I was up and about very early on Monday (19) morning but it wasn’t my intention to start work at that hour. I just happened to have had enough sleep having retired early the night before. I started working at eight thirty however and concentrated on painting the interior of the boiler cupboard surround and following that the exterior too. I was interrupted from the work at nine o’clock when E came into the room in her dressing gown to tell me that Robert, her nephew had arrived. Robert is the builder in the family and he, or rather his crew had constructed the raised part of the roof to accommodate the new garage door. If you remember a couple of posts ago I mentioned it had sprung a leak. He left one of his crew to redo part of the roof and give the whole area a new coat of sealant. I trust he won’t have to return again. I checked to see if there was anything he required before returning to my painting. I finished the painting at eleven-thirty then decided to dig out more bluebells. I spent over two hours doing that and must have removed a hundred of them. Nothing like the amount I dug out last year which ran into thousands! I always knew there would still be more this year and sadly some of them simply cannot be removed at all because of where they are. Those we shall have to keep plucking out before they flower. I can see a day when I won’t bother anymore but only because I will not be able. I returned indoors to a belated lunch and E was already sitting down to hers. After lunch I had to empty out the little container we use to dispose of fruit and vegetable waste, skins and such. We empty it into the composting bin along with grass cuttings and leaves. However when I went outside I saw that the garden needed sweeping of the many leaves which had fallen during the recent windy weather. Most of them are ivy with a few holly leaves too. It was a warm and sunny day on Monday so it was pleasant being outdoors. Finally I returned indoors again and painted part of the front doors on the boiler cupboard to see how it would look.
I was going to continue and paint all four doors but I changed my mind in favour of a well-earned break! The ‘pole’ leaning at an angle is actually the clothesline prop. We have decided to park it there where it is out-of-the-way.
We often think of wisdom as intelligence, but we would be mistaken to bring that definition to this literature. When we look at the vast number of topics covered under the heading of “wisdom,” it is easy to despair of finding common ground, for the heading covers artisan skills, scientific knowledge, etiquette, philosophy, psychology, politics, sociology and jurisprudence, just to name a few. Furthermore, the text insists on more than one occasion that the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning or foundation of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 15:33). Does this suggest that none of those disciplines could be successfully engaged without fear of the Lord?
As we consider the way that people thought in the ancient world, perhaps we can best capture the Biblical way of understanding all of this by thinking in terms of worldview integration. In the ancient world, including Israel, order was an important value. Creation brought order to the cosmos; law brought order to society; etiquette brought order to human relationships; politics brought order to governance and authority. Ancient wisdom can then be understood as the pursuit of understanding and preserving order in the world. Wisdom is present when order is perceived, pursued and preserved. The people of the day wanted their worldview to fit together like a puzzle—fully integrated, with each piece placed in proper relation to the others.
They saw the fear of the Lord as the keystone to this integration process. To “fear the Lord” means to take his person and role seriously. Order in the cosmos could only be understood through acknowledgment of the One who brought order. Order could only be preserved in society and in life by understanding God’s requirements and expectations. In this way, wisdom can be seen to transcend the basic knowledge or skill related to particular disciplines.
A fool (or any of the other synonyms used to describe such a person) was one who brought disorder into any of the pertinent realms by their behaviour or thinking. Furthermore, a fool would be one who did not fear the Lord and therefore tried to find coherence in something or someone else—usually themselves.
