I have found a ready supply of bags. My smokeless fuel is delivered in an ideal bag. It won’t rot like a hessian bag. I will just give them a wash first. I also want to try making an alternative to this coal stuff from cow dung. I am sure it could work, then I can use all the ash from my fire on the garden.
I suppose if more people used pellet stoves and put their ash in a metal in a metal bin it could be recycled. Quite valuable stuff really. Besides Pellematic have now developed a pellet boiler with a sterling engine to produce electricity for microgeneration. I am going to replace my old oil fired central heating, and I am wondering how to explain to my Husband I want to put my money where my mouth is and get one. Apparently they might have a subsidy. Then any electric we don’t use can get sent back to the grid. We can get it back later!
Then in a friend gave me her old pressure cooker, because I was thinking of making a Still with some copper tube. I decided I could put a cup of water in it and just cook the weeds for ten minutes in batches. Once it’s hot, you just put the pressure cooker in some cool water to release the steam. I can get through a shed load of weeds in no time. So I can pack the bags with bits of wood offcuts and tree twigs to retain moisture, put some wood ash, and perhaps wood char in the bags and just leave them in the sun for a season. Then refill them so they are nice and plump, and plant in them the following year.
This also saves me from having to pay to dump my garden waste! I love a money saving plan!
The idea Being I want to grow veg, but not have to do a huge amount of weeding. So the bag laying on the ground is the actual weed suppressant, and all the worms and earwigs can live under them. The bits of wood will keep moisture in the bag If it’s dry weather.
Anyway I have a patch of very wet ground I plan to put the bags on. It’s a sort of spring that leaves my ground sodden most of the year. It would be too wet to plant in, everything except grass, and iris would rot. I am going to move my Iris and Arum Lillies, I think my Paeonies would like it as well. One area is in the sun, and the other shaded. Happy digging coming up! I suppose if I stuck a hoze through the bags, And attached it to a water supply I could even rig up a warm shower in the garden!
Anyway that diagram of a Celtic Maze is a good way of laying plastic piping, or even better, copper piping under a patio. Then hooking it up to the Heat store. I like free hot water! It would just need a little pump to push the water round from a solar panel. If that went through a heat exchanger, I bet you could run air conditioning off it. Then superheat the water to run a sterling engine for a baseload electric supply.
I suppose if the growbags give off enough heat while they rot down, they could go on the heat sink in the winter to preheat my water. If I covered them over well and insulated the top with straw then a tarpaulin it might work. I can never understand why Farmers don’t run in some non toxic plastic piping into their cow dung piles, and cilage stores. I am sure if it’s not too much to reduce the temperature, the same process would work. Then they could use the heart in growing sheds over the winter.
I want to move and rebuild my greenhouse too. I want to use the Heligan method of putting a deep layer of Horse manure under it, and letting it heat the greenhouse in winter. Then I can dig it out after two years and use it on my roses.
Thinking about it, the best way to clean the water table up, is use all the low lying parts of fields and build a pond with a reed bed in it. They are amazing at cleaning the water. Ideal for thatching, and a good place for ducks... which are very tasty!
We just went for a little drive, and my Husband saw what he thought was a kestrel, except when We looked it was a Pidgeon. I said Squab. He said I was dreadful. I said I thought I might be part dog. Their rule of thumb is that if you can’t eat something, S**g it, then you piss on it and walk away! I think Pidgeon is very tasty... besides if they eat the organic veg I plan to grow, they have got it coming. My Grandfather taught me to shoot an air rifle. I can hit a rat.
Building the little wall.
I love Archaeology. Especially recreating things in the way they were originaly made. It’s just a great way of bringing History to life. So I have been thinking of how to make a nice sitting area next to the Pétanque pitch I had made for My Husbands 60th Birthday Present. I am planning to plant a rose garden round it, with lots of Lavender. I was also thinking of building a living willow shade for a pavilion over the seating area... yup she is definitely crackers this girl. I just like the idea of having something organic instead of another pergola.
