Tag Archives: Weather

More rain

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English: rain clouds Looking out to sea at the...

Rain clouds Looking out to sea at the rain cloud that had just soaked me on a winter sunday walk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we are to have much more sunshine and warm days it doesn’t look like it is on the menu for the next three or four days as I write this on Saturday afternoon. The sun has been shining this afternoon but there has been lots of cloud cover too. It rained mostly during the morning but the rain is supposed to be returning by nightfall. Sunday looks a little better but thereafter more rain is forecast right up to and including Wednesday. Soon I will need a dry day so that the lawn can be mowed, it doesn’t need it just yet fortunately but it is a case of doing it when I can. I might do it tomorrow, Sunday if it is to be as dry as they say it will be. I made the short trip into the village in the morning in order to deposit some money in the bank but I didn’t linger and walked back home as soon as I left the bank. Although I had an umbrella with me and although it was raining very lightly I didn’t bother opening it but by the time I had reached a hundred metres from home the rain became much heavier. Part of the last few metres I had tree cover so wasn’t bothered too much until I got to the gate when I had to make a dash for the front door. Another few seconds later and I’d have been soaked through! After a late lunch I spent an hour or so out on the patio. It was warm, a little humid and sunny and I sat there watching the numerous bees making their daily trips to a large flowering plant we have in the border close-by. I don’t know the name of the plant but there are several tall pale green stems which I would describe as being lime green, green mixed with white but toward the tops the minute leaves fade into a deep purple colour which are the flowering part of the plant. There isn’t much strength in the plant’s stems and it tends to bend over unless there is some sort of support provided. We have some bamboo canes to help in that support. For quite a number of weeks now the bees have been visiting the plant to collect nectar. There are other flowering plants nearby and some are even growing intermingled with it, Mombrecia being one of them but the bees seem to prefer the purple flowers. The ants are still busy and as soon as the sun comes out so do they. Soon it will be Autumn, four weeks away isn’t a long time is it?

Shirley Anne

Fresher

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A pair of Wellington boots

A pair of Wellington boots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The weather on Saturday was so much fresher and cooler too, just as I like it though the wind picked up a little, just as I don’t like it. It was however quite pleasant, a day for doing things outdoors. There were things to be done in the garden though none of them were absolutely necessary to be done immediately, in fact one is better to be done when it is Autumn and when there are no ants scurrying about and making a nuisance of themselves. There is a small area adjacent to the natural stone path I laid around the mound last year which needs finishing off.  I need to lay some more stone where the path joins with the flower bed and the concrete paving in that spot but at the moment ants have been too busy and have made their presence known whenever I have been removing weeds. I don’t want to be overrun with ants whilst I am working. When I laid the path last year I was wearing toe protecting Wellington boots because I was handling large slabs of stone and if there were any ants to worry about I doubt they’d have remained on my boots for long. The ground was being disturbed too much for them to stay in the area but this smaller area requires that I am kneeling down and would most definitely be covered with them in minutes. So no work of that nature in the garden until the weather cools down considerably. It was nice weather for walking though so in the afternoon I did just that. Over the last couple of weeks I have worked on Saturday morning but only because the work was either in the form of an emergency or it was easy to do. I do not encourage people to ask that I work on a weekend, after all I need the rest too. I am usually asked because the caller works during the week and is only at home on a Saturday or Sunday and they can’t be bothered to take a day or a morning off work. Saturdays and Sundays are usually the only days I can ensure to have to myself to do the things I want or to do the things I need to do at home. I can never be sure that someone won’t call me during the week to do a job for them, even when I deliberately take that day off. My only recourse is to switch off my phone and sometimes I will do that. Messages can always be left. It is approaching the time of year I like most, the Autumn and I can feel it in the air.