Saturday (17 th) ended up being a busy day for me though it wasn’t all about the decorating down in the cellar. I wanted to complete the construction of the cupboard surround for the boiler but I didn’t get to work on that until after lunch. I surprised myself by getting up very early for after the previous day’s work I had been very tired going to bed and a sleep-in could have been a possibility. However, I didn’t rush into the work I promised I would do before continuing with the cellar job. For some time E had been hoping I would replace the fluorescent light in her workshop with a new LED unit and at the same time move it nearer to where she does most of her intricate work. I had purchased the new light a couple of days previously so I was obliged now to install it. That work took me less than an hour but most of that time was spent in preparation. Whilst I was doing that work I had put the robot floor cleaner to work in my bedroom. My next job was to vacuum the tops of the fitted furniture. I do this every few months for fluff and dust accumulates up there and if left can end up on the floor. It proves one thing, there must be a lot of dust floating about in the air. That work led to my cleaning the vacuum cleaner itself as I do that every few months too. I am not talking about just emptying the dirt but washing component parts and allowing them to dry before reinstalling them. I also replaced the 24 door and drawer knobs on my bedroom furniture.
After lunch I was finally able to continue with the work on the cellar. I completed the construction by cutting the plywood and fitting it to the sides of the boiler cupboard.……and then painting the whole unit with primer
I think I did enough for one day. It was five o’clock when I stopped work. After painting the unit with a couple of top coats it will be finished. I will then move on to the final construction work or rather I should say refurbishment of the room’s only storage cupboard. The only other task will be touching up on the paint work in various places and that will mark the end of the project unless we either seal the floor or paint it.
The plan for Friday was to get the boiler surround finished off, at least the construction of it. I had arrived downstairs before eight o’clock and soon after breakfast I went into the cellar to begin work. My first task was to take down the large panel I had cut and temporarily fitted the day before and then cut it in half to make the two doors. I fitted the hinges and after some manipulations finally got the two doors in place. For something so simple it turned out not to be so easy as I thought it might have been. It was around that time E came into the room with a very welcome coffee. She asked if I could accompany her as she had to take her computer in for repair. I agreed to go with her and downed tools. To be quite honest I was getting a little annoyed that the fitting of the doors had been a bit frustrating at times so was happy to take a break. She had decided to take her machine to a workshop in the next small township eight miles away. Seemingly she had problems with the one nearest to where we live and wanted to try somewhere else. We took the van and soon we located the shop and left the computer with them. As we needed door furniture for the work I was doing and a few other items we went shopping for them before returning home. It was lunch time by the time we arrived so it was at least another hour before I could do any more work. That work was to cut the two side doors and fit the furniture for the four doors. Finally, again after some difficulty, we (for E had decided to lend a hand) got to this stage..The side doors have been deliberately designed not to reach the floor for ventilation purposes. All that I need to do now is to cut and fit the side panels and that should be the end of that work except for the decoration.
I didn’t know what I was going to do in the way of work on Thursday though there was much to do on my current project. I did know however that I had to go purchase a few things. I had a good night’s sleep but was still feeling a little tired as I sat down to breakfast. I hadn’t been keen to rush into anything because of that. It is true what they say, your body will let you know when it needs a break and mine was telling me to take one. To be fair I have been doing rather a lot of late and so I knew I needed a little break from things. Shopping is one of those things which takes my mind off my usual routine for a while but though I would be shopping it was the wrong type! I would be shopping for materials and nothing nice like clothes. I don’t often shop for clothes but when I do I usually spend a lot of money and time doing it. It was after ten o’clock when I left the house and after eleven o’clock when I returned. E was about to go shopping too, for food. My purchases were for cup washers, cabinet hinges, door knobs, a ‘Surform’ plane, two lengths of mini-trunking and a five-foot long LED lighting unit. That involved visiting three separate outlets around town. I suggested to E that we dine out when she returned from the shopping trip and whilst she was out I fixed the mini-trunking on the ceiling in the gym and placed the telephone wire that had been hanging on the ceiling into it. That was the sum total of the work I did on the day. When E returned home it was approaching two o’clock and we drove to our local pub for lunch. I was feeling tired and weary but once I had eaten I felt better. When we returned home we spent a little time watching catch-up tv. I took the remainder of the day just relaxing mostly on the sofa watching more tv. The LED light unit was a little present for E as she had been asking if I would move the existing fluorescent unit nearer to her work-station in her workshop at the top of the house. I thought I might change the unit at the same time. I would probably do the work on Saturday afternoon while she was out at her monthly meeting.
