All very well but……

…..it can be boring! What? Public holidays. Over Easter the weather can be warm and sunny but can also be wet, cold and windy. Where I live it was a mixture of all and at times wasn’t pleasant at all. Many folk take a trip somewhere but unless it is to a warmer country it hardly seems worth it unless the weather isn’t a consideration.

English: Easter holidays On a cold North Sea b...
Easter holidays On a cold North Sea beach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does one do if the weather is poor? Well there are all sorts of things of course and for some being outdoors is great no matter what the weather is like. For those who wish to remain indoors there are still things they can partake in but it all depends on the individual. My Easter Day was spent indoors and as it was Sunday I did no work for Sundays I rest. However it is hard for me to spend all day doing nothing so I get bored. There aren’t many recreational activities which interest me these days except playing my guitar or watching documentaries on tv but even those things can’t satisfy all the time. Social events are fine but for me they would be boring if all I did was socialise every day. So I rested uneasy for most of the day with only the thought of being able to continue with my projects on Monday! Had the day been warm and sunny however everything would have been different, I would have been out in the garden and on the patio most of the time. I could have gone walking but I had done that only two days before and I wanted to rest anyway. I often wonder what other people get up to when the weather is poor and they remain indoors. To be honest I don’t really want to know!

Shirley Anne

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And on to Sunday

Six Ways to Sunday
Six Ways to Sunday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was such a lovely sunny day that greeted me as I awoke from my slumber. I didn’t really want to exchange the warmth beneath the duvet but I knew I had to get up some time. It was nine o’clock and I forced myself into action. I didn’t dress for the day but put on my sports clothes for I was going to spend a little time on the treadmill. Before I went downstairs however I stripped off the bed linen and replaced it with fresh sheets. I collected some clothes which needed washing too and I took the two large bundles with me as I left the bedroom. Going directly into the laundry room in the cellar I put the first load into the washing machine and returned upstairs to put on my running shoes and socks. I returned downstairs with my water bottle and started my exercise. I had to open the cellar door leading into the garden to allow some much-needed ventilation as the room still smelled of paint and sealant! I left the door open whilst exercising. Although it was sunny outside it was also bitterly cold. For the next few days and for a couple of previous days we were to experience a cold snap with winds blowing from the east. We were getting our weather delivered fresh from Siberia for a change. All I can say about that is I am glad I live on the west coast and not the east! It would be bad enough here but far worse on the other side of the country. My main concern was for the plants in the garden, the semi-tropical ones such as the Phoenix Canariensis and the Fan Palms. They are supposed to be able to withstand temperatures down to -8 C but I sure wouldn’t like to put them to the test. With expected temperatures down to -2 C on this side of the country it would probably be alright. The plants are somewhat sheltered by native varieties in any case. Those temperatures incidentally are the ones through the night, daytime temperatures are expected to be a few degrees higher. Hopefully after a few days the winds would be coming from the west. I finished my exercise and as I normally do if it isn’t raining, I cool off outdoors in the garden. That is when I saw some more bluebells which needed digging out so I did the job whilst I was out there in my shorts and skimpy top! Gosh it was cold out of the sunshine but soon enough I was inside again and hanging up the first bundle of washing. I then placed the second bundle into the machine before finally going upstairs for something to eat…..at belated breakfast! I did venture out again later but this time I was well-wrapped up!

Shirley Anne

Last working day of the year

As long as it didn’t rain on Saturday (23) I intended to spend some more time in the garden again. It would be the last day in the year for doing any work for me but alas it didn’t happen. I had gotten up early and went for a long walk down the coastal road to Ainsdale. I chose that route as it was still dark at the time I went, 7.30. I wanted to take the route through the sand dunes but that could have proved very difficult in the dark. However, by the time I decided to return home it was light so I walked back through the dunes. When on the beach the sky was clear toward the south but northward it was dark and heavy. To the south I could see the mountains of North Wales, easily seen when the skies are clear. The oil rig westward out to sea was still fully lit against the dark sky. This time the tide had receded before I arrived but it had left an enormous amount of seaweed behind! I walked northward again along the beach to the point in the dunes where I would turn into them and off the beach. I was back home before 10.00 and had breakfast whilst E was busy doing something associated with her crafting hobby. As I mentioned I wanted to do a little gardening but events got in the way during the rest of the morning. After lunch I just didn’t feel like doing anything. It has been quite a busy twelve months with all the projects that I have been involved with both inside and outside the house. It helped not having to do electrical work for others, at least for the last nine months anyway. My time became my own and I could concentrate on my little domestic projects, and there were many! Just the way I like it, better for my health and well-being to have things to do to wile away the time. When I look back on the year I am amazed just how much was done, all of them written about in my posts, and there was still plenty of time to relax too. Saturday afternoon being one of them. There was always Sunday for a potter around the garden!

