Dig Dug: Digging Strike (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is a great feeling to be at that stage in life whereby you can pretty much do as you please as far as what you do in a day. At weekends I don’t do any electrical work unless in an emergency so if I don’t wish to do anything at all over the weekend then I don’t. On Sunday I was in no hurry to get up but I arose as soon as I awoke. After a shower and getting dressed I sauntered downstairs just before ten o’clock and had a bowl of fruit with a little muesli and milk. I had been thinking about going for a walk or maybe dining out at the pub to wile away the afternoon but by two o’clock I wasn’t feeling particularly well kind of like the way you feel when you have a bad cold. I decided to remain at home and have a late lunch instead, after all I had made a vegetable and chicken stew the previous day so there was no need to do any cooking. To kill a bit of time before lunch I made another ‘slab’ of rock cake because the other had been so nice but had all been eaten. After lunch I was feeling much better. The day before I had experienced problems getting my mobile phone connection. No matter where I was in the house or the gardens the message read ‘No network available’. As I was home it didn’t bother me too much because callers could contact me over the house phone if it was urgent. I wanted to contact a new friend just to say hello and couldn’t reach her even by text. I tried again on Sunday afternoon and suddenly everything was back to normal but I had a lot of catching up to do answering messages that had been left, mostly from people wanting electrical work done. I was able to contact my friend too and learned she was in the south of the country tending to her mother. Anyway before my phone connection had been restored I had been out in the front garden checking for a signal and noticed more bluebells growing in the right-hand flowerbed again. I had to dig them out, I couldn’t leave them for another day, they had to go! It was only a few days earlier I had been digging out bluebells in the same bed. They are a pain in the proverbial to put it mildly. As I was fetching the kneeling stool which I had stored in the greenhouse I noticed another bluebell in the flowerbed by the greenhouses which I dug out once I had finished in the front garden. Thinking I had found them all I began to put the equipment away but lo and behold there were more, then more in the next bed. Finally I decided to dig out the couple I had seen in the flowerbed next to the patio whilst I was at it but didn’t get that far. On the way there I saw more in the ‘Mound’ which I started to remove. As I dug them out more appeared with each dig with the trowel or fork and before I knew it I had a bucket full of them! At last I got to the flowerbed next to the patio and dug out a couple there. I have never seen so many bluebell bulbs and plants in such relatively small areas, even rabbits don’t ‘breed’ so profusely! I did say there would be more and more and more and more………..yawn!
Patience (George Michael album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I like to get things done. If there are things to do I want to get on with them, it is in my nature. Any projects I may have often try my patience if I cannot work on them for whatever reason. Once I take on board any work I am eager to see it finished but sometimes things get in the way, other pressing tasks, ill-health, tiredness for instance. Thankfully I am blessed with good health but the occasional cold or maybe ‘flu will dampen my enthusiasm and I have to rest up. Other tasks such as my electrical work will take priority because while I am able to earn some extra money I do it. The beauty about having a project at home is the fact that there is never any real pressure with deadlines, I can take my time. At the present time my main project, if I can call it that, is the work I have been doing in the garden, mainly removing the thousands of bluebell bulbs and plants together with some montbretia plants that had overtaken one or two of the flowerbeds. The major part of that work is complete though there will be maintenance to follow throughout the year to ensure all plants have been eradicated. It may turn out to be an ongoing task for quite longer than that. At the time of writing this on Saturday there is still much to do in the corner near to the large greenhouse but as it is such a cold and windy day I have taken time out once again until it gets a little warmer. That should be in the week ahead but of course it might also rain and that will prevent progress. I guess I have been fortunate thus far as the weather for the beginning of the year has been reasonably fair for working out-of-doors as long of course I was wearing warm clothing! I want to get on with the work but common sense tell me I have to wait now and then. I went to the pub yesterday and stayed there for three hours. I had lunch and was served by the landlord’s brother who works there only on a Friday. I couldn’t remember having seem him there before but have to admit I haven’t been to the pub much during the last twelve months or so, about the same period of time he has been working there. He asked me what I had planned for the weekend. I told him I hadn’t any plans, which for me is usually the case unless I have a project to work on. Old habits die-hard I suppose. I can think of many reasons to go to the pub and many reasons to stay at home and they often conflict in my thoughts. I am not sure which will win the day today……