Everything I did on Wednesday concerned wood. I started work at nine-thirty, a bit later than of late for a change. I had retired to bed early the previous night for I had been very tired but was feeling quite refreshed now and keen to get on with the work in hand. I cut the timber for the frame I was constructing around the boiler and assembled it. The work of cutting all the cross-halving joints was quite time-consuming but necessary if I wanted a sturdy job. By the time I had finished that work it was time for lunch. I had been wondering which was the best way to cover the now constructed frame to allow access to everything it was to cover. I needed to see what suitable sheets of plywood I had in storage in the garage so that was my first task after lunch. I found a couple of large sheets (8 ft x 4 ft) both in the same condition, covered in places with cement which had stuck to them during other work we had been doing over the past few years. No matter, I dragged one of them into the cellar and cut it to size before cleaning off the cement. It looked new once the cement had gone. I pinned it on the frame temporarily and at that point stopped work for the day…
I sat and thought about my next move. The sheet would be cut into two halves and be fitted as doors. The two remaining areas beneath and to the sides of the boiler would be done the same way making four doors opening for complete access. The two side panels would each be cut into two pieces both of which would be screwed into place for easy removal should that ever be necessary. Still some way to go yet and then I have to start work on the room cupboard.
You know the girl, ‘Jill of all trades’, or in this case Shirley Anne! I can turn my hand to pretty much anything when it comes to working with my hands and it has served me well over the years. Perhaps I should be called the Queen of DIY? The thing is unless you make the attempt yourself you’ll have to get someone else to do it and that can cost. A project will either be a success or it will fail and you’ll never know unless you try. You will probably surprise yourself at your capability, just give it a go. As for myself if there is one thing I like it is DIY but sometimes I just don’t know when to stop! On my current project I have done electrical work, concrete laying, joinery and painting. Being an electrician (retired) helps but I have worked at the other disciplines along with many more throughout my life. People say to me is there anything you cannot do to which I reply ‘yes, many’. There are far more things I cannot do than those I can. Am I getting near completing the work in the gym? Well I thought I was but I keep moving the goalposts. On Tuesday (13 th) I concentrated on painting the ceiling and pipes on the ceiling and it was then almost completed but I will have to go over parts of it again. Once that was done I set to work on the boiler plinth. I filled in the space between the two paving slabs (see yesterday’s post) with broken bricks then mixed some concrete to fill in and smooth off. I then watered down the remaining concrete and poured it into the base of the cupboard, later smoothing it out when it was dry enough to work. That took me to a belated lunch at two o’clock after which I returned to the room and began work on constructing the frame around the boiler and pipework so it can all be boxed-in. I had been to the builder’s yard first thing in the morning to purchase the timber. I ceased work at five o’clock after a nine-hour day!
Just when things are beginning to look good something bad happens. Don’t you ever get that in life? E and I but mostly I have been plodding along getting the gym/boiler room in shape over the past few weeks and by today, that is as I write on the 12 th, everything is coming along fine. There is still some way to go yet and part of the reason for that is that I am finding extra things I can do and have decided to do in the room. As for the decoration the ceiling isn’t quite fully painted yet as are some of the heating pipes. There are still some holes to be filled and this cupboard to sort out…
..and I have also decided to build a cupboard around the boiler, not to cover the boiler itself but the surrounding pipes and fittings.