Shirley Anne

Making it work

Sunday let us know that summer was on the wane, on its last legs, struggling to stay warm and dry but nothing could be done about that. The day was damp and rain fell frequently, it was a day to stay indoors though had I wanted to go for a walk I would have. By coincidence I actually wanted to stay indoors to relax and this I did. Monday would soon be upon me and there was work to be done. Lately I have been involved in keeping active by undertaking various little projects at home, mostly in the garden. Monday however I had set aside for preparing for the new garage door installation which means installing a power outlet, a board on which the control unit will sit, re-positioning existing wiring and switches and to remove other items which I will reinstall sometime after the door is installed. To install a power point will require that I alter the existing circuit and supply it from the main distribution panel in order to isolate it from house circuits. It is at times like this I appreciate my electrical experience for it makes the work simple, straightforward and not least of all free. Well free from labour charges! I could say the same for all the other work I do around the house. There is a lot to say in favour of DIY. As the year gets colder I find that working outside is much more pleasant than it is during the warmer months. I suppose the cold encourages me to keep active anyway. Is it possible that I to do too much work? I can only say that if I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t be doing it! Could I move to an apartment where there would be almost nothing to do? I doubt it but not because I would have more time to indulge in personal pleasures, I would be bored stiff! My motto is more work and less play though not all work and no play! It works for me anyway.

Shirley Anne

Not a lot

How Do You Sleep? (Jesse McCartney song)
How Do You Sleep? (Jesse McCartney song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So once again I slept in on Saturday morning because I’d had an interrupted night’s sleep. I was tired when I went to bed but couldn’t drop off to sleep immediately because it was too warm and humid. Even leaving the window open made little difference. I lay there on top of the bedclothes in an attempt to cool down and it worked, well just for an hour when I awoke feeling too cooled down. After waking two more times I finally arose at nine o’clock. It isn’t the fact I wake up late, that doesn’t matter, what is more important is getting a night of uninterrupted sleep which sometimes I don’t get. I had nothing planned for the day and I decided to remain at home, not even going for a walk. In fact I just wanted a break from walking, at least for one day. Whenever I went for a run I didn’t do it every day but no more often than every second day. It was a lovely day on Saturday, a stereo-typical summer’s day, warm, even hot and a little humid. Had I gone for a walk therefore I would have tried doing it early in the morning whilst it was still cool. As I arose late that couldn’t happen anyway. E had nothing planned either, not even spending time upstairs to make greetings cards as she usually does for much of the time. I think she wanted a rest from it all too. It allowed us to spend more time together and chat. That is something we hadn’t done much of during the previous twelve months. We spent most of the day out on the patio and doing a little, I mean a little gardening here and there. So life for me is at a much more relaxed pace but there are jobs awaiting my attention when I’ve a mind to do them. Perhaps when it cools down a little. At the moment the only work I am doing is garden maintenance and that takes but only a little of my time. I am taking each day as it comes, no specific plans and not a lot going on in the meantime.

Shirley Anne

An’ the livin’ is easy?

A blast from my past, one of a number of songs I remember from my childhood days. Life for me (and my siblings) was often filled with lazy days, especially in the summer time. Over the past few days I have been lazy but that laziness was brought about by the hot and humid weather which for me is oppressive. We have experienced quite a number of hot and humid days lately but those kind of days just don’t cut it for me. Maybe by the time you are reading this conditions here will have tempered somewhat. I sure hope so. I must have used an awful lot of water keeping the garden plants not just healthy but alive. I have spent too much cash on garden plants to simply let them die through lack of  water. The livin’ sure is easy ‘cos it’s too hot for anything else. Summertime might be for lazin’ about in and from that point of view easy but I’d rather it was cooler to allow me to do some work.

Shirley Anne

Plenty of fresh air

Fresh-Up Freddie.
Fresh-Up Freddie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It had to happen and I was thankful it did. The weather had turned cooler and less humid than it had been for weeks. Yes it was wet and damp after the much-needed rain but by the afternoon on Friday the sun was beginning to shine through the clouds. The weekend promised to be similar though with less if any rain in our location. That would change in the week ahead according to the forecast with Monday being the wettest day. Ah but that was in the future and I had plenty of time before then to get out and about in the fresher air. I had to abandon the idea of mixing some fine concrete to do the work I described in yesterday’s post but that was alright, I wasn’t in the mood to do much work anyway except maybe to dig out weeds and generally tidy around the gardens. Many months ago, even a couple of years ago we had dug out a few overgrown shrubs but it had been difficult to dispose of the large root balls. The local council would not take such large items except for a fee but I wasn’t prepared to pay for something I was throwing away! That meant I had to keep the root balls for a while and let them dry out when it would be easier to saw them up into manageable pieces which could then be disposed of in the normal wheelie bins. I have disposed of quite a lot thus far but there still remains more to go. Yesterday I managed to saw up some more and placed it in the bins. I cannot put too much in the bins each time else the council will refuse to dispose of it. I reckon another collection or two will see the last of those roots. You have to remember that there is other green waste to dispose of on a regular basis too, grass cuttings, leaves and other plant materials. As it is at the moment we generally fill two bins for collection at two-weekly intervals. I’d had enough of the gardening and was prepared to leave it for a spell in order to give myself some breathing space. There is enough work to do in the gardens to keep me going throughout the year if I was mad enough to allow it. I took time out and went for a walk mid-afternoon and felt all the better for it.

