Life with a Solar Powered Fountain


Two years ago, I yearned for a pond in my back garden. I really believed it would make my life complete. My ever hopeful husband dutifully obliged, dug a hole as a labour of love and created a natural looking pond. Natural enough to nurture our first batch of frog spawn to adulthood no less. Although I also did my share – my maternal instinct kicked in and there I was, freezing an ice cube tray full of lettuce to nourish my new babies.

I even had aspirations for a solar powered water feature. Having been runner-up in a local short story competition with prize money to spend, a fountain seemed a suitable momento. It never happened. Then, since the sun did not shine at all last summer, the pond did not get visited and a solar powered fountain seemed pointless. However, hope springs eternal. Another short story has been entered into the competition; the sun has been shining and the fountain has been bought and installed.

But I can’t help wondering if it is tempting fate. Can I really expect any sun to shine in my garden this year? Who do I think I am? I live in the North East after all. How much sun will it take? Being solar powered myself, I know how much harder it is to achieve anything when ‘the sun don’t shine’. My sympathy goes out to my poor fountain. The frogs have come back voluntarily (which irrationally fills me with great pride) and the frog spawn is right in the middle where the fountain would ideally go…the frogs got there first! I hope they enjoy the improved aerated water quality and that I enjoy many hours of observing pond life. I’ll keep you posted.

I love being outside but I hate being cold. I acknowledge the tangible difference in my children after a spell of fresh air, but when the air is really fresh, getting us all out of the door is an uphill task. A friend of mine is on a mission to encourage us all out more – only in this country are tomorrow’s plans for a picnic in the park accompanied by a wet weather plan spelt out in a text – ‘a rain walk equipped with wellies and brollies and they can splash in puddles!’ Oh joy! Am I the only one who’s pathetic about being wet and cold? Do we Brits let the weather dominate our lives more than we should?  Am I conditioning my children to prefer snuggling up under a duvet with a mug of hot chocolate watching a good film? Actually, because the kids are usually climbing the walls after a whole day in the house, I’m pretty good at providing both – a bracing walk followed by a hot water bottle.

I’m still hoping for sun tomorrow though. It would be nice to know that the fountain does actually work.

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