Friday, 19 August 2016

Before and after.

Here are photos of the side-chapel at St Ignatius, a couple of years ago and now.
This is what is used to look like:
And this is the chapel today:


Monday, 11 July 2016

30.7.16

This year the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola falls on Sunday 31st July; it is our patronal feast, here at the parish in Ossett and Horbury, WF5 0DQ.
As a part of our celebrations we are having a Votive Mass of St Ignatius, on Saturday 30th July at 12 noon, celebrated in the Extraordinary Form. The Rudgate Singers are coming to sing a Gregorian Mass setting. You are most welcome to take part.
Following the Mass there will be a celebratory BBQ in the garden (weather permitting). This is a donation event, and any monies donated will go to our new church windows fund.
If you would like to come to the BBQ, please indicate, either on this Blog, or on the chart in St Ignatius' church porch. Indicating your participation in the BBQ is essential because we will only source food for those we know are coming. 

Friday, 8 July 2016

A new look.

Here at St Ignatius' in Ossett we have re-decorated the side-chapel. I am especially grateful to Rob and Malcolm for their work. The side-chapel has become much more a place of dignity and serenity, for the celebration of weekday Masses.
Holy Mass is celebrated every Tuesday morning here at 8am in the Extraordinary Form and, in Winter, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as well (in the Ordinary Form).
There are one or two embellishments still to put in place, but our Eucharistic Lord will be exposed here regularly on the altar - especially in the colder months, when we can adequately heat the side-chapel. May He be glorified here!
Please check the parish website for regular Mass times: www.takenupingrace.wordpress.com 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Renovation: extras.

Here are a couple of pics which I took in May. The first shows the bio-filter and its overflow to a small water fall.
The second shows the overflow which we created at one section of the perimeter of the pond; this flows into a small channel which leads to a 10ft well. I have a pump in the well with which I can either pump water into the pond in the summer, or discharge in the winter after too much rain.
These pictures also show how badly green water affected the pond from March through to late May. In fact, the algae is now clearing significantly thanks to the filter and plant growth in the pond.
I'll take  a picture of the fish in due course.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Carlos V.

I have just finished watching Carlos Rey Emperador. It has taken me two months to do so, but at my rate of watching stuff, that is quite good. This Spanish TV series of 2015 has 17 episodes, each of 75-80 minutes.
With a production style similar to that of modern soap operas, it is, nevertheless, very well made. The costumes and settings are particularly good, as is the acting. However, the episodes can become somewhat boring, as each scene inevitably portrays yet another domestic, studio-produced conversation between historical characters. Nonetheless, the vast career of this series grew on me as I watched. My favourite scene was at the end of Episode 16 when the Emperor retires to the Monastery of Yuste. The actual monastery was used, to great effect, in the filming of this scene.
Somewhat typically for historical dramas, history is manipulated. This production contained exceptionally good, and exceptionally bad parts. The worst, I think, was the portrayal of young Philip II just before his first marriage, and on the night of his first marriage. This portrayal marred badly the overall production.  
The actor, Alvaro Cervantes, who played the part of Carlos V, did so extremely well; in fact he was superb in the part. What particularly impressed me was the way in which he  aged as the series continued. It is hard to make a young man look like an old man, even with all the make-up. But the way that this actor portrayed the role, as the character became older, was remarkable. Carlos V is, after all, the most powerful ruler that the West has known.
I also felt that the viewer did need to have a fairly good understanding of history. Famous characters routinely appeared in scenes without any introduction. Once I realised this, I kept my mobile phone close by, and found Wikipedia to be an invaluable aid for identifying them and thus better appreciating the scenes in this epic production. 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Renovation 12.

On 25th April this year, with the evening sun picking out some colour, I took this photo. The renovation work is essentially complete, and I await the establishing of a new equilibrium in the ecology of the pond, through the use of the filter and the growth of plants in the water.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Renovation 11.

I took this photo on 20th April this year. The pond looks really well finished off with the Marsh Marigold in glorious bloom. You can see the gill nets which Rob and I fitted over much of the surface of the pond. Unfortunately these are a necessity; I haven't seen a heron near the garden since the nets were set in place.
The pond has the original five goldfish, together with five new ones. The frogs spawned profusely in March and by the time this photo was taken, the pond was 'newt city'!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Renovation 10.

