Tiredness, weariness, fatigue, boredom, routine, lethargy, disinterest are among the things which affect me at some point and if it isn’t the one it’s the other. If something holds my interest I am happy enough but I find now that there is less I find interesting with each passing day. If I’ve a project to do I am happy but only if things go well and to plan. Even so, I get bored with projects too believe it or not and I have days where I simply cannot be bothered or I’ve had enough for a while. I get days where I just cannot make the effort to do anything. Monday (21) was such a day. I knew before I got out of bed that I didn’t want to be doing anything though there were things to be doing if I chose. I was tired and weary the moment I awoke and I wanted to go back to sleep but couldn’t. Once I wake up I find it extremely difficult to go back to sleep and after a short time I have to climb out from beneath the sheets. I was looking forward to a blank canvas with nothing to do or rather no intentions of doing anything. I enjoyed breakfast and watching tv whilst eating it. I switched on the computer to check my mail and switched it off again. I went into the garden to water the plants again which I find relaxing because I don’t need to do much but stand and direct the hose!
I went indoors to make a cup of coffee and returned outside to sit drinking it in the bright warm morning sunshine. My thoughts were all over the place and I couldn’t sit there long. I decided to get my guitar and sit on the bench in the front garden playing it for a while and then it was lunch time, early because I’d eaten an early breakfast but it was by then twelve-thirty. After lunch I sat on the sofa and had a cat nap. E had gone to rest on the patio and I went for a walk down to the beach. I sat on top of the dunes looking out to sea and along the beach. Very few people were there during what was after all a working day for most so those I saw were either elderly and obviously retired or women taking their dogs for a walk. As I sat my thoughts turned to the days when I often used to run through the dunes or sat there just contemplating life. I was doing just that on Monday afternoon too, contemplating life. I remembered times when I would call my friend or she would call me on my mobile phone as I sat on the dunes enjoying an afternoon free from work. She never calls me now though I have tried contacting her. She moved to the south coast a few years ago. After an hour or so I walked back home asking myself what is the point of it all? I often thing about the futility of life, that is the things we get involved with during our lives and ponder why it is we do them. We acquire wealth, a house, a family, a job, we take holidays and at the time enjoy it all. I reflect on King Solomon‘s struggle with the same issues and what conclusions he drew from it all. ‘Meaningless, everything is meaningless’ he said and all we can do is to fear (revere) God and enjoy our work and our lives as best we can. So what’s up with me I ask myself?
Traditionally E and I have never gone away from home whenever it is a national holiday such as the recent one we had two weeks ago. For many a year the weather has proven to be poor especially on the Spring bank holidays and many folk will take a break in a foreign country for that reason. This year the Spring bank holiday weather was exceptionally warm and sunny over the three-day period so staying at home was fine and there was no need to go chasing after the sun elsewhere. I took advantage of the fine weather to get a little gardening done, setting in five new shrubs, weeding and watering and such but it wasn’t all work as I spent some time relaxing too. One thing I didn’t do was to work indoors though it might have been a possibility had the safety mask been delivered for that was holding up finishing off the little project I had been doing over the previous weeks, the cellar storage room. I needed the mask in order to paint the floor because the floor paint gives off noxious fumes when it is wet. It would have taken less than an hour to complete and I could have done it and still have had plenty of time to relax. As I write this on May 7th I am still waiting on the delivery of the mask. Everything in the cellar room is therefore on hold until the floor is painted but I have not been bored. I am hoping that I will receive the mask tomorrow so I can write off that job. There is always work to do in the gardens of course and while the weather is fine I can get on with them. I have it in mind to carry out repairs to the driveway to the garage E uses and want to get that out-of-the-way too. It looks like I won’t be able to spruce up the gym floor just yet as I thought I might. We are still awaiting delivery of the exercise bike too so I will probably need to install another power outlet for that before I can even think about the floor. It is almost impossible therefore to get bored in this house as long as I wish to do any work.
