Rain

Enjoy the rain?

I don’t mind the rain do you? It’s when the wind blows it sideways I hate it. Sometimes in this country (UK) when it rains it rains for days on end and if you don’t like the rain it can be very miserable for you. As the song points out it is all a state of mind. We cannot prevent it raining so unless you just grin and bear it or even enjoy it your life will remain very miserable indeed! I have to admit though that when it rains it can prevent us enjoying the things we enjoy doing outside when it is dry. We had a few days of continuous rain at the beginning of December and it came after a long period of almost completely dry weather. I was beginning to think we would never get rain again! So remember to enjoy the rain just in case you never have it again!

Shirley Anne

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Mixing it up

My day on Tuesday was filled with different things all of which amounted to work, rest, shop, and play with meals thrown in here and there. I was up at three but though I had been awake since two I was in no rush to start the day. I finished breakfast at four and got on my knees again to finish off the seal around the grid in the wet room. The previous day I had gouged out the floor seal around the grid and half-filled it again with a special rubberised sealant similar to silicon rubber but more paste-like. In all other respects it was the same as silicon rubber and cleans off using acetic acid (vinegar). Now I was filling the gap to floor level.

Having done that I checked my emails before carrying on with the work in the small storeroom in the cellar. I did as much as I could without having to cut timber as doing that could have disturbed E from her sleep. That meant cutting and fitting plasterboard and one or two pieces of wood which I cut outside in the garden. Once she was up and about I was able to cut the rest of the timber and finish off all the work at ceiling height. Of course by that I mean the construction part as there is some filling-in to do between the plasterboard panels prior to decoration.

The boxes of screws I had purchased  whilst working on the utility room project were now empty so I needed to go out and buy some more. E had an appointment with the DHSS (Dept. of Health and Social Security) and wanted me to tag along for company. The appointment was for 12.20 so off we went at noon. We weren’t in there long and soon we were off to buy the screws followed by some free minced pies and coffee courtesy of Dobbies. They are only free to members of course and being a member I take full advantage of their free offers. We then drove to the village so that E could attend some business at the Post Office whilst I walked across to the chemist (drugstore) to purchase some feminine hygiene products. It was two-thirty when we arrived back home and time for lunch. At last I could relax in front of the tv and watch some missed programs before writing this. 

Shirley Anne

Not always

I could say, if I were vain and egoistic which hopefully I am not, that everything I do is perfect and never goes wrong. Then however I would be wrong for it is never true. I will say that much of what I do lasts the course but not always though I would add that sometimes it really isn’t my fault. We have to take things on trust else we wouldn’t get anywhere in life. As my readers will know I have been doing a lot of work in and around the house these last few years and actually ever since we moved in over thirty years ago! I’ve taken on board many projects and have successfully completed them to my best ability. Things did go wrong occasionally but that is as they say part of the course, it comes with the territory. Sometimes it has been my own fault and sometimes the materials I have had to work with. I will never say that when things go wrong it is the fault of the tools, only poor workmen/women blame their tools. Many a time I have purchased an item and discovered when installing or fitting it just how badly it had been designed which often made working with it more difficult than it should have been. Sometimes it would be the simplest of things which needed changing at the design stage for example a slightly longer screw instead of the ones supplied or ones with a pointed end to make inserting in a hole easier. This was often the case with lighting units. One hand would be needed to hold the item being fitted, one hand would hold the screwdriver whilst at the same time trying to manipulate a tiny flat-ended screw into a tiny hole and often it would be up on the ceiling. ‘It does what it says on the tin’ is an expression often used in advertising a particular product but does it always do what it is intended to do? Well no, not always. During work on my latest project I noticed a small amount of water dripping from the wet room’s drain located in the ceiling space of the room I was working in. I had constructed the wet room with E’s help a few years ago and at that time had much difficulty in securing a watertight floor seal around the drain.

Part of the reason was the design of the drain itself which I overcame by fitting a small part inside. The other reason was the tile cement and grout which although designed for the use we were putting it to nevertheless leaked twice! Now I had to effect another repair but this time I was going to use silicon rubber around the grid where the leak was coming from. The tile cement will remain beneath but above it will be around six millimetres of rubber. On Monday morning (3 Nov) after returning from a walk I got on my knees to inspect the floor in the wet room. Using a magnifying glass, as I had done before, I saw two small cracks in the otherwise seemingly sound filling around the grid. It took some time but I managed to dig out the grout/cement around the square stainless steel grid ready for filling later. Hopefully when that is done everything will be alright.

Shirley Anne

All we need

The Beatles (Lennon/McCartney) wrote a popular song way back in the sixties entitled ‘All you need is love’ as I am sure many of you will already know. It was a secular composition but I think it was more  than that as it was aimed at the heart. Written in times when love was the main theme of the day and people were encouraged to love one another and be one big happy family. However it also encouraged ‘free love’ even if that wasn’t intended. In ‘free love’ I mean promiscuity. The idea of the whole world population loving each other was and still is in the heart of many people and quite rightly too. This ‘love’ unfortunately is based upon human feelings and lacks true spirituality and the belief in a Creator God for many. We as human beings fall far short of the glory of God and the true love He created and showed through Christ Jesus. All we really need is love, His love and to be able to live it. 

