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Saturday, 30 January 2021

A new project in born, Creating essential oils.

 Distillation of eucalypt leaves and water. The Still. 

Eucalypt leaves soaked in water
Filling the still with leaves and water
Setting up - ready for action.
We have eucalypt water.
The maestro - Joshua - keeping an eye on the process. 
Eucalypt water
extracting the oil from the water

Yes, it works and we will upscale. More later. 

Thursday, 28 January 2021

A blast from the past

 2011 and I am acting as the bank manager in the film "The Dalton Brothers" - filmed at Texas Hollywood. We had a lot of fun on this set.

From above ground to below ground. More maintenance.

 After 28 years we have to assess leaks in our 9,000 litre water tank. Earthquakes and the passage of time have taken their toll. The tank is leaking so action to remedy the leaks is essential. I am going in !


We are going to remove the black plastic liner. We are measuring up for a new "made to measure" butyl rubber liner with water exit pipes welded into the rubber so as to avoid leaks from around the two water exit points.

We are removing the black plastic liner

and more plastic

Plastic gone - all is revealed 
a large crack

The plastic is out - now we will order the "made to measure" butyl rubber envelope.

Part 2 when we take delivery of our new "made to measure" liner

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

We are having an early Spring.

 This Almond tree came into flower 3 days ago. The bees are very busy collecting pollen.

We are looking down the valley from my roof. We are experiencing a very dry year and pray for more rain.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Going for FULL POWER. 4 new high power panels at 340 watts each panel have arrived. 34 cents per watt. Amazing price. !

 Here we go - new panels ready for fitting

Here we go again - moving 240 watt panels back to the lower roof space
Now to adapt the frame for the bigger panels.
Ondra is fixing extension holding bars on the old frame which supported  6 panels of 110 watts each. 
2 new galvanized iron bars fixed to extend the frame for the new panels.
Nicky and Ondra fixing the first of 3 panels

There we go. First 3 in place. 1 Kw of power. Yea !
Now for # 4 panel. Ondra constructed the frame from galvanized iron. Ondra has drilled into the beam and inserted bolts in order to secure the frame.
Ondra, Eva and Nicky are placing the frame on the beam.
Ondra, Eva and Nicky taking a break.
Ondra wiring in the new panels.
Errol wiring in fuses for the new system.

And here we are - 4 new high power panels installed. Excellent work. 

Sunday, 24 January 2021

A couple of landscape pictures

 This is a view looking up the valley. We are in an exceptionally dry year.

On the path to El Tesoro. Nobody has found a treasure said to have been left by the Moors who lived here for centuries.

Some interior upgrading

 Mirjam is re-upholstering 40 cushions. Doing some cuts:

Here we are, Vincent, Joshua and Ryan plus dogs on the newly covered cushions. Beautiful work.

This was a good time to clean the roof top water tanks

 For house water, showers, toilets etc we use river water pumped up via hydraulic ramp pump - This is not good for drinking owing to heavy mineralization. You can see the calcium deposits in the tank.

Nicky in the tank to start cleaning

Ryan on the case taking water and calcium deposits from Nicky

Here we are. A nice clean tank. Thank you Nicky and Ryan. 

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Upgrading solar system

 Over the last 17 years my Palm Tree has grown hugely and is now shading my solar panels

Moving the existing array higher up the roof to make space for 2 panels from the other roof.
Nicky and Ryan received one panel frame from the shaded roof
Ondra and Ryan pulling the panel frame to the roof
Ondra and Ryan placing the frames on the bathroom roof. You can see that they have moved the panels behind them higher up the roof line. Good work.
Fitting the 240 watt panels to the frames and Ondra connecting to network.

Ready to fit panels - getting dark. !

Charge controllers - lots of fuses with three sets of panels running to 3 charge controllers.

Bibi, Blondina and Dashinka