It was now Thursday 18 th and after a really good night’s sleep I was ready for the day. First of all though I was to take my morning walk. It was a little on the cold side at 7 deg C but because there was no wind whatsoever it didn’t feel that cold. The sky was clear and the stars filled it. However the street lighting prevented a clear view, that is until I reached the seafront where it was almost pitch black. Soon my enjoyment was over and I was back home for breakfast. I had a number of chores to do before I could even consider doing any work in the utility room, except to fill the washing machine and switch it on. I had re-positioned and re-connected the machine the evening before to check for leaks. Yes there was one! One of my pet sayings is that I hate plumbing and to be honest it is true, at least to some extent. The leak was sorted and I washed my overalls, they needed it! On Wednesday I had concentrated on installing the second cabinet, no painting the floor that day and having to fight the fumes. This is how far I got…
By the end of the day I was ready for bed and a good rest. Now it was Thursday but I had the weekly shopping to do. I watched some catch-up tv before going to the supermarket and returned by eight-thirty. An hour or so later I began to work in the utility room but kept the work to a minimum. I fitted the doors to the second cabinet and the door knobs to both after which I painted the new section of worktop.
I couldn’t do anymore work thereafter until the paint had dried in case I stirred up dust so I had the rest of the day to myself.
Wednesday morning saw me doing a spot of painting in the utility room I’m engaged in refurbishing. I began by painting the wall against which the next cabinet will stand, the same wall or side of the room I was concentrating on as I work around the room little by little. Once that was done I gave the floor beneath it a coat of the chlorinated rubber floor paint I had used elsewhere on other projects in the cellar (see older posts).
Eventually the whole floor will be painted as I move around the room. I can only work on sections of the room at a time because of the furniture (mostly freezers) in there. The parts of the floor beneath the new cabinets will only be painted once of course for there is no need for another coat when it will be hidden. In the picture above there will be the washing machine, another cabinet and a freezer. The patch you see couldn’t be painted until the following day because the cement I had put there to fill a hole hadn’t yet dried completely. Painting the walls doesn’t require wearing a mask as it is only a vinyl emulsion but the mask was necessary when painting the floor. The fumes given off with the chlorinated rubber paint are overpowering and possibly a health hazard if a mask isn’t worn. The fumes linger for hours so we keep the door down to the cellar closed until they subside. Later in the day I hoped to do more work down there but only if the fumes had dissipated, if not there would be plenty of work to do in the garden!
On Tuesday 16 th (as I write) we were expecting the delivery of the pebbles we had ordered online a week or two earlier for the lawn feature. At that time we were informed of a possible eight to nine weeks waiting period before they became available. I have to say that companies who advertise goods on sale should make them more readily available or remove the advertisement. We had already experienced poor service, actually no service as it turned out, when we didn’t receive the fridge we had ordered. Since then of course we obtained a better one from a UK supplier. On Monday (15 th) we received a call from the company who were to supply the pebbles asking if we would like to purchase the pebbles that were delivered to themselves but of a different kind. We were asked to go online to check them out which we did. I had already viewed all of their advertised stock when placing my order and had selected my choice because of their colour and form. None of the others compare and can be purchased locally at almost any builders merchants. So we were being asked to accept something that they said was sent to them in error. They must have known we wouldn’t. I was expecting to finish the work on the project this week but now it seems it will be a few more weeks yet before that can happen. I had prepared a space within the garage where the pallet could be dropped which seemed a bit of a waste of time after I had received the call. No matter it will remain as it is for when the pebbles do arrive. I worked on the utility room project on Monday and again on Tuesday though on Tuesday I didn’t do as much. I cut out another large portion of the carpet that lies on the floor so that the washing machine could be moved. Eventually of course it will all be lifted. E and I assembled one of the new cabinets so that I could check the floor level and cut out the side panels to accommodate the drain pipe on the wall.
The worktop would continue from the first cabinet and had to be accordingly level with it. We discovered there was at least a centimetre drop in the floor across the width of the room at that side. That will mean packing beneath the new cabinet legs to make it level. Nothing is ever straightforward is it?
I must have been so tired on Sunday evening I ended up sleeping in a further hour and a half after I had switched off the alarm! Usually I get out of bed immediately because I know I am likely to nod off again if I don’t. The consequence was I missed my early morning walk as I didn’t then wish to take it because I had work to do which I would have to start later in the morning. I didn’t want to do that. The walk would have to wait a day. The work I wanted to do was all in the utility room. First job was to fix some wall tiles around the sink top. The second job was to move the drain pipe coming from the upstairs dishwasher and to re position the cold water supply pipe to the washing machine in the utility room.
