Create an instant wild pond

How to create a natural wild pond in two days – that’s good to look at too!

pond photo

DAY 1

step 1

buy a prefabricated pond liner plus native plants for in the pond and around it

Photo of pond liner

 

step 2

Mark out the shape of the pond and excavate to the right depth levels for each section.
Choose a location that’s not too sunny or completely dark;
direct sunlight for only a part of the day is ideal.

pond photo

 

step 3

Place pond in excavation and make sure it’s bedded down solidly and level at top edges.
Sloping ground down to the pond makes it look more natural and catches rain.

pond photo

 

DAY 2

step 4

Start to build landscaping around the dry pond.
I’ve added rocks backed by an earth bank behind the pool, using the excavated soil, which will offer hiding places
for frogs, toads, mice and insects, and nesting places for bumblebees.
Don’t add water yet as debris will inevitably fall into the pond during this stage.

pond photo

 

step 5

Add further landscaping including a sloping area where animals can get in and out
I’m adding graded pebbles to make an attractive little beach area

pond photo

 

step 6

When all major landscaping is in place, fill with water and add pond plants at their appropriate depths.

pond photo

 

step 7

Add planting round the pond.
I’ve added grass turfs on top of and behind the rocks.

pond photo

 

step 8

Buddha figure is optional; other icons available

pond photo

step 9

Add grass turfs round remaining edges of the pond

pond photo

step 10

Construction completed. the grass will soon settle in and fill in gaps between the turfs.
Don’t add fish; they decimate all small life such as tadpoles and invertebrates.
The right creatures will find their own way to the pond in due course. It’s magic.

pond photo

 

DAY 3

the pond in use

Birds and other animals immediately start using the pond for drinking and washing.
First of all we see a sparrow who gets very annoyed at being turfed out by a male blackbird who wants a good splash and is followed by his partner:

 

Book writing: the problems

Writing your book: the problems you might be experiencing while trying to get on with it

Painting of waves

Peter Cook, when told by a dinner companion that he was writing a book, said “Neither am I.” – it’s clever and funny…and it expresses a very common situation. Is that the book-writing situation you’re in?

Many things can get in the way of writing your book. Here are just a few:

  • too busy
  • time flying by
  • not sure how to start
  • lack of confidence in writing ability
  • perfectionism: writing bits then throwing them all away
  • not making it a high enough priority
  • lack of clarity and direction
  • too ambitious scale of project
  • pessimism about chances of success
  • worry about difficulty in getting published

I’m here to help

Get started on your book

Step one:

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to write a book, orientation of the content is vital. Ask yourself these questions: What is it about? What can you in particular bring to the subject matter? What distinguishes it from other books in the same area? Who will get value from reading it? How can you speak to these people?

Step two:

Next you can get down to planning. Think about the shape of the book: how would the content naturally break down into sections? Can you summarise the content of each chapter? What would be the best order to arrange these chapters? Does your planned order have a logical sequence, taking the reader on a journey?

Step three:

Then you get on and start writing the first material. Discipline is needed for writing; ideally, set aside a regular chunk of time each week and stick to it. You don’t have to get finished copy down in the first go – make notes or a very rough draft to start with, and edit it later. Many people think “I just can’t write; I’m not a writer” If you feel this kind of blockage, just think to yourself, “How would I explain this particular idea if I was directly speaking to another person?” and just write that down, or record it on an app for later transcription. Develop the habit of putting yourself in the position of a listener who doesn’t know this subject matter: what would you need to tell them in order to grasp what you’re explaining? If you really can’t fit it into your busy schedule, or feel it’s beyond you, editorial consultants are available to help.

Step four:

In the old days, you had to find a commercial publisher who wanted to publish your book; that’s still the holy grail of getting a book out, but publishers are now highly averse to risk and want authors who have huge public profiles. Fortunately that’s no longer the only way. It’s easy to publish your own book, and Amazon make it even easier, promoting your title if you publish through them. Print-on-demand means that an expensive print run isn’t needed. E-books are also popular these days and are even less expensive to get out in the market place.

