Monday, 19 August 2013

A New Arrival!

The first sign that a new arrival was on its way came at about nine o'clock in the morning when the phone rang and we were informed that a delivery was on its way and would be arriving in some fifteen minutes!

About twenty minutes later we were taking care of what was clearly a very precious package.

 A 10 cm dilation revealed the first signs of the precious contents. The excitement was so great that I just had to go to the toilet!

With some gentle persuasion and the odd push or two, the package was guided carefully out of the opening. It was covered with a white shroud.

With the shroud removed, the newborn could be seen, though it was still in the foetal position. Another gentle tug and it was released from its afterbirth and umbilical cord.

Then it opened up to reveal its true glory: an Apple MacBook Air, 13" screen, with 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD.

Vital statistics:

  • Height: from 0,3 to 1,7 cm
  • Width: 32,5 cm
  • Depth: 22,7 cm
  • Weight: 1,35 kg

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Let's Have a Ball

Elise wanted some basil the other day. Not he of Fawlty Towers fame, but the herb: she adds it to tomatoes, pasta, and various other concoctions.

She likes to use fresh basil, so I had to take her to one of the local garden centres, Naturplant, to buy a plant. And a very nice plant it was, too (actually, she bought two).

While we were at the garden centre, we also took a look at the cacti. They usually have a good selection of small cacti and now was no exception. This time, however, they clearly had recently had a delivery of larger cacti. Elise called me over to see on, a beautiful Echinocactus grusonii.

Well, we hadn't intended to buy a cactus, but this was an excellent specimen and the price was also right, so it didn't take us long to decide to purchase it.

The Echinocactus grusonii has a diameter of just about 55 cm. and a circumference of about 170 cm., so it's quite a size. The person who delivered it estimated it to weigh at least 40 Kg. I estimate it to be between thirty and forty years old.

Popular names for Echinocactus grusonii include Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Ball, or, my favourite, Mother-in-Law's Cushion.

If you'd like to learn more about the care of Echinocactus grusonii, the best site I've found is this one.

A while ago we visited Cactus d'Algar, a wonderful botanical garden at Callosa d'en SarriĆ  (inland from Benidorm, close to the Fuentes del Algar) devoted to cacti. There we saw this huge field of Echinocactus grusonii:

Elise will have to buy a lot more basil for us to reach that stage!

Now, about the repotting…