Late on Monday afternoon saw me rooting around looking for something to do in connection with my gym project, that is lowering the floor where the Elliptical trainer will stand (see previous posts). I had done enough for the day but like everything I do it is seldom not enough and I end up seeing if there is anything minor I can do rather than let time slip by. I say minor because the harder work can only be done in stages. I was shaping a piece of timber and manufacturing two brackets which together will form a handrail near to the entrance of the room. Whilst working on one of the brackets I had a small accident which ended up with my little finger on my left hand being cut.I hasten to add the picture isn’t of my own fingers. Everything had to come to a halt so I could attend to the now bleeding finger. I made a temporary covering to stem the bleeding but it really needed a proper bandage to be fitted. I waited for E to return from her shopping spree with her mom as I knew she wouldn’t be long in returning home. In the meantime I was stopped in my tracks from all work and I sat with my computer for an hour drinking a coffee. E soon returned home and set about applying a proper finger bandage after I had cleaned up my finger. I suggested she fit a couple of thin wooden strips on my finger to act as a splint to prevent my finger from bending. That way the wound would heal faster. I went to bed with my finger bandaged thinking all would be alright but when I awoke at six o’clock the splint had fallen off and the bandage was soaked in blood, though it wasn’t at that time still bleeding. Strangely there was no blood on the bed linen though some had found its way onto one of my legs! I cleaned it up and applied a simple band-aid on my finger which stayed there throughout the day on Tuesday and my finger had pretty much healed by evening. I was therefore unable to do any more work on my project in case the wound re-opened. I had the day off. Later in the afternoon I had to drive E to the hospital for a scheduled MRI scan appointment. She has been complaining of an ailment in one of her feet. That basically described my day and I looked forward to Wednesday when I could resume occupying myself on my project.
In a similar vein to the words of the well-liked but now deceased comedianSpike Milligan who had written on his tombstone.’Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite, Irish for “I told you I was ill.”…….I told you I’d get bored once I retired!
Spike was a favourite of mine along with comedians such as Tommy Cooper, Marty Feldman and others who never failed to make me laugh. They had my kind of humour. Anyway, to the point, I laugh and joke about anything and everything these days serious stuff included. Life is too short to be walking about looking as if the troubles of the whole world were on your shoulders. Speaking about retirement, I am getting used to it but very slowly indeed. I have had the good fortune to have found things to do over the last few months, that is since the beginning of April when I declared myself to have stopped working as an electrician. Even so some small jobs have since come my way. I get to go for walks which I like for two reasons, the exercise and the fresh air. The air around here certainly is fresh coming off the Irish Sea and walks along the seafront are very refreshing. So it was I went for a slightly later than usual walk on Monday. I don’t know about you but I get a little wary of people following me even though their intentions might be completely innocent and most folk’s are. I was walking along a local street on my way down toward the sea when I sensed there was someone following me or rather walking in the same direction as myself. Peripheral vision is wonderful especially if the head is turned slightly in the direction behind you. I could see that it was a middle-aged guy dressed as you would expect from someone out for a walk and complete with rucksack too. He made no attempt to pass by but kept his distance behind me. The trouble was that distance was a mere ten metres and it made me feel uncomfortable. For a half-mile it continued that way until we reached the seafront where he decided to walk on by. Now it was my turn to repay him the compliment by walking behind him. He must have thought he could outpace me but I kept pace without even trying, in fact it seemed a little slow if anything. He kept looking back to see if he had left me behind but I was still there. I sensed he was by now feeling a little uneasy himself but that was my intention. About another half-mile and we would reach a point where there were three routes to choose from all in the same direction. I waited to see which way he would go then I chose another path. I ran a little way (I was wearing running shoes) to put some distance between us then began taking the route homeward. I bet he didn’t think I could run! I could have chosen to walk along the pier but chose the road over the bridge which spans the lake instead. I walked the last few metres on the pier and as I looked back toward the sea guess who was walking toward me? I carried on through the town centre before turning toward home. It was probably all in my imagination but when I am out alone I take great care in keeping my wits about me and a careful eye on those who are around me.