Shirley Anne

ALL WE NEED (Philippians 4:19)

Humans are fundamentally needy creatures—newborns instinctively gasp for oxygen, kids hunger for afternoon snacks, high schoolers seek friends and popularity, young adults chase careers, and so on. People are needy by design—physically, socially, emotionally and most importantly, spiritually. God is intimately acquainted with the needs of his people. As all-knowing God, he anticipates his people’s needs; as a loving Father, he tenderly provides (Mt 7:7–11).

Having a laugh with friends or grabbing a bite to eat cannot result in lasting satisfaction. The deepest needs are of the soul, not the body. Thankfully, this passage proclaims that these needs can be satisfied through Jesus, who is rich in glory. The more we grow in our faith in Christ, the more our needs are satisfied by the riches he offers. Paul confirmed that the God of the universe is able: the One who created humans will also be their continuing resource. God can be trusted to take care of those who believe in Christ and who follow him with their lives. His supply of mercy is endless—flowing from the glory that is in Christ Jesus, who left heaven to show love and mercy to rebels. The God whom believers trust for provision is the same God with the power to conquer sin and death. He can meet any need.

Jesus, thank you for knowing my needs even before I know them. Thank you for meeting them all, both big and small. Amen.

Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Shirley Anne

Finally got there

It is the first day of December and I’ve not long returned indoors after working in the garden for five and a half hours. I had intended driving to the DIY store to purchase a panel of plasterboard and then continue with the work in the small cellar store room but as the weather was reasonably warm with just a hint of drizzle now and then I decided instead to work outdoors. I was feeling much better after a couple of days coping with cystitis and a mild cold. I hadn’t been for a walk since Wednesday and it was now Saturday. I would resume my morning walks on Monday and allow myself a rest from it but resting completely isn’t my style! After breakfast my first job was to sweep up the leaves in the rear garden once again and probably for the last time until next year. That little job still took some time but I was warming up for the next job which would take much more time. A few days earlier we had finally received delivery of the pebbles with which to complete the lawn feature project I had started a couple of months ago. The guy dropped the pallet inside my garage as I had asked but the job was a further ten metres or more away so they had to be transported the rest of the way using a bucket or bin on a hand truck. That took many journeys back and forth before it was completed. First though, I had to remove all the temporary netting and building paraphernalia I had placed over the membrane screen to prevent the fox and squirrels from digging holes in it! Slowly I made my way around removing that and the fallen leaves then filling in with the pebbles……

The stepping stones through the feature look almost invisible in the first two pictures but assuredly they are still there and can be seen in the picture below if you look carefully. 

So that ended my work for the day and the week. Hopefully I would be able to resume with my indoor project on Monday, the first job would be to trace the source of the wet room floor leak.

Shirley Anne

More rest

My day yesterday (29 th) wasn’t pleasant at all as those who read my post will know. Although I had been a bit poorly I had to take the opportunity when there was a lull in the bad weather to take down the tunnel I had previously erected over the longer patio flowerbed. I took this picture through the kitchen window the following morning. It shows the bamboo canes I placed over the two Phoenix Canariensis Plants there which will need the frost protection. 

You can also see two of the other three plants of the same variety covered over with plastic bubble-wrap. The fourth is out of sight to the left of the picture. On reflection erecting the tunnel had proved to be a bad idea though only because it had been too exposed to the high winds we had been experiencing. In a more sheltered spot it would have been a different story. Lesson learned. Today as I write I hope to be able to wrap the two ‘wigwams’ with bubble wrap which won’t take long  as the wind dies down a little. Though it had been windy during the week it had been quite warm over the last couple of days so there was no hurry to wrap the plants. If the weather was going to be reasonably fine I thought I might finish the lawn feature by filling it with the pebbles which had finally been delivered. The work in the small store was on temporary hold until I purchased more materials and of course made steps to cure that floor leak from the wet room above. Having said all that I was prepared to take more rest instead, at least for that day. 

Shirley Anne 

Sorry but…..

‘I’m sorry Shirley Anne but it’s just got to go’, I told myself on Thursday morning. It was a very miserable day on Thursday just as it had been a couple of days earlier, wet and windy, very windy. I had gone to bed the evening before feeling rather down and tired and hoped the new day would be an improvement but it wasn’t. I was feeling a little down because I was tired and some of the events in the day had given me some irritation. It had been one of those days as we say. So Thursday promised better things but it didn’t fare that way for me. In the first place I woke up with a horrible bout of Cystitis and all that comes with it. I have an interim solution for Cystitis which helps until I can get some medication if I haven’t any to hand but it only helps soothe the burning sensation and kill the surface bacteria. It was enough to allow me relief until I went shopping later. However, back to the foul weather. No matter what I tried to hold down the tunnel structure over the patio the wind loosened it and I would have to try something else. There was no way I would get the upper hand and I knew it. When the weather is less windy all is fine but the wind destroys and shows no mercy. Did I mention I hate the wind? Well I do. So what’s got to go? The tunnel. As soon as the weather would allow I would be out there removing it and mark it down as a failure. What would take its place? Well I mentioned that I think in yesterday’s post. Two tee-pees or wigwams if you prefer would replace the one tunnel and should hopefully withstand the wind better. Oh the joys of gardening eh? I did no work on Thursday for not only did I have nether regions problems but I was feeling the effects of maybe a cold but definitely the bad weather. 

