The making of a tiny pond

 It's the must have accessory of the year, a tiny pond. Even the BBC  say so. 

a small round pond in a bucket

Make a tiny pond even if you only have a tiny garden. You can do it in a weekend at minimal cost. I’ve been reliably informed that it takes about a year for frogs to move in, and that adding tadpoles is not a good idea. So now we wait.

Here’s what I bought:

Bucket £1.50 (Screwfix)I bought a black 14L builders bucket. You can get them anywhere, even Amazon.

Solar pump (optional)  £12.99 (Amazon) There are various types with various power at various prices, but this is the one I bought.

Tiny ramp £7.71 (You could make your own, this one was from Amazon)

Pond plants £13 for two – local aquatic specialist.The two I chose were Red Stemmed Parrot Feather, and Barred Horsetail.

Total £35 ish

 You’ll also need – a tool to dig a hole.


I dug a hole the size of the bucket. This is surprisingly hard work because you can’t really use a big spade unless you make the hole wider and back-fill it. I wanted to have the pond in the lawn and keep the lawn around it so I just used a trowel to make the hole the right size, depth, and shape. 

a hole in the lawn, the size of the bucket next to it
I used a hot skewer to remove the bucket handle, buckets vary so you might be lucky and have one where the handle just pops out. I didn’t.

Popped the bucket in the hole.

I washed some gravel (I had some that I use for potting up plants) it was very dusty and took a lot of rinsing! Then added an inch or so as a layer at the bottom of the pond. No idea if this is essential I just felt it would give a natural bottom.

I added an upturned flower pot as a raised area for a plant. You could also use a brick.

I added the ramp which also doubled as a place to fix the pond pump. The pump had a filter made of sponge but the holes in it were huge, so I cut a finer sponge and popped that in as a filter instead. Trial and error with fountain heads led me to go with no sprinkle attachment at all, just a bubbling bit of water. Still moves the water and seems more natural. But it’s just preference.

I added two pond plants one for the base of the pond, a true underwater plant, and one for the top of the flower pot, an edge plant. I chose Red Stemmed Parrot Feather, and Barred Horsetail.  but there are lots to choose from.

I didn’t have rain water to fill the pond, but the watering cans in the garden were standing around for weeks so the water wasn’t fresh from the tap. I filled the pond, adjusted everything a bit, added a rock to weight down the ramp at one end, and switched on the pump and left it to it. The water cleared after a few hours. I have added some bits and bobs around the edge. You can buy fancy rocks if that’s your thing. The plants have shown growth after only a week!


Total time – one morning. Total cost - £35 ish. Value to nature - priceless 


Inspired by Tiktok 



@plant_daddyuk Exciting mini wildlife pond update We have new life! #wildlife #wildlifepond #pond #minipond #nature #biodiversity #frog #tadpoles #garden #gardening #gardentok #life #newlife ♬ sonido original - DiegoVegaSoria


What if you want to read e-Books but you don't want to be tied to Amazon.

Amazon Kindles let you read a variety of formats but most (especially any you buy from amazon) are protected from copying by digital rights management software (DRM). Now I understand the desire to stop people copying your hard work when you write a book, and selling it on, or even making copies for mates. BUT DRM means you can't even load the copy onto multiple devices that you own. And I've even heard of Amazon just no longer hosting a book you bought and own! So unless you downloaded it, it has just gone!

Kobo let you read even more formats. Though not Amazon because, as we said, it's DRM protected. So what to do.

You can use software to strip the DRM, then other software to convert the file to a nice one for Kobo (other e-readers are of course available but I have a Kobo so it's what I know) then use a USB cable to transfer the book file onto the Kobo.
Doing this enables you to read books bought via Kobo, Amazon books you previously purchased, and other books you find (legally) online, such as out of copyright books on the Gutenberg Project website (check it out all the classics are there for free).

How to download and convert Amazon ebooks.

