How to create a natural wild pond in two days – that’s good to look at too!
buy a prefabricated pond liner plus native plants for in the pond and around it
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.
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.
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.
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
When all major landscaping is in place, fill with water and add pond plants at their appropriate depths.
Add planting round the pond.
I’ve added grass turfs on top of and behind the rocks.
Buddha figure is optional; other icons available
Add grass turfs round remaining edges of the pond
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.
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:
Writing your book: the problems you might be experiencing while trying to get on with it
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:
time flying by
not sure how to start
lack of confidence in writing ability
perfectionism: writing bits then throwing them all away
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?
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?
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.
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
How to Create an Amazing Urban Wildlife Garden
– what we’ve learned in 15 years
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”
George Farthing, an expatriate British man living in America, was recently diagnosed as clinically depressed, tanked up on anti-depressants and scheduled for controversial Electro Shock (convulsive) Therapy when doctors realised he wasn’t depressed at all – only British. Continue reading “Depressed, or just British?”
“A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me; I’m afraid of widths” – stand-up comedian Stephen Wright
Perhaps the single most commonly admired attribute of stand-up comedians is their demonstration of courage and management of fear – preparedness to stand alone in front of an unknown, potentially hostile, and sometimes huge audience – risking failure: not amusing them, not being liked, being heckled or boo-ed off. This is a visceral and quite fundamental fear, which feels like it’s about one’s very survival. Not for nothing is a bad comedy experience on stage termed ‘dying on your *ss’. Continue reading “learning from comedians: dealing with fear”
“I once had a leather jacket that got ruined in the rain. Why does moisture ruin leather? Aren’t cows outside a lot of the time? When it’s raining, do cows go up to the farmhouse, calling out ‘Let us in! We’re all wearing leather! Open the door! We’re going to ruin the whole outfit here!'”– Jerry Seinfeld
One of the chief reasons we appreciate comedians – and one of the major reasons that they can exert influence on us, is that they continually make us think about things in ways we have never thought about them before: everyday things, trivial things, important things, life-and-death things, all kinds of things. Continue reading “Learning from comedians: creative comedy thinking”
“Once in a lifetime comes a book that will totally transform your life, help you find your true direction, and reveal to you the very mysteries of existence itself… This is not that book. However, it is the funnietst, most brilliant tongue-in-cheek guide to New Age jargon yet published”
“Gerry Thompson is a stand-up comedian and the author of several New Age humor books, including the bestselling parody of human relationships Cats are from Venus, Dogs are from Mars. In these times when religious faith often hardens into dogmatism and New Thought essays celebrate the paths to prosperity, it is refreshing to have a playful soul poke fun at some of the excessive dimensions of our beliefs and activities.
In this funny compendium of definitions of New Age jargon, Thompson draws out plenty of our chuckles.”
We’re often prone to squandering the present moment. Do you ever find yourself doing one thing (washing the dishes, Pilates practice, making love),but thinking ahead to the next or later activity (wondering what to cook for dinner, next week’s Pilates practice making love with someone else), perhaps wanting it to stop, or wanting a process to end, being impatient to get on to something else yet carrying on with the present thing? Continue reading “Living in the present #4”