The end

So it was that on Wednesday morning I was up again bright and early ready to finish what little work there was left in the gym. I say bright and early but although it was very early it wasn’t very bright! Over the last few days it has been rather dull and overcast for a change. As it had been raining it hadn’t been necessary to water the garden as I had been doing first thing. Soon after breakfast I first of all watched some catch-up television in order to see those programs I had missed through going to bed early. It gave me a chance to rest before working, something I hadn’t been doing for days. Usually I am keen to get on with things rather than sitting around knowing I must get on at some point. It was a case of getting the white emulsion paint out and getting on with touching up where I had splashed with the red  paint. Actually there wasn’t that much of it to do. After sweeping up and cleaning out the pit in which the cross trainer stands then wiping down the exercise equipment I moved that equipment to where it was before the work began…

The end…..

Shirley Anne



Up and about at my now usual early start but I had to wait until it was light enough to allow me to have the gym light on with the door open. If you remember I didn’t want a room full of moths which would have been attracted to the brightness of the room. That meant I couldn’t begin painting until five-thirty. The plan was to complete the second coating of the floor which I managed to do all except for the small area where the treadmill had been standing. It is the area between the up-righted treadmill and the small can with the wood on it. That small area had to be left for its second coat as it was part of the walkway I had to leave to enable access to the garden door for the day (to the right and to the rear in the picture). It would get painted on Tuesday morning when the rest of the floor would be dry. This was how the floor looked soon after I had painted the second coat (on the left and beyond)…..

I was feeling rather tired during the rest of the morning and was sitting quietly on the sofa when I heard my eldest son and his wife arrive. They were collecting some things they have in storage here. He was telling me how much he was feeling tired also because of the extra work he had been putting in at work lately, especially the shift work. He is a police officer and puts in some long shifts as they are expected to do these days. He was looking forward to his annual break in a couple of weeks time (as I write). By the time you are reading this he, his wife and their daughter will be holidaying in France for, as he said, twenty-seven nights! They have been to France a couple of times before. I remember when we took he and his younger brother down to the south of France many years ago for a two-week break with a short trip into Spain too. On that occasion we travelled by car, in fact the only time we have ever taken a holiday by car. We have driven in foreign countries of course but we flew there first!

Shirley Anne

New editions

At last the weather turned to conditions more to my liking on Tuesday (8 th), cooler (17 deg C) and with a very slight breeze. For most of the day after eleven o’clock it remained cloudy and overcast and it rained once or twice too. It had been bright in the morning and E and I spent an hour or so outside just before lunch. I was dressed and ready for some exercising on the gym equipment soon after arising at eight o’clock and was about to go downstairs when I received a call from a lady for whom I had done electrical work  a year or so back. She wanted to know if I could do a small job for her. After I had explained that I was now retired I asked what the work involved. She wanted an outdoor circuit disconnecting from its source so that the wiring could be removed. I explained I couldn’t do anything immediately as I was about to spend time exercising but offering my services I said I would do it later in the morning. I went there at ten o’clock and was back home an hour later with a little extra cash in my purse. Around twelve-thirty I checked to see if the exercise bike I had ordered the previous week had been scheduled for delivery and discovered it would be with me within the hour. When it arrived the guy carried it into the garage for me so I could then take it indoors later. It came in a large cardboard box and only for the picture on the box could you tell it was the exercise bike. Obviously it would need assembling and that is what E and I did later and after lunch.For the moment we are keeping it where it stands because there is a spare power outlet there. If we decide to move it across the room I would have to install an extra power outlet there as I explained in earlier posts. So the machine represents the latest edition to our equipment but there is one final piece of equipment I am thinking of purchasing later in the year, a rowing machine. That would be the last purchase we make should we decide to buy one.

Shirley Anne

Even E and I

I was up and about very early again on Wednesday morning and after breakfast by then seven forty-five I was out in the garden checking on the protection I had taken for some of the plants was still in place. I decided to strengthen that protection because of the weather forecast which informed us of an even colder night to follow. By the time I had returned indoors an hour later E came downstairs for her breakfast. We talked about taking a trip to the garden centre but actually didn’t set off until eleven-thirty as she wanted to wash her hair have a shower and get dressed! Whereas I get up and go to bed in the same day she gets up one day and goes to bed the next! She is what you might call a night person and never retires to bed before one o’clock in the morning unless she has an early appointment the next day. I’ve usually had a couple of hours sleep by then. It makes going anywhere together in the morning difficult at times. Anyway we did go out and whilst we were out I decided to take a trip to the decorating store and the electrical store after we had visited the garden centre. I needed more emulsion paint and some light bulbs to replace faulty ones. It was approaching two o’clock when we sat down to lunch and at the same time watch some tv. At three o’clock she and I went into the cellar and moved the Elliptical trainer into its new home….

Not bad for two ‘senior citizens’! Actually it wasn’t that difficult, it was just a matter of approaching it in the right way. Neither of us had to exert ourselves in any way because of the way we tackled it. Now it is in its new home E will find it much easier to mount when she uses it. I had painted the whole wall and that part of the ceiling above it to make it easier. Now it is out-of-the-way so to speak I can get on with decorating the rest of the room, when the mood takes me of course!

Shirley Anne

Construction over

It was now Saturday morning and after an early breakfast I went into the cellar to begin the final stage of constructing the pit, the cosmetic work that is! I had sealed and later given the lining of the pit and the floor a coat of paint but hadn’t done the brickwork that had been exposed when the floor was lowered. See yesterday’s post. I had thought about rendering the bricks with cement but when I got downstairs and looked at them I decided simply a coat of paint would do….

