"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Heeeeeaaaaat.

It is still hot! The sort of heat that drains the energy and leaves you in a big ball of sweat if you try to do anything at all. The sort of heat that will drive man and beast into the shade from mid morning to lie dormant until the afternoon breezes drive the heat away and the shadows grow. The farm becomes silent save the noise of the cicadas and the dark shade beneath each tree holds the still forms of the livestock as they pant through the midday heat. Each breeze is savoured while it lasts. Finally the afternoon sun diminishes as the evening wind comes in and the noise resumes. I have always loved that time of day. It has fond memories of sultry evenings sitting under the stars as they come out, drinking wine into the evenings as the perfume of the night flowers scent the darkness. Good times indeed but gone now.
We have had a good wack of rain since I last wrote, although it is long gone now. The same rain which headed down the coast to deliver storms and flooding to folks down south. All of the water tanks are full now which brings great relief. The newly cemented tank is full of crystal clear water and holding well despite a small weep on the far side. I will be dumping the water several times over the wet season in order to help the cement cure. So when it is next emptied, I will give the inside nearest the weep a wipe of cement paste which should solve the problem. Wipe the weep.
Despite the rain, the wet season is not yet here. Yes I know that is a contradiction but I mean to say that the monsoon trough has not yet formed (despite the opinions of some hysterical weather reporters who really should know better, have a look at the satellite charts folks!). The trough is a thick band of cloud that forms over Papua new Guinea and then descends over the north and north-east coast of Australia between January to March- usually. With global warming screwing things up who knows what will happen in the future.


  1. Ulf, if you can place a handful (or more) of cement dust into the water above where the weep is, it will dissipate down through the water near there and outward to slow down the weep, sometimes stopping it completely.
    Otherwise, as you say, wait until the level is down to the weep then paint cement paste onto it.
    Not sure if dumpimg the water several times throughout the season is required to cure the cement. I have always kept mine as full as possible all the time after any weeps have been fixed and that seemed to cure them well.

    1. Thanks Jim
      I was wondering about the cement dust trick. I have never used it before but I think now it needs a try.
      I like to cure a cement tank to get rid of that excess lime that seems to precipitate out. I agree that the water is perfectly drinkable but I just don't like the taste much.

    2. The lime taste should leach into the cement, not into the water. And with the amount of rainfall you can expect in your area, the overflow should help take away all that lime taste too. I have had to rely on filling tanks with hard water after working on them and hope over coming weeks/months that we can get enough rain to dilute the hard water to use. Only on a couple of occasions can I remember when we were able to pump soft water from another tank to keep the "new" one full and get the other tank full again within a day or two from rain.