So think about it: what’s the book you have inside you? What’s the book you’ve always wanted to write? Then go for it!

get in touch

Why not have a free chat about how I can help? Contact me here

Heavy negative trips your parents laid on you

witchesI was sitting in a cafe In Brighton the other day, drinking a skinny decaff soy latte and pondering on the nature of existence, when I suddenly realised why things go so terribly wrong in our lives. It’s because of all those heavy negative trips that our parents lay on us when we’re young… Do these words ring any bells?.“You’ll poke your eye out with that stick!”…“We’re not made of money, you know”…“Don’t expect too much, then you won’t be disappointed.” This stuff can shape your whole outlook on life. HNTs, I call them. Thanks, Mum and Dad; I know you meant well. Continue reading “Heavy negative trips your parents laid on you”

Secret Jam: a tale of rural intrigue

home made jam and breadThis is how it began.

Every Tuesday morning, I travel to the delightful Sussex village of Ditchling for yoga class; I’m the only man among thirty delightful Ditchling ladies. At the end of class, another delightful group of Ditchling ladies takes over the space for a choir rehearsal. As part of this activity they make wonderful cakes, chutneys and jams, and sell these to one another to raise funds for the choir. I purchased a jar of this home made jam from a delightful choir lady at the produce table, and brought it home; it was the most delicious jam I had ever tasted.   Continue reading “Secret Jam: a tale of rural intrigue”

Our wildlife garden

How to Create an Amazing Urban Wildlife Garden
– what we’ve learned in 15 years

Gerry Thompson

In 2002 we moved our family home from Brighton UK to a nearby town. The reason? – we didn’t have a garden. Our new home had two gardens, neither very large. The rear would be the domain of our lively cocker spaniel Rosa, and the front space would be for …wildlife!

Now, 16 years later, that front patch is a wildlife paradise – a veritable jungle among many houses with more sterile gardens or hard-standings for their cars. So what better than having wild nature right where you live? Continue reading “Our wildlife garden”

Euro-English: where is it going?

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”. Continue reading “Euro-English: where is it going?”

The ancient Celtic concept of thresholds in time and place

THE BETWIXT AND BETWEEN: a Celtic glimpse

”This is a time that is not a time
In a place that is not a place
On a day that is not a day,
Between the worlds, and beyond….”

Why is the Celtic festivals of Beltane (April 30th) and Samhain or Hallowe’en (Oct 31st) traditionally associated with spirits entering our world, and with potential for divining the future?

What were the medieval royalty of Europe up to when they went out at dawn on the first day of May, to roll around naked in the morning dew in a most undignified manner? Continue reading “The ancient Celtic concept of thresholds in time and place”

Community response to Lockdown

The Ballad of Connaught Avenue

In Shoreham town there is a road
It’s great to be a member of
Where friendship dwells in each abode
In Connaught Ave there’s so much love

This lockdown thing has brought much grief
And things there are no stockpiles of
But human contact brings relief
For Connaught Ave has so much love

We formed a WhatsApp group right quick
‘Twas started off by Sas n Dav
To give support with just a click
There’s so much love in Connaught Ave

It helps us all to borrow or beg
Or give what we have too much of
To swap a plant, or lend an egg
For Connaught Ave has so much love

This social distance thing’s a pain
But metres gap’s the thing to have
While social closeness is our aim
There’s so much love in Connaught Ave

It’s great to live in Connaught Ave
They treat you like a sis or bruv
They range in type from posh to chav
Yes, Connaught Ave has so much love

If life’s to you a bitter cup
And hopelessness is all you have
The friendship here will lift you up
There’s so much love in Connaught Ave

And after all this lockdown’s gone
The thing that we’re all thinking of
Is: stay connected, carry on
With Connaught Avenue’s Big Love!