Scratching around

With me I am never sure what I want to do on any particular day though when there is a project on the go I usually have a set plan. At the time of writing this there is still work to be done in the cellar but because E is limited in what she can do I have to do the things she would normally do herself and cannot get on with my own work. If I am not shopping I am taking her to her appointments and have to wait to bring her back home. Yesterday afternoon though I decided a meal out was due as we hadn’t dined out for some time. We went to our local pub this time and had a really great time. Today (Wed 16) for instance I had to take her to the hospital in the afternoon and stayed there for over an hour. I had an appointment with the dentist myself in the morning and also spent time on the exercise equipment later. I ended up scratching around trying to get at least some work done in what time I had left. So for a while this is how it is going to be but I will make an effort to get my projects done despite that. Tomorrow morning I have to do the weekly shopping and maybe after lunch I will take a trip to the garden centre to buy some more tree bark chippings and then spread it out in the flowerbeds. I mentioned to E that I would be taking a walk tomorrow morning but then realised I had to do the shopping. Maybe there should be more hours in the day! I did manage to cut the piece of wood that will form the threshold for the cellar storage room and paint it ready for fixing to the floor. I also managed to cut off the excess carpet where the threshold is to be fitted. Yes, there are carpets in three of the cellar rooms but they are only there because new carpets replaced them in the rooms above where they had been and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I suppose I must be grateful that I am able to do anything at my age having seen the plight of many of similar age stuck in hospital or visiting as out-patients. Speaking of hospitals, our next-door neighbour was supposed to be returning home last week then early this week and now as I write they say it will be Friday. Having told her son that she would receive palliative care the doctors changed their minds regarding her condition and cancelled the care last week. Yesterday he was told that her life expectancy was again put below three months and as a result she will get the palliative care at home after all.

Shirley Anne


Just making plans

We’ve had a few bad days of cold and windy weather from the east but today as I write this on Thursday 1st March it looks as though things are about to change for the better. It has been snowing but not that much, in fact we’ve probably had only a few hours of it during the time it has been falling. I guess we’ve had three centimetres¬† of the white stuff at most as it comes and goes. What is worse is if it doesn’t melt away it freezes so although there might not be much of it the snow can still be a problem. We are very fortunate though for in many parts of the country conditions have been far worse so we mustn’t complain. It never ceases to amaze me though that this country cannot cope as well as it should when it snows whereas many other countries take it in their stride. I had planned to go for a walk but changed my mind and worked out on the Elliptical Trainer instead. That’s the beauty of being able to have the space in which to fit exercising machinery and equipment and I humbly acknowledge that privilege. Having gym equipment was never on my thoughts when we first moved into this house thirty years ago. Funny how things change I suppose. For most of the day I stayed indoors relaxing but I did wander about making plans for other projects E and I have been considering. My current project is to decorate the boiler room which houses the gym equipment and as you have been reading part of that work is already complete. However there is some preliminary work that needs to be done in other parts of the room yet to be decorated, tidying up wiring, replacing some of the pipe lagging, perhaps replacing the main light and installing another just to name a few. So over the next few weeks I shall be doing that work whilst decorating those areas which require no preparation. A little here and a little there is the way it will go. One other small project E would like have me do is to install a couple of 5 amp power points in the hallway for the two table lamps we use there. She wants them to be automatically controlled and I have the plans to do it. It will mean installing a photo-cell similar to those controlling the garage lights as shown in this picture…

and in conjunction with a time switch. The photo-cell will supply power to the 5 amp sockets when it goes dark and the time switch will prevent the lights remaining on all through the night. Once it is daylight again the power will automatically shut off. The system of operation is similar to that supplied to the porch light and the garden street lamp-post via the ‘part night’ controllers except that the new one will use cheaper parts and will be manually adjustable if required. Nothing like having plans as long as I can get around to doing them!

Shirley Anne

Oh to be young again!

A Soldier (lying down) performs a bench press ...
A Soldier (lying down) performs a bench press with a spotter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me get one thing straight, I am quite happy being me and being the age that I am. I have no problems with that, I have enjoyed my life as far as I was able and when I look back over the years I know I could have made better decisions but of course it is easy to say things like that with hindsight isn’t it? I think I am quite fit for a person my age and well surpass many my age in being active to the same extent as I am. I put that down to having been active in one way or another all of my life. My occupation keeps me active though I do admit to not being as active as I once was, that is only natural, I cannot keep pace with those much younger than myself. I first noticed the slowing down process a few years ago when out walking and being overtaken by younger people out doing the same. Their pace was not something I considered fast but it was fast enough for them to leave me behind! I tried walking at the same speed and found I couldn’t but I was 60 years old! At least I was out walking and not sitting around on my butt. Last November E and I purchased a new bathroom suite and shower. They were stored in one of the garages on delivery and soon afterward we took some of it indoors and stored it in a spare room upstairs. Two items were too heavy and awkward for E and I to take indoors, one was the unit for the hand basin which is quite wide and the other was the cardboard covered glass panels for the shower. At that time our two sons took the bath indoors for us because we couldn’t have done that either. I could have managed with the assistance of one of them but as they were both at home at the time they did it for us. I am not sure when we will have reached the stage in the bathroom project whereby we will want to fit these things but we had to arrange to get them upstairs so that they would be to hand when we are ready for them. A couple of weeks ago we asked our sons if they could do it for us but it had to be at a time when they were both available. That day was Sunday last. I had thought it would take them twenty minutes to carry the two items upstairs together but once I opened the garage door the eldest son walked in, took a hold of the rather large package containing the heavy glass and promptly walked out and straight up the stairs with it in minutes. His younger brother grabbed hold of the large box containing the basin unit, which was difficult to hold because of its dimensions and weight, and he too was off like a shot and straight up the stairs with it. Neither of them stopped for a breather and neither of them were out of breath! I think I would have need a stop along the way. I can remember a time when I could have done the move myself but that was a long time ago. Later our eldest son followed me into the cellar to see if I had any metal of the type he required for a small project he has but alas I hadn’t. However I was able to give him a long length of timber that he also required. While we were down there he talked about exercise and weight-lifting in particular as he took a hold of the weights we have down there. There is a bench-press with weights standing alongside the treadmill that has been there for years and was used by both our sons when they lived at home. I of course didn’t! He found it very easy to lift those weights as according to him they were far below what he was used to at the gym. I believe him. He had a go on the treadmill whilst he chatted with us and I operated the control in steps of 1 mph to a top speed of 11 mph. the limit of the machine. He coped well and even asked me to increase the inclination! He reached a heartbeat of 143 beats per minute when I switched it down to a more respectable speed level. He got off and I got on and did 6 mph for a couple of minutes and my heartbeat level reached 133. I found it easy to run on the machine, not because I have been using it lately for I haven’t had the time but because I am generally fit. Nothing like as fit as in my youth though!

Shirley Anne

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