Saturday, November 19, 2011

From green to blue in 300 easy steps!

When we bought this property, I was delighted that we would have a swimming pool. Now it’s not much to write home about, but it has water in it that will cool us down on a hot summer’s day! Our problem or challenge is that we know nothing about swimming pools. What’s more, Frans has never wanted one. Too much work to maintain he says. And he is probably right. But I am more of a cup half full person, and I’m optimistic about the pleasure we (and our visitors) will gain from this large lump of concrete resting in our front garden. Summer has begun and a few weeks ago the temperature changed quickly and we had a good dousing of rain. What does this do to a pool? Well, it turned ours from blue to green very quickly. Frans was not happy. Many hours (and quite a few dollars) were spent trying to get rid of the algae and get the pool back to its sparkling self. One of the necessary requirements was to keep the water level topped up so the filter would work properly. The only problem is that we are on tank water. The tank that feeds the pool had a blocked pipe underground and the water was not topping up the pool. So Frans had to somehow attach a tap to the bottom of the tank and then run a garden hose directly into the pool. Our friend John came over to witness “Operation Pool Fix”. He brought his camera. He was certain that he would get a shot of Frans being showered when he broke the seal on the tank. Sadly, there was no gushing water. Frans was too quick and he hardly got wet at all. Disappointing for all of us watching him from a distance! The upshot of this saga is that Frans has successfully restored the water to what it should be. It is once again a lovely clear sparkly blue. And yesterday we had our first swim, the first of many I hope.
Top left to bottom right: John at the ready waiting for a gush of water, Frans attaching a tap with only a little spray, the pool as it was and finally the pool at sunrise a few mornings ago. Crystal clear and blue.

 Beside the workshop shed we have a small paddock. The previous owners used it as their tip. They burned rubbish here and threw all sorts of metal bits into the grass. They also allowed their cows to graze in this area which meant the area was very uneven with great big holes in the ground from the hoof imprints made by the cattle. We’re not sure what we are going to do with this area yet. I’m thinking about turning it into more vegie beds. But in the meantime, in order for Frans to be able to keep this spot neat, he needs to mow it and that is difficult because of the unevenness of the ground.  Our friendly neighbour Graham offered to level the area with his tractor. He has a thingamajig on the back of his old tractor that tills the soil quite finely. So he came across and over a few hours he levelled the area for us.
Graham on his old tractor
The process took a while as he had to make repairs to his tractor a number of times. He kept catching his rotor blades on metal bits hiding in the ground. Frans walked the area constantly to pick up the rubbish he could see, but there were obviously hidden surprises in the ground. Eventually the area was tilled and the old tractor escaped without too much damage!
Just some of the rubbish Frans collected in the paddock
A few quite beers were all Graham would accept as payment. Frans will help him when he’s ready to do a ‘2 man’ task on his property. We now have a nice flat spot. It is ready for planting.

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