If you think I've been a bit on the quiet side lately, you're right, but I have my excuses! Things have been a bit hectic work wise with a few days away and home wise with some fairly hefty (by my standard) jobs.
It started about three weeks ago when I flushed the vortex on the pond, or to be more accurate, didn't. Its not a big job, just climb down into the filter compartment, pull the gate valve wait a minute or two and then shut it. Sometimes if I'd left it a bit too long the accumulated muck (fish poo, leaves, drowned twigs, etc.) would block the entrance to the waste pipe and I'd have to either work things free with a stick ( the vortex is 5 feet deep) or shock suck the wedge of leaves through by opening and closing one of the other waste valves on the filter chamber.
Anyway this time the water didn't flow. Opening and closing the other valves didn't help and what's worse, they didn't flow to waste either. This could only mean one thing, there was a blockage in the pipe.
The waste pipe runs under the patio (it would be a terrase but we are in England) and one of my design flaws in the pond pipework which I knew sooner or later would come back to haunt me was the lack of facility to rod the drain. Oooops.
So I skillfully played Card 1 - do nothing and perhaps it will sort itself out. Sort of rot down in the pipe and gently clear, after all it was probably frogspawn or something and its all biodegradable so lets let it biodegrade. Well it sounded plausible after a couple of beers. So I left it a couple of weeks.
Anyway I had another go with the waste valves last Saturday and......no such luck. With something of a huff I decided to leave one of the filter chamber valves open on Sat night. Perhas some constant pressure would help and I'd hear the pump, etc. if it cleared and started drainig the pond.
After a sound night's sleep I awoke on Sunday to a cup of tea in bed and a strange sound from the garden.
Leaping into my Marigolds, oh and some clothes I rushed out expecting to find it half empty but it wasn't! The pond was full, the filters half empty and the filter chamber half full , with the pump sucking air as it vainly searched for water and all the electricts within an inch of beong submerged. Not good.
Maybe the drain was still blocked and something else was wrong......and it was.
A huge wadge of twigs moss and leaves had blocked the flow from the vortex to the filters. Presumably part of the flushing problem. That was easily removed and the flow resumed. But it was A Sign, I had to sort the pond out, and that meant cutting a section out of the drain pipe, rodding it and putting it all back together,
So, by opening time on Sunday I was at our new B&Q looking for 2 inch pipe couplings. They don't sell them. 2 inch pipe is obviously passé and everyone uses smaller or bigger metric stuff. Except of course, me.
Then with a flash of inspiration I bought a roll of duct tape and a plastic clamp. Back home I sawed the pipe through stuffed my pipe snake thing down it and was greeted by the foul mess blocking the pipe. Half a hour later all was taped up and working fine, although I was a bit smelly.
Then I looked at the decking and thought it needs a scrub off. Brush and hose was too much like hard work so out came the pressure washer.
Then I looked at the fliters and they were disgusting as well. Flushing them had not done the trick so I spent a not very happy couple of hours cleaning the brushes and half the Japenese matting. If you've ever cleaned a pond filter, you'll know what a joy that was!
Jean insisted I ate lunch outside for reasons that are beyond me bt the sun was out and also dried the decking giving me the opportunity to give it its annual painting.
Jean tells me we went for dinner down at our local Chinese, but I really don't remember.....
That was my lovely sunny Bank Holiday Sunday.
Still I'd earned a few hours off to go fishing on the Monday.......except it rained all morning, so I put the decking back in place in the rain and some gardening in the afternoon between showers.
What else would you do on a Bank Holiday weekend?
The good news is I got to go fishing today and ...you need to sit down for this.....actually caught not one but two brown trout, (both safely returned) using a little Grifiths Knat which I tied myself.