In case you were wondering…

This is what 30 pairs of balloons looks like.


Don’t worry… I will also be blowing up 30 more pairs of white ones.

We are going to be making a balloon arch… Unless it all goes wrong, in which case we will just be making a mess.

Anyway… Onward and upward! B-)


Marimo Bowl Setup

Ok… It appears that I screwed up somewhere… This was supposed to have been posted BEFORE the Marimo Completed post. *sigh* Although the schedule date was set right the fact that I must have clicked ‘Save’ and not the ‘Schedule’ means I dun did an ‘Oopsie’.

Good grief. Oh well… You can have it now.


With me now having new Marimo babies. I decided that I will make myself a separate Marimo ‘tank’ or bowl? Setting up something like this isn’t as easy as just “Get bowl, add water and rocks, and then pop in the Moss balls.” No Siree!

The first thing I learned when I set up my first fish tank was that there are a lot of things that will infect water! Ok, it’s not that drastic but if you want to bring stuff in from outside or whatever, you need to make sure it’s clean.

I got 2 lots of stones from my garden and I had some glass beads for some reason… And the jar above from an old gift my daughter got. It had just been gathering dust so she gave it to me and I put it to use.

I picked 2 types of stone and the beads because I have no idea what will look good in the jar. This way I can try all 3 and discard whichever I don’t like.

There are a few ways to clean things for an aquarium. Bleach, boiling and baking are the more common. For my set up I decided to bleach the jar and boil the stones and glass beads.


While baking is the easiest I don’t know what kind of glass the jar is so I don’t know if it will hold together at the 200C needed to kill off germs. So I went with using bleach to clean the jar instead. A mix of 10:1 water/bleach and leaving it to soak for 24 hours, then a really, REALLY good set of multiple rinses with clean water. Then, when done, leave it to air dry for a couple of days to evaporate any bleach not cleared already.


The stones and beads I decided to boil for 20 mins on a high heat then leaving to cool. If you do this then you REALLY want to be careful. Those stones get very hot and they stay hot for a lot longer than you may think.
Also, don’t be tempted to run them under cold water… Very hot rocks and glass suddenly plunged into rapid cooling have a chance to do bad things. Just let them cool naturally. B-)


I chose to let the water cool in the pan for a half hour then poured them out into an old colander to cool from there. After an hour they were still warm. O.o


You will notice that I actually cleaned a LOT more than I would likely need. Better to have too much than not enough and have to repeat the process!

I also put a jug of water on the side to age. Now, I know that I don’t really need to do this but I didn’t want to take any water from the fish tank they are in now, because of algae pollution. And to be honest, I couldn’t be arsed to work out the minuscule amount of tap water cleaner needed to sort out the 900 mls I needed. So “aging” it is. B-)
Besides… It’s only a Moss ball… No fish will live in there.

So, in a couple of days when everything dries off properly and gets a good rinse I will make up the bowl and see which I like!





Washing Machine Blues

Ok… This is one is all on me. It appears I’m a bit of an idiot.

We don’t use fabric softeners… Or rather we don’t any more. We haven’t actually used them for a few years. But we did have a brief lapse when we first got the washing machine we have now. We used it once, maybe twice. Seriously we still have the near full bottle and it now resembles something akin to bad yoghurt. I didn’t even realise fabric softener had a BBE date.

For the past few days I have been wondering where the strange smell has been coming from in our kitchen. Had the cat thrown up? Had something fallen between the cupboards and gone off? No… And No.

I was putting a wash on and I got a whiff of the strange smell. When I opened up the draw I saw, and smelled, this. Ugh. B-(


Not nice. I also need to point out that I have no idea when the last time that draw was even opened. We use liquid detergent you put straight in the tub.
Normally when our machine starts it does a kind of a… Purge? It will blast some water through and then push it out. I though it was to clean the pipes and the bottom of the drum to remove any old water that had been left from last time… Great idea, no? So I naturally thought it would clear out the draw too…. Or something like that. Well, no.

So now I need to learn how to clean the draws of washing machines.

At least I now know where the smell was coming from!

