I've just joined the forum after thinking about it for a while. Actually the truth is that I've been a member of another forum group for years and I couldn't remember my password!
Anyway, now that I'm here I should first of all say I am very much an amateur in the field of diatoms... as is evidenced by the title of a past publication (alas no more) I edited - The Amateur Diatomist.
All that I have learnt has been at the feet of Klaus Kemp (and if anyone has been around the feet of Klaus Kemp then you'll realise that I'm quite dedicated).
At present my collecting trips have been somewhat curtailed by the need to be presentable to go on customer sites. Customers don't look too kindly on someone appearing in their pristine computer suites dripping wet and trailing all manner of pond residues across their carpets.
I'm intrigued by the lengths some of you are going to during your cleaning operations - I'm still wearing the old trousers (or at least what remains of them) that I've been using as protective apparel for the last five years. Indeed they are now so holey that they've become fashionable.
I'm not sure what I will be able to contribute to the discussions but I'll put my oar in, so to speak, from time to time. However, since I couldn't remember my password, I'm not sure what I will be able to recall, so perhaps you should take any comments with a pinch of Potassium perchlorate!