I saw one one being made in Jersey, it is such a tactile and fascinating thing. The Jersey one is supposed to represent the spawning ball of eggs for our Jersey Toads. Then there is a walk through woods down a stream, with all the different stages of a Toads life cycle made out of willow sculptures. The walk goes beside an ancient meadow. And ends with a giant living sculpture of the Female Toad. The Male is hiding in a shady spot up the valley!
Are you getting bored with this ramble?
Cleaning plastic micro beads of beaches.
My Father was a Marine Engineer. One of my lessons was on tidal flows, and how to build piers and breakwaters. How not to silt up the beach five miles away when you build a harbour wall. Fascinating.
Anyway, plastic will tend to get caught up in currents and wash onto hotspots on the beach.
My solution to the The plastic micro beads is to run a computer graphic rather like the ventusky weather graphic to work out where the hotspots are. Then go and scrape all the sand off the beach and boil it up. The plastic should separate out, then put all the sand back. At the same time clearup some of that seaweed and process it in bio digesters for soil amendments. Then put the sand back!
you would have to let all the little creatures out though. If they are washed through with seawater first and separated, they could be popped on another beach, and then reintroduced when the clean sand goes back. I suppose the beaches could be topped up with sand off the deserts if it was a bit thin. Then you get to uncover all the great archaeological stuff, and prehistoric bones. There should be good land underneath.
Anyway, it looks as though God is doing a bit of sand distribution at the moment! It is full of minerals and seeds, so expect some interesting medicinal plants to sprout up. You might even get the original bitter herbs. The sort of lettuce stuff. However I think dandelion leaves are a better substitute for lettuce. They are bitter and have a diuretic property. Just be sure the dog hasn’t peed on them!
So Anyway there are lots of shells in the sand to make lime with. I looked up how to make a mini kiln for making lime yesterday. I was going to try making Roman Concrete. I will have to put my thinking cap on for that. My Husbands Family Farm had the old lime mortar holding the granite together. It’s much better than modern concrete because it breaths with the seasons. It doesn’t get concrete rot.
Anyway, I like Whelks. There are piles of the old shells all over the place. Instead of dredging the sea bed and mucking up valuable ecosystems, the Whelks conveniently pile themselves up in heaps. So do crabs when they moult.
Anyway, if those deep sea trawlers that use those blasted drag nets were re-purposed, they could all go out and get those floating patches of plastic. If it’s reprocessed into tarmac, it makes the tarmac stretchy, and it doesn’t degrade so quickly in cold weather. It’s a floating gold mine, not a garbage patch. It just has to be collected.
Well I will have to research this. But I did find a great indestructible page showing how to make a little kiln. I will potter about with this idea for a while. Some friends of ours want to move a pile of granite left over from their building project, so I need to acquire a little trailer that can move it. Shifting that pile of rocks will get me fit!
Generating Electricity, or heating with chemical reactions of setting concrete.
Well, it needs rebar. I wondered how long concrete gives off heat for while it I started cooling. If the rebar was conductive, then all the chemical heat could be harvested if it took a while to cure. I am pretty sure the Romans used the sand off the beaches with the salt in it to help cure the concrete mix.
so lots of interesting musings to put into a working plan. I think I will try the patio idea out on a small section of my garden for heating the greenhouse first. Then if it works, I will talk to our French heating engineer about laying an actual patio I can preheat the water with in the summer. I don’t want to put evacuated tubes on my roof and spoil the look of my house. Besides we haven’t got enough rare earth to make enough solar panels and car batteries. I am not sure it’s a good idea to keep digging this stuff up and causing huge pollution and great big scars on the Planet.
I think I would rather see the development of a hydrogen infrastructure for cars. Besides, you can tax the Hydrogen for road upkeep. There is enough methane coming up from melting permafrost! I am sure the Russians have worked that one out. Harvest that, and you won’t need to go drilling!