Shirley Anne

Barking mad

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As The Crow Flies (The Advisory Circle album)

As The Crow Flies (The Advisory Circle album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had arranged to do a very small job on Friday morning for a man living in an apartment a mere two hundred metres as the crow flies, from my house but slightly further by road. He had called the evening before explaining that he had purchased a replacement fan unit for an electric heater in his lounge and couldn’t fit it himself. I explained that I no longer undertake work of that nature as a rule, though fires are never usually problematical to repair. I agreed to do it for him, it would be easy money without any hassle. I arrived right on time and had the unit replaced in about ten minutes. He told me that the old fan unit made a noise even when it wasn’t switched on, though I couldn’t hear it. He had paid £85 for the replacement which I hasten to say did not make a noise when it was switched off. I had an idea he had imagined the fault. When I had done the job he told me that the lighting wall switches did not switch off the lights he wanted them to. It was a three-gang switch (three switches on the same plate) and the first two switches were the ones he wanted altering. A simple task which involved swapping two wires and I had it done in a minute. On returning home I asked my son, who had stopped overnight and was about to leave, if he could drop me in the Village so I could visit the bank and the chemist shop (drug store). I walked back home. It had been a dry, humid but dull morning and the forecast was for rain in the afternoon so I decided to mow the lawn. It was just about due for another cut and it was just as well that I did it because we had torrential downpours after lunch. I thought that would be the end of my working week but I received a call later in the afternoon from an elderly lady who was trying to explain that she had lost all power to her power outlets. She apologised for her garbled speech explaining that she had a stroke some years ago which had left her that way. ‘No need to apologise’ I said and I drove there immediately. She had two small dogs that barked incessantly whilst I was there and the smaller of them was very aggressive too. It was all she could do to keep them away from me whilst I was trying to figure out the problem with the power. Why oh why don’t people put their animals in isolation in a room that visitors won’t be going in? Instead of doing that she struggled to keep them quiet and out-of-the-way. In situations like this I have to be very diplomatic and patient but it really drives me mad that people don’t think there is a problem. It is difficult enough trying to work without having to contend with the bad behaviour of pets, especially barking dogs. I asked if there were any power outlets outside and was told there was one out there. When I went outside I noticed a cable clipped to the wall at low-level and it appeared damaged at one point. One of the dogs had chewed it. The dog evidently had been protected by the RCD unit on the power distribution board. I saw that the wires were not severed and in fact only the live conductor was showing bare at one small point. The cable had gotten wet in the downpour and had shorted between the live conductor and the bare earth wire. The earthing conductor within a cable is not insulated. I effected a repair and lifted the cable higher up the wall and clipped it, fitting a cover over that part which had to remain at low-level. I was paid a little extra by the lady who was grateful that I had responded so quickly.

Shirley Anne

Even so

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English: Clevelode's burglar alarm These fowl ...

Clevelode’s burglar alarm These fowl make a heck of a noise if a stranger appears. The River Severn is just beyond the bushes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite it being very warm these last few days I continued to work either for myself at home or for others though on Thursday I didn’t work at all. It is now Friday as I write this late in the evening and there is now a much welcomed breeze blowing outside. It has become much cooler too. Temperatures reached around 28 or 29 deg C which is in the low to mid eighties on the Fahrenheit scale but the killer has been the high humidity. I had no work scheduled for the day so around nine-thirty after breakfast I decided to prune back the shrubs on the far side of our rear garden which had encroached too far out over the concrete path there. Now I can actually walk the length of the path without dodging and ducking to avoid the branches! A little tidying up of leaves and I was finished in just over an hour. It was beginning to get warmer outside by this time and too much exertion wasn’t advisable and I returned indoors for a while. As I had risen from my bed around six o’clock I’d had an early breakfast so was feeling hungry on the approach to noon and therefore had an early lunch. Soon afterward I decided to mow the lawn and it was hard-going because it had not dried out completely from the previous evening’s heavy rain and in parts it was quite long. It grows faster in the area immediately behind the house which shelters it from the afternoon sun. The far side of the lawn suffers in the heat of a summer’s sun. I had to empty out the cuttings about six times, four times as many as I normally have to and the cuttings taken from behind the house were quite wet. E had left the house whilst I was mowing the lawn and I thought she had gone with her sister who had called to drop off some clothes that needed washing. Her machine is faulty and she is waiting for the replacement to be delivered so E had offered to wash it for her. I went for a walk and thought no more about it. On my return home about forty minutes later E was standing outside our neighbour’s house chatting with her. Evidently they had called me on the phone but I hadn’t heard the phone ringing as it was in my bag and I had been surrounded by the noise of traffic. E hadn’t her house keys when she left the house and in fact she had only gone to chat with our neighbour but hadn’t let me know. I had set the house alarm and it had gone off whilst I was out, When I went into the house I switched off the alarm which by now had stopped anyway and I reset it and checked it out twice to make sure it was working. It worked perfectly so I have no idea why it had triggered when it did. It did indicate that ‘Zone 1′ had a problem when I first went back into the house to reset it so perhaps it was the door switch that had temporarily failed. Zone 1 is the entry door to the house. Maybe we should invest in a living alarm as in the picture! I went into the garden to sit out on the patio for a while, it was too hot to do much else but after a while I took one of the chairs off the patio and moved it into the shade of the house. I sat there with my feet on the cool grass in the shade but after ten minutes my phone rang and someone asked if I could connect a cooker for them. They had just moved into an apartment which happened to lie on the road at the top of our own. I called to do it and was back less than twenty minutes later.

