Having gone to bed rather late on Wednesday (27) evening meant I didn’t arise too early on Thursday. I had remained up until E returned from her visit to the hospital to see her mom who had been taken ill late in the afternoon. It turned out that her mom had to stay in hospital overnight for further tests and according to E was feeling a little better before E left for home. It was approaching midnight by the time she returned. She too slept in late and didn’t come down for breakfast until after ten-thirty, I had finished mine an hour earlier. I wanted to go for a walk but waited until she was up and about before doing so. The weather forecast was good, dry, warm and sunny for the whole day. That is how it turned out, in fact I was feeling a little too warm in my coat and thought I might have been better not wearing it until I got to the sea front where it felt a bit cooler. Had I gone out earlier it would have been much cooler. Once the sun was up it was just like another Summer’s day even though it was now Autumn and almost October. By the time I had returned home two hours later I really needed to remove my coat I was so hot! The gates on the drive to the garage in which E parks her car were open. She had gone out, in fact I learned she had gone to the hospital as I had expected and would follow on and do the weekly shopping later if all went to plan. I ate lunch then spent a couple of hours on the patio in the heat of the Autumn sun. Tomorrow’s forecast was for plenty of rain. The lawn was getting covered with fallen leaves again after we had swept it the afternoon before………now I knew it was Autumn.
PS. To E’s relief her mom was back home by evening after being discharged from the hospital.
From anywhere north on this planet going south means getting warmer but in my case, at least on Saturday morning , it was due to my not being able to go northward on my walk. The Air Show was taking place over the three days from Friday which meant road closures for a while. It might seem odd but it had been many years since I walked along the beach or even through the sand dunes in a southerly direction. In any case I was usually running, not walking. In the intervening years the area had changed somewhat, different paths, the old ones lost in the shrubbery meant I was led away from my intended route. I remembered the time I could walk or run along the path and still be able to see the beach and the sea, in fact the path ran alongside the beach. Either I had taken the wrong path initially else the original one had simply become lost. I should have walked as far out toward the sea to be able to turn and then walk along the beach but I had thought the path would eventually take me to the beach instead. That was my mistake for I ended up walking along this path with sand dunes on my left and the coastal road beyond that and with dense shrubbery and trees on my right beyond which were more sand dunes and the beach. There were no paths leading off to the beach until I had walked two-thirds of the way to my destination where I would turn left and back toward the coastal road for my return home. I finally found the path leading to the beach so I was able to walk the last section on flat sand. Having turned from the beach I walked along till I reached the footpath on the coastal road to get back home. I doubt I will ever use that path again because I found it boring. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will make sure I follow the beach route. From my access point to the beach if I go north I pass the town’s seafront but if I go south I can walk on the beach for miles depending on how far I want to walk, even as far as Freshfield where I used to live….
Sand Dunes and Beach, Freshfield. Sand dunes and the beach at Freshfield. Blackpool tower and the Big One rollercoaster could clearly be seen from the top of this high sand dune on this day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Southward the beach is lovely and many use it in summer for all kinds of water activities but northward the beach, apart from directly in front of the town, turns muddy and is covered in grass. The sea covers it all when the tide is in and it hides it. Some years ago the local authority decided against defending the beach from the build-up of grass and has allowed it to grow for a short distance to the south. Consequently sand dunes have and are taking over more of the beach to the north but not south. Because of tidal action the trend is for the sand to drift northward leaving the south clear, clean, flat and sandy. Further north toward the next river, the River Ribble, there are large sandbanks due to the action of the tide. A few years ago I was on a yacht with two others when we were marooned on a sandbank for a few hours because the tide receded faster than we could make it to deep water. Our ‘captain’ thought we could make it. How wrong she was. That is another story which perhaps I’ll post one day. As for my walk, I might just go south more often, it all depends on the tide.
