tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Making my sacrifice to the fishing gods

The cicadas started going nuts at about 6:30am this morning. I think this means it's officially late summer. So I find myself staring at the solitary pumpkin that grew on my totally misplaced vine, and wondering how to tell when it's ripe. I think 'not yet' is the answer, but never having grown them before, I've really no clue.

Meanwhile, my weekend ended up being as busy and varied as predicted.

I have been neglecting the garden for a bit, so Saturday was mostly spent doing something about that. I started by mowing the lawn, using a catcher for the first time (normally I'm on top of it so the clippings can just go back on the lawn):

And using the clippings as a mulch on the corner vegie garden. The things in trays are some flower plants and more beans that I grew from seed. Because you can never have too many beans. Yep.

And then I got all OCD excited about tidying up the edges of the driveway, weeding the concrete cracks, and weeding/mulching the flower border. It's been a while since I did this but look!


After that I was knackered and it was evening, and I went and helped with Between the Lines. Ever swung on a washing line, and been told off for it? tieke and her friends didn't get told off, just saying.

Photo by Josh Bailey

It was a fun show, interesting and at half an hour, just the right length for a Fringe show. I think it left everyone with that "I want to have a go at that" feeling..

And then I got up at Stupid o'clock on Sunday morning to have my first go at soft bait spinning around Wellington. I'd picked Makara for this adventure and got out there just after sunrise. There was a lot of pretty weed on the beach, left behind by the retreating tide..

Unfortunately this meant that there was also lots of pretty weed in the water.. I caught quite a lot of it.

So the thing I learned from this experience is that Makara isn't ideally suited to my style of fishing. I like fishing with lures (soft bait is a biodegradable plastic that swims like a fish when you cast and retrieve it), and the rocky coastline with its ring of weed isn't really good for this type of fishing. I think if I were to go there again, I'd take a surfcaster and some smelly bait and do it the old fashioned way off one of the rocky beaches. Not my favourite style of fishing, but there are plenty of other spots around Wellington where I can try my soft baits, and I'll systematically give them all a go till I catch something.

As they say, the worst day fishing is better than the best day working. And this was far from the worst day..

If you look closely at the larger version of that pic (clicky for embiggening), just off the left hand end of Mana Island and down a bit you'll see a tiny grey dot. That's a person in a kayak. Kayak fishing is something I'm quite interested in. I know how to paddle (whitewater mostly, and I'm not that experienced at it, but enough to be relatively safe), and the cost of getting among the fish is a fraction of that using a power boat. Also, much cheaper once you've spent the initial cost, more environmentally friendly, and keeps you fit.

I'm tempted. So I had a chat with Ferg's and some time soon when it's calmish they've agreed to let me hire a fishing-type kayak and go for a paddle to see if it's something I'd enjoy. Wanna join?

Note to self though - when doing stuff like that, leave Dr Wheel with an ETA and location, otherwise he'll worry. Lesson learned.

So about those grinder papers. Remember those? After fishing (and making berley* so next time I'm not caught without), yesterday was a good day for faffing about with them.

First I had to remove the old papers. Luckily, these just pull off because they are glued on with latex glue.

Looking at this, you can see where they had come unstuck. Basically, the smooth bits on the left hand one are where the glue was still attached. The mottled looking bits show where damp has got in under the paper. So the comb paper was barely even stuck on. No wonder I had a crappy grind.

Also, the glue has to be got off the plates. This glue came off fine with a bit of that citrus glue-dissolver, but there was some older glue on there too, that had petrified and gone hard. So I borrowed a wire brush and flattened two drill batteries cleaning them up till they shone like.. um.. old grinder plates.

After that, more latex glue gets smeared all over the plate, and the new paper set on the press plate.

And then the plate threaded onto the bolt, and tightened up with a pair of stilsons to dry..

However, I wasn't happy with the way this was pressing. I could see delamination happening around the edges where the two plates weren't pressed together properly. I don't know what the problem is here, but I know that that little raised edge is what lets damp in and ruins the papers after one grind. For me, they should last at least half a dozen grinds. So I did it again, only this time I put it face down on the flattest surface I could find, and piled weights on top.

That is the weight of three grinder plates holding it down. After I took this pic, I added Norm the Concrete Porno Gnome to the top. So hopefully it's well pressed. The edges certainly aren't delaminating..

And then I made another catnip cage, this one for a plant pot for fuvenusrs. And I managed to make it without bleeding even once!

Mine is working brilliantly, and my wee catnip has survived the rigours of marauding neighbourhood cats all summer without ever losing enough bush to make it unhealthy.

And there were also conversations and drawings about the latest crazy making project, and another session of helping with the circus washing line. And much relearning how to tie fishing knots, and discovery of new ones because the technology's changed and the substance you're tying is different.

Relearned: spider hitch, uni knot, blood knot. Learned new: Albright special, rapala knot, australian braid.

I think I might be quite good at knots, they seem to come easy to me. It's a much more useful secret superpower than catching people having sex, just saying.

So yeah, a productive weekend. Things I didn't get to do: tidy up the back section and vegie gardens, make salsa for preserving, work on Cullen**.

* Involves mincing up fish, squid, and their guts with my trusty hand mincer (out in the shed for minimum stinkage), adding some breadcrumbs for bulk and to retain the juice, and freezing in little balls. When you go fishing you drop it in the water and it leaves a trail of tasty fish noms, which supposedly makes them hang around. Also occasionally attracts sharks.
** The weather's been too nice for being indoors sewing, and I've been too busy to get a good chunk of time for it. But I'm itching to get back to it, so Dr Wheel may get chased around the house with armour a bit this week.
Tags: do all the things!, i could teach boy scouts a thing or two, teeny tiny boats
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