Shirley Anne

A nothing day

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This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 51st week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday evening I was in bed around ten-thirty and although my eyes were closed I could see the bright flash of lightning illuminating the room. I got out of bed and opened the window so that I could watch Nature‘s wonderful display and I wasn’t disappointed. Sheet lightning lit up the clouds from the inside every few seconds then streaks flashed from one end of the sky to the other almost in slow-motion as I gazed at the wonderful display. Occasionally I would see streaks between the sky and the ground. Slowly the storm moved northward but just as I thought it was all over another small storm blew over the house. Eventually all was calm but it was now raining and I was glad about that. I love thunderstorms and could watch them for hours. I had watered the gardens earlier in the evening and it didn’t seem enough, especially for the lawn, for it had been quite a hot and humid day. It wasn’t as hot as the weather girl had claimed for we had been told that Wednesday had been the hottest day of the current heat wave and certainly of the year but in fact Tuesday had been warmer and very humid too. Now the gardens would be fully watered and I wouldn’t need to do it in the morning as I had been doing lately. I woke up on Thursday morning to bright sunshine but it was cloudy too and noticeably cooler I discovered later. I had no work scheduled and was expecting or hoping for some to turn up but no-one called until later. The first call was from the couple I in whose house I had worked in on Tuesday telling me that they had lost all their electrical power so I talked them through some checks they could do themselves to see if they could reset the supply. However from what they told me the fault lay outside their home so I asked them to check with their neighbours to see if their supplies were okay. It seems they too were having problems. It turned out that the electrical storm of the previous evening had outed a high-voltage piece of equipment in a local sub-station. I could not help them. The second caller was asking me to do work I am no longer involved in doing so I declined her invitation. The rest of the day was spent at home doing very little and as the day progressed it became wetter outside so I couldn’t even sit out on the patio. As it was Thursday E spent most of the afternoon out shopping for food. Friday was promised to be a better day as far as the weather was concerned but as for work, well as I write this on Thursday evening I have none, however that might change. I had been tempted to dine-out yet again on the day but I resisted and cooked at home. I can always dine out tomorrow, that is if I am not working!

Shirley Anne

This is it, Summer at last?

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Photo of an English lawn taken on 16 July 2007...

Photo of an English lawn taken on 16 July 2007 – the area on the left was mowed twice in 2007 and the area on the right had not been mowed in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We don’t have good weather here in the UK all of the time or even most of the time. Our seasons are all over the place sometimes so that when we expect warm weather it can be cold, expecting dry weather and it rains. One good thing about our climate is that it varies throughout the year but after months of inclement and unpredictable weather we yearn for something more stable, especially in the Summer months. Not every year is the same either, some years we get nice summers but at other times it has been a complete washout. One thing we can say about our weather is that it is predictably unpredictable! It is now late June, the 29th to be exact as I write this on Monday afternoon and the day has been hot and humid, dry (that is it hasn’t been raining) and very sunny. The rest of the week promises to be even hotter and more humid with no rain. Well that is this week, what happens next week is something else. It will already be July as you read this in a couple of days’ time for I write much of my posts a few days in advance. The months of July and August should be the best months of the year if you like warm or even hot weather so I am wondering if this year will prove to be so. We can only hope. Now although I like sunny weather I am not fond of it being too warm or humid, preferring as I do the cooler months. Sunshine is nice any time in the year for me. Today, that is Monday, I had no electrical work to do though I had some offers. Those offers were too distant for me to accept as I would need to charge extra for travel and mileage. I cannot expect my customers to pay for that when most of the time the jobs are small and don’t warrant being charged too much. For those jobs closer to home I can afford not to charge too much extra. Anyway as I hadn’t any offers by two o’clock I took a walk to the pub and treated myself to a two-course dinner with a soft drink and a coffee to follow the meal. As it was two-thirty by the time I got there finding a seat was easy. It was nice to sit inside in the cool air though some were outside dining in the heat and no doubt fending off the flies! That is another reason I don’t eat outdoors unless it is a barbecue. The smoke keeps most of the pesky insects at bay! On my return home I stopped to chat to my next-door neighbour for a minute. She is having her bathroom refurbished and I think after seeing what E and I have done with our bathroom it prompted her to do something with hers. We did encourage her to do it by the way. As soon as I got inside I was outside again having a drink out on the patio but as my readers know I didn’t remain seated too long. I got up and watered the garden, paying particular attention to the lawn. It is a catch twenty-two situation with the lawn, if it isn’t watered it suffers in the warmer months because the grass is kept short and if left to grow it will retain more moisture in the roots but looks unsightly! Can’t win with lawns. Even watering our lawn every day doesn’t always guarantee it remains green and lush and that is because the drainage is too good, being as it is on sandy soil. I do what I can but the heat of the day is oppressive and limits my activity.