If there is one thing in this world which I hate most of all it is waiting, waiting for others to keep appointments, waiting for others to take action on promises and waiting around for anything else not under my control. It is Tuesday, the day after a long weekend break. The weather is changeable but at least it is a lot fresher than it has been and I am waiting around with nothing to do. Life at the moment is boring for me as I have nothing to do and no immediate plans to do anything. I woke up very late this morning at nine-twenty, very late for me. I had gone to bed at midnight and pretty much dropped off to sleep straight away which meant I would normally wake up around five o’clock. Well I did wake at that time for a visit to the toilet but returned to bed and dropped off to sleep again. I had done nothing to warrant the need for so much sleep which I think is strange. It often happens that way though. I missed breakfast but did eat some blueberries and I had a drink of cranberry juice, in fact two glasses of it and for a special reason. I normally have at least one glass filled with fruit juice at breakfast time. On Monday I had developed a vaginal infection which I began to treat immediately and took to drinking plenty of cranberry juice as part of that treatment. Cranberry juice seems to have the ability to discourage bacterial bladder infections and is recommended as a natural solution. By late afternoon today most of the symptoms had disappeared. That was just as well for I had decided to take a walk to the beach through the sand dunes and didn’t want to feel uncomfortable and be unable to do anything about it. The weather was just right for walking about as it was relatively cool with a slight breeze. I took nothing with me except my house keys and a small purse containing loose change. I was glad I did that for on my way back home I was feeling thirsty and a little tired and stopped at the pub for a drink. Few people were there as it was by then late in the afternoon and many would have eaten and left earlier but there were a couple of folk I knew and was able to chat with. I didn’t stay long though and was soon back home ready to do well…..nothing!
I was watching the day’s news on television today (Wednesday) and smiled when I heard about an elderly widower who has been advertising for a job vacancy. He is just about 90 years old, his wife died two years ago and he says the boredom of not doing anything each day is driving him crazy. I know many his age who find it difficult to get up from the couch being as they are self-confessed couch potatoes! I admired his pluck and his obvious energy, even at his age, no, especially at his age. The newsreader went on to say that a local restaurant owner has invited the man along for an interview with the prospect of work to follow we assume if he is successful at the interview. I wish him success too. Not everyone wants to stop working as they get older it seems so I am in good company. I find it difficult to sit around doing nothing for any length of time but I don’t wish to spend my time doing useless things either. I like to be productive which means creating improvements in anything I do. It is good to spend time out of course but not for too long or too often. I know people who just flit away the hours going from place to place but actually getting nowhere, their time is spent looking at things or sitting in pubs and restaurants every day which would bore me to tears. Each to their own of course but I want to leave a lasting legacy that hopefully others will be able to enjoy when I’m gone. This is one of the reasons I like working for others or working at home on the house or especially in the gardens. I was looking out of the window in the wet room which overlooks the side of the house where I had been working during the summer, the ‘Plot’. I look at my achievements both there and elsewhere in the garden and am satisfied that what I have done is lasting. Whenever I look out of the windows at home my thoughts centre on what other improvements I can make. I am limited at this time of year as to what I am able to do simply because of the weather but I like making plans, in my head at least, for any future projects I’ve a mind to do. If I reach 90 I hope I will still have that same attitude and not resign myself or consign myself to a life of idleness.
