…if it’s the last thing I ever do. Yes a familiar line from an old song which I think if I can remember was by a group called ‘The Animals’ with a front man called Eric Burden. It was recorded in the mid-sixties. Now I am showing my age which for those who wish to know is 72. As I write this it is Wednesday morning on the fourth of July. Now there’s a familiar date. Greetings to all my American friends, which by that I mean all of you living there. Okay I am two weeks late but the date doesn’t matter. By the way I greet all people the same no matter from where they hail. I am stuck at home though stuck isn’t probably the right word to use, perhaps left at home might be more apt. E has gone to stay with her mom for a few hours whilst her brother, who lives with his mom, has somewhere he needs to go. I am not really sure why he still lives at home with his mom for he is I think 60 years old. Life has dealt him a few bad cards over the years and I guess things just fell into place and kept him living there. E doesn’t speak much about him and I haven’t even seen him for well over twenty years. That’s what happens when families don’t stick together and support each other. There are reasons of course, many are too self-centred and have bigoted feelings. I don’t know why people are like that, after all we are all in the same boat. All you need is love. Now where have I heard that one before? I am not sure many folk know what real love is. If you’ve an ear I can tell you but I don’t wish to preach, not in this post anyway. I see folk going about their daily business and often wonder what it is they think about, what their focus on life is. One day they will, we all will, leave this place and everything in it and in fact it will be the last thing we ever do won’t it? Once more it is a beautifully sunny day, probably going to be too hot again for me if I’m honest. I am maybe thinking I should get out of this place, that is my house and go for a walk somewhere but do you know, I am not sure I will feel better for it. It is late in the morning as I finish this post. I haven’t eaten breakfast because I wasn’t hungry when I got up but I am feeling a little hungry now. After I have eaten I will be ‘reviewing the situation’, (yes, from Oliver Twist, the musical). Have a really nice day my readers.
It isn’t unusual that one day can be so different from the previous one. Many of my days follow a set pattern and nothing much is different between them but there are days which flip the trend. Doing something new or something that hasn’t been done for a while make a day different but other things can do just the same. In yesterday’s post I talked about taking a walk in the rain. At the time it felt good but today, that is Sunday (aka Father’s Day this particular Sunday 17 th) I think I am paying the price! I have been feeling ‘run down’, tired and listless and all I want to do is sit and relax, even take a nap! I just feel drained of energy and am assuming the cold of yesterday has had a negative affect on my health. Hopefully it won’t last but for today at least I am putting up with it. Fortunately I haven’t been bored by just sitting around for the television came to the rescue. Not everyone is interested in soccer but I am not one of them. I am not a fanatic as some might be but I do enjoy watching a good game and this summer there are plenty to watch during the FIFA World Cup championships. This year as all will know it is being held in Russia. I would like to see England do well but it has been so many years since they have. To be honest I don’t support or follow any particular country’s team even my own, I just like watching good football. However if there is something else to do I will abandon the television unless it is the final game which I would probably take time out for. So here I am late on Sunday afternoon waiting for the next game to begin in the next ten minutes writing this and listening to records by various artists from the sixties on Vintage Tv. They are all remembered and bring back my memories from those wonderful days in my life. I remember how it was for me and how I had lacked determination to follow the path in life I perhaps should have taken instead of the one I did. Missed opportunities I regret and yet life has been good despite all the negative things that have happened in my life since then. Today I am happier than I thought I’d ever be and content with life. Tomorrow will be even better…and I am feeling better already.
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.
There’s always something going on in life as the saying goes though at this time those ‘somethings’ are not exactly what I have in mind. Another day passes by without anything further done on my projects but still I am active though in a different way. Yesterday we had bright sunshine and it was reasonably warm, only kept cooler because of the breeze. Today (Friday 11) it is quite cold, overcast and windy, a complete change. I would have taken a long walk in the morning but for the fact that I had to drive E to the hospital for her to keep another appointment. Instead, I spent time exercising on the gym equipment before breakfast and waited for E to be ready to go out. This time she was having steroid injections in her left foot in order to alleviate pain in some of her toes. Next week she has further appointments so now I have to plan my work, if I am doing any, around those times. Everything moves at a snail’s pace if I am out with E these days whereas years ago I sometimes had difficulty in just keeping up with her! Strange at it may seem her spinal problems (spina biffida) don’t appear to be causing her as much pain as the other problems she has. Until she contracted the back pain, shoulder pain and problems in her feet she managed to get around quite well. To be honest I don’t know how she would cope if I wasn’t around but I suppose she would somehow. It’s not all doom and gloom though, just something we have to cope with in our lives. I often wonder how we as human beings manage to survive the many health problems many of us face during our lives. If it isn’t one thing it’s another which strikes us unless we are very lucky though some of us are more vulnerable than others I guess.