Break All Day! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Things don’t often go the way I hope they will for me though if I made the effort……….well we can all say that can’t we? Sometimes even after making the effort things don’t work out either do they? It was a fine though rather cold day on Sunday, a day for relaxing indoors or going out wrapped-up for a walk. I did both and more. There was no hurry to get up early though I did and after breakfast whilst on the computer I switched on the television, not to watch a program but to listen to music through YouTube. I suppose I could have listened via my computer on a separate tab but the television can connect to the Internet and the sound quality or rather the volume would be better. Although the computer sound is of the best quality the volume settings are limited unless auxiliary speakers are used. Anyway I listened to the songs listed in ‘my favourites’ folder for an hour. The only drawback in using the television to play YouTube is in controlling the functions with the television’s remote control, it is slower. I suppose one day remote controls with have a touch pad on them for easier use. I think that would be a great idea. After an hour I made myself ready to go out but not directly for a walk. I drove to the pub and parked my vehicle and from there I went for a walk. An hour later I arrived back at the pub, went to the vehicle and changed my shoes before going into the pub for my lunch. Yes, I dined there again for a change! There were surprisingly few people in there but a half-hour later that all changed and it was full. I had hoped I would see a few acquaintances there to chat with but the only ones I knew, four men, were doing that man thing, sitting around a table drinking beer and chatting about football and work! Who wants to sit in a pub talking about work? Anyway they were too engrossed in themselves to take much notice of me. I was a little disappointed that no-one else I knew came in after sitting there for a couple of hours hoping someone might. I decided to drive home and be bored there instead! Funny thing is I knew there would be people I know in the pub later in the day and evening and I had half a mind to return but didn’t bother. Maybe I was thinking it a waste of time and that I might be disappointed again to find no-one there. I knew I should have returned but I also knew there would be other opportunities too.
Oh Lately It’s So Quiet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It wasn’t such a nice day on Saturday as far as the weather was concerned. When I got out of bed and looked out of the window it looked miserable, it was raining as the forecast predicted. It wasn’t that warm either though it wasn’t freezing. I had opened the window to check but soon closed it again. I had no work and no intentions of doing any either. I was determined to make it a free from work day. Had the weather been more favourable I might have been tempted to do a couple of hours digging out some bluebell bulbs as there are still some left to remove so I was glad in a way that it was raining. I put on some casual clothes knowing I had it in mind to dine out at my local pub with a view to perhaps chatting with anyone I know who might call in. I had to get to the pub a half-hour before it opened at noon just to ensure I would find a parking place because the pub has become so popular over the last few years and is usually filled for a couple of hours around mealtimes. If I visit during the week to eat I either make sure I am there very early or else later in the afternoon to ensure I can find a table. The food is good and of a high standard, the chefs obviously know their job and that is why the pub is so popular. I waited until the queue of people made their way in before I went in myself. I found a table in my favourite place in the bar area and looked at the menu whilst others were still sorting themselves out at the bar and then I placed my order, Mediterranean Chicken in a tomato and white wine-based sauce with vegetables. It was delicious and quite filling but despite that I still treated myself to a dessert. A new friend walked in with her partner as I was about to finish my meal. She hadn’t noticed me sitting there so I went over to the bar to say hello. Her partner went outside with his drink and to sit and chat with the ‘lads’ whilst my friend joined me at the table for an hour. When they departed I decided to follow shortly after. I went home to find that E had returned home too. She had gone out for a while with her friend who had picked her up earlier. That pretty much summed up my day. I did nothing but rest and relax for a change for I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be working at something again.