It was late Friday afternoon and I was bored stiff. I had been gainfully employed for a time on Thursday after having had a break but now I had nothing specific to do, no electrical work and no work at home. It was too soon to be bored but it doesn’t take much time for me to get bored. I didn’t mind so much during the morning but by lunch time I began to get bored. It was a windy and wet day but the sun kept popping out to brighten things up. I decided to go for a short walk to ease the boredom and to get some exercise at the same time. I’d only gone a few hundred yards and it began to rain. It didn’t last and it seemed a waste of time opening the umbrella but I did. It is one thing getting soaking wet when nearly back home but another when I’d only just left! Anyway the walk did me good and I tried not to notice the wind. One benefit I get from walking around my town is I get to look at other people’s gardens and see the variety of plants they have some of which we have too. I can see what our own will be like in a couple of years’ time. I could have spent a little time sweeping up the leaves in the rear garden but the wheelie bins were full and wouldn’t be emptied until Monday, it would be pointless to sweep them into bags when they could go straight into the emptied bins. There would be more to sweep up by Monday anyway. I toyed with the idea of driving to the garden centre to purchase plants for the flowerbed but decided against it until I had more spare cash in my purse, the £150 I had might probably not be enough to buy the amount of plants I wanted anyway. I had more work scheduled so I made the decision to wait a few more days. I cannot handle having nothing to do and the waiting I knew would be difficult but sometimes it has to be that way. The only thing working in the house apart from static equipment was our little robot cleaner we affectionately call Robbie, what else? E had gone out for the afternoon probably to her mom’s house then to do some shopping, I didn’t ask. I had returned home from my walk when she returned home, dashed into the kitchen and left again with a bag containing four new kitchen rolls. I thought perhaps she had spilled something in her car but she didn’t return as I would have expected had that been the case. She had driven off again! That was the only bit of ‘excitement’ I’d had all day. Such is life for me when there’s nothing for me to do.
I don’t often write about nothing. If there is nothing to write about I cannot write it can I? Well Sunday started off a little dull. It had been raining overnight but the clouds, though not emptying their load upon us, hung threateningly overhead until finally at around lunchtime they had to give way to the sun. from then on the day was bright, warm and sunny. When the weather is like this I like to be outdoors in it. It matters not that I have nothing to do, it is just where I want to be when the sun is out. However, I am not a person who can simply spend all my time soaking up the sun and in fact I don’t like lying about under the sun’s rays too long, that is sunbathing as some people do. When I think about people who spend a lot of time sunbathing it reminds me of having to repeatedly turn a piece of meat when cooking it so that it doesn’t burn! I suppose that is why sunbathers do the same thing. So I did go out onto the patio for a short time and yes, I did sit in the bright sunshine for a while but it didn’t last. My problem apart from the fact that I don’t want to get burned by the sun is that I am restless. I simply have to move about, even if it is somewhat aimless. Most of the time on Sunday was spent assessing the work I hopefully would be doing the next day in the Plot. I stand there mulling things over in my mind, planning this and that and making decisions about how I will tackle the work. If I wasn’t doing that I was walking about the garden picking out the odd weed. As I was sitting on the patio I noticed the plants on my neighbours side of the tall wall that separates us where moving and it wasn’t the wind for there was very little of that. Then I heard gasps and groans so I hopped onto the patio wall and was able to peer over to see what was afoot. I saw my neighbour struggling to cut the tops off the tall plants growing there. My neighbour has health problems and has difficulty breathing if she exerts herself too much. I called to her and asked if I could do the work for her. It would only take me a couple of minutes to do the work. She thanked me and allowed me to do it for her. At the same time I applied some weed killer to some plants growing out of the cracks in the wall a short distance away. She asked how I was getting along with my little project so I invited her to come and see. It had been a couple of weeks since she last came into the garden and she was impressed by the amount of work I had done in the interim. She didn’t stop long but spent a little time chatting with E before she returned home. So it was Sunday and my day of rest but with nothing to do except help a neighbour I was admittedly bored stiff! Something was missing and I waited impatiently for it to become Monday.