I wasn’t out of action for very long after I had damaged my little finger, only one day in fact but I didn’t resume my work on the pit until the day after that. I don’t know about you but I find certain foods affect my gut and I suffer from re-flux and wind problems if I eat them though strangely not every time. I love fish and on Wednesday evening I had mackerel. It is a particularly strong in flavour and is one of those foods which cause me to burp a lot after eating it. It isn’t my favourite fish by a long way, in fact it is pretty much at the bottom of the table. Sea bass and rainbow trout are favourites with me though I don’t often eat them. I suffered a lot after eating that fish on Wednesday and it followed through to almost lunchtime on Thursday. However it wasn’t just the fish causing me problems but also the muesli I had at breakfast. I usually eat muesli with fruit or porridge with fruit at breakfast and they have little side effect as long as I don’t do any work which requires bending. If I do then it can upset my tummy. Most of the time I don’t start working for an hour or two after eating breakfast. Anyhow I decided I had to push ahead with the pit project and I got this far before finally taking a break for a late lunch.
The slope turned out almost perfect but I had to fill in a few places where trapped air had caused one or two dimples in the concrete (top picture). I relaid five stone tiles at the far end of the pit as seen in the bottom picture. The space on the left is that concrete block I mentioned in previous posts. It is extremely hard but I managed to chip away at it in order to get it below the floor tiles. I won’t bother spending more time on it but at least I can cement over it now. Before the work started it was a couple of inches above the floor level. After lunch I assembled and installed the hand rail.
In yesterday’s post I talked about continuing with the work in the garden and the weather thwarting that possibility. Wednesday (27) was a far better day for working outdoors as it was dry and sunny for the most part though I have to add much colder than it had been in the previous week. I didn’t get out of bed especially early as I might have done another time but I was downstairs exercising on the gym equipment by nine o’clock even so. After a brief cooling off outside I returned upstairs for breakfast before taking a shower and getting dressed for the day. Over the last couple of days our youngest son has been staying here and his car is left parked on the driveway in front of the house when he is here. The vehicle is supplied by the company he works for and he normally gets it cleaned in a car wash station. His employer pays for that but I suppose only once a month. It stood there looking as if it had been in a coal mine for weeks but as he said, driving up and down the motorways in the rain keeps it looking that way! I put on my overalls and with a bucket of warm water, liquid soap and the nylon bristled sweeping brush I keep in my van for cleaning the van I set about cleaning the car. It didn’t take long and at least it would look much better for a while…
Having done my good deed for the day I returned to the rear garden and set about fixing the stones in the rear edge of the small bed that is now occupied by the new fan palm…
I mixed some fine concrete to fill in the gaps and used what was left to fill holes elsewhere around the garden and one of the surface water grids. When I returned into the house through the cellar door my son was using the elliptical trainer and then the bench press to do some weight lifting. He, just like his brother, are certainly a healthy and muscular pair of guys. They each have membership in their preferred gymnasium but obviously take advantage of the equipment we have at home when they visit. It is good to see they are looking after themselves by keeping fit. I wonder where they get that from?
A few weeks ago my doctor called me in to see her. I have to attend surgery every six months for routine blood pressure checks because of the medication (hormones) I have to take each day. On my last visit I was told to make an appointment with the nurse who take blood samples and send them off for analysis. That was done and I then had to see the doctor again for the results. That happened on Friday (10). My readers will know that I am a Christian believer and place my trust in God knowing that He loves me. I don’t like visits to the doctor to be truthful and though I appear at ease by my demeanour I am usually tensed inside. I arrived at the surgery and parked my van but before going in I prayed to The Lord that all would be well with my results and there would be no necessity for any further action. I went into the surgery and waited to be called. I was with the doctor for less than a minute……..there was nothing wrong with my blood pressure nor the resultant blood tests. I praised The Lord. I knew in my heart the results would be normal, He had given me that assurance.
I have learnt over the years to have more faith in God and to trust in His love. I know He loves me and will take care of me. He proved His love on the cross. Jesus Christ died for me and that act demonstrated pure love. He paid my debt and set me free from the bondage of sin. All I had to do was believe in Him and accept His gift of life. No ,matter what God's plans are for me I know I can trust Him. I just know...