Just the way I feel sometimes but only after a busy day. I had been lamenting the fact that although I had taken a three-week break over the Christmas and New Year holiday I was getting bored with nothing much to do. Now that I have resumed work I find I am running about like a headless chicken! Gosh I have been busy lately but you won’t find me complaining, I thrive on it though sometimes I am glad for the rest in the evening when I am at home. Even then the phones are ringing up to and around nine o’clock on many occasions! I sometimes don’t know where I get the energy but it appears that the more I do the more I am capable of doing it. Just like a kid, full of energy but equally ready to slump on the sofa when I’m done. Today, Thursday, was one such day, busy throughout though not all at work. So I was so tired…………
I Get Weak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Weak Moments of the Shadows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I wrote in yesterday’s post, the weather has turned wet and a little windy too though tomorrow which will be Wednesday as I write, looks calmer but cooler too. There was as expected a dry slot around lunchtime yesterday so I thought I would put on some overalls and boots and begin to rake-off the top soil covering the remaining area where the bluebell bulbs still lie. After just two pulls with the rake quite a few bluebells appeared from beneath the covering. Some came out but most remained as the bulbs would be too deep to remove without digging. I managed only twenty minutes with the rake but I had removed quite a lot of soil despite that. I was however feeling very weak and exhausted, most unusual for me and I gave up on the idea of doing any more work. It was fast approaching lunchtime anyway but I wasn’t going to return after lunch, I’d had enough. As it turned out I think I was so weak because it felt as though the damp weather I had spent four hours working in on Saturday was having an effect upon me. Even though I was well-wrapped up and not feeling the cold at the time it made no difference. Whenever I have worked hard in the past and used muscles not used to continuous hard use I have found it takes a day or so before I feel the resulting effect. I must hold true for working in cold damp conditions and especially if that work was hard-going. We had been informed that Tuesday (today) would be better but the best days would be Wednesday and Friday so I decided to take a break until Wednesday and let myself rest. My problem is I get restless and seeing work that needs to be done not getting done I am keen to get on with it. I have to remind myself that, ‘Hey Shirley Anne you’re not a machine and you’re not as young as you might feel you are so take it easy!’
How to Get Ahead in Advertising (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Maybe should read How to get ahead without advertising!
My intentions over the Christmas and New Year period has varied somewhat over the years. Sometimes I would work whenever I was asked and just had the minimum of rest days and at other times I would take as much time as I could free from work. Over the past few years I have tended to work right up to Christmas Day and then not return to work until after the first week of the new year. This year I extended that until half-way through the second week by submitting my advertisement on 11th January, a Wednesday as that is the day the newspaper is distributed each week. However not all goes to plan in my life and despite not advertising I still get requests for my services. Usually they are from existing customers who have my card or details from my last visit. As my previous customers are many I can expect one or two calls at any time irrespective of my advertising or not. I’ve had a couple of requests already but have resisted the urge to do them though one I will have already done by the time you read this and there may be more. It is all about boredom and having something to do. I have just returned from answering the house telephone call I received when writing this post at the end of the last sentence! It was from a woman who had jotted down my details from an earlier copy of the newspaper and was asking if I did house rewires. After explaining why I no longer do rewires she asked what would be the cost of such work and I gave her a rough idea. That is one of a couple of requests I have had today, Wednesday, both of which I have declined. Though the other one had been a much smaller request I resisted the temptation to do it. If I get any more requests in the forthcoming week or so I doubt I’ll be able to resist so I’ll probably end up taking them on board. Though I have work to do in the gardens it has been very cold and frosty and therefore off-putting. Why should I be uncomfortable when it is unnecessary? The work can be done at another time.