Oh How I Love The Weather

So today has been a really warm day. Averaging 27 C here in Yorkshire… But that was to*day*…

Now to to*night* where it is HAMMERING it down with near constant flashes of lightning. No heavy crashing of thunderous might… Just a constant rolling thunder. I can feel the hairs on my arm tingle…

This wasn’t forecast, although with the amount of energy held up I’m not at all surprised there have been thunderstorms.

I wish I could take a photo of the sky, I really do… But my phone just can’t produce anything worthwhile. I did, however grab a REALLY crappy video after the rain had stopped but the thunder and lightning carried on.

Mini Marimo Me’s!

About 4 years ago I bought a Marino moss ball for my fish tank. It did really well and, well… By accident I managed to break it and turn one ball into two! *rolls eyes*


Fast forward to today and I seem to have found that my two Marimo balls have now had kids… I’m not sure this is how it’s supposed to happen in moss ball procreation, but I’m not going to argue… B-)


Everyone, say hello to Kael’Thas. That’s my daughters Red-tailed Shark that managed to photo bombed me on just about all the shots that came out roughly in focus. B-)

I’m considering taking the two smaller ones out of the tank and putting them in special bowls just for them and treat them like house plants, which is closer to what they actually are, rather than tank ornaments and filters.

Marimo make great pets too. Kinda. You move them around, talk to them… You can even take them outside and teach them to play catch! Or maybe you can play catch with them? Either way fun can be had with them.

Imagine a softer, wetter pet rock… except these grow over time while pet rocks don’t. B-)

Carpet brushes?

For a long time I have been getting annoyed by the fact that I can’t ever really get the sheddings from a certain member of our household out of the carpets. I do, of course, mean exhibit A…


She is a long haired Turkish Van… She despises being brushed so she sheds everywhere. Our normal vacuum cleaner tries it’s best but it simply can’t get all the cat hair up. So a couple of weeks ago I bought a carpet brush. Honestly I didn’t think it would work.

The day I bought it I gave it a try. I’m not going to lie… It was good but not as good as I had hoped. As it turns out I had been using it wrong… Colour me surprised!

The brush I bought is only a carpet brush, not a carpet rake… I have been looking up carpet rakes for how to use it. *le sigh*

So yesterday I had another go with it with the new technique, to see how it went… SO MUCH BETTER!!!

After giving it a vacuum I then used the brush.


You can see the line of fur that the vacuum just didn’t get up. The worst thing is that I can’t tell the difference between the brushed and the as-of-yet brushed bit!
And yet so much came out… It also managed to get out a couple of bits of walked in crud too. Very happy with that.


In the end, after a single run I got this lot out. Not only that but it feels a lot fluffier underfoot. It’s only a short fibre rug but it has really made a difference!

This was only a cheaper brush. It’s this, if you were wondering… I’m going to try it on a few of the actual carpets in the house, see if it does as well on those as the rug.

Because this did so well I may upgrade to an actual carpet rake in time, maybe when this one wears out. Well… It’s better than shaving the cat! B-)

And It Goes On… And On

I swear I should rename this account to ‘Shit that goes down at work’…

So… Today’s fiasco? Well…. Go grab a cup of tea, kids. Sit yourselves down and let Uncle Kal tell you the grand story of the latest shit-show. >.>

This Friday evening, and I go to my first shift of the week, check my email and find out that our department head, who we oh-so-rarely see, has forwarded us all an email from HR telling us that we need to take our holiday entitlement or we will lose them.

You see, we are currently on short, fixed term contracts as this is only a pilot scheme. Ok… Fair enough. But nobody mentioned that we need to have taken our holidays before each fixed term was done. So now we all have to take our holidays, although we can carry over a small amount at our managers discretion, which he has allowed. >.>

So now, for the next 3 weeks till the end of September, which is when this contract finishes, ALL the staff have to use up their holidays. So I am off next weekend… Whether I like it or not. *sigh*
So we have to fit in all those holidays, even though we are short staffed and can’t really afford to have people off…

The worse part? Yes, there is a worse part…

There is overtime available to cover the holidays.
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