In yesterday’s post I mentioned in passing that I would be doing some work on Monday, today, well one week ago really as I am at this point eight posts ahead. The thing is I didn’t do any of the suggested work but something else instead and that later in the day. I had gone to bed very early on Sunday evening, that is early for me and after a quick shower I was in bed at nine-twenty. I fell asleep almost immediately so I suppose I had been very tired though I don’t know why, I had been relaxing throughout the day. I did awaken a couple of times but only for a toilet visit and the second of those times I didn’t return to sleep. It was five o’clock. That gave me a golden opportunity to go for an early walk. The morning was balmy, warm, high humidity and almost no wind. I guess the temperature was about 14 or 15 deg C. At six o’clock as I left the house it was approaching twilight time, my favourite times of the day when it is betwixt night and day and can only be experienced fully in the temperate regions of the planet. In tropical regions there is hardly any time between night and day or darkness and light. Anyway I walked about five miles before returning home for breakfast. E was still in bed. After breakfast I had it in mind to start the work I had mentioned but simply couldn’t be bothered so I rested a while. Having eaten breakfast early I was beginning to feel a little hungry earlier than usual but delayed eating until after one o’clock. I suddenly thought of something I wanted to do in the garden but I needed to purchase a plant. There was a space I had pencilled-in for planting another fan palm.
If you remember I had recently split two that had been growing in the same pot and had put them in the garden, one in the front garden and one in the rear garden. At that time I had wished I had purchased another so after lunch I drove to Dobbies and purchased one for £17.99. That was after my member discount of £2. I placed it in the rear garden as planned. It is just above and to the right in the top picture and centre in the second picture. I knew I would have to do the electrical work on Tuesday instead.
I got the chance to test the effectiveness of the coat I had purchased a month or so ago when I went for an early morning walk on Thursday. Although I have worn the coat several times since its purchase and some of those times in the rain, Thursday’s walk was a real test. Rain had been forecast to fall at around four o’clock but by the time I started out a couple of hours later it had stopped. I took the long route on my way to the coastal road and the sky to the west looked very menacing, so dark the clouds were almost black in colour and then I heard the rumble of thunder out toward the sea. To the east and south it was slightly brighter, that is the clouds were a lighter shade of grey! By the time I had reached the sea front it had begun to rain and it appeared I was walking in the same direction to where it was falling. It got heavier and heavier as I went along. Out to sea the horizon had almost faded into the sky and visibility was cut down so much the town of Blackpool, normally visible across the bay twenty miles away was nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t so much the rain that was the problem but the persistent wind blowing on-shore. The scene looked pretty much like that shown in the picture, water, water, everywhere..
The coat stood the test as expected which was just as well else I’d have been soaked through. On my chosen route there was nowhere to take refuge, nowhere for respite and to be honest I really didn’t wish to stop walking anyway. I doubt I will deliberately start my walks during a heavy downpour but it is nice to know that if I get caught out in a storm I can have the assurance of staying dry, at least under my coat. My feet didn’t fare so well, though not soaking wet they did get wet. I had been in two minds as to whether I should have worn my boots but chose my trainers instead. I think I should have worn the boots! Thursday did however turn bright and warm with wall to wall blue skies after lunch.
Friday, although turning brighter during the afternoon with much sunshine it remained in a state of threatening showery moments. It was to turn to full-on rain later, just as it had been first thing in the morning. I was up very early at five-thirty and not because I couldn’t sleep, no, I had a very good five solid hours and awoke amazingly refreshed. The window was ajar as I usually keep it through the night and I could feel the cool air through the gap. There are two windows in the room but one is seldom opened as enough fresh air can be had with just the one open. The wind was high and that remained the same throughout the day making it feel much cooler than the 21 deg C it was. It was far less than that at 13 deg C when I arose with the intention of going for a walk before breakfast. Wet, cool and windy required wrapping up well and I gave my new boots their first outing too since I had purchased them a couple of weeks earlier. I bought them to use during the colder and wetter months of the year but it was still Summer though it felt more like Autumn. I kept the walk short, only venturing out for three miles this time. I had walked twice that distance on Wednesday but I had to keep it short as I was expecting the delivery of the washing-line pole I had ordered the previous day. Soon after I had set off around seven o’clock I received a text message letting me know it was on its way. We have received articles as early as six-thirty in the morning in the past though I didn’t expect this one to arrive until early afternoon. I was back home in plenty of time for its arrival at noon. It had been just as well I was wearing suitable attire because of the driving wind a heavy rain which fell as I walked along the coastal road. A guy was running ahead of me and we were the only two braving the elements at that time. Passing motorists must have thought us mad but who cares? Fresh air and exercise won the day for us. Now all I need is another break in the weather so that I can install the pole, if not I’ll get wet walking instead.
