.... broke down into some stormy weather over the week end. Yesterday was particularly wet at times, with some very heavy downpours. Whilst it was a pity to lose the good weather, it was useful to have some heavy rain to test the waterproofing work we've been engaged in over the summer. Some small leaks in the conservatory were proving hard to eliminate, and following my last lot of work on the problem, there had been no rain to test it out until now.
The report is very promising since not a drop of water penetrated this time, despite some very heavy rain - hopefully the cause of the leaks has finally been found. I'll await some further inclement weather before being 100% certain, but I must say the signs are promising.
Work is looming again towards the end of this week, so some preparation for that was necessary today. Hong Kong is an enjoyable place to work in once you get over the jetlag, but having to be away from home is a significant drawback.
.... have been very welcome recently. It was 34c in the shade on the deck this afternoon, but if the forecast is accurate, then we'll be down to the mid 20s for the next few days, which will feel very different from 34c.
Our strelitzia plant has grown so much over the last couple of years that it had become quite ungainly, so today's major task was to divide it into two plants and re-pot them. Removing the soil from the roots was quite difficult, but we managed to do it without breaking off too many parts of the root system. There was an obvious division point in the middle of the plant .....
..... so it was a simple job to cut it into two sections with a sharp kitchen knife.
Consulting various posts on the net about this process, one advised soaking the divided root systems in a 10% bleach solution for 10 minutes before re-potting, so we did our best to do that, although the extensive root system made it quite a challenge.
Finally the divided sections of the plant were potted up in a mixture of commercial and home-made compost. They are reputedly quite tough plants and this method of dividing them is pretty reliable - we will see!
We intend to offer one of the two plants to our neighbours, as we won't have enough space for two, especially if they continue to grow at the current rate.
.... down on the Mediterranean made a for a most enjoyable break after a very busy summer.
The weather was sunny and warm and we had the chance to explore a part of the country we have not visited before.
Amidst the many well-known haunts of famous artists, it was always busy with tourists, even this late in the season.
This modern sculpture sits right on the water-front in Antibes - it is really quite striking, not least because of its size.
.... in the current unsettled spell of weather meant that the village car boot sale was able to go ahead without problems yesterday, while Saturday's local "Comice Agricole" was a total wash out under a deluge of 70mm of rain during the day.
The wet weather has sufficiently tested the water-proofing repair we did some time ago over the sitting room window, and that is now considered as fixed after many years of trying to get t the bottom of it.
Two small leaks in the conservatory have also proved difficult to resolve, but one is certainly also sorted now. The other will need further attention - it comes at a point where there is a join the the aluminium structure of the roof. It's raining again this morning, so work on that will have to wait for a while yet.
..... is already fully stocked for this winter, and there's still so much fallen wood for us to process, we've made a start gathering the smaller trees and cutting them into convenient lengths for storage. This is going to be an ongoing task for some time to come .... years probably!
Potatoes cooked in the ashes of the bonfire are always a bonus after a hard afternoon working outside in the garden!
... on the cladding of the house for this season. There's still about twice as much left to do, but that will wait until next year, now.
There's been quite a lot of cloud recently, but despite that the temperature was warm this afternoon as we made a start on gathering some of the fallen wood from the storm back in July. We'll certainly have a good supply of logs for the fire for the foreseeable future, given the quantity and size of the trees which were brought down in the wood.
.... is now well on its way. We've spent the last couple of days working on the exterior of the house. The large areas of exposed woodwork have needed constant attention over the years, and we've decided to cover it with bitumous tiles, which once installed, will not need any further attention. It may not have quite the same visual effect, but the labour saving will pay off in the years to come.
The weather is gradually shifting out of summer mode, although the sun is still strong. Days are much shorter now. Before we know where we are, we'll be needing the log fire again.
.... after a brief business trip to the north of UK.
The weather is noticeably cooler than when we left, but we returned to pleasant sunshine, nonetheless.
As some rain is forecast for today, I went up on the roof last night to move my antennas, which are still awaiting re-installation on the tower. I was anxious to avoid them sitting in a large puddle, if the rain arrives.
From up there, I took this atmospheric shot of Venus - "The Evening Star" against the last few rays of daylight, the sun having set some time previously.
... temperatures yesterday, despite quite a chilly start to the day. It reached 39c in the shade on the sun deck in the afternoon. The pool water is holding up quite well, too, despite some losses over night, and it was 31.3c at its peak. Today and tomorrow are set to be the same, so it has worked out well that the hard work on the car port was finished before the very hot weather returned.
.... except for some finishing touches, like wiring up the lights.
Construction projects are not something I tackle very often, but it's rewarding to see the fruits of your efforts at the end.
A bit of a rest would be welcome now, but that's not going to happen as I have a busy few days ahead, with a brief trip back to the UK.
There's also one more significant maintenance job that has to be done on the house before the weather starts to decline towards winter, so putting the feet up won't be featuring on the schedule any time soon, alas.
..... working on our car port.
This shot shows progress at the end of yesterday's efforts, and I began today with sorting out some wiring for lights which will eventually be fitted.
Next, was fitting the roofing panels .... a job much hindered by the protective film on the panels which in some stubborn areas proved impossible to remove.
The two end sections, which we have yet to fit, are a cut-to-fit size, to allow for adjustments to be made so that it all fits together properly. Now that the central section is roofed, the beams have been screwed down.
Hopefully, tomorrow should see the completion of the project - except for installing the lighting, which is an easy task, given that the wiring is already in place.
Have you sampled any of the live recordings of choral music featured on the Moments Musicaux page of the website?
Or there's a Christmas Carol selection available here.
Michel - just an ordinary guy, I guess. A musician by trade and into 'techy' things as 'relaxation'. Originally from the UK, but resident in France for 13 years.
Welcome to Michel's Place (michelsplace, michelsplace.fr)