At the same time I gave the rest of the pit another coat of paint and might have to do the same for the bricks later. there was one small spot on the floor of the pit where the sealant hadn’t dried out completely and it refused the application of paint so I have left it until it does. It is in the corner by the wall and is just out of sight in the picture. When the paint had dried, which I would leave until Monday, I planned to move the power outlet to a position above that same corner. A switched fuse box will be installed where the power socket is now situated. If you are an electrician you will know why and if you are not it will allow more outlets to be installed later should they be needed. The fuse will limit power usage from all the outlets. Technical stuff over. So it looks like we will be able to finally get the Trainer into position in the pit within the next few days. That in itself may not be as easy at it sounds.

Shirley Anne

Too heavy

When I used to work for the (then) Electricity Supply Authority many years ago amongst the things I learnt to do was how to shift heavy objects without injuring myself. Sounds common sense but it isn’t. There are many instances where the correct approach is essential not only to prevent accidental injury but to ensure whatever equipment being moved isn’t damaged too. Some of the things we were asked to manoeuvre were very heavy indeed, large transformers and heavy-duty switch gear for example. It is all about technique and methodology, doing things the correct way make the operation not only safe but efficient and it gets done quicker. Since those days I moved to another employer and found those skills very useful for although I may not have been moving extremely heavy equipment there were still large pieces of equipment which needed to be moved on occasion. When I became self-employed there was little need for me to be involved in moving heavy things about. However throughout my adult life I have had occasionally to move large things at home and have never had problems because I always apply those skills I was taught so many years ago. There are times though when assistance from someone else is needed, not always because the items are too heavy but because they are awkwardly shaped or cannot be easily dismantled and re-assembled. A few years ago I had purchased a treadmill which required assembling at home but after a year or so I decided to move it into the cellar where it has been ever since. I was able to partially dismantle it to make it easier to move but I still needed assistance to move the heavy parts. Yesterday (as I write this) I received the Elliptical Trainer I had ordered and had it stored in the garage directly to ease moving it into the cellar later. On Friday therefore I made the attempt to move it but it was too awkward a package to move alone, even using the techniques I had learned. The problem here though was more a lack of strength on my part. I was able to move it so far but could see difficulties ahead where two persons would be required to get it into the cellar. Enter my eldest son who obliged on his way home from work. Together we managed to push it into the cellar room and unpack it, though I had already removed loose packaging and a couple of boxes containing bits and pieces. That was all I had asked of my son but he carried on to unfold the unit and add all the loose parts not already fitted to it.The picture shows the finished assembly. The unit has a tray above the main panel on which a tablet can be clipped. The equipment can be used in conjunction with ‘Fitbit’ technology, in fact the system computer uses Android. There is a USB connector built-in and the computer connects to the Internet via WiFi if required.

I hadn’t realised it was equipped with all that technology when I purchased it but then it is a commercial unit rather than a typical domestic one. Price? I managed to obtain it for a little more than half its usual price of £1900 or thereabouts for £999.
I was very much indebted to my son for taking the extra time to help assemble the trainer though that part I could have done myself, all I asked of him was to help bring it indoors. I have always resisted calling for assistance when doing such work unless it has been absolutely necessary. This time it was necessary so it was nice to know assistance was there when I needed it. Although I will obviously use the equipment I purchased it to encourage E to be more active. It was all I could do to get her to allow me a few minutes on it! Mission accomplished.

Shirley Anne


I have been harping on about gym equipment recently and our re-arrangement and clean-up of what you might call our little gymnasium which is down in the cellar. It may be an unusual place to have it as it is actually in the room in which we have the house boiler and where we sometimes hang our laundry to dry when the weather is poor. The room does get warm of course but not so much as to prevent activity on the equipment we have. In any case we can always open the door leading out to the garden if it ever gets too warm which I think is very unlikely. I have always wished for a gymnasium at home and at one point, when the children were younger, I was going to have one in the garage in which E parks her car. At that time the other garage accommodated two vehicles but these days although the garage’s size hasn’t changed its contents have! We store apart from my van, ladders, scaffolding tower, cement mixer, mowers, wheelbarrow and many other things in there now. So the only alternative was to make use of the cellar rooms and only one of them was considered practical, the boiler room. Aside from the fact that the other rooms have a lower ceiling at around seven feet (2.133 metres) the boiler room ceiling is at eight feet (2.438 metres). When using barbells even that height is low but I personally don’t lift weights though if I did I would do it on the bench press. When standing on the treadmill there is plenty of head room and that’s why originally I moved it there. Now then, I have always wished to own an Elliptical Cross-Trainer as their use lowers impact stress on joints and enables many other muscles to be exercised at the same time. The problem with these machines is their cost. A cheaper machine isn’t worth the purchase for anyone serious about their exercising but some of the top-of-the-range machines are quite expensive and can reach £10,000 or more to buy. Something far less expensive would be better if I were to purchase one and preferably one on offer at an even lower price. So with that in mind I searched the Internet and found something suitable. It had many features and had been reduced in price from £1890 to £999 making it within the reach of what I was prepared to pay. I made the purchase and it will be here by the time you are reading this. The machine will probably benefit E insofar as it is easier for her to use and will give her the exercise opportunity she needs. Although she has started using the treadmill (for extremely slow walking) and the bicycle on its stand she will find the new machine to be better. The picture above shows the model I purchased. Our boiler room is turning out to be a proper little gymnasium! One thing I have yet to do is to install a power point where I wish to keep the Trainer for at the moment there aren’t any close-by.

Shirley Anne