Life in a Dol house
2017 - Week 46

Dark skies over Dol

I've been receiving parcels this week. 

Tomislav - I'm on first name terms with several courier companies drivers - came in the middle of a rain storm on Monday to deliver my Enlaps Tickee time lapse camera.

A bit more rain (we had 90 litres/M² or 4") and I would have had enough water in the courtyard to float the canoe...​

Then there were the two parcels from Screwfix, one arrived, the other got as far as southern Germany before being sent back to the UK after suffering damage in transit and has had to be repacked and sent again.

The Enlaps is my first ever support of a project using Kickstarter, the crowd funding website.

​I have wanted to experiment with time lapse for a while. We get some impressive clouds, sunrises, occasional sunsets and other things I would like to try.

I have a GoPro, which can do time lapse, but it is limited by the length of the battery charge.

True, you can use an open frame and external power on the GoPro, but then the weather proofing is lost.

What attracted me to Enlaps was the innovation. 

It has WiFi, and a solar charger, plus it is completely weather proof.

There are some excellent time lapse videos on the Enlaps website which illustrate its capabilities and I am looking forward to an improvement in the weather so that I can dip my toe in the water and see what I can produce.

We have certainly had a stormy and unsettled week, although when the sun has shone, it has been lovely

​- but it has just not happened very often!

Sunday started fine, warm and dry but by the afternoon, a south east wind had got up. 

At sunset I closed the shutters, battened down all hatches and closed the watertight doors in anticipation of the tempest to come.

Overnight into Monday we had the first of the rain and a half hearted attempt at an electric storm.

Monday was wet all day. The new roof is mainly watertight, but rain is seeping in round the edges, where the waterproof membrane meets the concrete. 

I had to do a hasty reconfiguration of the plastic sheeting to prevent further ingress, but no damage was caused.

Then in the middle of a fierce squall, the guttering man arrived to take away my new lengths of guttering and to fabricate the pieces for the roof. 

He blithely explained that he needs some good weather before he can install the guttering. I pointed him to the forecast for the week from my weather station!

I've been doing inside jobs while the weather is in an uncooperative mood outside. 

Some of it has been repairs and cleaning, but there was also a computer system to rebuild to see if I could find some files which seem to have been lost in a hard disk failure I had a couple of years back.

I used to build computers and have a supply of new and used parts, so to make a replacement system from bits is not hard. This is going to be running an old windows operating system. 

I have found that a couple of my specialist photo scanners do not work under Windows 10, no matter how I try and use emulators to try and make the operating system think the drivers are OK, so the solution seems to be to create a new computer, with an old operating system, so I can use these elderly, but useful peripheral devices.

It took the best part of a day to get everything installed, connected and set up, but I now have a new-old working system. 

I had forgotten some of the finer points, like which way round cables to Floppy Disk drives are connected, but all the information is there on line. 

These days everything is made so it will only fit and connect the right way round. But in days gone by, you had to know which was "Pin 1" so you could match the red stripe on a cable to the pin on a device. 

If that sounds like an alien language, you have probably forgotten that once upon a time, computers could be upgraded and repaired with relative ease and not just thrown away when a better, bigger, fast, newer model came along...

I had a trip to the Vets with Callie for her annual vaccinations. 

She was a good as gold and never made a murmur. I did tell the Vet that next month it's Risha's turn, and that is likely to be a more stressful experience. I don't mention the "V" word in his presence, as it is enough to make him disappear for the day!

The builders have taken more of their equipment away and on Friday morning the guttering was installed.

The single piece of cladding on the sides of the dormer windows is innovative, then on Friday afternoon the builders covered the east facing half roof with tiles.​

Saturday saw the job completed, followed by a celebratory BBQ. The weather is still nice enough to enjoy Alfresco meals.

​The installation of the Velux roof window was completed so the cottage and loft is now weatherproof, windows apart, which will go in next week, along with the inside and outside wall coverings. 

Some half edging tiles have been ordered, which will arrive next week, then everything will be fixed in place

The son of a near neighbour is getting married on Saturday evening, so there has been a lot of activity in this part of Dol all day. 

As with everything, there are similarities and differences to the sort of weddings I have experienced in various Countries. There won't be a Yowla at tonight's celebrations though! 

One thing which is different here is the parade of decorated cars belonging to friends of the Groom, with the lead car belonging to his best man and containing the Groom. No white Rolls Royce or Bentley's here...

​With much sounding of horns, the cavalcade sets off from the Groom's home and winds its way through the village.

The cars are decorated with coloured ribbons and flowers the Croatian flag is waved from every window and a good time is had by all.

I'm still harvesting tomatoes from the garden and this week have picked around five kilos of green tomatoes, together with onions, peppers, pimentos and some herbs, to make a Green Tomato Chutney. 

With just a few hours sun a day on my orchards at this time of year, there is little scope for the pig tomatoes to ripen, so I have picked all I can find. 

They have been left in the tray for a few days and the pickle pan will be in use this weekend.

There are very few of the summer crops left, but the winter Broccoli will not be long before it is ready.

​I am surprised how quickly the actual sunlight hours are reducing. 

To the south, where the wild pines and scrub oaks have grown on the ancient terraces, where once olives, lavender and rosemary were carefully tended as crops by locals, the sun now dips behind the trees at 13:45.

Sunset is at 16:35, so when the sun goes, there are still another 3 hours of daylight, but the temperature soon drops and the cold damp of autumn settles in.

My daily check of the actual sun light hours on the roof, now shows just a maximum of 6 hours between the ten hours of sunrise and sunset, although I recognise from may past three winters here, that either side of the winter solstice, this part of Dol where we are in the lea of the southern hills, there is not much sun.

It will soon be time for making Gluhwein!