Saturday, March 28, 2009


Last Tuesday I went to see Cirque du Soleil's Dralion with my mum, tati, Mina, and Matt. It was amazing! I had never been to a Cirque du Soleil performance before, and I didn't know much about it in general, other than it wasn't a regular circus. I ended up getting tickets by chance since there was a special offer through my work that got us cheap tickets, but I'm completely won over and will definitely go again at any chance I have!

My favourite performance was the hand balancing act. As the name suggests, it was a girl balancing on one hand (for over 5 minutes straight!) while performing inconceivably elaborate holds. She switched hands a couple of times but for the greatest part of the act she was balancing on her right hand with her elbow slightly bent. This was the only act that I actually couldn't believe was possible! All of the other acts also seemed extremely hard, but it was perceivable that with an immense amount of practice, the human body was capable of doing those things. The hand balancing act was like... magic. I was speechless at the time!

My second favourite act was the ribbon dance. This involved a guy and a girl performing a love story type dance on suspended ribbons. It was very beautiful, and it was of particular interest to me because I've actually looked into taking lessons at a dance studio I used to go to that recently added a suspended ribbon room to their building! It was amazing to see what is possible at the height of that sport - really really impressive.

In conclusion, if you ever have a chance, go see a Cirque du Soleil performance! My whole family loved it, and they're pretty hard to impress :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Getting a bit TallI recently bought a small bamboo plant from IKEA which already had a little shoot growing out of the side. I planted it in a vase by propping it up with marbles, and maintained it by keeping the water topped up whenever I remembered. I can't remember exactly how long, but it took no time at all for the little shoot to be almost as big as the main bamboo!

ConnectedI decided to take a clipping of the little shoot and put it in it's own vase. I looked it up on the net and found that bamboo is quite resilient and clipped shoots grow quite readily. It seems that as long as the shoot is bigger that about 10cm you shouldn't have any problems with getting it to catch and grow.

Snip!I made a clean cut with a really sharp serrated knife at the place where the shoot connected to the main bamboo, trying to keep as close to the mother plant as possible. Then I placed the shoot in a similar setup to the original bamboo - propped up in a vase with marbles and water - since the original bamboo seemed to be doing really well in it's environment.

Hope it works!
Mother and Baby

Monday, March 2, 2009


This long weekend Matt and I decided to tackle the next step in fixing our front yard disaster - putting in reticulation. We got a couple of quotes for around $2000 (parts and labour) which seemed a bit excessive for something we felt wasn't too difficult (hah!) so we decided to do it ourselves.

Step 1 CompleteTo get started, we measured up our front yard, and then went to Total Eden with a scale drawing. We didn't realise we had to provide them with our bore flow rate too, so we had to go back for that missing detail. After figuring out how to turn our bore on, we realised that measuring would be difficult since the water pretty much exploded out of the bore pipe! To actually measure the water, we used a big mop bucket with measurements on the inside and let the bore run for 1 second (I timed 1 second with Matt's iPhone). Well, we didn't PLAN it to be 1 second, but it just so happened that the time it took for Matt to turn the bore on, and then turn it off again as soon as he heard me scream "ARHGHRHSTTTTOPPP" was 1 second. We measured 4 litres in the bucket, and 0.9 seconds on the iPhone, and lets estimate about 10 litres all over me, which was enough to tell the man at Total Eden that we had plenty of bore pressure to run the whole front on one solenoid (he almost didn't believe us).

Total Eden drew up a plan for us and quoted $680 for all the parts, so we were really happy to save the extra even if it meant doing the hard bit ourselves.

I HATE Digging TrenchesActually doing the retic involved measuring where the pipes were to be laid, digging trenches for the pipes, and putting the pipes together. Before we started, we decided to get rid of our old and unused cement bore by smashing it up with a sledge hammer and filling it in with sand. It was much more successful (and fun!) than we expected and it's completely gone now so we have one less eye sore to worry about!

Matt, my dad and I spent all day Saturday measuring and digging the trenches. It was... extremely difficult, and the 36 degree heat did not help. We found that taking turns digging while one person went around wetting the dirt with the hose was the most efficient way to work.

We spent all day Sunday actually laying the pipes. This involved measuring the pipes up, priming the ends (with pipe primer) and gluing pipes together with T-junctions between them (using PVC cement). The T-junctions had the bottom of the 'T' facing up and were for the actual sprinklers to sit in. Another key aspect of the day was continuously driving to Bunnings to get extra parts as we kept breaking stuff.

Watering the RoadAfter all the pipes were glued together, we turned the bore on (with the sprinkler tops taken out) to make sure the water ran correctly, but we were a bit worried that the pressure wasn't high enough since sprinklers at the end of the rails weren't really turning on. We ran it for a bit to get all the sand out of the pipes and then screwed all the sprinkler tops on for the final test. It worked great! Turns out you get heaps more pressure when the sprinkler tops are on so there was no drama there. The last step for Sunday afternoon was to cover up all the trenches, which was much easier than digging them, but hard work none the less.

So, we now have retic at the front! For anyone planing to take the "do it yourself" option, I highly recommend waiting for a long weekend (or taking the Monday off) to recover from the task! Next we're planning to get roll-on lawn as soon as we can, and get some paving done to run along the garage and to the back fence. Easter's coming up so hopefully we can get our act together and make good use of the days off from work. Although tomato sauce day is coming up too so that may put a hitch in our plans!

Sprinklers On