Sunday, 26 November 2017

Meeting the local wildlife.......

I was moving some wood from outside to inside and this lovely little spider was waiting for me at the bottom of the pile.

Having tried to encourage him down the driveway with the tip of my trainer, it took a hold and I had vision of it running up my leg. After shaking it off I gave it another push, but it turned around lifted its front legs and gave me one of those 'looks'.....

From what I can gather it is a European Tarantula, but I didn't ask it!

Friday, 24 November 2017

Cloud Formation Monster

Is this some scary dinosaur or evil monster coming?

Spotted forming in the clouds above Tala.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Timer meltdown!

After being out at the dog shelter today, we all came home and had showers.

I went to put on the electric immersion heater and noticed it was already on, but no light on, so thought the timer circuit was 'off' so opened up the distribution board door to bypass the timer and flick it to 'on'.

When I did this, the light still didn't come on. To begin with, I couldn't work out why, and it wasn't until I looked at the side of the timer through the slot in the DB cover that I noticed the melting on the side of the timer relay.

It was time to dig out the screwdrivers and multi-meter!

Removing the cover off the front of the distribution board, I immediately noticed the wire link across terminals 2+4 had completely melted away and this in turn had melted both sides of the timer.

Hunting around in toolbox I found some 10Amp chocolate block and used this to bypass the timer relay contact. Guess I'll go shopping for a new timer tomorrow.

I think when I get the replacement, I will be wiring it up with segregated circuits for the timer motor and the heater element circuit.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Show me the Segway to go home..........

Today was another first for me......Segway riding.

TrySegway is a company located down in Kato Paphos, which is owned and run by Michael an Authorised Segway Engineer.

After arriving at the agreed time, Michael introduced us the Segways gave a brief overview of their operation and then after the usually liability declarations were signed, we popped on the mandatory helmets and headed across the road. Michael took the Segways over to us.

We spent the first few minutes just learning how to mount and dismount, and then getting comfortable going up and down the area, round in circles etc.

Then it was time to head out.....

We headed along the promenade area towards the harbour, round the harbour area and then out along the coastal path (Coastal Broadwalk) towards Tomb of the Kings and stopped at the back of the Elysium Hotel. On the way back, stopping off for a quick snack and a drink at the Lighthouse Beach cafe.

It was a lot easier than expected and you really do begin to feel like it is second nature. Even on the small hills and dips.

During the outing Michael took some pictures and then emailed these out once he had downloaded them from his camera. In total, it was around an 8km trip. The excursion we had gone on was the Coastal Tour, lasting about 2.5hrs and at €50 per person. Visit the page to see the other types of excursions available.

Wish we had more time and had gone further, but we had to be back in time to pick up the kids from school! Next time we will see if they are big enough and heavy enough to use them as there are restrictions.

A really good time had. Thanks Michael.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Solar pool cover installed.

Over the last couple of weeks, it has been noticeably getting cooler in the evening. This has had the undesirable effect of the pool also getting colder. it had dropped around 5'C to 25'C over the course of just over a week and it was certainly noticeable when you went in! Not quite 'where have they gone' cold, but cool enough.

After look at various site and suppliers and getting a feel for prices online from various forums etc. I came across a supplier in Paphos.

I dropped them an email on the Wednesday morning and they came back to me with some options on different materials and requested I send them a sketch of the dimensions and picture of the pool.

They came straight back to me on the Wednesday afternoon with an estimate, and I agreed to proceed and just to make sure on the dimensions etc. agreed for them to come and measure up first, just to be on the safe side. The pool could have easily been slightly off square etc. They also needed to know the corner radius etc.

Thursday morning Lloyd of Safe.T.First Pool Safety arrived and measured up the pool, he also showed me the different options of the Solar Cover material. I remember back to the days of swimming pool covers being effectively blue bubble wrap, i.e. the same bubble wrap you might use to send a parcel or spend hours popping when you are bored. This pool cover material is like a really strong peanut shell shaped bubbles.

I elected to go for the heavy duty 500 micron premium 'Aresti' cover, with hemmed edged and also a suitable roller. Didn't fancy trying to handle a large 10m x 5m (+steps area) cover without a roller.

I asked about the delivery time and was told it would be about a week.

On the Monday, got a phone call from Lloyd that they could come and install the pool cover, as everything happened quicker than anticipated with the supplier etc. We had just dropped the kids off at school and were out shopping, so finished off and headed back to the villa ready for them coming.

Lloyd and Dan turned up and did an excellent job of installing the pool cover and trimming the curve at the Roman steps end to fit neatly. The swimming pool had a step ladder at the far end, and wasn't sure if we should leave it in or not, and cut the cover to suit, but decided to temporarily remove the ladder as we don't use it and it is only bolted down. Might consider extending the leg height of the roller at a later date to go over the steps, but for the time being it is fine without them.

Pool Cover In Place
I used a piece of the trimmings to make a bobble float for the pool thermometer which I had originally tied to the step ladder. Over the course of the next next couple of days I checked the temperature and when I went into the pool on the Tuesday, it was definitely better, it had risen by a couple of degrees, despite being cloudy on Monday and Tuesday, by the Thursday night it was up to 28'C.

Big thanks to Lloyd and Dan of Safe.T.First Pool Safety, for such a speedy and professional delivery and installation. This investment will certainly extend the pool usable window towards the winter months.

In addition to their website link above, you can also visit their Facebook page at:

Next up I will maybe think about some form of solar heating using a sump pump and black irrigation hose coils....but that is a project for another day.