It was still windy on Monday morning when I went out for my walk. We had yet another storm blow over the country from the evening before and on through the night. Thank goodness I had slept through the worst of it. I walked northward from home on a slightly different route and for most of the time the wind was at my back. It made conditions seem colder than they actually were, especially when walking in the shadow of tall buildings. Eventually I turned toward the beach and it was even windier! Nice though I have to admit. The tide was coming in, the first time I have seen it for quite some time. I guess I never got the timing right! Despite how lovely and bracing the fresh sea air was after a while I’d had enough and turned inland and out of the wind. In a way I was glad to be back home after two hours fighting the elements. I had no plans for the day. Although the sun had been shining it rained on and off after ten o’clock. A good or bad reason for not continuing with the concrete laying depending on how you look at it. I would rather it be fine for at least a day or two and perhaps the work might be completed. It will have to be shelved for another day.
Tomorrow I would be paying a visit to the dentist, probably for a filling renewal. It had been a couple of weeks since I had the toothache prompting the appointment. It had been the only available appointment at that time. The surgery would have accommodated me immediately had the pain been unbearable but in fact it had almost disappeared a couple of days later and remains so as I write this. Naturally I will keep the appointment and will probably get the refill. On Friday this week I have another appointment but this one with the doctor for a routine check-up and repeat prescription for my medications. How jolly eh?
…of things. It was now Monday Feb. 4 th and I was up and dressed and ready for another morning walk. I left the house at nine having skipped breakfast. Had I eaten breakfast first I probably wouldn’t have wanted to go for a walk later. The day hadn’t started sunny but half-way through the walk it began to shine an d the warm rays of the sun were a welcome feeling on my back as I continued further away from home. When I turned on my journey back the sun was up and to my left in front of me which was pleasant but the wind was off-shore to my right and blew cold. It is getting to that time of year when deciding what to wear when out can be problematical. Too many clothes and we are too warm, too few and we are cold! I tend to wear more rather than less when it is cold as I can always remove something if I’m too warm. It was after eleven when I got back and time for something to eat. I had an early lunch rather than breakfast. It stayed warm (in the sunshine) throughout the afternoon and I began to have thoughts about getting into the garden to do a spot of tidying up but decided I would give it a miss and just relax for the day, after all I didn’t want to rush into the work routine just yet. Spring was just around the corner and there would be plenty of time on my hands to do whatever I wished. Actually I don’t need to wait for Spring to do that! The next day I would be up and early again but this time to return the van to the garage to have the faulty valve replaced, no going for walks that morning.
Saturday and especially Sunday were horrible as far as the weather was concerned, wet and windy, very windy for most of the time. They were what you might call typical winter’s days. On Monday morning I awoke thinking I had travelled to another planet, it was bright and sunny with no clouds in sight and remained so all day. The forecast for Tuesday was for rain throughout the day followed on Wednesday by another dry and sunny day. Very unsettled weather to be sure but we are talking about the UK.
I had no plans for the day except pay a visit to Dobbies the garden centre and that only for a quick visit and my free coffees. I didn’t think about it at the time but I I missed the opportunity to buy some things for the garden. As it happened E wanted to go into town to exchange some clothing on behalf of her mom and I wanted to purchase another air compressor for pumping up tyres. If you remember last week I purchased a compressor for E to have in her car but at the time it was the last of the stock. When I called in again they still had none in stock so one was ordered. Hopefully I could collect it at the end of the week. On the Friday of this week (1 st March) I would be taking my van in for its annual MOT test. I am trying to take as much rest as I can whilst I have the backaches but it is hard for me to sit doing nothing. At this exact moment I am sitting on the sofa writing this whilst the tv is on and I am watching an hour of drama. Makes a change from digging around the garden, refurbishing rooms in the cellar and the countless other things I normally do at home.
As a child I used to be excited at the prospect of a holiday or vacation just as any other child would be.
As I grew into my teens and became a rebel to society, again as many teens seem to do, my attitude to vacations changed. Now I know most teenagers like vacations, though not necessarily with their parents but in my case I began to lose interest. In fact I had lost all interest in many things by my mid-teens and in many ways became anti-social. I had switched myself off from those things going on all around me, I just wasn’t interested. It wasn’t until I reached my mid-twenties that things changed and I became more conformist. My first vacation for many years was when I got married and it was also the first vacation I had taken abroad. We went to Majorca and for many years following spent many a good time holidaying abroad in one country or another.