The black pipe is that drain from the dishwasher which used to run at high level and come down the wall to where it is still connected. The cold water pipe to the washing machine now runs down alongside the window on its left. It used to come down the wall to the left of the drain pipe. I wanted them moving so they didn’t go through the worktop I would be fitting there and it would allow any joints to remain accessible. Once those jobs were done I blanked off the hole near the ceiling (top centre in lower picture) then took a break and sat with E having her breakfast. When she was ready we went to the hardware store and purchased two more cabinets, four doors with their furniture and some more plywood for the worktops. One of the cabinets would go alongside the washing machine between it and one of the smaller chest freezers which will stand on the far left (lower picture above). The other cabinet will be fitted on the opposite wall together with the larger and older chest freezer. The other small chest freezer will be fitted where the older one now stands. All this is intended to make better use of the room space. On our return from the store E got ready to go to a funeral and I took the goods into the room. After a quick lunch she went out and I got on with more work, filling in some holes in the floor and wall and later giving the wall its first coat of paint.
However I then noticed the drains for the washing machine and dishwasher drain needed attention as there appeared to be a small leak. This leak must have developed over the years and I needed to repair it. Whoever had installed it hadn’t left enough pipe sticking out of the wall so I had to dig it out before doing the repairs.
The main leak was on the white pipe connections. The dark patches on the wall is cement which couldn’t be over-painted until it was dry. You can see the dark patch on the floor where I had filled it in. The best thing about this project is the different disciplines involved, electrical, carpentry, brickwork and cementing, plumbing and painting and decorating. That’s why I like doing projects.
It is Sunday 14 th and I am writing this at six in the morning. I arose three hours ago, an hour later than my now most usual time though I was awake then. I had a really good night’s sleep and am feeling totally refreshed, completely different from yesterday’s experience. With every new day there is hope for better things in our lives though we may never take advantage of that. Things look different from the previous night in the cold light of day as the saying goes. We may look back at what we did the day before and now find it wasn’t as bad as we thought or maybe it is worse! Yesterday I felt pretty much tired the whole day which was probably why I slept so well. I hadn’t done much work partly due to my feeling tired and partly due to there not being much to do on my project. Actually there was more I could have done, there always is but I wanted the rest. So I kept the work to a minimum and spent the rest of the day relaxing. E went to her nephews’ birthday party in the evening held at a venue in the village a half mile away. I wasn’t invited, I never am but I don’t think I would have been able to stay awake to enjoy it anyway!
The work I did involved fitting the shelf and the doors but not the handles as we hadn’t purchased any. We first thought we would only purchase the one cabinet so we were going to use the handles on the old unit to save buying new ones. However the plan now is to install at least one more cabinet and probably two in which case we will need three sets of matching door handles. They will be purchased when we buy the cabinets. The other work I did was to cut and fit the timber with which to fill the space at the right of the new cabinet, shown not yet painted in the picture. Other work I could have done involved fixing a single row of wall tiles around the top of the unit. The sink is now in use. There is a lot more work to be done in the room and slowly but surely it will be done. Today I rest, tomorrow is another day.
1 A corpse said to be revived by witchcraft, especially in certain African and Caribbean religions.
1.1 (in popular fiction) a person or reanimated corpse that has been turned into a creature capable of movement but not of rational thought, which feeds on human flesh.‘a world overrun by zombies’‘a horde of mindless zombies craving brains’
1.2 informal A person who is or appears lifeless, apathetic, or completely unresponsive to their surroundings.
1.3 Philosophy A hypothetical being that responds to stimulus as a person would but that does not experience consciousness.
1.4 A computer controlled by another person without the owner’s knowledge and used for sending spam or other illegal or illicit activities.
2 A cocktail consisting of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice.
Early 19th century: of West African origin; compare with Kikongo zumbi ‘fetish’.
Well there you have it the dictionary description of the word. All pure fantasy of course unless you actually believe in such things. All I can say is the West African people must have had a vivid imagination! On the morning of the 13 th October I awoke soon after 1 am. I had gone to bed early and ready for a good night’s sleep but didn’t get it until after eight-thirty which meant I had four and a half hours. I often only get that amount of sleep. However I was wide awake and ready for the day despite that. It had been raining throughout the night and was still raining as I stepped outside to go for a walk at two-forty. I was grateful for the lack of wind. On my return home I began to feel the effects of little sleep and wandered about like the zombie of 1.2 above. I never did like eating human flesh and I do have a conscience. Neither am I a computer under the control of another user. Perhaps a shot of 2 might have helped but I rather fancy a long sound sleep would be more appropriate! The matchsticks propping open my eyes helped whist I watched catch-up tv for a couple of hours after which I was as right as rain. Do you think I’m overdoing things a tad? Nah! I doubt it.
I spent almost all day on Friday (12 th) on and off working in the utility room in the cellar. The current work in there is installing the new sink and cabinet unit and the associated plumbing. My first task was to connect the sink to the hot and cold water supply pipes which I had already installed a couple of days earlier. It was a little awkward but I finally did it. After a snack around ten o’clock I continued the plumbing by installing the drains but before I could do that I had to drive to the plumbers’ merchant to purchase the pipes. Those we had purchased as part of the sink/drainer package were useless and unnecessarily involved. Even if I had wanted to use them I would still have had to purchase more accessories to connect to the house drain.
