Maybe you heard this rhyme as a child though perhaps only if you live in the UK. What has it got to do with this post?
My exercise regime is such that I am finding I am increasing my activity every time I take exercise, which is every day unless I am ill or incapacitated. If I holiday anywhere you will usually see me walking a lot. Now that E is less active than she used to be due to her condition walking places with her is very restrictive so if I do go for walks it is by myself. The last short break we had together, which was in Vienna, saw me pushing her around the city in a wheelchair. I had the added advantage of the extra weight to push around wherever we went! The point was I got the exercise one way or another. Lately I have taken the opportunity to do some beach walks down the coast from where I live (see older posts). Usually I either take the pedestrian walk along the coastal road and enter onto the beach three and a half miles away then walk back homeward on the beach itself or I take to the beach first then return along the coastal road. On Sunday I chose to walk along the road first though not on the pedestrian/cyclists path but along the now covered dunes to the side of it. The dunes on the other side of the road lie between it and the sea. Anyway as I reached the entrance to the beach I was stopped by a young woman who greeted me by name. I had to apologise for not having remembered her but I am often stopped in the street by people who know me because I have worked at their home in the past and I can’t remember them all. It turns out she had been trying to contact me to do a small electrical job for either her or her mom who was with her. I told her I had retired six months ago but that if she wanted a small job doing. I said I might take on the work if indeed it was a small job. We exchanged phone numbers and I carried on with my walk. I decided to walk back at a pace the whole way rather than just amble along. Finally I reached the spot where I had to turn off onto the wet grassy area between the beach and the dry land but couldn’t at first see the path. I say path but it is really mostly covered in mud and puddles hidden by the marram grass. I met with the path by approaching it from the side. Thinking it was more or less simply wet grass I was walking upon as I approached the path I suddenly found my feet in a half-metre of water! It all poured into my boots and I had to walk the remainder of my walk, about a mile, with wet feet. I considered myself fortunate that the ‘puddle’ wasn’t waist-deep! Happy days.
E was going to be out all day in Manchester with a friend and she was up and almost ready to go when I went downstairs just a little after 8 o’clock. She asked why I was up so early and I didn’t know why she asked that question as I am almost always up early but she said she thought I might be having a lie-in as it was a Saturday. Well yes, sometimes I do have a lie-in but not often. I was keen to get breakfast and begin doing a little work in the bathroom. Our youngest son, CD, had spent the night here after getting in at about 01.30. He sometimes does this if he is visiting friends in town. That meant I would not be able to use the hammer lest I woke him up but in actual fact the job has reached that stage where no hammering is required, nevertheless I needed to be quiet going about my business upstairs. As I was eating breakfast E said goodbye and off she went. As it happened and for no apparent reason I later glanced at the garage door where she keeps her car and found it half-way open so I went outside to see what the problem was. Maybe E hadn’t made sure it was fully closed or had inadvertently stopped it in mid-operation without realising it. I pushed the manual button but the door was hesitant and in fact wasn’t moving smoothly, if at all. Drat! I had to put off working in the bathroom to investigate the problem. Out came my tools from inside my van in the other garage and off came one of the ladders on the roof and into the other garage I went. I discovered that a locking mechanism was not in place which meant the motor wasn’t being held fast. The motor needs to be stationary so that the door will unwind as the door is connected directly to the extended rotor shaft that runs through the stator of the motor. It looked a simple job to repair but it meant loosening the rotor shaft to enable me to reposition the locking mechanism. Unfortunately doing that released the tension on the system and it unwound! Now I am not a garage door repair specialist so I was unaware this would happen. I couldn’t rewind the system single-handed and I had to admit defeat on this occasion. I will always attempt a repair if it is electrical or electro-mechanical or even just mechanical as I have worked in these fields throughout my working life. Often I have saved a lot of money by doing things myself. This time though I had to call in the services of the guy who had installed both our garage doors. I had to leave a message on his phone as he was unavailable at the time. Then I discovered that my mobile phone couldn’t connect to the network! I later found out what the problem was when I had time to sit down and relax. It was simply the Sim-card requiring a quick clean. I packed everything away and returned indoors. I wanted to check the glass panels for the shower to see how they would fit. If my readers will remember, my eldest son SJ had moved it indoors a week ago after it had been stored in the garage since last November. We have only just reached the stage whereby we need to check how to fit it. According to our plans the shower tray would be surrounded by two solid walls (tiled) and two glass ones. I found on opening the package that it contained only one with another small panel to be fitted with it in an ‘L’ shape. The end panel hadn’t been supplied. I phoned the company and they checked their records at my request to see if we had in fact ordered the end panel. We hadn’t! How that happened is anyone’s guess. I asked if I could order the panel over the phone giving them my credit card details and they duly arranged for it to be included on the outstanding order we had with them for the delivery of the wall and floor tiles and towel/radiator unit that was scheduled the next day, Sunday. That cost me an extra £113. Unfortunately because of my request they had to defer delivery of all items until this coming Sunday. I got on with painting the ceiling and part of the wall immediately surrounding the large mirror with an undercoat of paint, later to be painted over in white. The reason for this is that we are fitting edging tiles around the mirror some of which are not opaque and we don’t want the bare surface of the wall to be seen through them, particularly as the wall isn’t exactly the one colour at the moment! Nothing seemed to go according to plan on Saturday and even after painting the ceiling again I am still not satisfied with the result. I somehow felt like King Midas in reverse (a Hollies song from years ago if you remember) whereby everything I touched didn’t turn to gold but just fell apart instead! What a ‘orrible day…………..LOL
Catastrophes happen all over the world. Unless you have been holidaying on another planet recently you can’t have escaped hearing the reports of the aftermath of the enormous typhoon which caused tremendous devastation in the islands of the Philippines. Many thousands of people lost their lives there and most of the buildings in some towns have been razed to the ground. People who survived the storm have been left homeless and have little or nothing to eat. In such conditions in a warm climate disease can spread so easily making an unbearable existence even more so. In some places around the world similar or smaller catastrophes happen on a regular basis, even annually and yet people insist in continuing to live there. It is easy to say that people should move away to somewhere safer of course but many things can prevent that, work, finances, family or simply a willingness to remain where one has roots. In the so-called ‘tornado alley’ of the mid-west USA many places are hit by storms every year yet people still live there. I was watching a television program recently called ‘The Raging Planet‘ which reported on a few such natural disasters and the devastation they caused and wondered why people pick up the pieces and start again in the same place knowing that at some point in the future the same thing will happen. New Orleans lies mostly below sea level and despite the attempts to hold back the regular flood waters of the Mississippi River the city is still bombarded from the sea and lies in the path of many hurricanes from that direction. Conditions are hardly likely to improve and in fact may get worse given that global warming is supposed to be a reality with the prospect of rising sea levels. Perhaps they should abandon the city and start again somewhere safer. Perhaps catastrophes and unnecessary loss of life can be avoided one day, if we’ve a mind to make it happen.