It was blowing hard when the alarm sounded. At least I didn’t have to creep around trying to be totally silent. Remembering to untangle all the leads from the day before is always helpful as I fumble around in the obscurity attaching the dogs. Nothing like tracking down and untangling all the leads when one is half asleep. We got out the gate in reasonable order despite Pea’s overzealous desire for a love-in as I was trying to get Oskar, Minnie and Charlie from their cages. The gate to the field is already open at this stage so dogs charging around on their own is not such a good idea.
Off into the moonlit Promontory with at least one FreeLoader vehicle in the car park. This freeloader turned out to be a diver, so excused. Down to the end of the Promontory before 06:00 with Boris chasing his ball all the way. We’d moved up onto the rocks in the same location as yesterday when our visitor arrived. Obi, Luis and Princess were my captives so it was only Pea, Oskar, Minnie and Charlie who ran off to meet the interloper. Any sensible dog would run away you’d think but not this one. He stood his ground as all around him barked loudly. Boris fetched his ball, I put him on the lead, and we went to investigate. The interloper was a young male terrier which stood and watched as the others barked at him. Probably wondering what sort of madhouse he’d discovered. One by one the dogs came back so I was able to put them on their leads. Slowly the barking subsided and things got calmer. Surely, I though, now would be a good time to make an exit but instead he simply watched as I distracted the others with biscuits. It was now 07:00 and time to leave, so I gathered everyone up and started back towards the camping. He followed at a distance which made progress difficult especially when Pea and Oskar insisted on turning round to see where he was. Periodically Oskar would start barking and I finally had enough so bit his ear. That shut him up!
We were in the field next to the camping and still the other dog was following so I sat down hoping he’d go away. I considered tying half to the fence then taking the others back but that had problems of its own. So we waited and all chilled out. Finally, a car appeared which seemed more interesting than staying in the field with us. I grasped the opportunity to get all the dogs back to the camping and into their respective locations. Today I even remembered to close the gate to the field before letting off the dogs! It was 07:45 by this time so I needed to catch up with watering and feeding.
On my way to the supermarket I went to give Sascha the memory card he leant me during his previous visit. I used this to set up my Raspberry Pie and had left it in a safe place where it would be easy to find. If only I could remember where that was of course. Sascha had some presents for me: a couple of solar panel controllers and a bottle of genuine Polish vodka all the way from Poland. He goes to Poland for his work and his work throws away all the PV equipment after five years. Most PV equipment is supposed to last at least ten years so it’s a very cheap way to set up a solar electricity project. He brought a whole van load of PV stuff to a friend who lives in Asogires last year. Apparently there may have been some items he didn’t use. The problem with any PV project is the cost of the batteries. The panels and the electronic control equipment has become cheaper and more efficient over time. Lead acid or flooded cell batteries are still the cheapest option for storage but this still accounts for a sizable investment and the pay-back time is quite long. As we have so much sun here as well as so many power-cuts, it would be handy to have a system to use the power of the sun during the day, storing the surplus in batteries for the night and drawing electricity from the grid when there is no sun or continuously poor weather.
There are three main types of PV system: Feed-in, Off-grid and hybrid. With feed-in your panels make electricity when the sun shines which you can use to power your property. The remainder of the electricity can be fed into the grid for credit when your panels do not make power. You use the electricity grid as your battery in effect. Off-grid you have panels and batteries but there is no main or grid electricity. The batteries are charged by the sun but you don’t have any other power to fall back on unless you get a wind turbine or diesel generator as backup. This gives total independence from the grid but costs the most due to the complexity and number of batteries required for prolonged storage. A hybrid system consists of a certain amount of battery storage but relies on the grid if there is no sun or prolonged cloudy weather. I plan to build a hybrid system using the mains electricity as backup. For me this is the best solution as I will have enough power for over night or to survive power cuts but can use grid power when there’s no sun. This saves buying lots of batteries.
It’s blowing again and it has been warm today when the wind was calmer. The top temperature is 37.6C: cooler than yesterday and the day before when there wasn’t much change from 40C.
I mentioned to Marie, Sascha and Steffi’s daughter, who helped with the dogs when she was here at Easter, that there was only a morning walk at this time of the year. She asked what time I left and I expected her to balk when I said it was 05:40. She replied that she might be awake at that time so would come. Seeing is believing: she might find her bed a more attractive proposition. Her brother, hammock-boy from two years ago, and last year too, was out having fun in Paleochora until 03:00 so Marie commented. He always seems a bit lethargic. But then, at this time of the year, I am one to enjoy a couple of sleeps when it’s hot.
My evening shower was a bit windy but still enjoyable. As usual, the wind is from the northeast, the prevailing direction, so there is little protection. Despite the fact that Janne and Erica left on Sunday, I still look up to make sure they are not sitting up on their balcony as it looks directly at my open shower pallet. I can gaze over towards the mountains as I stand under the trickling water.
I have tested the water coming out of my new tap setup. The company which supplied the replacement filter provided a ph kit for checking the alkalynity of the water. Very blue the water turned when I put some drops of the agent into a shotglass so the water is definitely alkaline. There is still a little deposit in the kettle but nothing like the scum before so the filters are doing their job. The glasses and mugs are clean rather than lined with a layer of deposit. People who suffer with acidosis might consider drinking alkaline water. I think good quality water is important.
It’s cooler, the sun is behind the storeroom and the dogs are quiet. Even ignoring the noises-off from the remainder of the camping. People slapping their shoes together or clapping usually elicits a bark or two but they can’t even be bothered with that. A small boy making barking noises earlier got them going but they were quiet when I asked them to be.
Princess is flopped-out on the decking full-length. She is looking at me with half-closed eyes as I watch the wind rippling through her shaggy coat. The sun blockers and the awning are flapping noisily overhead but she and Luis seem to be annoying it. Fido, I have just discovered, is under my chair. The sounds of a crying baby drift up from the main camping and the cicadas keep playing their tune.