Now I have come full circle and once again vacationing holds no interest for me. The last holiday E and I took, apart from having a long weekend in Vienna a few years back had been in fact two two-week breaks firstly in New York and then Montreal a few weeks later back in 2009. I am not saying a vacation is totally out of the question for if E wanted to go somewhere I would gladly join her. By the time you get to my age the novelty has worn off somewhat and because life for me is now one long holiday there seems little point in travelling anywhere for a break. When people ask why I am not interested in holidays and suggest I take some I let them know that I don’t think as they do. Some people seem offended as if my decisions in life had anything to do with them! At this very moment (Jan 14 th) I think a break to some hot sunny beach would be nice but what would be the point when I’d only have to come back to reality? Besides I am enjoying life just where I am.
I was in bed by ten-thirty after which I remembered nothing until I awoke for a little trip along the landing at five in the morning. It was new year’s eve but not that I’d noticed, I was too tired. On waking I should have done some exercising but my limbs were aching. Whilst I had been collecting stones from the beach the day before I noticed my posterior thigh muscles were beginning to ache. It had to be the elliptical cross trainer, well not the machine but my lack of experience on it! It isn’t as though I have been doing much on it but even the small amount of time I have spent was enough to cause my injury. Latterly I had been spending only a couple of minutes on the machine and even then with the supply switched off, in other words using it at its absolute and lowest settings. It is more the movement the legs go through rather than the resistance level though I suspect. Until I can get used to it I will have to ensure my time on it is kept to a minimum. Anyway the long and short of it was that I decided to once again take a short break from my regime. My day, new year’s day was therefore spent relaxing and doing nothing for once, oh sorry, except for taking out the trash! I don’t make resolutions for the year as you may remember which means I am not setting myself goals which I probably would find difficult to maintain anyway. If I do set myself a goal it can be anytime throughout the year and it usually involves a project of one sort or another. Those things I do keep. See last year’s posts! I do have one or two things I would like to do but whether they will come to fruition remains to be seen. In the meantime one of my aims is to get used to that damned cross trainer!
A day for one of my scheduled walks but this day it was more to do with collecting more stones for the garden than the walk itself. Where I collect the stones is around two and a half miles from home so I have to carry them that far on my return. Naturally I collect them on the return journey rather than on the outward one! Although there was some light rain at times there wasn’t much of it. The wind was the major downside to the weather and down on the shore where it is totally open the wind was strong making it feel much colder than the six or seven degrees it was. Soon I was back home in the warmth and not needing to go anywhere for the rest of the day. I did spend some time in the garden though, not a lot but just enough to keep an eye on things and noting down anything that might want doing later. It appears there are a lot of dog owners where I live and I saw most of them down at the beach or in the streets I walked! Probably up to 90% of the people I saw had a dog in tow, some of them with two. Personally I love dogs but they do need a lot of attention and care and think of all those vet bills! We used to keep dogs at home years ago but I doubt we would ever have another and cats? Not very likely. E likes cats as I do though I prefer other people’s cats. We have enough wild animals visiting the garden each day to feel the need to have a pet. Saturday was the last day of the year for exercising too as on Sunday, New Year’s eve, I would be resting. The start of my new year would see me exercising on the gym equipment. No hang-overs, no waking up in the middle of the day not remembering what happened the night before……..just another day.
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!
At this time of year I was always busy working but this year all that has changed. Since my retirement back in April I have not done any electrical work to speak of, just a couple of very minor jobs and some of them were at home anyway. From around September until the week preceding Christmas I was kept busy doing electrical work with little time for myself. I was used to the pressure but then again I worked better under pressure, still do. However over the last few weeks I have had very little work to do, certainly no contract work and what I have been doing at home wasn’t that taxing. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am glad the pressure has been lifted from my shoulders and that now I can please myself what I do and when I do it. It is simply that it feels a little strange having all this freedom. I have been occupying myself outside of any domestic jobs I do by taking walks and exercising more on what equipment we have accumulated over the last few years. I am currently getting to grips with the new elliptical trainer we purchased a week or so back. Having not used one before it certainly felt strange when making the first attempt! I am more used to the treadmill, that is my muscles are more used to it.