It is late on Monday afternoon or early evening if you prefer, it is 5.30 on the clock anyway. I had no work today. I have just sat down with a cup of coffee after returning indoors after a short walk. Short walks mean anything less than three miles for me and they are usually around two. I returned home over an hour ago but I didn’t come inside immediately, I sat on the bench seat we had placed in the elevated position under one of the front windows. I knew it would come in handy!It wasn’t very warm but neither was it very cold and there was almost no wind so it was pleasant for sitting outside. So I sat there in contemplation, something I love doing, just sitting there and taking stock of things. My thoughts drift all over the place and one thought leads on to another. It is like an adventure, not knowing what will turn up next. I hadn’t felt particularly energetic before I took the walk, in fact the opposite was true, I wasn’t feeling up to going for a walk but I made the effort. Perhaps it is the time of year for it is hard getting motivated when the sun isn’t shining and it isn’t all that warm. I was glad I did, I felt better on my return. So I had been sitting there for about thirty minutes when a car pulled up in the street outside one of the gates. I knew immediately who it was and why they had called even before the car had stopped. It was a regular visitor on her delivery round, delivering packages and parcels in the area and she was delivering yet another package for E. It is all to do with E’s small hobby/business making greetings cards. She receives an awful lot of mail since her project took off. She wasn’t at home for she had gone out for a few hours presumably shopping. The girl didn’t see me sitting there in the twilight gloom as she approached the steps leading to the front door. Even when the floodlight switched on automatically she still hadn’t noticed me until I greeted her with a ‘Good morning’. That always brings a chuckle. I asked her to post the package as I wanted to remain seated for a little longer. She is a very amiable person and easy to talk with so that’s what we did for five minutes. Then she left and as she did another of the floodlights switched on too. It hadn’t noticed her approach but it noticed her departure as she must have walked down the steps on the closer side. I hadn’t triggered the light even though I was closer still but then I was sat motionless. She triggered the third floodlight as she walked down the path back to her car. Soon all the floodlights switched off and I was again in the darkness of twilight, my favourite time of day, evening twilight. I sat there quietly for a while longer before returning indoors and to prepare myself a coffee, the one I have been drinking while writing this.
A Dentist and her Dental assistant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although I had taken a two-week sabbatical from my electrical work I did get a couple of jobs which I took on. It was now Wednesday, the day my advert would re-appear in the mid-week print of my local newspaper so I expected the calls to start coming in and I wasn’t let down. Wednesday was a cold, dry and sunny day, a day to be outside working in the garden but I had a dental appointment just before noon and had no intentions of doing any work either in the morning or at any time in the day. I was too tired, even a little too tired to be driving to the dentists surgery but I had to. I was having some cosmetic work done and thought the dentist would have done it all on the one visit as he had said he would but he didn’t, I had to arrange another appointment on 24th of the month to have the rest done. I paid the price for the two sessions and left. It was now almost twelve-thirty and I decided to eat out. I wasn’t dressed for work, I was smartly dressed so took the opportunity to treat myself to a meal in pleasant surroundings for a change. I didn’t much fancy driving home and cooking a meal there anyway. To be honest I wasn’t feeling at my best, still tired and wanting simply to rest. I dined alone, something I hadn’t done for quite some time and perhaps I should do more often. At the moment E and I are not on speaking terms anyway so dining alone it would have to be anyhow. The problem I have is deciding where to dine for there are so many to choose from. I went to a place about two miles from home where E and I sometimes go for the food and service there are excellent. It isn’t expensive either. Whilst I was at the surgery I received a couple of requests for my electrical services and made arrangements to do the work later. I was happy to get the work for my disposable cash reserve was by now very low, especially after paying the dentist and dining out. I wanted to purchase some plants for the flowerbed I have been working on and needed the extra cash to do that. I never break into my savings to pay for my domestic projects though when I retire any work I might do and need cash for will have to come out of what’s left at the end of the month from my pensions. After my meal I drove home and rested for the rest of the day. I would be out at work the following morning. Hopefully I would be fully rested by then.