The bottle trap (white), the black pipe with elbow replaced six elements which would have been used with the ones supplied and would still not have reached the grey pipe and even be fifteen cm below it! The copper pipes on the left are the hot and cold water supplies. Naturally there were a couple of minor leaks but they were remote from the sink where I had connected to the existing pipework. They were soon rectified. Later in the afternoon I had a very difficult and awkward task of fixing the sink.drainer to the underside of the wooden worktop using the special clips provided. For that work I had to call E for assistance to hold down the sink whilst I fitted the clips. I have never seen such badly designed clips and they made what should have been an easy task into one which took far too long to do. I actually used two of my own design in a couple of places which took only seconds to fit because the others wouldn’t fit in.
I then fitted the shelf (bottom picture) but left the doors for another day. I moved the two small fridges and freezer into the cellar hallway to free up the space in readiness for the next stage as I move around the room.
Work will continue along the wall to the left. See future posts.
It was E’s birthday on the eleventh of the month, that is last month of course. She was ** years old. Well you didn’t think I was going to reveal the number did you? As I mentioned in an earlier post we don’t exchange gifts but I usually treat her to at least a meal out at whatever venue she desires at the time. Thinking she would select a nice restaurant perhaps one we had never visited previously I asked in which direction we were to travel. I was driving because she wanted to go in the van rather than her car. Although her car gives her easier access than many other cars on the road, and that is why we purchased it but the van makes getting in and out even easier. She has to walk using supporting sticks because of her condition. Whenever we take the van she brings along her badges which give her special parking privileges so we can park in the bays closest to whichever venue she visits. So she told me to drive south a couple of miles to her chosen venue, a local carvery! I queried her choice and she told me her reasons for choosing it, she wanted especially to have some carrot and turnip mash! Such vegetable mash isn’t usually readily available in the average restaurant. It was her birthday and her choice so that’s where we went. As it happened we had one of the most enjoyable meals we’ve had together over the years. Often the simpler choices are best but what makes dining out that bit more special is the company you share it with. That’s why I like dining out with E though I have to say sometimes in the past she needed a little help to unwind. During the meal she mentioned that perhaps her mom would have liked to come with us. I asked why she hadn’t invited her. Perhaps she thought I would object but she knows me better than that. Her mom is now 91 years old and doesn’t get out much so it would have been a treat for her. Perhaps next time. She went to visit her mom shortly after we had returned home but I remained at home.
When we do wrong things to others we expect to be forgiven if in our hearts we know we shouldn’t have done them. This is usually referred to as our conscience. If we say we don’t have a conscience we fool only ourselves and have no respect even for ourselves. We might consider ourselves to be less evil if our conscience ‘pricks’ us though in reality every evil deed is just as bad as the next and we are no less evil than the most wicked amongst us. As God tells us ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). We may try to be ‘good’ but we will always fail at some point. We are helpless before God but are we? Is there no way out? The good news is yes there is!
Redemption (Isaiah 43:1)
To “redeem” means literally “to buy back.” Redemption is one of the key accomplishments of God’s Son, Jesus. As this passage states, God’s people were created and formed by God’s own divine activity, and God himself through Jesus’ sacrificial ministry would buy them back.
But the word “redeemed” itself begs the question: From what are God’s people being bought back? The answer is that we all have willingly sold ourselves in slavery to sin; death is the cost of our disobedience. We are, both by nature and by our consistently sinful choices, rebels against God’s kingdom. The consequence for that rebellion against the righteousness and holiness of God is death, and this price must be paid.
But God, in his mercy, has paid that price himself. He truly has redeemed those who trust in him, having paid the price for our sinful pride and rebellion. God has now the right not only as our Creator, but also as our Redeemer, to say that believers are his and to expect them to live lives that reflect gratitude for his gracious redemption.
Jesus, I know that my future contained nothing but death and darkness, until I heard you call my name and responded. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for giving me another chance. Amen.
Just for a change things are going well. Having experienced problems with the previous vendor I was expecting more delays with my online order through another company. I need not have worried, it came right on time. So finally after waiting several weeks for an unfulfilled delivery the second company did not let me down. We are now in possession of our new larder fridge which arrived at noon on Wednesday 10th. I told E it was her birthday present as her birthday was on the following day! That was a joke of course for in any case I don’t celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and the exchanging of presents. It has been many years since I stopped doing those sorts of things. E is well looked after and is treated in many other ways by myself. I did take her out for a meal on the day in case you were wondering. She was as keen as I to have the new fridge as soon as possible for the extra space.
Not yet filled as it had only just been delivered. We have to ensure the refrigerant has settled and dispersed before switching on the compressor for fear of damaging it. If liquid gets sucked into the compressor it will damage it. Just after the fridge had arrived I received a phone call from the company supplying the pebbles for the lawn project. I was again half expecting to hear that there was a problem having previously been informed it would take many weeks for them to arrive. I couldn’t have been more wrong, they were going to deliver them the following Tuesday (16 th). The pebbles were the only things left that I needed to complete the project. I will post a picture of the finished work as soon as it is done.