Finally it eased

I did a swap between days at the weekend. I rested on Saturday but did a little on Sunday instead. The wind had finally eased off and I was able to get into the garden to begin the jobs I had lined-up. First though it was ‘clean sheet day’, I changed the bedclothes and put the soiled ones in the washing machine before eating breakfast. After breakfast I placed one of the duvets in the bath and hand washed it. Have you ever washed a duvet? They are very heavy when wet. Following the wash was the rinsing, all very tiring work. How then to dry it? We have a plastic linen basket in the bathroom and I used that on which to put the now folded duvet to allow the water to slowly drip from it. It took hours for that to happen but as the bath wasn’t needed it could stay there all day. Then it was time to put on my overalls and get outdoors, first of all to replace the flag now that the high winds had ceased and then into the rear garden to saw off the remaining tree stumps at ground level. Four of them stood one to two metres high and two were nearer the ground. My arms were aching somewhat after I had finished. I might decide not to saw through those stored tree trunks I mentioned in yesterdays’s post but take them to the recycling centre instead.

Sawing them is too much like hard work! By the time I had done with the work outside it was almost time for lunch but first I had to hang the washing on the line in the boiler/gym room. Whilst down there I spent some time on the cross-trainer. Time to cook lunch. It was two o’clock and I spent the rest of the day just relaxing and as it was a bright and sunny afternoon I spent some time in the garden.

Shirley Anne

Advertisements

Everything stops

That is everything I was planning to do outside in the garden! It is a not so warm but not cold a Saturday though it is still windy. Who wants to be working outside in the wind? I surely don’t so I am waiting until tomorrow and maybe it will be better then. According to the forecast the best days ahead will be Tuesday and Wednesday. I don’t mind going for walks in the wind though I would prefer it not to be windy. Anyway for today I am remaining indoors. One of the things I have to tackle is chopping down the trunks of the fruit trees I began removing a month or so ago.

I hope to drill into the stumps and put something in the holes to kill off the trees else they will grow back. Another job I want to do is put more pebbles on the lawn feature I constructed late last year and then remove the remaining bag of pebbles currently being stored the the garage.

Yet another job I need to get on with is cutting the tree trunks I removed into logs ready for disposal or storage. Shown below centre of picture where they have been lying since I chopped them down.

I have been watching the progress of the sun across the (rear) garden as the season moves on and can’t wait for Spring to arrive. For the moment all I want is for the wind to drop!

Shirley Anne

Making the most of it

Mobility scooter

Wednesday February 6 th was another reasonably fine day as far as the weather went. I took the opportunity to take another walk. As the wind had dropped it turned out better than it had been on Monday for the wind on that day had been rather cold. It is still winter of course so any fine days are always welcome. This afternoon I will have to lower the flag because of gale force winds are predicted overnight. Anything over the advised wind speed of 35 miles per hour can damage both the flag and the pole carrying it. I have to do this more than once a year but it isn’t a problem, more an inconvenience. So after I have finished here I will take down the flag and perhaps get into the garden to do some tidying up. Whilst the weather remains calm I must make the most of it. I am looking at the sunshine on the wall opposite the front room window and with each day, when it is sunny obviously, it gets lower down the wall. As the seasons progress it creeps slowly toward the window itself until there is almost no shadow at all. Something to look forward to, warm sunny days when I probably won’t want to do anything but rest. It won’t happen though, I can’t remain inactive too long. Walking is a great activity at any time and even more so when the weather is fine. I asked E if she would like to be able to go for walks again. Although it is something she can no longer do because of her spinal problems she indicated she might like to accompany me using a mobility scooter. I think that is a great idea worth pursuing for her benefit. I am sure she would like that but knowing E it could only happen if the sun was shining and it was warm and dry.

Shirley Anne

It had to go

A few days ago I mentioned that the tunnel I erected on the patio had to be dismantled because it couldn’t withstand the high winds and as you may already know I duly dismantled it and packed it away in the garage. Maybe it will get used elsewhere in someone else’s property. It meant I had to erect some other form of frost protection for the two palms instead. On the Monday morning of the 10 th (Dec) I spent a little time out on the patio doing just that. I had installed some bamboo canes a few days earlier but the recent storm prevented me from wrapping the protection sheets around them. Up until the storm arrived it had been exceptionally warm for the month and as a consequence I put off finishing the frost protection. Now there was a lull in the bad weather and the temperature was beginning to drop I decided the time was right and finished the work…. 

I had to wrap some strong tape banding around the branches to hold them close beneath the bamboo frame before I could wrap around with the bubble-wrap. The core of the plants had previously been wrapped with strong foam rubber sheeting so the bubble-wrap was simply an extra protection which shielded the branches too. If the frost isn’t the enemy the wind sure is and during cold windy weather the leaves get burnt. When I returned indoors E had just finished her breakfast. I had eaten earlier after my morning walk and had been watching some catch-up tv before going into the garden. I had more work to do in the cellar small store room but wasn’t in the mood so that work was shelved for the day. E tells me it is good to take a break now and then and I don’t bother arguing!

Shirley Anne

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

Ahead of myself

So here I am sitting at the computer once again writing another post. Today it is the 19 th day of November and behind this post are another thirty-one waiting to be published! You are reading about my ramblings a month in the past. I discovered that by writing a couple of posts at a time gave me a little more elbow room and at first it was two or three. That has slowly crept up over the past two months or so and now I am 31 posts ahead of myself. Doing project work gives me plenty to write about but I try not to just write on the same subject. At my age there is little else going on in my life to write about, much of what I do is mundane anyway. You don’t get to read about the numerous household chores I undertake for obvious reasons, they would bore you silly but I do have them to include in my days aside from the projects. Today I went for my early morning walk, so early even I thought I was pushing it, I left the house at two-thirty! I didn’t begin work until seven o’clock but all I did was to put the two small drinks fridges and the small freezer back in the utility room.

