Saturday, 5 June 2010

A busy week

I've been intending to blog all week, but have not found the time until now.

We were sad to hear of the events unfolding in Cumbria near where Ian's grandad lives. Although he was asked by police to stay in his house until the gunman was found he lives too far south to have been in any danger. However he used to live in one of the villages involved and knew (but not well) one of the people killed, as well as the local GP dealing with the victims. Very sad when something like this happens so close to home.

Ian managed to get lots of jobs done in the kitchen this week including removing the mantelpiece above the radiator (there used to be a fire there) and tackling the door frame. The door frames in our house are made of metal, which makes them very strong, but also very difficult to remove. We've had several builders / carpenters in to discuss removing them, but only two were brave enough to provide a quote and both were extortionate. Instead Ian took the angle grinder to one. It was quite scary - producing sparks like a firework all the way down the hall to the front door, but it did the job.

Now all we have to do is figure out how to put a new frame in. All suggestions/tips welcome!

On Wednesday my contact at Pond Conservation sent me the final data to be used in our companies current contract with them. It was a very big rush to incorporate it all by Friday when they wanted the website to go live. I only got 2 and a half hours in bed (and I'm not sure how much of that I slept) on Thursday night, but remarkably by 8am the website was finished with no major bugs apparent. A big thanks to Ian for staying up half the night programming with me.

If you want to have a peek the website is at

Unfortunately the content management system that Pond Conservation use is unable to remove the menu of links on the left hand side so even though I made the frame containing all the content the same width as their lovely header you have to scroll right to see it all. There's a centred version at

The basic idea of the website is to display information on UK biodiversity action plan (BAP) species that are associated with ponds, in particular in relation to aggregate/mineral sites which can be important places for pond creation. Just one of the ways you can use the website is by selecting the 'species view' tab at the top. This shows a list of all the species and by clicking on each species you can see a map of its current distribution and any mineral sites that are located nearby. You can also click on 'species information' to find out some basic information about each species and how you can create ponds that will suit them best.

If you spot any mistakes please let me know. I'm not responsible for the wording and some of the headings read rather oddly in my opinion, but I would be particularly interested to see if anyone manages to break it (i.e., find a species for which maps or information don't load or something similar).

The garden is really beginning to bloom for the summer and I'm really pleased with this bearded iris that Dad gave us. It didn't flower last year so we weren't sure what colour it was until now. I really love iris - thank you.


  1. What a nice and colourful flower, love it! :)

  2. Good to catch up. You may wonder why I have suddenly joined you as a friend again. Answer: I originally was logged in as a Hebridean in NZ so I wasn't getting the updates to your blog on my Eagleton dashboard.

  3. I tried out the pond conservation website. Interestingly the only thing it mentions for here is the otter. I'm told that there used to be an otter run down to the side of my house but I've never seen any sign of an otter around the peninsula nor have I found anyone who has.

  4. I would certainly feel competent enough to put in a new frame having done several here. However the big problem I found was hanging the new door. That is a job I'd rather not have to repeat.