Saturday (29) was one of those days when everything went pear-shaped. Nothing I did went smoothly, in fact everything I did or was involved with was difficult. It felt as if there was an unseen force preventing me from doing what I intended. The day had started quite well and everything went smoothly until I had finished the work I had set myself to do in the garden. I was up very early and even before breakfast I had prepared lunch, a Spaghetti Bolognese. I spent a little time setting out the cobbles I wanted to fix as a path across the lawn feature and then set them in with concrete…
Surprisingly that didn’t take much time to do. It took me longer to tidy things away and clean up the garage. I still had enough time to visit the builders merchant to see if they had the pebbles I wanted and how much I would need. I had already calculated the area size which is around twelve and a half square metres. They told me they couldn’t supply me with the information and that I would have to use their web site. Nice and helpful. I returned home and checked their site but it was impossible to browse for the information or indeed the products unless I registered. I decided to call the first merchant I had checked out a few days earlier. I had browsed their site and found what I wanted though I still couldn’t check for quantity or order online. The guy answering told me how much I would need but he had to see if there was any in stock and would call back a minute later. Well that minute ran into about twenty and he informed me that there wasn’t any in stock and the guy who looks after the ordering wouldn’t be available until Monday. I would have to call them again. In the meantime I had attempted to take the photos you see above several times but I had problems with the Android tablet which kept switching off for want of recharging. When it was fully charged it took twenty minutes for it to ‘optimise’ the applications and then it switched off again. After I had switched it back on it went through the whole process again! Finally I was able to use it. After lunch I decided to chase up the order I had placed through Amazon which still hadn’t arrived after more than a month! (See older posts). Amazon had been under the impression that I had received the goods, a larder fridge but in fact the seller had misplaced it. Sent from Shanghai China it arrived in the UK ten days later and had passed through customs before it went missing. It went somewhere but not here! Evidently it had been sent to the wrong warehouse but they couldn’t locate it. As I write Amazon are chasing the order themselves and I will have to wait a a further couple of days for the seller to respond. I have a feeling I am going to get a refund and buy elsewhere! Time will tell. There were other incidences during the day where things went wrong but they are too numerous to mention.
Don’t you find it is the little things that mostly annoy? The spot of paint on the floor despite the fact there was a ground sheet, the splash of gravy or wine on that clean white skirt or dress, the appearance of a spider’s web after you have vacuumed the house! The list could go on and on, you could list quite a few I’m sure. Something out-of-place annoys me. I would be sitting quietly and resting and then something attracts my attention. I try to ignore it but it begins to play on my mind. After a short wrestling with my thoughts I have to get up and fix the problem. The problem shouldn’t exist and in fact if you think about it the problem lies within ourselves if we let things get to us. When I was young and growing up I was noted for my dedication to detail, everything had to be spot on perfect and my endeavours merely were an exercise in time-wasting, not intentionally, I simply had to concentrate. No matter how hard I tried my efforts always proved pointless though I didn’t know that because my efforts often put me top of the class. Whatever I did was close to being as perfect as anyone could make it but in life nothing really is perfect is it? When we grow up we begin to see our limitations but we still strive for perfection if we are conscientious. In the end we just do our best. My attention to the out-of-place things which annoy me is my own downfall but I think to myself ‘I’m not going to be defeated’. I am my own worst enemy I suppose. On Sunday afternoon I was out on the patio sitting down and simply wiling the time away. I saw a fallen leave near to where I was sitting. Eventually I picked it up then noticing another I picked that up too. I ended up picking up leaves from everywhere and then realised it was an impossible task. Why was I doing that instead of simply sitting down for the rest I should have been taking? I stopped doing it but a few minutes later I found myself trimming back a bush and pruning another! That’s the way I am, I cannot relax, I’ve got to find something to do. The small things get to me and I wish they wouldn’t!
Long, long ago when the world ran at a slower pace and my life was quiet and peaceful I was content and happy. As I grew into adulthood everything began to change but it was still all very manageable and life plodded along as it had always done for quite some time until fairly recently. I would say that the pace of life, my life, began to increase incrementally around about the birth of our first child who was born in 1982. A couple of years earlier saw the advent of home computers though at that time domestic connections to the rest of the world through computers was unheard of. The Internet hadn’t arrived on the scene yet. I remember seeing one of the first house phones which featured a screen and could receive and send emails! That would have been around 1998. Along came the Internet in the early 1990’s after years of development which began in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Home computers connected to the Internet have developed significantly since their inception say in the mid 1990’s and have become as standard in homes as the early telephones had years before. The world got the communication bug initially for commerce and industry but there was always going to be a need on a personal level once the possibilities presented themselves. It is one of those areas which has been generated and developed by commerce and now commerce greatly benefits from it. Putting it another way, it is a money spinner where everyone can benefit. The problem with this is that anything that can generate an income is heavily sought after and promoted until the whole system practically depends upon it. In fact it does depend upon it. You could say that we have created a monster which has an insatiable appetite and you would be right. The problem for individuals is that they can be bombarded with promotional advertising so much so that they feel they have to go with the flow so to speak and indeed some do just that. We are told that we need things or that things are a ‘must have’ commodity and that ‘everyone’ wants one. People just don’t know how to say no. Unsolicited and promotional advertising to me is quite frankly a nuisance and I despise it. I do my best to avoid it all. Any emails I get which promote or offer a service which I haven’t requested get deleted. Paper mail gets the same treatment. Adverts on the television get muted whilst they run. I don’t want any of it unless I have asked for it. I just want to be left alone. I prefer a life that runs slower, a life where I have to make an effort to communicate or to discover that which I want to purchase. I pity the poor salesperson who politely approaches me to ask if they can assist. The answer will always be no but I will ask if I need help.