Shirley Anne 

Another one

Wednesday was my walk day and it started off well. It was the end of November (28), more than two-thirds of the way through Autumn and the weather had become noticeably much colder during the preceding week. This morning was no different but at least it was dry but not for long! It had rained the previous evening and into the night but had stopped until twenty minutes into my walk. It wasn’t the rain which bothered me but the wind driving it. Although I enjoyed the walk I was very glad to be back home. I hadn’t taken the route back along the seafront because of the driving wind knowing there would be no shelter from it. I walked home through the back streets instead. As I approached the top end of our road a fox ran across my path and over a wall to my right where there is a large plot of land filled with trees and undergrowth, an ideal place for foxes to live. It is unlikely to be built upon because of its location, the age of the trees and because it stands in the grounds of an apartment block. I carried on homeward to the warmth and breakfast. After some catch-up tv I decided to put on my overalls and get ready to resume working in the cellar. I wasn’t able to do much at first in case I disturbed E from her sleep for I had much sawing to do. I was going to begin cutting and fitting the plywood panels for there was no plasterboard left to finish off the ceiling and I couldn’t leave the house to purchase any. I was expecting the delivery of the pebbles and E had to go out too. As it happened the pebbles were delivered around ten-thirty but the guy had a lot of trouble trying to manoeuvre the pallet truck to get the pallet out of the wagon. Eventually he mustered the help of another delivery driver who just happened to to be making a delivery further up the road. Up until that point I had done very little work but then I continued and got this far..

The far left hand panel with the white cup washers will be readily removable should access to the gate valves ever be necessary. It was whilst working down there that E took a shower in the wet room and I saw the leak from the drain above. It appears that the floor seal around the grid in the wet room had cracked. What an absolute pain! Something else for me to do. In the picture below you can just about see two black streaks running top to bottom on the grey drain housing. The picture below that one shows the frame surround beneath the drain which will have a removable inspection cover too. Just as well it seems!

Later in the afternoon it got very windy indeed and I was fearful that the tunnel on the patio would either be damaged, get blown off or both so I spent a little time out there securing it with more rope. On reflection I don’t think the idea of using the tunnel was a good one and I may simply dismantle it and erect another two tee-pees as I had done with one of the plants in the border close-by.

  Shirley Anne

New year post

Well the post has nothing to with the new year (neither do I…LOL). It was written on 27 th November! I had been working on the small store room project in the cellar spending around four hours down there. I had been trying to patch up the ceiling with new plasterboard where I could with the small amount of board I had in stock. I didn’t have enough plasterboard to complete the ceiling so some would have to be purchased before that could happen. I also fitted some more small lengths of timber in preparation for fixing the plywood covering. This is how far I got (last three pictures) and though it doesn’t look much it was fiddly enough to take up the time.

Picture three shows the frame I made beneath the wet room drain above it. It will have a removable cover fixed to it. In the same picture the grey coloured pipe, part of the central heating system, will be boxed-in. Pictures three, four and five show the small areas of plasterboard I was able to fit. The first two pictures show areas I wasn’t able to cover because I had no more plasterboard. By the time you are reading this that work should be complete and hopefully much more. At lunch time I called the supplier from whom I had purchased the pebbles for the garden lawn feature as we had been waiting many weeks for them to deliver. I was informed that they would deliver them the next day. That begs the question how long did they have them in stock and when would they have informed us had we not contacted them? Hopefully then by the time you read this that project should be completed also.

Shirley Anne

Still Monday

After my walk and then breakfast yesterday (I write on 26 th Nov) I began working in the small store in the cellar doing what I have always enjoyed which is working with wood. So alright the work I was doing wasn’t glamorous and quality carpentry but simply constructing the framework in readiness to box some of the pipes in the room. The problem in the room is that the ceiling is part-covered in plasterboard and the framework had to be constructed to allow the new pieces of plasterboard I would be installing to fit evenly with the existing board. I spent a few hours down there that morning and managed to construct almost all of it. 



In the lower picture you can see one of the two gate valves (red handle) which isolate the towel radiator in the wet room above. There are valves in the wet room too. When I come to cover everything with plywood I will make the panels easy to remove should there be the need to close the valves. The sloping piece of wood on the frame above the window in the top picture is only there to strengthen the structure. The plywood panel which will be beneath it and only over the window and to the right will be at the same angle.  Not all of the pipework will be boxed-in, only those parts you see in the pictures. I stopped work for the day just before one o’clock.

Shirley Anne