Too much

We’ve had some really hot days over the Easter break and sunny most of the time. However it has been dry and very warm with temperatures reaching 22 deg C where I live and even warmer in other places. That is fine if you like the heat but unfortunately I do not, I get weary and tired. Of course it depends on how warm and dry it is. Anywhere between 14 and 19 deg C is fine for me and I like a little moisture in the air! It was unusual weather for April. I write this on Easter Day that is Sunday and even at this moment (six o’clock in the evening) it is still hot and sunny. They say the temperature won’t drop below 11 deg C but more likely it will stay warmer during the night. I am therefore planning my walk for the early hours before the sun rises as I don’t want a repeat experience of my walk on Friday. I have been a good girl and have resisted doing any work on my project since Thursday though I have been watering the gardens. I should hate to lose plants for the sake of a little watering. This kind of weather is great for sitting around doing nothing but that bores me soft. I did however spend a lot of time doing just that but I was restless and up and down a lot. It’s like a catch twenty-two thing, I get restless doing nothing and tired if I do something but I’d rather be doing something! I have spoken of this a few times in my posts. Some might say I am substituting work for a lack of play or other interests and they could be right, I am often not sure myself. I ask myself what would I like to do but come up with nothing.

Yes I do have interests, they are listed on one of my pages, they are varied but they are mostly things I don’t want to be doing for any great amount of time. Travel is fine but a waste of time, people are fine too but not all want to spend time with me nor I with them or some of them if I were being honest. Others are full of empty promises, we all have them in our lives I am sure. My friend told me to have fun but what is fun? Her kind of fun isn’t the same as mine. I am not sure what my kind of fun is anyway. It must be doing those things I like I suppose which brings me back to work! I seem to have answered my own question………………………………………….Shirley Anne

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Drained

I thought with being so tired on Thursday night that sleep would have come easily but it didn’t. Well not exactly. I had taken a shower for doing so always helps me to relax and I usually then find falling asleep no problem. However it took me a while before I nodded off at ten-thirty or thereabouts and then I found myself awake again at two o’clock! From then until about six o’clock I couldn’t get more than a few minutes of continuous sleep. Too much on my mind perhaps? Friday (Good Friday) morning would normally see me taking a walk in the early hours but I hadn’t set the alarm to get me up before five. As it happened that didn’t matter for I was already awake though I hadn’t any intentions of going out at my usual time. I had decided to take my walk in the sunshine for once because the weather forecast indicated a very warm and dry day. Temperatures did rise to around 20 deg C and there was little wind. It remained sunny all day long. I thought I would take my walk around nine o’clock and return before lunch. I ate breakfast at seven and left the house just after nine. I chose to walk south along the main trunk road to Ainsdale, something I very rarely do as I prefer walking along the beach or though the dunes to get to Ainsdale though I often take the coast road too. At first it was very pleasant but by the time I had reached the beach I had walked around three and a half miles and it was getting too warm to walk without cover. A combination of tiredness, a lack of sleep, my age and the warmth of the day took their toll and by the time I had returned home (roughly seven miles round trip) I was feeling rather exhausted. A nice cool drink and my already prepared sandwich which I had made after breakfast and popped into the fridge saw me feeling better. After lunch I spent some time on the patio relaxing and did nothing else until four o’clock when I had to make the effort to water both the front and rear gardens. It is surprising how long that takes for the gardens are not small and the plants need plenty of water when the weather is warm and dry for days on end. It had certainly been warm and dry for many days. I gave the lawn a watering too which I don’t do as often. After lunch I also opened the door to the room I had been working in to give it ventilation and help it to dry quicker. The concrete had set but for a few more days it would be ‘green’ and needed leaving alone before I could lay the screed. That I planned to do on the Monday. Two more days of rest……..Shirley Anne

