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devonpete's Blog

Nature walk

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:49 am

This morning I gave my occasional 'back to nature' walk in the garden a miss as it was raining. I don't mind the cold for a few minutes - it helps to wake me up.
But at this time of year it has to at least be in trainers or your feet freeze to the paving.
Strangley enough, I haven't had a cold since, I think, 2003, which isn't bad going.
The couple who owned the place before were naturists, so they made the garden secluded enough, and I haven't had to do much extra screening to obtain privacy. Just some extra fencing in one corner.
After adding the rush screening to the pool, the decision has been made to try to turn the pool area somehow into a desert island theme. How, I don't know yet. Plants with tropical looks can be grown quite well here, but anything big enough to look right will cost a fortune to ship in from the garden centre. So alternative ideas will be considered. I think maybe a discreet splash of African art colour and design might be a start.
Some exotic planting could be artificial - not a road I'm keen on going down - but if it's done in a designy way suggesting foliage rather than trying to imitate it authentically, it might work.
For instance, using very thick wire/rodding, or whatever, to form the outlines of fronds of palm leaves, without it looking like part of a theme park.
Something like this, sprayed green, bunched together, etc.

I've used mains wire bound round with garden wire to help retain the shape.

Last edited: Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:06 am

This blog entry has been viewed 476 times

House naming 'celebration'

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:41 am

Yesterday afternoon the bungalow was officially named, and a celebratory tipple downed as the name was attached to the wall.
I wanted a name I could relate to, and 'Always look on the bright side' was the basis of it.
Although the word had been fretsawed out of double thickness ply before I left my old place, I wasn't sure whether to go with it or not.
But yesterday morning I left the house to go shopping and the sun was gleaming off the white front wall so much, it had to be.
As it's the only named house in the road so far, maybe it'll start a trend.

Other jobs included starting to obscure the incongruous blue of the plunge pool. I got some reed screening and attached it to the pool uprights. I'll have to get some more to finish the job off.
A couple of palms would look good and I can pretend I'm in the Bahamas.
Note the ice on the pond. Brrrrrrrrr.

Last edited: Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:19 pm

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Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:47 pm

I was standing out in the garden this morning, taking in how far I've progressed over the last 3.5 months, and what I hadn't taken much notice of until now was the peace and quiet I've at last found here.
Before, we lived near to a motorway and, to begin with (nearly thirty years ago) the noise was not that noticeable. Gradually it increased over the years until it became a very real irritant.
What with that and aircraft criss crossing overhead going in and out of Gatwick, I seemed to be in the middle of so much noise and motion, but not requiring to be part of it.
The only sounds I enjoy now are birdsong, an occasional car on the road nearby, and the local melodious church bellringing on a Thursday evening.
These lovely sounds conjure up an image of standing in a cosy garden in an Agatha Christie's Miss Marple type village.
There are no roses around my door (yet), but I've at least found some peace and quiet. I can now build sympathetically on that.

This blog entry has been viewed 356 times

Family fun.

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:36 am

The game was well received yesterday by the fourth player (who hadn't seen it before), and with a few more tweaks of the rules to bend it more towards strategic play, it's becoming quite addictive (another quality that I think is a vital ingredient.)
Isn't it a shame that so many games now are digitally non-tactile software operated? Where's all that family interaction gone?
I vote for a comeback of those pleasant Sunday afternoons and evenings around a table, with a few drinks, and something more than just a whining discdrive, square eyes and a sore button punching finger! What's all that about?

This blog entry has been viewed 530 times

A gamble.