With the elliptical trainer however those muscles are exercised in a different way and other muscles not exercised much when running or even walking have to adjust too. I wake up in the mornings with a kind of joy in my heart knowing I haven’t any reason to rush into the day so in a way that too feels strange, though I am getting used to it. To be honest I rarely lie in bed for long once I am awake and half the time I have something in mind I want to do anyway. I never thought of it before but having one’s remaining years free to one’s self is often not appreciated until the time it arrives. I’ll try to make the most of them.
No not the movie…..life! Do you ever feel you are on a treadmill going nowhere? Yes you do things, you have a routine, you change your routine as often as you feel but nothing really changes does it? Recently retired and when working having purpose really meant nothing either, it simply meant I had something to occupy my time. I still have things to occupy my time, it is simply a different routine. We set goals in life or just live for the moment or maybe we do both but in the end everything we do eventually leads us to the next for we are never satisfied. It is like food for our souls, it is our thoughts which spurs us on, they are what keep us moving forward and ever seeking something that in fact we seldom find if we are truthful. Life can be very satisfying and rewarding but none of it really lasts. We aim to satisfy our physical needs first and foremost and neglect our spiritual needs though the two are inseparable, at least whilst we live. We are driven by what we think but we can change what we think. If we are comfortable with the changes we continue in them or we can make an attempt to do so but in the end if we are not happy we revert. No matter what we do in life, what choices we make along the way can we really say that we’ve been happy one hundred percent of the time? Our thoughts might tell us otherwise and in reality we know we are never fully happy, never fully satisfied with our lot. So our lives are a never-ending struggle with ourselves and our situations. Some resign themselves to never achieving their hopes and dreams and others think they’ve hit the jackpot when they think they have. It is all an illusion, a passing fancy and we have to make the most of it until we die. How often have you heard the expression ‘Life is for living’? Did it have an effect on your choices thereafter? We can but do nothing else but live out our lives as best we can and be happy and contented. In this world there is nothing else.
Everything is meaningless
1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king of Jerusalem:
2 ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’
3 What do people gain from all their labours at which they toil under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains for ever. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. 6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. 7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. 8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. 9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new’? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. 11 No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.
My van will be ten years on the road come Spring, March to be precise and during that period so far it has covered a mere thirty thousand and a couple of hundred miles only. Not a lot of mileage and considering the engine is run on diesel, a mere drop in the ocean. That means little wear and tear and of course little expenditure too. Nevertheless despite the low mileage the engine has been started many, many times which of course has been a strain on the battery. The original battery, as I write this on Monday, is still under the bonnet but I made the decision to have it replaced and by Tuesday a new one will have been installed. I had the old one checked beforehand of course and a replacement was just about required. Although I could have managed with the old battery for a while longer I thought it prudent to have it replaced just in case it failed at an inopportune time. Money well spent I think. On Wednesday this week (27th) another measurement will be taken in the garage to ensure our alterations will be adequate for the new door installation. There is no reason why it should not as we have followed the instructions regarding the installers requirements. The door will be installed on Thursday the following week and I am to pay the balance on the day. However, the fitters are to be paid separately preferably by cash. With that in mind and whilst I was out arranging for the battery replacement I withdrew the remainder of the cash which I couldn’t withdraw the first time in readiness. The fee will be £415 requiring two withdrawals from an ATM on separate days because of the present £300 limit here in the UK. All routine stuff as we all know. That expenditure will be money well spent too. I asked E if she would like to dine out for we hadn’t done that for a time but she had to spend the late morning and early afternoon out with her mom. On my return home she still hadn’t left the house but did so soon afterward. It was one-fifteen when she returned and we went out to lunch. We drove to a place located on the other side of the next town, somewhere we have visited many times. This time however service was slow even though there were few diners in there. Disappointed we left and went to another establishment not far down the road, another place we have visited many times before. This time the service was prompt. Well we thoroughly enjoyed the time spent there laughing and joking with the staff as well as ourselves. Time well spent cheering up other people and bolstering our own relationship too. We didn’t stay for coffee though as we might have done but drove homeward passing Dobbies (garden centre) on the way where we spent a little time drinking coffee. The coffee was free, that is each month I am entitled to two free drinks of coffee or tea because I have membership there. That was nice too and again our time had been well spent.