Delphiniums, family and fun

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Motorway to the washing line

So, we have the line up and an explanation of why it is where it is but you haven't been told how we'll get to where it is from where we are. After much thought we decided on a path. No, don't scoff, we ruled out the flying fox on the grounds that Occupational Safety and Health would probably object to having it fly over a rose bush - far too dangerous - a helicopter would cost too much and a lift was just too darned impractical. Yes, a path, or rather a motorway, it would be.
This job was going to take an afternoon but CIS (Creeping Improvement Syndrome) reared it's ugly head and so far it's taken three days, on and off. There's still a good day's worth of work to finish it off but hey, it's operational. If you look closely at the lower image you can see a seat at the end of the lower wall on the left, which just happens to be right beneath a tree house in the cherry tree to the right. The tree house was a project of a couple or three years ago and was built for our grandchildren who love to climb up and have Janice and I sit below while they tell us stories, made up on the spur of the moment. The seat will facilitate easy listening. Don't forget to call back for the next exciting installment in the saga of the washing line.....washing actually hanging on it!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Brrrrrrrrrrr !!!

Wanganui doesn’t get too many cold winter days but this is sure one of them. We woke up to hail and went to bed to the sound of hail too. I have yet to see snow settle on the ground here but this may well be the year.

Cold and rain notwithstanding, it’s been a good week. At the nursery we’re right into tidying up for the next season and at home I’m enjoying having more spare time to get into the garden. The clothes line that I made while Janice was in Wellington a couple of weeks ago was a real hit (all we need now is some fine weather) and right now I’m building a pathway (more like a motorway really) from the back door to the said line. Janice is really over the moon and I’m loving adding to the garden.

Ok, ok, ok so you think a line is a line is a line. Not so. This one is a four strand line, about twelve metres long (48m of line in total) and will take over three large loads of washing. There is still plenty of space for the air to circulate between strands as they are about 400mm apart.

The next bit is geography, climate and engineering type stuff. Just warning you that’s all.

The land is sloping such that the distance from the ground to the outside line on the upside (where small items are hung) is over half a metre less than the distance to the outside line on the downside (where sheets are hung). What makes it work so very well however, is the actual positioning of the line, the general garden area and indeed the house too, on the side of a deep valley some 10 metres or so below the general lie of the land. Thereafter the valley continues downwards beneath the house and line at an angle of about 45 degrees (and steeper) for another 40 metres.

Ok, more geography. The valley and line are orientated roughly north/south. We have an almost constant prevailing wind from the west. This wind creates a vortex in the valley such that we almost always have a breeze rising from the valley floor (just a gentle breeze) up past the washing line. In fact, no matter what the general wind direction may be we invariably have breeze blowing up the valley towards and through the line, so that on any given day there is always at least a little wind to move the washing and tadah! dry it. Even in winter.... Except when it is raining..... Which is what it’s been doing for the past two weeks, since Janice returned from Wellington..... Except for yesterday, when we dried a whole two week’s worth of washing. This was really useful as we were both getting down to our last few pairs of underpants/knickers and the sheets were getting stiff. Only kidding.

Just in case you can’t visualise all this I’ve inserted a Google shot of our place taken a couple of years ago and indicated where the house and line are. The lower image is of the valley floor.