Apart from the exercise I had on Tuesday I did nothing else. That exercise was in the form of two short walks, one before lunch being a trip to the bank and the other after lunch just for the walk itself. With no electrical work to do and nothing I wanted to do at home I struggled to fill my day. Wednesday was even worse, I didn’t even go for a walk. My only outing was a quick trip in my van to the Post Office and then on to the local supermarket filling station to fill up with diesel. I find I only fill up my van once a month or even less and even then the top-up isn’t usually more than half a tankful. In the morning and after many weeks collating all the information to fill out my tax return I finally got around to filling the form. The trip to the Post Office was to buy a stamp and send it off. It isn’t the form-filling I dislike, more the collating of all the information, though much of that is kept in one place. I guess I am not much into paperwork! It was only a matter of a week or two ago that I was so busy doing all sorts of things, but I like it that way, I would much rather have too much to do than nothing at all. Wednesday was a do nothing type of day only welcomed as a respite. The problem was I had nothing from which I needed a respite! I know full well that things won’t remain this way and I often wonder how people who are out of work cope with the boredom. As I write this on Wednesday afternoon I am hoping to have something to do tomorrow or I might have to start working on changing the radiator valves which I keep putting off. No doubt if I start the work offers from elsewhere will start pouring in but if that happens it won’t matter, I can manage the pressure. Once the radiator system is drained-down, which doesn’t take long, changing the valves can be done more or less at leisure. Don’t be surprised then to read that I have started that work for I can’t bear the boredom!
Boredom is beginning to set in for me. The recent hot weather had put paid to any ideas of working indoors at home and because it is still that way as I write this on Tuesday it remains so for the time being. Don’t misunderstand me, I do like to take a break from work just as others do but eventually I get bored and am on pins looking for something to do. Having no electrical work for a few days doesn’t help either. There are plenty of jobs I could be doing outside the house of course as I have plans to replant the other flowerbed which needs doing in the front garden. To do that however I need E’s committment too. She is sometimes reluctant to make the effort especially if I am suggesting the removal of plants and replacing them with another variety. For years she has resisted digging out this particular flowerbed properly and has wasted (in my opinion) her time by simply weeding it out when all that happens is that the weeds return soon after. I should take the bull by the horns so to speak and start the work by myself as I did with the other flowerbed recently. She soon changed her mind once the work got started. It will put another hole in my purse of course for cultivated plants don’t come cheap. I must easily have spent around £200 on plants for the other flowerbed but populating this bed shouldn’t cost as much I am thinking for some of the existing plants will remain. We could make the two beds identical but that would mean removing all existing plants and for no reason. I am sure we can come up with a way to incorporate them in any new plans. One thing I would prefer is to populate the bed with evergreen plants as we did with the other bed but one plant which is not evergreen I will keep and that is a Fuchsia because we both like Fuchsias. At the moment it occupies the space immediately next to the stone steps (see below) and it can stay there because the rest of the flowerbed can be filled with evergreen plants. In fact there are three there already. One is an Azalea standing next to the Hydrangea on the far left. There is a variegated plant of a variety I cannot name standing next to the Fuchsia and to the left of that is a strange-looking evergreen shrub that needs pruning into shape. I have no idea what its name is either. E got if from somewhere a few years ago. Other greenery in the picture includes two very tall Iris’s and the rest are weeds! It certainly needs attention. It will be difficult to decide how to plan out the bed to effectively incorporate the existing plants and it is slightly larger than the other bed too. The starting point will be to remove the Hydrangea as we did in the first bed a few days ago. During the winter months the Hydrangea plants look terribly bare and unsightly as they lose all their foliage. I will plant evergreens because they keep any flowerbeds looking alive during the colder months and they are more pleasant to look at when everywhere is drab under the weather. If I don’t make a start on the work it won’t get done at all but there are other jobs which need doing inside the house too. They can wait whilst the weather is fine. If the weather turns a little cooler than of late, and the forecast is that it might, you’ll probably find me taking the plunge and getting down to it…………..unless some electrical work gets in the way! Apart from the ‘mound’ on which the flag pole stands, which has recently received four new shrubs in the open area, there are two other flowerbeds, this small one by the gate
And this one approaching the other gate….
Neither of which need any major changes until they become overgrown of course!