Shirley Anne

Stop-start

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Unsettled

Unsettled (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I wrote about things grinding to a halt or at least slowing right down but today was another day. It is Thursday afternoon as I write this and the sun is shining once again. If you remember it had been rather a dull day yesterday. The month of June should be more settled than it has become for we are not promised wall-to-wall sunshine in the next few days and it has been that way for much of  the months so far. It was however quite warm and sunny last week. No point in complaining about something over which we have no control now is there? My work pattern is pretty much the same, unsettled. On Sunday E told me about the trouble she was having in opening and closing the roller door on the garage she uses. I managed to get it working again but I needed more information regarding the control circuit if I was to make an adjustment myself. I decided to call the guy who installed the door and who carries out repairs but he wasn’t available on Sunday. I didn’t expect him to be but I just wanted to leave him a message, which I did do. Unfortunately he hadn’t responded by Thursday (today as I write) morning so I called him again. He apologised for forgetting about the message I’d left and we made arrangements for him to call sometime in the afternoon. It meant I would have to remain at home during the afternoon, something I wanted to do anyway so that I could receive instructions on which adjustments I needed to do if the problem arose again. E would be out shopping with her mom in the afternoon. I decided to take the small step-ladder from my van parked in the other garage and place it in the garage ready for use later but just as I was about to do that I received a call from someone asking me to do a small job for them. I agreed to go as I wouldn’t be away from home more than an hour and I would be back at noon. The lady wanted a light replacing and when I arrived she looked surprised as I was dressed in some nice and bright summer clothes. She asked how long I had been an electrician and when I told her she couldn’t believe it. As I mentioned I had been in the business for 53 years to the month it followed that I must be around 70 years old. Now she really was amazed for I do not look as old as my years. I told her I was 69 and that ‘my secret’ is that I plug myself into the mains every night to recharge my batteries! She couldn’t stop laughing. She left me to finish the job as she was about to go to work but her teenaged son was at home. Five minutes later I was leaving the house myself. So everything changes and now I am waiting for the next request and at this very moment the guy to attend on the garage door.

Shirley Anne

I know I can

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sea-wall-14Nothing much was going on. It was Saturday and we were supposed to be getting some rain but it didn’t materialise. I had gotten up very early again but that is to be expected when going to bed early too. I was actually in bed at nine o’clock, I had nothing to stay up for and I was a little tired anyway. I must have dropped off around nine-thirty, the last time I remember looking at the clock. The sun was already up and shining when I got out of bed. I stripped off the bedclothes and remade the bed with fresh linen, popped into the main bathroom for a towel then went downstairs to have a shower in the wet room, my preferred shower but before doing so I put the clothes in the washing machine. Once showered I returned to my bedroom to get dressed for the day and then went downstairs for breakfast. However, as the expected rain didn’t come I decided to again water the garden before breakfast. Apart from taking down the previous day’s washing from the lines in the cellar and hanging the now washed bedclothes nothing much happened until lunchtime except I went out on the patio for an hour with my guitar. E got up late, had a shower then disappeared whilst I was having lunch and I was left in the house alone but I also decided to go out after I had eaten. I went for a walk down to the beach and along the sea front returning along the promenade. I watched a couple of young families testing their abilities, or lack of, on the various pieces of gymnasium equipment dotted along the walkway. The promenade in Southport runs parallel to the sea front but a few hundred metres inland and is shown on the right. prom6 The afternoon was warm and ‘muggy’, that is the humidity was high, though a nice breeze was blowing from the south. My tired legs don’t like walking when it is warm and humid and guess what? Neither do I but I know I can walk much farther when it is cool. I had walked a mere three miles and was glad to get back home. I just felt drained and that is one of the reasons I don’t like warm weather when it is coupled with high humidity. Give me Autumn days anytime. E was back home when I returned and was having a late lunch but she went out again later for a while. I stayed at home.

