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Updates

I’ve been away working for the last week and I’m still feeling a bit cream crackered and brain activity is at an all time low. However, I will soldier on and hope that some of my few remaining brain cells start to connect while I’m writing this post.

NORMAN.

Sometime in the near future I will write about what my mate Norm did to someones house but for now I just want to show what he experienced taking a swim in the River Dee many years ago. In my last post I mentioned he had jumped into the river to help me with my spray deck without realising how deep the river was and he kind of got swept away and ended up swimming down a rapid known as The Serpents Tail. This is what it looks like:

Norm had to swim down this. Plonker!

Norm had to swim down this. Plonker!

And this is what awaited him at the bottom:

As Norm approached I suspect he may have done a bit in his trousers!

As Norm approached I suspect he may have done a bit in his trousers!

That wave is known as a “stopper” and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Imagine a whirlpool on its side – that’s effectively what a stopper is and they can stop you dead and can be very dangerous to someone forced to swim into it as it will hold you in and keep spinning you around, mostly underwater. Omar and I were in Austria for a Europa Cup event some years ago and we got it slightly wrong on one of our practice runs and hit a huge stopper at an angle. It pulled us under and then spat us out like a Polaris missile. We were vertical and completely clear of the water. Bear in mind we both weighed 11 stone soaking wet, our canoe weighed another 20 kilos, was 16 feet long and that stopper just spat us out. I wish I still had the photo of that!

This guy is free styling and this is deliberate but you get the idea. This stopper is a tiddler! Imagine what a big one can do.

This guy is free styling and this is deliberate but you get the idea. This stopper is a tiddler! Imagine what a big one can do.

GARDENING

I’ve been away from home for a whole week and my garden has gone bloody berserk! I haven’t got any weeds but I do have a great many triffids!KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA Just sorting them out is going to take quite a lot of effort and will undoubtedly give me back ache. However, my ornamentals are also doing very well and have suffered very little damage from sl*gs and sn**ls so far.20150513_090412 My experiment with making a concoction from stinging nettles has gone out the window, or more accurately, down the drain. PIL didn’t realise what I was doing so chucked it away. She doesn’t find it odd that there buckets containing various gooey substances dotted around the garden. ┬áNot a drama, lots of stinging nettles around so I can restart that. While I was away, I spent a little time talking to Pete, one of the gardeners who works on the estate where we were and he told me that they use coffee grounds as a sl*g deterrent and it seemed to work reasonably well. He also told me that a feed made from stinging nettles (soak a load in a bucket of water for a couple of weeks and use the resultant liquor) is one of the best natural plant feeds you can get. I’m also hoping that doing this will deter sl*gs as the little buggers never seem to eat nettles and covering my ornamentals with nettle juice may just confuse them. I have to say that Pete has to be one of the most contented men I have ever met.

Pete. On e of the happiest and most content blokes I've ever had the great fortune to meet

Pete. On e of the happiest and most content blokes I’ve ever had the great fortune to meet

He is a retired fireman, a job he always wanted to do and as far as he was concerned he was living the dream and now his dream continues as he gardens, which he loves, and gets paid for doing it. I am soooo jealous!

BEES

I’m still looking into this. There seems to be a major problem with honey bee colonies dying en masse and no one really seems to know why.Honeybees While I was away, we all had to suddenly leg it as a swarm of bees came over where we were working. I let the estate manager know so that he could take action in case they landed inside the buildings and pissed off his guests. My gardener mate Pete came along shortly afterwards looking for them but found no trace and concluded they probably returned to their hive. Now oddly enough, scientists looking into why bee colonies are dying off have been hindered by the lack of bee bodies. Apparently, the bees fly off never to return. Aliens? It would also appear that farmers rent bee colonies to pollinate their crops as and when the crop is ready and in full flower which may explain why I’ve not seen too many honey bees this year. I will report back on this subject later.

HOTEL SERVICES

It’s amazing what’s provided these days. The hotel I stayed in was very pleasant, the staff were nice, the bed lovely and comfy, the shower was good and the TV remote worked. My first morning I got in the lift to get breakfast, pressed the button and a womans voice said;

“Going down”.

“Ooo” I thought, “I think I like this hotel but she’ll need to be quick as I’m only on the third floor”.

man & woman in lift I’m pretty certain I was alone in the lift so there wasn’t a queue but I remained fully zipped up throughout my descent. I did mention it to the reception staff that while the woman had said she was going down, nothing had actually happened. They said they would get an engineer in to sort the problem out but perhaps they had to wait for a spare part as the poor woman remained stuck in her little cupboard somewhere in that lift for the duration of my stay. I hope she’s ok.BH-NwgdCUAI-6yg.jpg-large I am in dire need of a cup of tea so I’m off. I hope you have an absolutely smashing day.

More Dick soon.auto