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July 2016 brings good and bad news

Yey - Izzy Lane reached her target!

It was a close run thing, but in the end 336 people pledged 18,706 to a very, very good cause. Isobel's target was 18,500 so you see how close it was. Thank you to all our readers who joined in on this one. Now I can't wait to receive the socks and yarn - roll on October!

4458b9719e387154105d52f8b8cf6c43 original
Oh these Wensleydale socks!

Pallet shed roof on

Ok, so now it can rain we said, not thinking in our wildest dreams it would - I mean it just doesn't in July. And do you remember all that window white washing I did just 2 weeks ago? Yes, you guessed it, it rained - hoorah we said, then I remembered the white-wash. And as we didn't have the guttering in place on the pallet shed we didn't even catch any rain on it! Ho hum, at least the trees had a sprinkling and we caught a thimble full from our main roof, because that's all it turned out to be in the end.

So, Dave put the guttering on, I repaired the white wash, and... it rained again!

So it looks like if I want it to rain all I need do is white wash my windows - oh, if only it was that easy.

Upcycling pallets
The roof on the shed
Heath Robinson
Dave's Heath Robinson roof strengthening plan
Pallet buttresses and shelves

Mud plastering

Since Josef and Jens' visit I've been a bit twitchy about using our topsoil to finish the can walls inside the earthship. Top soil is precious was still ringing in my ears from their visit, and it is, I agree. But how to finish all our walls?

Well, then June happened with it's soaring temps, and July came along getting even hotter and I remembered the risk of bush fires. Which means growing anything near the house is not a good idea, unless it's a juicy succulent that doesn't burn easily.

I like to look on the positive side of things, and the positive outcome to worrying about bush fires is that I'm doing a re-think on how we plan our garden planting. And it'll probably involve a lot of clear area around the earthship that frees up all that topsoil!

So, work started again on plastering with mud, oh lovely mud, how I have missed you!

p.s. the wacky shape on the left was deliberate, it's going to be a bit of a sculpture thang.

Mud plastering
Mud glorious mud

Water tank rework

Remember our big water tank just waiting to be finished? The reason we hadn't done anything to it for months is because the work we need to do means taking away our current water catch system. Not good to do in Spring when it's supposed to rain. So, even though we've had a few sprinklings of rain in July we've started work. The scariest thing was taking away the old water catch system.

It's going to be a long job because we're only working a couple of hours a day early morning before the sun hots things up. Also the job has a lot of earth shaping and fiddly little bits of finishing. But at least we've made a start!

water from the sky
Main water catch area started

Rio de Aguas update

The good news - the petition to stop the illegal draining of the Sorbas/Tabernas aquifer that feeds the Rio de Aguas has reached over 48,000 signatures so has been sent to various MEPs at the EU - we're trying to get it in front of as many people as possible so it doesn't get ignored.

The bad news - I picked up our veggie box from Jacki last Thursday and heard the awful news that, for the first time ever, the Rio de Aguas has actually STOPPED flowing past her farm. This is awful news not just for Jacki and her farm, but for all the other people that rely on that rio. The worst is the unique eco system of animals and plants that will now die without it. Read about our visit to the rio last year - almost to the day.

Why didn't the EU put an immediate stop on all the illegal farms when they agreed last year that wrong was being done?

And can you believe that even more farms are still being planted, even more wells dug and a new golf resort in Sorbas is still being talked about - WTF!!!

Ecocide is happening in Almeria
Ecocide - a unique eco system will now die without the rio

And another thing...

Oh, and as I was chatting to Jacki about the Rio de Aguas Facebook page, photo documenting the rare and varied wildlife of the rio, she mentioned that also for the first time ever, poachers have been hunting and killing a certain bird in the area, because they heard about them through the Facebook page. And why are they hunting them? Because the colour of their feathers make good fishing flies - double WTF!!

Sometimes my faith in humanity takes a hit I find it hard to recover from.

Not to end on a downer

But I refuse to end on a sad note, so here's a photo of the baby Eyed Lizard (Lacerta lepida) who has taken up residence in our porch. This little darling, who is only about 15cm long at the mo, will grow into a 45cm long adult, if our cats don't get him first. So cats are banned from the porch until he moves out.


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