In a similar vein to the words of the well-liked but now deceased comedian Spike 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 Milligan’s Headstone, Winchelsea, E.Sussex. The epitaph reads: “Duirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite”, Irish for “I told you I was ill”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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.
Up early on a wet and windy August Thursday morning ready to venture out for a walk. One banana later I was outside in the weather. Though it was wet and windy it was warm, though when in the wind it felt that much cooler. I ate breakfast on my return home because it was still early enough to do that. On some occasions I skip breakfast if I am late getting back home and have an early lunch instead. E was still sitting at the breakfast table when I returned. She seldom asks how far I walked but I usually tell her anyway. It had been a short walk of just over four miles but it felt as if I had walked twice the distance because of the wind. On the outward journey I had taken a more sheltered route in the built-up areas through the town but on my return leg I walked along the promenade which is totally exposed to the west. The wind was blowing from the south-west and therefore directly in my face. I could have taken the coastal road instead as it would have made little difference. Between the promenade and the coastal road a quarter-mile away there is almost nothing of height, lake and gardens is all. I shudder to think what it would have been like for anyone out running but there weren’t any runners to be seen. Fair weather runners? I think not for I never used to deliberately run in the wind in exposed places either. I had work to do in the afternoon and the weather was to change by then, that is it would stop raining. I have been building the column for the gate at the side of the house in the rear garden and the weather has been fine whilst doing it. This is how far I got with it the day before…(centre in both pictures)
I gave up on the idea of working on the column in the afternoon for two reasons, one I was feeling tired and two it was still very windy though the rain had stopped. At the side of the house where the work is being carried out it was very windy indeed with gusts of around 35 mph, far too uncomfortable to be working in especially as there is no hurry to finish the job. Hopefully though by the time you read this it will be completed.
Addicted to You (Hikaru Utada song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We humans can be addicted to many things though many of the things we can be addicted to are not good for us, there is no benefit from them. I refer of course to drugs both hard and soft in the normal acceptance of the term.
Addicted to Beauty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tea and coffee are drugs like so many other everyday foods and drinks but they are far from harmful unless huge amounts are consumed, something we are very unlikely to do in the great scheme of things. Aside from these things we can be addicted to watching movies, watching television, gardening, sports activities and so on. With me it was running, I would run for many miles each week, it was an addiction but a beneficial one. Too much of anything isn’t good for us and running can be overdone to our detriment. It is a question of balance.
Addicted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Running puts a lot of pressure on the knee joints and the spine to some extent which is why the correct footwear for running was designed and should be worn. They are designed to lessen the effect of impact with the ground as we run. Nowadays I only run on the treadmill at home but have turned to walking outdoors. Now I am finding that walking is becoming an addiction, I just love the exercise. Each day I go out I am wanting to go further and slowly I am doing so. I might intend to go for a short walk but end up going twice the distance. It has been many years since I stopped going for a run and since then my walking has always been limited to one or two miles that is until earlier this year when I began to take my walking more seriously. When I was working full or even part-time and also working on projects at home there was little time for going for a walk unless it was short. Now that I have more time to myself there is nothing to hold me back so I can go out each day as I please. I went for a short walk on Friday which turned out to be far longer than I had intended for as I walk my body is asking for more. I give in because it is pleasurable…..I’m addicted!