Shirley Anne

Things

English: Morning Sunshine
Morning Sunshine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amazing start to the month of May has seen us, that is where I live (Southport UK), enjoying almost entirely wall-to-wall sunshine. As I write this on Monday 8th we have had yet another sunny day with the rest of the week possibly remaining that way. Should I have spoken too soon? Time will tell but I am enjoying it while it lasts. It isn’t that I mind dull and wet days but sunshine is good. However that has meant I have had to water the gardens manually with the hose pipes but I’m not complaining. Things were to happen this week, a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday morning for a quick check-up and to arrange for a repeat prescription of hormones, the curtains to be fitted on Wednesday, the carpet to be laid on Friday and the furniture to be delivered on Saturday. That meant I had to do my shopping on Monday. I had ordered a floor (standing) lamp which I had been informed might arrive on Thursday. I wanted to purchase some casual flat-heeled shoes for general use in summer and I couldn’t be sure I would get the time to buy them at the time in the day I preferred to go shopping, the morning. Before setting off to the shops I did a spot of painting with primer on the cabinet drawers where I couldn’t paint them the previous time.  I took the mile or so walk into town and shopped around for the shoes eventually buying all three pairs in the same shop. Yes I bought three pairs and all for £26. One shop wanted £40 for one pair of similar quality! Having purchased the shoes I went to Nero’s for a coffee before walking back home. It was warm in the sunshine at 9 o’clock in the morning but quite cool in the shade of the trees along the route I had taken. Thankfully it was mostly in the sunshine I walked. Returning home I over-painted the drawers together with the other side of the shelf with gloss paint and that was all that was left to do as far as the painting went. The rest of the day was spent on the patio and later watering the two gardens. I had no electrical work for a few days and had cancelled my advertisement for the week so I could have the time to myself and finish off the lounge project.

Shirley Anne

Okay already!

After promising myself I would spend the weekend relaxing I found myself doing something. Yesterday, that is Saturday as I write, I did my relaxing in the morning and in the afternoon planted out the ten latest additions to our shrub collection. The afternoon had turned out bright and sunny and that was the way Sunday started of sorts. It was a mixture of sun and fast-moving clouds during the early part of the morning but later it was just sunshine all the way. I did relax in the morning until an hour before lunch when I decided to top-up the larger of the three raised beds on the patio with the soil I had temporarily stored in the long plant pots. I wanted to ensure there were no bluebells in that soil so had put it in the pots for a couple of weeks. It wasn’t enough so I had to add more. Soon after lunch I mowed the lawn for the second time this year. I had to wait until the afternoon to allow the wet grass to dry. It had been raining during the morning the day before and was now covered in dew. It hadn’t dried completely by the time I mowed the grass but enough to allow it to be cut using the petrol mower. The second cut had actually been easier than the first one had. That was the sum total of my work for the day and I sat out on the patio for much of the afternoon thereafter. I could have stayed out there until around six o’clock or later but returned indoors in order to bake some scones. Two of my neighbours lay outside soaking up the sun until very late it was that nice. That was it, my relaxing Sunday. I didn’t even go for a weekend stroll as I often do. Electrical work beckoned on Monday morning.

Shirley Anne

Coiled spring

Awake is the New Sleep (2005)
Awake is the New Sleep (2005) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a crazy day I had on Monday! I went to bed around ten o’clock on Sunday night but didn’t actually begin to sleep until twelve-fifteen. How do I know that? I had made a point of checking the time on my phone, which I use as an alarm too, closed my eyes and didn’t wake up until exactly four hours later. That was it! I couldn’t return to sleep no matter how hard I tried so I gave in and got out of bed. I was sat eating breakfast at five-thirty and fully wide awake. What was I going to do for the next three hours before driving off to my first job of the day? I watched television, went on-line, played guitar (quietly) but was soon bored doing those things. Still, I had to wait, I had no choice. It was eight-twenty as I left the house and I arrived at the job just before nine as arranged. The work involved repairs to a couple of cabinet lights and their wiring. Whoever had installed them had hidden the wiring behind a panel as expected but they had also hidden the transformer and connection box behind the panel too. The problem was that the panel couldn’t be removed without causing a great deal of damage! Crazy or what? I wondered what had been going through the person’s mind when they did the work. Did they think the parts would never go faulty? I ended up rewiring the lights and hiding the wiring in small trunking inside the cabinets that were the bedroom’s built-in furniture. Unfortunately one of the lights needed replacing but none were available close-by. I had to drive back to my own town to fetch one then return and fit it. My coiled-up spring was beginning to unwind and I had another job to do before I could even think about driving homeward. When the work was done it was approaching one-thirty and I was feeling rather hungry having not eaten for eight hours. I drove homeward and paid a visit to my local pub to have a meal there but it was way after two-thirty before it was on the table before me. Nine hours are a long time between meals when one is working. My eyes began to close as I sat at home later writing this. It was only four-thirty in the afternoon and I wondered if I would make it to evening without falling asleep beforehand! As I get older I am finding it difficult to cope with hardly any sleep, not because I need more sleep but because I end up with all those extra hours awake with nothing much to do in them.

Shirley Anne