A good day, despite not spending enough of it in the garden. After breakfast I did my emails etc and then at about 10.30, got ready to get to Robin's for 11am, which is when he'd asked me to get to him to help him install his solar water system.
We had a go at this before Christmas... but he found the ?manifold had the sensor doobrey on the different end that he was expecting, so he had to alter things and today, all was ready and in the right place. His plumber/electrician friend Andy was there to help, so Robin did the on the roof stuff, tied on with climbing rope and carabiners. I climbed the ladder with the tubes and reflectors. Andy smeared 'Chinese Toothpaste' on the copper ends (prevents oxidation apparently) and helped clean the tubes.
What a great team! BUT... sad to say, on the 15th and last tube, Robin got a bit over enthusiastic and banged the tube on his knee... not hard, and by accident of course, and it broke. Fortunately he had a spare. These tubes work by heating a copper rod in a vacuum, the rod warms up and the heat is transmitted to the end of the tube which sits in the water flow, warming the water. Despite the day being overcast, these tubes heated up significantly... the tubes themselves didn't, but the copper rod did. Amazing though simple technology. Also, as water doesn't actually flow in the tubes, if one breaks, it can be replaced easily.
I left at just after 1pm and came home via a place where a large number of willow trees have been felled, and conveniently chopped into large chunks and just left... although willow isn't the best wood for fuel, I'll take anything! So, one huge chunk of willow and home.
Lunch. The rest of the afternoon went too fast. I had several Fiddlesticks enquiries.
I did manage to do some outside stuff, keeping me sane.
During the evening I had three long phone calls, one from a Channel 4 researcher who wanted my input to a programme about an interesting approach to reducing supermarket food waste, which I may be able to help with, and two long chats with people I know, all good conversations to have.