I Woke Up (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I woke up on Thursday to a very cool day with a wind blowing. It had been raining overnight but when I arose around seven o’clock it had but almost stopped. The evening before and on through the night for a few hours it had been very humid and quite warm. I slept on top of the bed linen again because it was so uncomfortably ‘sticky’ and awoke at three-twenty after fours hours of sound sleep. I had the window open of course but by the middle of the night conditions turned a lot cooler. I had to slip beneath the bed sheets for warmth. A little less than a further four hours of sound sleep I was up and about. I have noticed my sleep patterns are gradually getting better and I am getting more sleep than I have been used to in recent years. I was going for a walk after breakfast and was in two minds as to what I should wear because of the coolness of the day. Any sort of coat would keep me too warm so I elected not to wear one. When I finally got outside and on my walk many folk I saw were wearing coats and carrying umbrellas. It wasn’t going to rain, I had faith in the forecast and it didn’t rain throughout the day. I seemed to be under dressed compared to what others were wearing as I wore only a lightweight sleeveless top and a skirt but I was comfortable despite that. I so much prefer it being cool and I am more used to that than I am with hot and humid weather. It stayed cool throughout the morning and only got warmer after lunch. In fact the minimum temperature had been about fifteen degrees Celsius when I went out on the walk and rose to eighteen later in the day. The wind made it feel that bit cooler. E had gone for her hospital appointment to have her hearing checked. Of all the other complaints she suffers with she was diagnosed with Tinnitus on her last visit too. Her mom had an appointment with the physiotherapist at the same time so they went together. E doesn’t like cool or cold weather at all whereas I don’t mind it too much. Whilst on the walk I received a call for my electrical services but I declined the work……it was to change a light bulb in a cooker extract hood! I get offered some silly jobs at times and that isn’t cool. I told her I had retired anyway.
I am getting more used to being a pedestrian lately, hardly doing any driving at all as there is little need to. Obviously the van gets its outings now and then but it is in the garage far longer than it is out of it. The truth is that the van hasn’t done much mileage since it was purchased in March 2008! Total distance covered? 30200 miles! Hardly moved at all in the last nine years and accordingly it is still as good as new. I doubt I covered more than a thousand miles over the last twelve months or so even doing electrical jobs. Now that I am undertaking almost no electrical work it is very unlikely the van will cover a thousand miles this year. I do like driving believe it or not and am happy doing it, it never was a problem with me. So I am walking more often but just for the pleasure of it and of course the exercise. Feet came before the wheel didn’t they? I went for my daily walk on Monday and had only gone a half-mile before seeing an acquaintance of mine who, with his wife, live near to our local pub and on this particular day the route I had taken. As I generally don’t frequent the pub in the evenings these days we seldom see each other. He told me that his sixtieth birthday was imminent to which I sparked, ‘Why it was only ten years ago you had your fiftieth’! Laughs all around. He had stopped by his house to collect something before he and his accomplice drove off again. He owns a company which manufactures and installs gates and railings. I continued with my walk and ended up walking about five miles or so circling the town in the process and ending up at our local ‘Dobbies‘ gardening centre. I say local in that it is in Southport but a mile from where I live. I had called in to use their washroom but before doing so I called E to ask if she would like to dine out and if she did could she come and pick me up. Now there is a restaurant at Dobbies but I doubt I’d ever have a meal there. I have used the restaurant when having a coffee and a quick snack sometimes. Anyway E arrived there twenty minutes later and we drove off to a pub on the outskirts of town to eat there. After lunch we stopped at a filling station for fuel and the returned to Dobbies for a free cup of coffee each. As a member I have the privilege of two free coffees each month, if I’ve a mind to go there. So E took advantage and we had a large latté apiece. Now E drives everywhere because of her condition and seldom walks far, in fact she can’t walk far anyway. Despite being a pedestrian more often it is always nice to be chauffeured around once in a while. Soon after we had returned home our neighbour called at the door to present us both with a little gift, a summer scarf for each of us. It was according to her a little gift in appreciation of the things we have done for her. We do help her out with different problems but we don’t expect to be rewarded for it and we do tell her not to buy things. However, it would be very discourteous to reject her obvious thanks for being good neighbours.
More walking about on Monday….I could get used to this! I extended my usual walk of two to three miles and did five instead, something more like the distances I used to do a couple of years back. I used to regularly walk eight to ten miles then but I was younger and was working many hours each week then. For many years I went running, doing four miles each day and often eight or sixteen miles each week too but I gave up running about eighteen years ago. Actually running isn’t as good as it is made out to be and isn’t good for the joints and spine. Brisk walking is safer and just as good for the heart and general health as far as exercise is concerned. Running certainly builds up stamina though and is good for improving blood circulation. I always found it exhilarating and I could feel the beneficial effects of a long run for many hours afterward. A brisk walk has a similar though lesser effect. Anyway, I was nearly finished my walk and noticed something on top of a perimeter wall surrounding a nearby apartment block. It was a debit card. I examined it and found it to be a recent issue so not an old one someone might have discarded, if indeed anyone would discard such a thing by leaving it on a wall. It was issued by the Santander Bank to someone addressed as ‘Miss…’.