I plan to fit a door over the switch gear and removable panels where necessary to make maintenance easier. all that will remain visible is the boiler itself for there is no need to hide it. You cannot see the base of the boiler in this picture (above) but it is standing on a square paving slab which is supported by bricks on top of another paving slab. The space between the slabs is open so I plan to fill it in. It was done that way by the heating engineers many years ago when the boiler was replaced. On the right-hand-side of the boiler is the drain cock and I plan to fit a small outlet pipe through the brick wall with a valve on the inside which can be connected to using a flexible pipe to drain down the system if required. The flexible pipe will only be connected when it is needed. The pipe will therefore remain dry at all times. Aside from being able to shut off the water when draining the pipes the valve will also prevent insects from crawling through the pipe when it isn’t being used. You just have to think of everything! Anyway it all sounds intricate and complex but in reality it is all simple to do. The bad thing had nothing to do with the room we are working in but the garage where my van is housed. The roof has been leaking or rather letting rain water seep in. I wouldn’t mind but it is the area we had reconstructed late last year to accommodate the new garage door. Although the sealant is the best so I am told, it looks as though part of the timber it is protecting has bent and has consequently forced a tear in the sealant. As I write a temporary cover is in place until it stops raining to allow a repair. Just when things were going right!
Last week I wrote about baking ‘Sugar and Spice Rings’ on Sunday. This Sunday I did a little more baking but this time it was ‘Tea Scones’, a very basic recipe which I am sure most will know. I had taken an early morning walk before breakfast, just four miles as I hadn’t been out for a walk for about two weeks and didn’t want to overdo things. To be honest I was feeling quite tired by the time I had returned home. The day looked promising in the morning sunshine but it wasn’t that particularly warm because of the cold slight breeze. When I went into the kitchen for breakfast E was sitting there having just eaten hers. After eating mine I sat on the patio with a coffee then spent some time digging out a few bluebells. Returning indoors I decided to do a little baking whilst E went upstairs to change. By the time she had come downstairs again I had the scones baked.
1 lb self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)
1/2 level tsp salt
4 oz butter or margarine
6 oz caster sugar
6 oz sultanas or currants (optional)
1/2 pint milk
Place flour with salt in bowl and rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture is crumbly. Add sugar and fruit if used and mix. Add the milk (advise half of it at first) and thoroughly mix with ingredients until it becomes a firm but not sticky dough. Spread some flour onto a board or flat surface and place dough on it and knead for a couple of minutes then using a rolling-pin spread the dough till it is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a small circular pastry cutter, cut the dough and place each piece on a buttered metal tray. Brush each with milk and place in a hot oven (215 deg C) for ten to fifteen minutes.
Easy and tasty. The mixture will make about sixteen scones.
I did very little else on Sunday as on Monday I would be busy working again.
I actually got to stay in bed a little longer than I had been able to for the last few days. Oh it wasn’t that I couldn’t have a lie-in, it had been my intention to arise early so that I could do the work I wanted to do. Even so I was up eating breakfast at eight before continuing the work in the cellar on Saturday (9th). E joined with me after an hour and she began filling in holes where necessary in preparation for the painting she wanted to do. Unfortunately she didn’t get around to the painting as she had that work and other work to do. Meanwhile I had been painting the ceiling, walls and pipes. The ceiling in that part of the room would require two and perhaps three coats of paint for it was black and dirty-looking having not seen a lick of paint for years. It would take me hours to decorate over a couple of days.
The area at top left was actually cleaner-looking than the rest shown in the picture above which had just received its first coat of paint. Anyway I plodded on and completed the walls in the same area…..
When E had left the room I began clearing out the area under the window and continued doing that after lunch. Some items were thrown out but much of them I moved to the greenhouses where they were supposed to be and tidying up the large greenhouse in the process. I returned indoors and fitted a piece of wood over the top of the window frame to allow E to paint the frame later.There are cables clipped along the wall at the top above the window and the wood was placed there to separate them from the frame which would be painted a different colour. You probably cannot see the piece of wood in the picture above because the gas pipe supplying the boiler runs just beneath it. You will however be able to see that the area beneath the window is now clear of the junk which had been stored there together with the garden furniture. Whilst in the room I discovered two more jobs (aside from the cupboard) which I plan to do during the weeks ahead, well when the painting is finished. I will show them in forthcoming posts.