Shirley Anne

Terrible weather

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Isn't Life Terrible?

Isn’t Life Terrible? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It all started on Saturday, though that day presented us with bright sunshine all day long. However it was also very windy as was the following day, which was also wet at times. They told us the temperature was about average for the time of year but because of the wind it felt quite cold. I stayed indoors over the weekend. The whole of this week promised to be little different, not a bit like Spring at all. As I write this on Sunday evening I have no electrical work scheduled but if my readers will remember my saying that is often the case at the beginning of the week. Pottering about in the garden or going for walks is less attractive a pastime when it is wet, windy and cool so if the lack of work continues away from home I shall be very bored indeed! Because of my unfortunate circumstances at home I have reluctantly ceased continuing with my domestic projects. I feel I am just being taken for granted so the work has stopped for the present at least. I don’t wish to be housebound though despite the bad weather so I will have to venture out sometimes won’t I? I make it sound like being in a prison and in fact it sometimes feels that way. Perhaps I need an interest outside of my home but I’m not sure what that could be. The problem is that I am still available for electrical work so I have to be free to do it. I have either to retire completely and be available to do something else if that is what I desire but I cannot see the point in that idea. So I bide my time and simply wait to see what develops and hope the weather gets better in the meantime!

Shirley Anne

Deceiving day

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Waking Dream

Waking Dream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I awoke on Saturday morning it was still before sunrise but I was still tired and went back to sleep. Normally I would remain awake but occasionally I can revert to sleep if I am that tired. I think the reason I awoke in the first place had something to do with the dream I had just experienced. Unfortunately I cannot remember much of that dream so I can’t add it to my dreams page above but I remember waking up with the last few seconds of that dream still in my thoughts. My curtains remain open during the night so I can see what the day is like as I wake up. It was dark and cloudy though at that time the sun was still below the horizon but even so it would have been bright had there been no clouds. When I again woke up a couple of hours later the sky was blue and the sun shone into the room. It remained that way for most of the day, bright and sunny. However, though it looked nice outside it was quite windy and cool which kind of spoiled it a little. The day before had been slightly less sunny but much warmer and I had taken a walk into the village to deposit some cash at the bank and continued the walk which took me down to the sea front via an indirect route. I had nothing else to do so I thought I would make the most of the fine weather and take some exercise at the same time. I had it in mind to do the same thing on Saturday afternoon. E would be out at her monthly meeting and I didn’t fancy just sitting at home but after I had checked the conditions I thought twice about it. It looked nice but it was too windy for me. Don’t misunderstand me here, I don’t stay indoors just because it is windy but I simply didn’t fancy fighting against the wind just for the exercise. I took some exercise on the treadmill instead and later spent a little time in the garden until I’d had enough of the wind.

Shirley Anne

Wot went wong?

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Weather with You

Weather with You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We waited patiently for the onset of Spring and it looked at last as if  the days could only get warmer but this is the UK and our weather patterns are never always reliable. On Wednesday at least the country was more or less split in half regarding the weather. Those in the south were enjoying temperatures and sunshine more typical for the month of June or even July whereas those up north had to put up with cloudy skies and low temperatures and even rain in some places too. Temperatures in the south were in the low twenties and even as high as twenty-five degrees Celsius in places but in the north it was more like eleven degrees with a slight wind. As far as conditions are concerned the weather in the north was more typical for the season whereas in the south conditions were more unseasonal. The day was a one-off though for the main problem was the passing of a cold front making its way slowly southward. For such a small country there can be quite a difference in weather patterns between the most northerly point to the most southerly at almost any time of the year. On a more personal note, the weather was just fine for me. I was half expecting to get more job requests for the day but had just the one and that one a very small one indeed, to connect a cooker to its isolating switch. I was happy about that for it meant I would have most of the day to myself but I couldn’t do it until the cooker had been delivered at eleven o’clock. It was almost lunch time as I drove home but I decided to go for another pub/restaurant meal beforehand as I had only fruit for my breakfast some hours earlier. Just as I had put the van in the garage, for I had no intentions of  taking anymore work for the day, my phone rang, but it wasn’t a job request this time. I advertise in a local free newspaper, one of two operating in the area. The call was from the other newspaper group trying to secure my business! They had been trawling their competitor’s newspaper looking for more business. I wondered if the group I advertise with do the same. I explained that as I only work part-time (more or less) and as I am also 69 years of age to boot, I didn’t want the volume of work and was quite happy with my current newspaper running my advert. I locked the garage and went indoors.