I then painted the four boards E will use for making door signs….

Following that I made the kick board for the cabinet beneath the two fridges (top picture) and painted it ready for fitting later.

I stopped work for the day at that point. It was eleven o’clock. I have to make the five side kick boards for the three cabinets but not today. Before lunch I spent an hour visiting our next-door neighbour for a chat and to cheer her up.

Shirley Anne

Easing off the throttle

Today (17 Nov.) would have been my dad’s 100 th birthday had he still been with us. My own birthday is on 21 st Nov. so as you read this I am now 73 years of age. I have been told many times to take things a little easy, notably by my neighbour. I mentioned this not so very long ago. Obviously I cannot do things as quickly as I once did so any jobs I tackle take that little bit longer and I take breaks from it too. I try to limit the amount of time spent working but it is difficult as it is in my nature to be actively doing something. My latest project is progressing well and there is not a great amount of work to be done for it to be completed. As I write this I have some kick boards to make and the room door to repair but there is no hurry to do either. In fact I completed part of the kick boards installation today.

Today I also finished off the inspection hatch by giving it a coat of paint. I had completed its construction yesterday.

…….and I gave the door frame a lick of red paint

Take no notice of the junk outside the room! If you look carefully there is a very old spin dryer, an ironing board, a waste bucket, a basket of bits and pieces and a ten inch reflecting telescope, which incidentally isn’t junk! Yesterday I did some work in the garden to protect some of the plants likely to be damaged by the forecast very cold and windy weather. The wigwam….

The others are covered by the plastic tunnel…..

The title says ‘Easing off the throttle’………well I’ve got to do something. In fact again today I cut some thin plywood for E to use in making some more door signs like the one she made for the Larder a few months ago.

Shirley Anne

Warm

Again I was tired when I went to bed yet found it difficult to nod off to sleep. Finally I did of course but ended up only getting five hours. That in itself was never a problem before as I had been very used to having only four and a half hours of sleep for a number of years. However on Friday morning when the alarm woke me at two I lay in bed for another hour! Now that was unusual for I normally get up straight away. I still felt tired and was about to go for my early morning walk. Despite it being an hour behind my normal routine I left the house only a half-hour later than I usually do. It was quite warm outside as I left the house and I could feel no wind at all. It was only as I reached the seafront later that I could feel a welcome breeze for by that time I was feeling too warm having walked briskly the whole way. By the time I had reached home I had cut around ten minutes off my usual time for that particular route. 

My tiredness had disappeared and I now felt great. How long would that last I wondered? When working at something I never feel tired until I stop and then I sleep well but if I have nothing to do I get tired yet can’t get to sleep. At the moment I am doing very little work at home except routine stuff. My latest project cannot be completed until I receive the pebbles I ordered which will be weeks away. I will need to find something to do in the meantime but the weather is warm and I don’t feel like it. 

Shirley Anne

It’s that time again

Yes Autumn is upon us with its wind, rain and cool weather none of which I mind though the wind if it gets too high I dislike. The worse part of the season is clearing away the mess it makes! I am referring to the broken twigs and in some cases broken branches but in all cases the fallen leaves. You would think I’d be used to sweeping up the leaves for I seems I do it throughout the year to a lesser degree. Autumn leaves though are the more numerous by far and they get everywhere. A few weeks ago I manufactured a guard out of a very large old fire screen using only one small section of it. I placed it around the grid where many leaves end up blocking it but despite the guard some managed to get by it. This is the grid….

After I had swept up the leaves around the garden I decided to pick all the apples that were left on the trees and there were far more this year than last. It looks like I will be baking lots more apple pies! Obviously those we cannot eat will be frozen for later. I generally don’t eat fresh apples as I prefer them cooked. I eat apples the mostly at this time of year only because we have a couple of apple trees. Our apples are for eating fresh but as yet the fruit has been a little on the acidic side and can be baked but they are getting less acidic with each passing year. 

Shirley Anne

Chasing things up

It was Friday morning the last day of the month and I was up very early after a good night’s sleep. I guess that was due to my having been busy on Thursday. Around four-thirty I went for my walk and as usual lately I was well-wrapped up for the mornings, at least that early, are quite cool bordering on cold. However it was dry with almost clear skies and the gibbous Moon was shining. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t much want to go for the walk at first but that thought faded quickly as I stepped through the front door. At first everything was quiet but as I walked further I saw more and more activity as people were beginning their day but it was mostly vehicles in fact I saw only three pedestrians the whole time I was out. When I got back home I happened to look out over the rear garden through the kitchen window and saw a large and cheeky cat beginning to dig in one of the borders. I opened the window and made my presence known and the cat was soon dashing over the wall! E was telling me that she had seen the local fox in the garden the previous night too, probably the same one I have seen lately. What makes our garden so special? Animals do what animals do I suppose but woe betide them if I see them doing their ablutions in my garden! On Thursday I received a letter from the DVLA regarding the renewal of my driver’s license. Once we reach our seventieth birthday we then have to renew the license or re-apply for it every three years thereafter. As I am fast approaching 73 I received the reminder. I can apply online and don’t require a new photograph or submit a fee. That makes a change, not having to pay for something! So today as I write I shall be chasing that up. Later I plan to visit the guy who I visited a few weeks ago regarding the slate monoliths I wanted to purchase from him. As he hadn’t yet been in touch I would be chasing that up too as I would like to start work on the project of installing them and creating the planned feature on the lawn.

Shirley Anne