This photo was taken on 2nd April 2016. You can see the work Rob and I had done to finish off the edge of the pond with stones. This work involved a careful assessment of the water level round the entire circumference, so as to create a neat and level edge. We achieved this by creating an overflow in the bottom corner of the pond - which is out of picture. I'll endeavour to take a picture of this for a future post.
You can also see the small waterfall at the head of the pond, which is a lovely feature in both the movement and the sound it creates. I have a 2200 pump which feeds water into a large bio-filter, positioned behind the bamboo leaves (in the photo), and then, by gravity, to the simple water fall. I'll take a picture of this too.
BTW, the pond has a volume of 30,000 lts. It's quite a big one!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Renovation 9.

Although Rob and I did some work over the winter, trimming the edges of the liner and placing edging stones, the next pic was taken on 4th March 2016 after a light snow.
You can see the pond now clearly delineated, and the gill nets dragged by ice and snow onto the surface of the pond. But all is well.
To the bottom right you can just see the stone fire pit where I make paellas in the warmer months on a wood fire.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Renovation 8.

It was 3rd November 2016 before Rob and I reconvened. You can see in the photo above that there is now about a foot of water in the pond. This rise in level was due to rain and to ground water pumped up from the well. We had stretched gill nets over the pond to protect the fish from herons.
Our work that day consisted principally in collecting soil to build up the two new banks, after their original level had settled.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Renovation 7.


At last the day came for us to put the new liner in place, laying on top of the old one. This was on 23rd October 2015. 
In the photo above you can see a large object in the pond. This was an old plant tub made of durable plastic and which Rob had opened the bottom of, intending it to be a refuge for the fish.
Once the liner was in place we were able to empty three water butts of rain water, and pump the contents of a well into the pond; in all, about 1000 litres. We put back the five goldfish which had survived the herons' visits, together with large clumps of the oxygenating weed.
At the end of the day there was about 8 inches of water in the bottom of the pond, and within minutes of being introduced the fish were enthusiastically exploring every inch of their new habitat.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Renovation 6.

On Thursday 22nd October 2015 Rob and I met again to complete the building up of the two new banks. Once satisfied that we had put enough rock and soil in place, with the right contours, and had faced it with old pieces of carpet, we put the old liner back into the pond. Here it would act as an under-liner for the new one.
You can see from this picture how clean we had managed to get the old liner before putting it back it in virtually the same orientation that it had previously occupied.
I should say that during all this time we had perfect weather for the job. Apart from some rain which fell during the weekend, we had clear, sunny days, and temperatures of about 13C.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Renovation 5.

It was the following Tuesday, 20th October 2015, when Rob and I re-convened. I should say that each day we worked on this project, we spent up to three hours working together - between five and a half and six man-hours.

By the end of Tuesday 20th the two new banks were built up. You can see in the above photo a length of red carpet which we used to maintain the bank on the near side. You can also see a length of black hose leading into the empty pond cavity. This would stay in that place under the new liner and act as a release conduit for water accumulating under the liner.
We hoped that by replacing the old liner, which had indeed been leaking, we could cure the build-up of so much water under the liner.
The old liner had been rained on a few times over the weekend and, together with some scrubbing down from Rob and I, was now more or less clear of sediment on its upper side.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Renovation 4.

Overnight on 16th October it rained quite a bit. Rob and I were glad because the old liner would get a good soaking and make it easier for us to clear all the sediment from it. Sadly, I didn't take any photos of the old liner being cleaned. But during the next day, 17th October, we set to with brushes and a hose pipe, and did our best to remove more of the mud.
We also worked again on the two new banks that we were establishing for the pond. The photo below shows the results of our work that day. The new bank on the far side of the pond is a little clearer in this pic. And you can see water still pooling in the pond cavity.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Renovation 3.

Next day,16th October 2015, Rob and I faced the hardest job of all; we decided to take the old liner out of the pond and lay it out so that we could clean it more thoroughly. We needed every ounce of strength to drag the liner out and across the grass to an open space where we could lay it out. There was still sediment on the upper side, and mud clung to the underside - it weighed a ton!
Our hope was that if it rained the upper side of the liner would get a good wash.
We were interested to see that water was already pooling in the open pond, and it soon became clear that the top soil of the garden was laid over a solid seam of clay.
We then began a new task. We had decided to make the pond a little smaller by creating two new banks. Our work would result in reducing the size of the pond from being an irregular 6m diameter circle, to being 6m in one axis, and 5m in the other.
We started on the far bank, placing first rocks and then soil to build a new bank. You can just make out, in the photo above, the new soil (and rocks) which we put in place along an eight or nine foot segment along the far side of the pond. This was another back-breaking task which ended the third day's work.