Wednesday was one of those days that simply annoys. When I awoke all was fine and then I found one or two things to annoy me and throughout the rest of the day it continued. The day itself was bad as far as the weather was concerned, very wet and very windy but that in itself is never a problem with me. It used to be. I left the house in a good mood leaving myself forty minutes to get to my destination about 15 miles away. It shouldn’t have taken that amount of time under normal circumstances but nevertheless did and for several reasons. Within the first half-mile of my outward journey I encountered a speeding driver, two illegally parked drivers who caused the main flow of traffic to grind to a halt, an idiot waiting to make a right-turn at traffic lights but taking the whole carriageway to do it thus preventing the traffic behind from moving past on the left (we drive on the left in the UK) and goody two shoes keeping strictly to 25 mph in a 30 zone thus hindering traffic flow. Further ahead a motorist turning right at the lights who wouldn’t make the move despite their being nothing to prevent it. I turned right behind but was left standing as they were obviously speeding down the road to make up for the lost time waiting at the traffic lights unnecessarily! I stuck to the speed limit. A car pulled out from a road on my left without much thought for those on the main road, me! At the next junction someone else did the same thing. I was beginning to think those on the road that morning had death wishes. The onward journey was pretty much the same, drivers taking unnecessary chances and considering the driving conditions were somewhat treacherous, sheer lunacy. Occasionally the early morning sun shone through the clouds into the faces of those drivers too which made matters worse. Part-way through my journey I saw a refuse collection vehicle parked at the roadside whist being loaded with waste. The tail-back caused by that one vehicle was over a half-mile long! Why they had to collect at that time in the day, the rush hour, is beyond belief. You would think the council responsible would be just that, responsible. I was glad I was driving in the opposite direction but couldn’t help feeling sad for the poor souls being held back on their respective journeys. As I got nearer to my destination there was heavy congestion due to the road works in a couple of places along the same route. I was held back for some time at the temporary traffic control lights. When I finally turned into the road at my destination there were absolutely no places whatsoever in which to park my van. The road was narrow and vehicles stood nose to tail down one side leaving the other side free for moving traffic. No passing places had been left and chaos ensued. Fortunately I was able to squeeze onto the small space behind other vehicles on the driveway of the cottage I was visiting. The old lady invited me in and I assessed the work I was asked to do. Shortly afterwards the road was devoid of any vehicles and I was then able to park my van on it. I had to move the van because one of the cars on the driveway would be driven away ten minutes later. My task was to remove two lights from the dining area and replace them with others. One on the wall and one on the ceiling beams. Both were difficult as I had expected, annoying little problems with each of them. One of those removed was a brass spotlight which incidentally was faulty and couldn’t be repaired but I had been asked to re-site it upstairs. It was a low voltage unit and the transformer had burned internally. It had been moulded into the base and couldn’t be removed but it could be converted to a high voltage unit with some modifications and a little ingenuity. Why did I offer to do it? It presented me with all sorts of challenging problems but because the old lady had set her heart on having it upstairs I set about doing the conversion. A new unit it seems was out of the question and probably couldn’t have been purchased anyway as the old one was so old and out of production. It took me a while to do but eventually I got there after some cussing! Resiting it presented me with further problems, naturally. The lady had an old dog which continuously walked back and forth around my feet and was being somewhat of a nuisance. Well I couldn’t really object so I just tried to avoid it. I asked the lady what was wrong with her dog and she told me it was suffering from the doggy version of dementia. When I went upstairs to fit the two lights I had removed downstairs my phone wouldn’t stop ringing. Call after call most of which were nuisance or spam but they were enough to interrupt at the most inappropriate moment. Finally I was able to finish the work, pack up my things and after payment drive back home. I was held up for forty minutes in a queue of traffic controlled by more road works and arrived home late for lunch. Whilst sorting out my paperwork I discovered my phone wasn’t in my bag. Thinking back I remembered where I had left it, back at the cottage! Fifteen miles away! I have never done that before. Crikey, I had to drive back to collect it. I telephoned ahead to make sure it was there and off I went again. This time I took a different but longer route to avoid road works. I was there in half an hour. On my way back home I stopped at a farm shop and had a freshly made sandwich, made by the young girl serving me. Just like a ‘Subway‘ only better. Breakfast had been nine hours earlier so it tasted that much better. Once I was back home all the problems of the day had melted away.