I used DeDRM - www.dedrm.com

1. First you download the ebooks.Open your account and navigating to your digital content page (click account and lists, and choose Manage your contant and devices fromt he amazon home page).Select a book from the content list and click ' More actions, then select Download & transfer via USB '.

Then you need you Kindle serial number.Go to Manage Your Content and Device then select Device and check the kindle serial number.

Upload each book into DeDRM to strip the DRM protection.

2. To convert the now unprotected file use Calibre (apparently there is some way to do everything in Calibre but I didn't do that. You can use that method if you don't own an actual Kindle device. ) https://calibre-ebook.com/download

More info on all of this here https://www.cloudwards.net/remove-drm-from-kindle-books/

Download Calibre and convert the new unprotected AZW3 file to an epub or epub3 file and pop it onto the Kobo via USB. Sorted. There are lots of demos on site https://calibre-ebook.com/demo

kobo reader showing a free ebook

 also check out Project Gutenberg for free ebooks


A useful checklist for those that are prone to impulse purchases

 A useful checklist for those that are prone to impulse purchases


Memory One. April 2023. A trip to Devon, a small church and a drink.

a small sandy cove with a rocky cliff and a stream flowing from the cliff through the sand to the sea

Back to April 2023 when I visited a friend (on online friend, for those people that insist online friendships aren't real - turns out they are). I visited my friend in Devon and while there I saw a postcard in a touristy shop, a postcard for Hope Cove. Hope Cove was a place I used to go to as a small child with my grandparents and it had such happy memories, I bought the card and insisted we drive there as it was relatively close. 

Amazingly it had not changed much. The beach in the little cove was just as I remembered. There was also a nice pub where we sat outside and looked at the view. It was a glorious trip down memory lane, and my friend, seeing how happy the visit made me, even bought me a souvenir Hope Cove mug. Happy times. 

But that wasn't all that April brought. 

a tiny insect hotel built as a scale replica of the church behind it, complete with spire

There was also plenty of dog walking. (I now have two dogs again, Fizz the most adorable border terrier, and rather fancy but hellishly disobedient fox terrier. To be fair to Ted, being a nightmare does seem to be in the fox terrier job description). Anyway, on one walk we wandered in the grounds of the local church and found this small insect hotel. Rather adorable.

And to round off the month, and as an attempt to regain the sense of taste lost to COVID, I had one or two cocktails.

a pinkish cocktail in a fancy glass with a cherry on a retro cocktail stick featuring a bikini clad lady.


It's been a while

When I started this blog over 20 years ago it was as a simple online diary. And no one read it but that didn't matter because I read it, I could share things with family, friends and weirdos I met online and it was my tiny bit of the web.

Back then I didn't have my own domain and I had zero clue about the best way to edit and add images. But I took an evening class (remember them!) in web design and passed with distinction so felt a tad more comfortable with html and all the elements of a webpage. I bought a domain (or 5) and carried on. 

While my daughter was young 'mummy blogging' suddenly became a thing and I sort of fell in to it, reviewing items, visiting shows and festivals, writing posts in exchange for goods. But I was hardly one of the big players, though briefly shortlisted for an award which meant I did get to attend a fancy reception in London, I didn't win anything and gradually I went back to just waffling (like now). Slowly I just blogged less and less. 

When I changed jobs, after 27 years in the NHS I thought I would have more time but I seemed to fill that with other things and blogging took a very, very back seat. And then COVID happened. Like millions of others I was forbidden to leave the house for weeks and months on end...surely I would blog now! Guess what, no, no I still didn't really blog.

The last post here was in 2023 just over a year ago when COVID finally found me. (I still don't have all my sense of taste and smell back)

But today here I am! And I have a plan. I will once again blog for me. And to start with I will blog for the 12 months prior to the previous post. I had the cunning idea of finding a photo on my phone for each month and blogging about it. 12 posts to get me back into the habit of blogging. 

So this rambling introduction doesn't count. But here's an image anyway, because every post needs a focus and AI needs something to steal (more of that in another post later) 

A cute green and white keyboard with round buttons

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