Wednesday 19 April 2006

of water safety and craftiness

This weekend, we were mostly doing gardening (when I say "we", I mean my in-laws and my husband). I requested some assistance in trimming back the jungle surrounding our pond, which led to the complete removal of all growing things within a five foot radius. And there was much rejoicing. The garden surrounding the pond was a real hodgepodge of random plants, and most of them were really, really ugly. Things with thorns and odd looking berries, climbing things that looked suspiciously like weeds or something that might kill you if you nibbled at it, grasses the size of Volkswagens, and random shrubs smothered our pond. It's now a beautifully clean slate and ready for ideas I've gleaned from watching too many episodes of "Ground Force" and "City Gardener". Before and after pictures coming soon.

The pond always made me nervous when we had small children visiting and now that we have one of our own, it's been making me even more nervous. We tried to come up with ideas to make our pond safer including fencing, putting a wire mesh of some sort over the top, re-doing the pond completely, or building an enclosed deck by the house as a designated kiddy zone. Paul came across something called Safapond, which is a rather clever plastic grid that can either sit below water level or above it (which is safest for children). He rang them up to get some information and as luck would have it, they were going to be in our neck of the woods that very day. In a couple of hours, two friendly chaps installed the grate for us:

We are absolutely thrilled. Plants can grow happily and the frogs can still hop in and out of the pond, but babies can't plunge themselves into it. We could have installed it ourselves for less money, but we thought it was best left to the experts. All totalled, it cost £140 to childproof our 6 foot by 3 foot pond.

Other weekend adventures included my introduction to knitting. My mum-in-law showed me the art of the garter and stocking stitch, and put up with my "What did I do wrong on that row?!" cries for help numerous times. The problem with knitting is that I tend to concentrate really hard on the first few stitches, then I start to daydream and it all goes horribly wrong. Here is my first attempt at knitting:

It can be used for any of the following purposes: bookmark, nose cozy, Jasper tail tip protector, worm sweater, and chopstick holder. Next project: a very small square.

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