No doubt she would have been terrified at the thought of someone using it illegally and emptying her account in the process. People should be more careful with their credit and debit cards and indeed all their financial affairs. I took it home and showed it to E. and we agreed to take the journey into town immediately and hand it in to the branch of that bank, the only one in the district. Bank branches are getting thinner on the ground and soon there might not be any at all! Having done our good deed for the day I took E out-of-town to lunch. We spent the remainder of the afternoon out on the patio whilst the sun was still shining. Tuesday promised rain once more.
Metropolis relaxing after a show… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am like a coiled-up spring which quickly unwinds at the slightest opportunity when I ought to be able to relax more often. My problem is that I get bored too easily I suppose. Relaxing for me isn’t always about finding time to sit down and do nothing, it is more likened to taking walks or doing something I don’t usually do. Now taking walks is something I have done much more of this year though they were always a part of my routine anyway. The weather has had its ups and downs over the last few weeks, too hot, a little cool, wet and windy, take your pick. It’s something we in the UK are used to, a case of having to be I guess but growing up in this country makes it that much easier to live with. On Sunday the weather forecast was for it to be warm and sunny but for much of the morning it was anything but that. It was cool and windy. However, things picked up and by eleven o’clock the sun came out and slowly the clouds blew away. I took a walk down toward the beach and when I reached the coastal road it was empty of traffic. It had been cordoned off because of a running event taking place. It is one of a few annual sporting and other events held locally hereabouts. I had forgotten it was taking place. It didn’t prevent me taking my chosen route and by that time it was almost over in any case. Further along the route in a local park was another event and this one looked better supported than the running. It was the annual beer festival! Obviously more people were interested in drinking beer than going for a run. I returned home through the back streets and those nearest the park were filled with vehicles, no doubt many belonging to the park visitors! I recognised one or two of them as belonging to people I know. Finally I was back home where I joined E who was relaxing on the patio. After lunch we both returned to the patio and stayed there for quite some time. I actually remained seated for more than thirty minutes! Now that is unusual for me. The needs of the garden overtook me though and I ended up doing a small amount of weeding before getting out the hose and watering the plants.
The last couple of days proved to be a complete change from the warm even hot days preceding and in fact have been quite cool. The cooling effect was due mainly to the high winds though the temperature had dropped dramatically too. Not ideal for relaxing in the garden or even working in the garden. I had been feeling drained with a lack of enthusiasm for any activity. I didn’t even take a walk because of the wind and the rain too, yes we finally got the rain we were hoping for. Anyway it was mainly the wind which kept me indoors. That was Friday and Saturday and it looked as if Sunday was going to follow suit. The day started dull and windy though any rain that fell was very slight indeed, so much so it was barely there. The forecast was promising as far as it promised to be sunny later in the day. It was only about 14 deg C throughout the morning with a little wind so I went out for a walk wearing a lightweight jacket, this one which I had purchased a couple of weeks ago
It looks like a raincoat but it isn’t designed for wet weather, it is more just a coat for use in the cool evenings of the warmer months of the year. It is very lightweight and comfortable to wear and it keeps the wind at bay if it isn’t too windy. I walked into the town centre and on the way saw an electrician acquaintance of mine working in an empty shop. Naturally I stopped for a chat with him before moving on. There is an open space named Princess Diana Gardens which is in front of the local civic buildings and theatre/arts centre and there was an army brass band playing there. Many folk were sitting on the benches listening and I found a seat and stayed listening too.
Believe it or not the band were standing in the circular area above the fountains you see in the picture. Of course the fountains were not switched on! Unfortunately I had missed much of the music but was still able to hear the last twenty minutes of the performance. The weekend had been dedicated to the armed forces with celebrations in Liverpool as well as Southport. Once the music was over I continued with my walk, returning home after two hours. After one o’clock the day brightened up but it wasn’t until three-thirty that E and I managed to squeeze in some relaxation on the patio in the now bright sunshine. It was still a little breezy though and the temperature hadn’t risen much.