October’s first couple of weeks have been really nice, sunshine with little wind and hardly a drop of rain. I had therefore to get the hose pipe out a few times so that the garden plants didn’t wilt. You can always tell if you are not watering them frequently enough during dry spells, their leaves begin to droop. Some plants can withstand a bout of dry weather more so than others. I notice especially that the plants we have in the ‘Mound’ dry out more quickly than those on more level ground. This is the Mound for those new to my blog
There are three Rhododendron shrubs in it now and the one you can see near the top centre gives a good indication when the soil is getting too dry. By the way the potted plants you see along the front were mostly planted in the Mound the day after this picture was taken earlier in the year. On Sunday morning I drove to the local garden centre to purchase three more small shrubs which I subsequently planted in the flowerbed on the left which is out of sight in the picture. It is the flowerbed which is adjacent to the Patio on its right-hand-side. The picture below shows it when I was still in the process of redesigning it. More plants have been put there since. The intention is to fill in some of the open spaces with shrubs which in turn will offer more protection to the more sensitive of the plants during the colder months, basically acting as wind-breaks. We have some semi-tropical plants in the flowerbed which although can withstand a degree of cold they suffer in biting cold winds. So after lunch on Sunday I took advantage of the still bright and sunny day and sat a while on the patio. As there was little wind the patio was a sun trap and it was remarkably warm and pleasant to sit there. At this time of year we have to wait until around twelve-thirty before the sun shines again on the left of the house and for the area alongside the house on that side it is the first time in the day the sun can shine there. During the Summer the sun’s rays can reach the area from the rear of the house early in the day though for a brief spell around lunch time the area is in the shadow of the house. The house faces south south-west.Anyway clouds began to drift across the sky and after an hour it was too cool to sit outside in what I was wearing as the sun now was hidden. I decided to give in and go indoors. I also put on some warmer clothing which will be the norm now for a few months. During the warmer months I go bare-legged but last week saw me wearing my stockings for the first time since Spring. On Saturday I took a look at the lawn and it was completely covered in fallen leaves. E has a mains-powered leaf vacuum cleaner/shredder and I decided to get it out of its box and try it out. However, I noticed another vacuum cleaner in an open box above it so that is the one I used. I am not sure whether the two machines belong to E or if one belongs to my son. She has all sorts of equipment I know nothing about unless she tells me. I remember struggling to cut some timber for a picture rail in the bedroom we refurbished a few months ago when she finally let me know she had a power-driven saw for the job! The problem with the leaf vacuum is that it is powerful (1500 watts) and it tends to pull its suction tube to the ground when in use. I think a small wheel on either side of the large tube would be an excellent way to hold the tube just enough from the ground to allow the leaves in without it trying to suck in the ground too! It would make using the tool far easier too as it could be pulled along without effort. I don’t know why the designers haven’t thought of it, though in this picture of another model they have them on its transporter truck.
I think I was wasting my time for by Sunday the leaf clutter was back and there was more of them. I shall put off doing a complete clean-up until there are no more leaves left to drop. I usually wait until the wind has blown most of them away but that won’t be until late November.
Ladies in Retirement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So much for semi-retirement and taking things a little easier. I am approaching my 71st birthday and by all accounts should have retired by now but because I am not one for lazing about and living the high life (whatever that is) I am still working. Of course I am talking about my electrical work for there is always other work to be done at home. Officially I am semi-retired though as far as the electrical work is concerned, and I do try to limit what I do in that respect, it hasn’t worked out that way. Although I haven’t been doing electrical work every day this past week on the days that I have done so I haven’t had much of a rest from it. I am my own worst enemy I suppose because I don’t like letting people down. Even so I have had to turn down more work than I have actually taken on board. I need to remove my advertisement more often and I might just do that. I remember the last time I did though it made no difference, I still got phone calls. The price of being too popular I guess….well someone’s got to blow my trumpet! Although I enjoy my work I am getting more tired of it as the months go by so perhaps a proper retirement is on the horizon. I’ll have to weigh up that possibility though and it will depend on whether I can remain occupied more at home. I have to find things to do or go bananas. I suppose I am more tired because I have been doing work both at home and away and occasionally both on the same day. I said to myself that as long as I am capable I will continue to work and I have kept that promise but I also said that I will cut down on it. I haven’t kept that promise though but increasingly it is becoming more important that I do.