Shirley Anne

Staying at home

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English: Hayfield at Easter The gates of Hayfi...

Hayfield at Easter The gates of Hayfield School are closed for the Easter break. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past week many people will have taken the opportunity to have a brief holiday or maybe longer if in their circumstances it was possible. Anytime is possible for me being as I am self-employed and part-time too. Possibly I should be retired but for the moment I am enjoying the fact that I am still able to work because I enjoy it. However if I wanted a break I am in the fortunate position to be able to take one. For some that isn’t possible because of their commitments so they take a break whenever they can. My new neighbours living across the street have done exactly that. They have two small children and can therefore only take a holiday outside of school terms. I suppose if their children were being taught at home or by private tutors they could fit a holiday in at any time. I don’t think that is true in my neighbours case as I often see the mother doing the school run in the mornings. For anyone taking a break in this country this past week and during the approach to Easter the weather has been anything else but fine and sunny though it was sunny all day on Saturday as I wrote this. It is to be expected at this time of year of course but that doesn’t stop people travelling. The problem with this country is its size and its infrastructure for anyone using the roads and rail systems it must be somewhat of a nightmare with all the congestion that is caused by so many travelling at the same time. Unless people have gone abroad, as I think my neighbours have done, they will have had to endure the poor weather we have had here. Many have gone to foreign shores but even they will have experienced congestion getting to the airport and even at the airport! One thing I have never done is journey anywhere far away during our seasonal peak-time breaks when everyone else is doing the same. When our children were young we did go abroad for our holidays but always selected times for doing so when the traffic, human and otherwise, was lighter thus avoiding ‘the rush’. This Easter weekend I stayed indoors, not even venturing out into the garden for any length of time. The weather, though not that good, allowed me to take a walk or two. That was enough for me.

Shirley Anne

High winds and gales

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Night 'n' Gales

Night ‘n’ Gales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Friday afternoon on my return from the pub having had a meal there I found the house empty. E had gone out somewhere and had forgotten to set the house alarm. She may have thought I was still at home instead of checking that I wasn’t. I suppose part of that problem is mine because I slipped out without letting her know. Anyhow it was a lovely sunny day and I wanted to make the most of it by being outdoors doing something. It wasn’t too warm however, a mere 9 deg. C but because there was little or no wind it felt much warmer than that. Saturday’s forecast didn’t look promising at all, we were told to expect high winds and gales coupled with lots of rain. In fact that was the forecast for many days ahead. I mowed the lawn on Friday morning for that reason and was glad I did for we did get lots of wind and rain overnight and into Saturday morning. However although the wind was high it wasn’t as bad as had been forecast, here at least. With that in mind I decided to lower the flag on Friday afternoon until the worst of the weather had passed. In winds exceeding 35 mph it is recommended the flag isn’t flown. I guess we had winds of around 25 mph but I didn’t wish to take that chance. I wanted to carry out some maintenance on the loop of rope which holds the bottom of the flag when it is flying. The top of the flag is held by the main rope itself which is inside the flag pole and emanates at the top. The loop of rope needs to be weighty so that the lower end of the flag is held down and also to allow the rope to fall downwards when both the flag is fitted and when it is not. When the flag isn’t fitted I attach the free end of the rope to the loop so that there is enough weight to allow the rope to fall. If I didn’t do that there is the possibility that the rope would remain at the top of the pole and out of reach. The loop I had made a few months ago needed to be heavier and I had it in mind to alter it the next time the flag was lowered. That is what I did on Friday. No special loop of rope is supplied by the manufacturer of the pole or flag but the flag is supplied with a short length of rope attached on its lower corner. This is supposed  to form the loop to circle the pole at the bottom of the flag whilst the top is held by the main rope. If this method is used however there is little weight to hold the bottom of the flag down and in high winds this prevents the flag from opening fully sometimes. It also means there is no way to hoist the rope up the pole to keep it out of reach when no flag is attached. A separate heavier loop of rope is a better idea so that the main rope can be fixed to it and hoisted up out of reach knowing there will be enough weight to allow it to drop when required. The other end of the rope is of course locked inside the pole and is only accessible by removing a locked cover plate. As the very high winds didn’t materialise I re-attached the flag on Saturday afternoon. It was windy and although the temperature was 12 deg. C it felt much cooler than the day before because of that wind.

