Eureka! A (specific) Gravity test

Credit to mdfuk
Zero your scales and weigh the object you want to test, make a note of the weight. This ring weighed 3.91 grams.
Place a cup of water on a set of digital scales that are accurate to two or more decimal places. I’m using a Clear plastic cup as it’s the lightest one I have that is clear so you can see what’s going on, but something like a plastic cup from a coffee vending machine is lighter. Heavier glass cups will tip your scales over. Reset to Zero, on my scales this is the Tare button.
Tie the object to a piece of cotton of something similar, I’m actually using a bit of string that came off the netting that comes around oranges as it’s very light and non-absorbent. Suspended the object in the water, just below the surface so as little as possible of the string is added to the equation. Wait for the scales to settle and take the reading. In this case with the ring, it was 0.25 grams.
Simple Math
(Weight of the object) divided by (weight of water displaced)
In this case :- 3.91 / 0.25 = 15.64
Metal Density
Gold 19.3
Silver 10.5
Platinum 21.4
Palladium 12.0
Copper 9.0
9ct 10.9 to 12.7
14ct 12.9 to 14.6
18ct Yellow 15.2 to 15.9
18ct White 14.7 to 16.9
22ct 17.7 to 17.8
Sterling Silver 10.2 to 10.3
950 Platinum 20.1

Surprise growth

I was watering my plants downstairs and noticed an amazing thing.

Months and I mean months ago, (AFTER the spring storms destroyed my greenhouse and my 4-year-old pineapple.) I tried planting a pineapple top but it never seemed to take off. The insides went brown and I put it on a shelf in the greenhouse cause I couldn’t quite give up on it. I brought it in with all the other plants this fall and I forgot it again. So much so that I got another pineapple in October and planted it right away. This one seemed healthier to start with, and here in January, it has shown some growth in the very middle. CURIOUSLY the YouTube instructions tell you to water it right down the middle but it seems to accelerate the rotting process. I’m keeping it wet and as much fun as you can get in January.

Imagine my surprise when I decided to bring the first top up to my study and let it get the advantage of the plant lights that I found it had a new bit of growth on it! (See pic below. )You can also see how brown and unlikely the rest of it is, but there is definitely new growth up the side of the original top. I will research around the web and see if I should repot it off like a separate plant. Most likely I will leave it alone for now. It’s gone thru a lot just to get to 2021.

I also noticed that my olive tree is doing Ok out in the cold but I might move it out of the wind when the weather gets blustery.

I had almost given up hope on this pineapple top!

PS: I would really like to grow a banana but I think I would have to move a long way south of Salisbury!

It’s all happening indoors

Just counted my house plants (and a number of winter visitors! 2c is the high today and frosty!) AND I have 54 plants in pots. Not counting cuttings and seeds yet to peep out.

I know it’s not the season for seeds but I’m giving it a try. Plus I received a mango last week and have to try germinating it. It should be very similar to avocadoes in what it needs, and at least 10 of those 54 plants are avos. They germinate so easily for me that I have to stop myself from planting more.

Of course this isn’t the climate for them, and in feb of last year the green house blew down and killed most of them along with a pineapple top I’d had going for almost 4 years.

One of my christmas gifts was a nice plant shelf that fits in my study window. I am much happier with the distribution of plants now. I have a grow light on them and several different designs for self watering pots in use thanks to my other nifty gift, a 3d printer.

I might be able to finally delve into hydroponics or at least set up a drip watering system.

Watch this space.

purple poppy?

Is it unusual for a poppy to be this colour? This one came up gratis in JJ’s easter lilly box. We’ve had poppies in our garden before but not one in this shade. I checked around and I think it’s a Patty’s Plum, variety. I will try to save seeds, and maybe make a start from the root stock when it’s had it’s time in the sun, so to speak.

Montgomery Rose

That’s what I’ve dubbed the minature rose I brought with us from JJ’s house when we moved from the other side of Salisbury. I nearly decapitated it this spring when a sudden and alarming sound came out of my weed whacker and I turned it to look at what was going on. Which sent it buzzing across 2/3rds of the rose bush!

I saved most of it as you can see and tried to make cuttings out of the other bits. Jury’s still out on that one but we’ll see.

Ground’s eye view

Second Cider experiment

We have a lovely lady who stops by every now and then for a bite of homecooked food (social distancing of course) and she gives us bottles of Bramley apple juice as a thank you. I put the first one into the ongoing batch of Grimstead Green since I didn’t have any actual apples from Grimmers to put in( last year’s harvest was very limited and I hadn’t been making cider all year so it went into pies and stuff .)

Anyway, I had three more bottles and decided to make another short batch in my demiJohn. I could have used that fourth bottle to make an average-sized batch but instead, I had about 150 grams of honey that was getting hard and needed using up. So I added that to some warm water to make up another bottle and added in the yeast that SHOULD have gone into the main batch months ago. I couldn’t find it at the time, and it only reappeared after the primary fermentation! It’s my preferred yeast LC-118. That and some ‘nutrient’ from the John Bull kit and some of the generic yeast that came with it.

I needn’t have worried, once those little beasties got added to the pure apple juice it took off within minutes! I know this would have been a good oppurtunity to test another flavor or even add pears to it but I just couldn’t. I had to go with what I know and avoid turning my back on all the years of snubbing flavored cider. 🙂

That is a lot more honey than what usually ends up in my batches (proportionally speaking) so I’ll be interested in seeing how it tastes and maybe scaling up the amount of honey in my next full-size batch.

Hydroponic Rose

I haven’t mentioned it much but I have converted an old fish tank into a hydroponics tank and have several cuttings on the go. The pink briarose I posted about last week has decided to bloom. Hopefully, that means it will form roots afterward and I’ll be able to start some along the fence. I noticed on the ‘wild’ side of our back garden fence there are some wild roses in amongst the blackberries and nettles. Some over 6 feet tall. I have to go out there and cut more of it back before it completely obscures my gardening table and shed.

Chalk Thing

Several truck loads of chalk arrived while I was out detecting the other day and the drivers weren’t that bothered about getting it all in one pile. I scanned various small piles of chalk as I wandered just like I would a mole hole or other pile of earth, not really expecting any of it to ring up you know?

Well one of them did and I found this chalky round thing. It’s just shy of 2cm in diameter and has a bit of weight to it:

After rinsing it off I could see some ornate diamond-shaped depressions on one side and a rough, almost stone-like reverse with no sign of button or pin attachments.  It does not appear to be magnetic. The flakes in the left hand ‘diamond’ are reddish when you turn it in the light.

(A lime green post-it note was probably not the best background to use but I was a bit rushed. 🙂
I asked where the chalk was being shipped from and was told ‘The Lark Hill area.’ I have no idea what I have here but  I think its probably part of an larger decorative lead/tin alloy object, c. 1850+.

Also from the same trip was this smashing medieval buckle, complete with the metal strike plate still attached. I’ll be glad to get that identified when this is all over but my best guess is 17th century.

I forgot to mention I’d also found this gear from something. A bit large for a pocketwatch but perhaps some sort of clockwork.