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:16 am

Now that you're, I hope, getting to know me a bit better, I'm going to take a gamble. Just to get it out of the way.
Considering the wide assortment of worldly views folk contributing to forums such as this undoubtedly have, reactions might be mixed.
Some people fall into pigeonholes, which sounds painful, but by that I mean they tick a particular combination of boxes. But as everyone is completely different in one or more respects (otherwise we would be a mind numbingly boring lot), the number of boxes that can be ticked is immeasurable. As are the number of differing viewpoints on any subject anyone might care to mention.
Anyway, my gamble is to hope that as few people who read this as possible won't get all uncomfortable when I say that I'm a naturist. It's just another box that this particular fellow has ticked.
Many people support, or at least tolerate, naturism, but, at the moment just as many don't. It's purely a personal viewpoint, and everyone is entitled to their own views on the subject.
I'm not going to make a big thing of it as it's just another facet of my life. But I think best to put my cards on the table now.
I mentioned 'freedom' in my first blog entry, and this really slots into that same thought.
I discovered 'fair weather' naturism about fifteen years ago. By 'fair weather' I mean I don't wander about in mid winter, heaven forbid, although I did enjoy a dip in my garden pool early in the morning on Christmas Day just gone. Boy was that cold! A sort of personal celebration of being alive. Needless to say it was a very brief celebration, and no ice had to be broken, which was a bonus of sorts.
But, though I may appear to be crazy, don't worry, the conditions of blogging here prevent the practice of posting inappropriate imagery - however innocent the situation or lifestyle.
As I tend to work in the buff in my workshop during warmer months without thinking too much about it, there may be times when a little more than a bare arm creeps into a shot (as below), and for this I apologise in advance - if an apology is indeed necessary.

With that out of the way, what's currently on the drawing board?
No secrets here. I'm developing a sundial of modern sculptural design. It's probably not the best time of year to see if it works, but if I can just get the basic elements in place, it'll sit out in the garden until such a time as I can see how it behaves. Without going into too much detail for now, the design (if it works) could be constructed from almost any material which comes in lengths...wood, metal, rod, tube and so on. I'll post a photo when the design has proved itself workable.

This afternoon the game I mentioned before gets another trial run - four people playing now, as opposed to three before. I hope the game will have some potential - commercially would be good. But as manufacturers these days tend to depend upon ideas that their own staff come up with (which saves on paying royalties), trying to get anyone interested in taking it on will be a huge, maybe impossible, hurdle. At least I've designed it to be of absolute minimal cost in production. No board, no dice, no cards and no moulded parts. Just printing and diecutting. And a box. As it's my least complicated idea so far, I'm getting quietly excited.
But hobbys which verge on product development hits a gray area in blog content allowances. I'm not looking for business contacts here. Just relating my day-to-day interests.

This blog entry has been viewed 474 times

To blog or not to blog, that is the question.

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:33 am

Hi. Right at the very start I have to say that I'm not a natural bloggist, so entries may be at best sparse, or at worst gather cobwebs.
You see, I'm usually too busy busying myself with other things to sit for any length of time at the pc trying to impress upon anyone that what I do, or think, is of significant interest for them to sit for any length of time at their pc to read it.
So, the conditions for reading any of this is that the reader should at no time hold their breath.
Most of my, sometimes weird, antics are covered in the Gardenstew Forums in any case.
I might just use this space to add occasional jottings that might occur to me.
For most of my life I've followed a creative path. I live for creativity. The only thing I haven't created (yet) is a family of my own. But I have a great older brother, nephew and niece.
I never married you see, and the chances are I probably won't now. That doesn't bother me one iota, and never has done.
I would describe myself as a natural 'loner'. That sounds sad, and lonely, but in fact isn't at all. I am so relaxed with my own company that I think nothing of it. And I can just get on with almost whatever I want. I call it freedom.
I was born into a, seemingly, creative family in 1947, in South London, no doubt kicking and screaming. But soon settled down within a very loving family, and a thoroughly pleasant childhood.
And as I look back over the last 60 years, I feel I've been very fortunate to have a family that has always inspired me to get off my butt and do things.
There are seven simple words I always remember, once said to me by a previous managing director, when I enquired how he got his ideas for new business ventures...
'If you don't try, you don't get.'
He started as a one employee business, indeed tried, and got, and ended up a millionaire...almost all in the course of the short time I knew him.
But money isn't everything. The satisfaction of having done something that personally pleases me is, for me at least, usually enough.
So my life so far has been full of many diverse projects. Board game design, toy design, modelmaking both in a commercial and hobby context, painting, music, sculpture, cartooning, gardening, photography.
And I've loved every darned minute of it.

This blog entry has been viewed 414 times

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