Shirley Anne

A walk

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It was a very wet day here in Toronto, and the...

It was a very wet day here in Toronto, and the umbrellas were out in force as you can see from this lineup at the streetcar stop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the last few days the weather has turned colder, just a reminder I suppose that Winter hasn’t finished with us yet and that Spring will have to wait. It has also been wet and windy lately and not the kind of weather anyone wishes to be outside in unless it is absolutely necessary. However, I like going out for short walks and I am not usually put off by the weather but unfortunately I don’t have the rain-proof outer clothing I once had and have to make do with an umbrella if it is raining. When it is windy it means using the umbrella is sometimes an impossibility so I end up staying indoors and taking some exercise on my treadmill. The advantages of the treadmill are I remain dry, I can run, walk or jog and adjust the gradient as it pleases me. The exercise can be very demanding or more relaxed and I can even watch television or listen to the radio whilst doing it but I much prefer to be outdoors, at least for walks, especially if the day is warm and sunny. On Saturday morning I was feeling a little restless with nothing much to do and wanting to get outside for a walk. It was cold outside, no warmer than 6 deg C but there was almost no wind at all, ideal conditions for a walkabout without the need for special outdoor clothing other than that which would keep me warm. The walk replaced my lunch. I’d had porridge for an early breakfast and that is usually enough to keep me going until early evening so missing lunch is no big deal and in any case it is better for my health not to eat too much. I headed off toward town through the back streets rather than along the main route. There were few people about, probably because of the cold weather but more could be found in the town centre where there are plenty of shops to browse in. Eventually I turned back and headed for home but I thought I would drop into the pub on my way. I needed a drink, a soft drink, and I also needed the toilet! I had expected the place to be full as it usually is in the afternoon but surprisingly it wasn’t. I didn’t stay long, just enough time to have my drink and then I was off home. I thought the walk would have made me feel hungry but no so. It was evening before I next ate something.

Shirley Anne

So what did I do?

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A New Morning, Changing Weather

A New Morning, Changing Weather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I spoke about the rough weather we had on Monday morning and the fact that I wanted to go into town to buy some things. During my average week I cannot get into town in the morning for I am usually at work so when a day comes along where I have no work I like to take the opportunity. However, I didn’t much fancy going out in the rough weather but did so late in the morning because the forecast was for sunshine and by the time I left the house it had indeed started to get brighter. I didn’t wish to walk the whole distance there and back as on my return journey I would be carrying more weight so I decided to take the van and park it in my usual place just outside the parking metre zone. It still meant I would have to walk about half a mile but that is far better than the mile and a quarter it would have been (one way) if I was carrying bags of shopping. By the time I had parked the van the sun was out though it was still very windy. I had walked a matter of 200 yards and hailstones began to fall in the high driving wind. I took shelter at a bus stop and waited for it to subside. About five minutes later it had stopped but the wind was relentless. Fortunately the wind was blowing in the same direction I was walking but I knew I would have to walk into it on the way back. At last I was in the shopping precinct and in the warmth of the shops. Soon I had all my shopping done and I set off back to the van. The wind was biting and full on in my face. I was well wrapped up for walking but there is no protection against the wind on your face unless you wear a mask! I saw a young man wearing exactly that. It took the form of a skull and looked a bit spooky but I guess he couldn’t care less, his face must have been warm. Finally I reached the van and was glad to get out of the wind. The sun was ‘cracking the flags’ as they say but the wind took away any warmth the sun was providing. I just threw everything on the passenger seat and drove off but not for home, not just yet. I made a detour to the pub and had a hot meal. I had skipped breakfast for I had it in mind anyway to eat out somewhere. Once home again I packed away my shopping and had a restful afternoon but later decided to do a spot of baking as we were out of fresh home-baked scones.

Shirley Anne