I was up early on Monday morning but didn’t dress for the day at that time. Instead I put on shorts, a vest and my runner’s shoes and spent some time on the treadmill….running. I had neglected my treadmill exercise routines to the point that I was using the treadmill very infrequently and I had to correct that. For the past couple of weeks therefore I have disciplined myself to spend more time on the treadmill as I had been doing previously. In just a short time I found myself improving with each session, pushing myself just that little bit more each time and feeling the benefit for it. For quite some time I have been taking walks and here too I have noticed a steady improvement, walking faster and going further is the trend but I knew it would be. After my stint on the treadmill I went for a walk later too. You see for many years exercise has played a major part in my life and I know the benefits regular exercising can provide. The key word here is ‘regular’, it is of no use exercising sporadically because that can be worse than not exercising at all. Sudden exercise for someone not used to it can cause heart failure in some people as well as other physical problems. If one is to take exercising seriously then it should be planned, short periods of light exercising at first then progressing to harder regimes over a period of time. Marathon runners and sprinters, swimmers and cyclists didn’t start at the peak of their disciplines but gradually built themselves up over a period of time by exercising regularly and improving slowly along the way. There is only so much a person can do when exercising and much of that is affected by their weight, size, capability and age not forgetting their health status. Know your limits should be your motto. Your body will tell you if you are overdoing things and if you are you must take note. Improvements and benefits are gradual but they do happen eventually for those who exercise on a regular basis. As I am fast approaching my 72nd birthday I know I can no longer run as I used to and neither do I want to. There are those who at my age and even older will think nothing of running a marathon or two and if that is what they want I am happy for them but for myself I don’t think I need to aim that high in order to benefit from exercise. All I know is the exercising I take gets better each time, gets longer each time and I feel good each time I do it.
After a day or so of suffering with cold symptoms I began to feel much better by late Monday afternoon. Even so I remained at home and indoors though outside it was calm and reasonably warm. I didn’t expect the weather to stay that way, just typical I thought especially as there remained a leak on the garage roof. E’s nephew was supposed to return and check it out on Monday but as seems to be the norm these days he didn’t turn up. I mentioned to E that I supposed he thought it would be a simple case of applying a little more fibreglass infused paint to patch it up. It would take far more than that especially as the chipboard beneath the paint was by then wet. More on that when it gets the repair it shouldn’t have needed had the work been done as I’d asked. Did it really matter in the great scheme of things? Not really I suppose. Our next-door neighbour on our right (depending from which standpoint you take) has had some tradesmen working in his garden removing the existing concrete posts and wood panels to replace them with the same posts and new panels. He has had many problems with this panelling over the years. In the first place the original installers of the ‘fence’ didn’t align the posts correctly. They were either listing or unevenly spaced or both! Whenever there was a high wind the panels would get blown out or be damaged in the wind. As I write this on Monday evening the workmen have completed most of the work and will presumably return in the morning to finish it. So far it is all looking good. The new panels have a latticed portion at the top which will dampen the effects of the wind besides looking much better than the old ones.
Picture taken from inside through a window. The problem we have around here is that the wind is predominantly from the west, the right in the picture, so the fence takes the full brunt of any high winds we have. There are things I want to be doing outdoors too at the time of writing but until I am feeling much better they are shelved. I haven’t been able to go for a walk for a few days either so I am keen for things to get back to normal. We often fail to appreciate our good health until we fall ill don’t we?
Not very often is it that I complain about being unwell and for reason, I am seldom unwell. That is a good thing and I am happy I can at this time be able to say it for many folk have the misfortune of having poor health. In that respect I am fortunate but it isn’t to say I never get ill or feel ill, at times I do. On Friday I began to feel a little ‘under the weather’ as they say but I soldiered on and stuck it out. I had though I was suffering the beginnings of a cold for I was beginning to feel the symptoms, dull aches and pains in my upper body, arms and back. No headaches but a general feeling of being drained of energy. I plodded through Saturday, staying indoors for most of the time except when E and I were examining the leaking garage roof (see yesterday’s post) and effecting a temporary repair until Monday when her nephew would come and check it out. Incidentally, the guys who were supposed to return on Saturday to install the free alarm unit on the new garage door didn’t arrive. I received a call on Sunday morning from one of them who apologised. Evidently his brother, the other fitter, had been involved in an accident whilst carrying out work on the installation of another door elsewhere on Saturday morning and he had been taken to hospital. It was arranged that they would fit our alarm later in the day. The alarm would be fitted one day in the forthcoming week. Anyway my routine for Saturday evening was to simply relax and watch television then have an early night. However after a couple of hour’s sleep I awoke with severe stomach cramps. Trapped air. After some time of sipping water and burping I felt more at ease but couldn’t get myself off to sleep again. I finally did get some sleep after a toilet visit at six o’clock. That meant I didn’t arise on Sunday morning until almost noon! By the time I got downstairs it was one forty-five. I felt awful and didn’t want any food. E told me to take a pain-killer but the one thing I do not do is to take medication of any kind unless it is absolutely necessary. I would rather suffer a little discomfort than take a drug which only masks the problem anyway. Obviously I would and have taken acute medication in the past and will continue to do so for chronic illnesses. So Sunday was again spent relaxing indoors trying to get my body back into sync.