Wednesday was much the same as it was on Tuesday but this day I arose even earlier. I was attempting to make the most of the coolest part of the day in order to make progress on the Plot. I started the work a little after eight and ceased work at two, that is six hours, enough for anyone my age. I had run out of materials having used all that I had purchased a few days ago. I was left with less than a half a bag of cement which was plenty enough to continue with except that I had almost no sand left. Mixing mortar requires both of course. I am using a harder mortar mix than others might use. I am using three and a half measures of sand to one of cement which results in a harder mortar. others might use a ratio of four to one and four and a half to one but that is too soft for my liking. Of course if the mix is too hard problems arise because of its resulting brittleness. So far then the work looks like this….
I planned to have seven courses and so far almost six have been done with a little of the inside walls started. It is to be a double-brick construction to withstand the pressure of the soil that will fill it. There are no drainage slots because water will be able to drain through the base into the general mass of ground surrounding the construction. So it was another late lunch and then a little relaxation out on the patio while the weather allowed it. I could have spent the remainder of the afternoon purchasing more sand and cement but I decided against it however I had a call from an old lady asking if I would connect her new cooker to the supply. I had been on the patio a half-hour. I did the job and called into the electrical store before returning home. It was time to water the gardens again. In this weather they need watering each day especially the new plants I have planted recently. Until they are well established they need that extra watering. Depending on my electrical work I am not sure when I will be able to next work in the Plot but I have to purchase the materials beforehand.
Myalgia after overuse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I went to bed rather tired after the day I’d had on Saturday working in the garden. After a really good night’s sleep I planned to have a very relaxing Sunday. I wasn’t prepared for the stiffness in my body and the lack of strength in my legs and for a while I wasn’t able to get out of bed. When I did make the move it was painful and I struggled to move. It was difficult just trying to stand erect. Now I expect a little stiffness and a few aches after hard work and it usually happens the next day so in that respect I wasn’t surprised. I did my neck exercises in case I had problems with a trapped nerve again. It wasn’t so long ago I had that problem. However the neck exercises had a limited effect and I put it down to simple muscular pain from working. As the day wore on things did improve eventually. It is so debilitating not being able to just do the simplest of tasks without difficulty. The aches and pains from hard work I am used to and if I have been working that extra bit harder I expect them but it is the trapped nerve which can be more of a problem. The only recourse I have is to exercise my neck and to not place too much strain into whatever I happen to be doing. It could be that I have been working at too fast a pace and not taking things more slowly or that I often don’t take a break now and then. The odd thing is that on Saturday I did take things slowly and at a leisurely pace so perhaps I just over-stretched myself. I know I didn’t take a break as I should have. My main problem is myself, I don’t know how to work slowly! The restrictions caused by age keep knocking at my door but I try my best not to let them get the better of me. You know what they say, use it or lose it and keep moving less you seize-up! It seems I can still seize-up whether or not I adhere to those principles. Doing nothing isn’t an option, in fact that would be disastrous for I probably would turn into a statue if motionless for too long. Exercise is never a bad thing but I suppose too much of anything cannot be good either. Maybe I should do stretching exercises before manual work as I used to do before going for a run? I might give that a try next time, it can’t be a bad thing.
