Sunday, November 28, 2010

New nata

A while back, I wrote about my ebinata and kukuri, offering a wealth of false information.

Of the ebinata, I wrote "I've used it savagely, especially when splitting very big culms of bamboo. This involves driving the tool through inch-thick material by hammering alternately on the spine of the blade and on the tang with another stout piece of bamboo. The tool is not harmed in the least by this rough usage."

Five years of this rough usage have unfortunately wrecked the connection between the blade and the handle, and only some very ingenious work will be able to replace it. However, it did serve magnificently during that time.

Of the kukuri, I wrote "The whole thing, sheath included, is a beautiful piece of workmanship, and the two-tone handle is especially attractive. However, a 12" blade is imposing and heavy, something I began to consider carefully only after I had ordered it. It does chop well, although not vastly better than the ebinata. The handle however fits nicely in the hand".

In fact, it isn't a particularly good piece of workmanship. The steel is rather soft and it doesn't hold an edge very well. Also, in an unplanned confrontation between the kukuri and a concrete wall, the kukuri lost part of the edge tore and folded over, and a chunk of the 'hardwood' handle chipped off. (I was splitting bamboo against a wall, and the bamboo gave way suddenly.) The handle is not ergonomic either. It's far too thick where the thumb and forefinger grip it.

To replace the ebinata, I got a straight nata. Oh, but this thing is a beauty. Look at the curves on it! It has chopping written all over it.

It's also remarkably compact, and in its case, it fits snugly against the body. The steel is far superior to that of the kukuri, and the handle is a much better shape.

I think I'll try to refrain from using this one as a hammer, and see if it lasts longer than the ebinata.

Second water butt

I originally built my shed so that I could have another roof for collecting rainwater. But having no tank to put the water in, the water simply ran off without purpose. Now I have my 200 l lorry tank however, things all come together rather nicely.

Gutter on

Hole drilled and fitting attached

Attached with a hose

Now when it's time to take the water tank to the ditch in the summer for some pumpin' action, it's just a matter of pulling the hose off the gutter and sealing the fitting with the little screw cap that came with it.

But there's a persistent little voice in my head that keeps saying "Another 400 l would be nice...". We'll have to see about that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Summer veg in autumn

This is the summer veg that we were supposed to be getting from July and August that failed to appear due to lack of water. It feels a bit odd to be eating our first homegrown peppers in November. The mini plum tomatoes are very sweet.