Tuesday was going to be the hottest day of the year so far according to the weather forecast. Well it sure lived up to that. Between three and four in the afternoon, that is at the height of the day for temperature readouts I checked the temperature on the patio but in a shaded spot using a mercury thermometer. Actually two thermometers in one which shows maximum and minimum temperatures side by side. It showed 29 deg C but shortly after that reading it reached 30 deg C. Obviously it was hotter in the sunshine, probably by a few more degrees. For me it was unbearable, not because I couldn’t get used to it if I had to but because having these temperatures for just a couple of days isn’t long enough to get used to it. Days two and three of holidays in hot climates and we begin to get accustomed don’t we? If these temperatures were normal for us we are used to them. However as I am always saying, I am an Anglo-Saxon and for me it is too hot to tango! I spent a some time in the rear garden in the morning whilst it was a little cooler, pulling out armfuls of montbretia in the flowerbed adjacent to the patio which had sprouted within a low-lying shrub which itself has gotten out of hand. Now that we can actually see that shrub we can prune it back but I fancy I will be digging it out later when it is a bit cooler and replacing it with one or two others. I have an idea what I would like in there but E might think differently though she didn’t bother when I dug out and repopulated the larger of the two flowerbeds we had worked on in the front garden recently. I then spent a little time relaxing on the patio but couldn’t sit there too long. I decided to pull out the second of the two garden benches which had been stored in the large greenhouse beneath the wooden table now being used as a worktop in there. The wooden furniture we once used on the patio and in the garden, it comprises the table, two benches and four chairs. The four chairs are stored in the cellar and only the two benches are actually outside and being outside they need a coat of garden furniture oil/varnish applying every so often. I took the second bench out and hosed it down before transporting it out to the front garden. After lunch and when it was dry I got to work and applied the oil/varnish coat and then went into the rear garden where the other one sits in front of the patio and gave that a coat too. This one didn’t need a second coat as it was already in good condition having been coated earlier in the year but the second one required another coat which I applied an hour or so later.
The lower picture was taken last Autumn and it shows the bench in front of the patio on which some of the old wooden furniture can still be seen. It wouldn’t have been long after that picture was taken that I moved the furniture under cover aside from the bench.
E did a little hoeing and weeding during the day but we spent much of the time in the afternoon just lounging on the patio. She was sunbathing but I sat under the parasol out of direct sunlight. At that time of day it was really too hot to do much else.
As I write this it is the beginning of the second long weekend in the month. In May we have two national holiday days both on a Monday, one at the beginning of the month and the other at the end of the month. It means, theoretically, that we get three days off work at the weekend. Of course not everybody will observe these extra days as days for relaxing. Traditionally I too don’t treat them as special days but that is because I am self-employed and take time off as I need it. For those who are not self-employed these days come as a welcome break. I’d had a couple of electrical jobs in the previous week and one I thought I was going to do on Saturday. The lady who asked me to do the work didn’t call back as she had promised so I was set for the long weekend free from work other than that I might do at home. The problem was that she works in London and has not been able to arrange either for herself to be available or someone else. However just as I was about to eat a late breakfast someone else called asking if I could exchange two ceiling lights with replacement fittings. These fittings it turned out were second-hand and one was missing its fixing bracket. I decided to take the job though I had ideas about working at home. The work itself was easy but I had to manufacture a bracket to replace the missing one before I could fit the second unit. It is fortunate then that I could find some metal in the van with which to make it. The lady was well pleased that I could make the bracket and not have to return at some later date to finish the work. It was lunch time when I returned home and I could look forward to the rest of the day to relax in, and that is what E and I did out on the patio for a time. It turned cool and cloudy for a spell and we returned indoors. An hour later and it was bright and sunny again. English weather! Whilst I had been away from home E’s nephew had called and finished off rendering the small wall (shown above) that had been constructed a couple of months ago! It will need painting sometime in the weeks ahead. Whilst I was taking the picture I took another showing these two rhododendron shrubs. I had planted them in Autumn last year. They are different types of the same shrub. The one on the left flowered a couple of weeks ahead of the other which only opened its blossoms last week. Eventually they will grow to fill the area surrounding them. I am thinking of planting one or two more shrubs out there in the front garden as there is plenty of space for them.