Loose ends

I hate it when I’ve nothing to do but I don’t want to be too busy all of the time. However, when I am relaxing I tend to see things that I feel need attention and before I know it I am up again. I tend to be restless when perhaps I should just leave things alone and have the rest. My recent project kept me busy but not all day and even when I had stopped for the day I ended up doing other things around the garden and house. I would have made a great servant in that respect, good value for money. It was Thursday morning and I had been up since four-thirty even though I had set the alarm for five o’clock. Why that early? Well I hate lying in bed once awake and I knew I would be awake early anyway. It was do the weekly shopping day which I like to do between seven-thirty and eight-thirty. It gets it out of the way and leaves the rest of the day to do other things but I’ve mentioned this before. It was very cold first thing in the morning but by ten o’clock it began to warm up, so much so I spent an hour sitting on the patio with a drink. Just to show you what the weather was like and how the sun shines on the patio in the warmer months in the mornings I took this picture at ten o’clock.

I went indoors for a short time but returned to the patio after my lunch where I dozed off for about twenty minutes! After a while I jumped up realising I wanted to remove the hinges which were still fixed to the old door of the garage out on the front driveway. I had been thinking of putting hinges on a wooden chest which I was given when I left my employer twenty-three years ago! It had been used to store lead-acid batteries when in use but had been disposed of when a new system had been ushered in. I thought at that time it would be useful and for some time it was used to store odds and ends in the cellar. I had cleaned it last year and had left it in the gym empty. I fitted the hinges I had just reclaimed on the chest and it is now being used to store the ‘bed’ E uses when lying in the sun on the patio.

I screwed a spare knob to the lid to make it easier to lift. The rolled-up bed just about fits inside. There is an identical bed in the store room but we seldom use two at the same time. Waste not want not. I knew it was a good idea to take that chest all those years ago.

Shirley Anne

Sunday……

…..lived up to its name, it was sunny, not all of the time but much of it. I would be resting, or so I thought. Yes resting from my project but no in my leisure activities which now includes some gardening. I emphasise ‘some’ for once I get started in the garden there’s usually no stopping me, but it was Sunday and I deserved the day off anyway. I would be doing some painting the next day and perhaps one or two other things to bring an end to the garage door project. I doubt I’d be doing much nevertheless. So on Sunday (7 April) I swept up the garden path and cleared some weeds in the borders before spending a little time on the patio. I have to admit I was tired after doing that though I was only doing it for an hour. I obviously needed the rest and more so at my age. I noticed a couple of new shoots around the chopped-down fruit tree stumps but I knew that was always going to happen. Unless the stumps are removed completely or treated in some other way we shall have to keep cutting them off. Nature doesn’t like being messed about with. We’ll just have to see what develops. In any case it isn’t something to get worried about especially on a relaxing Sunday afternoon in the sun.

Shirley Anne

Sometimes

I sometimes push myself too much I know I do. It’s not about trying to keep fit and active nor about trying to keep pace as I once did when young for I know my limits. This is how I was not so long ago, about thirteen years ago and before….

I place my feet upon the floor
About two thirty in the morn,
When most folk are asleep in bed
I wash my face and clear my head,
The stars are shining in the sky
As I begin to exercise.
It is so hard, it must be said
To rise up early from my bed,
And so I start my morning run
And tell myself I’m having fun,
At first it is so very hard
But eases as I go along,
Till finally I’m back at home
And still find that I’m all alone,
I have to wait almost an hour
Before I’m cool enough to shower,
Then rest? No I’ve no time to shirk,
I dress and then go off to work.

Copyright Shirley Anne 4 Aug 03

Nowadays and since retiring from my old occupation I try not to do too much but sometimes I fail and sometimes I am forced to slow down. I have been very active at home since retiring and of my activities can be read in this blog. My latest project concerns the rear door of the garage in which my van is parked. Outside that door I have just completed alterations to the concrete ramp and now I am in the middle of replacing the door and positioning the new one further back. If you’ve been following my latest posts you will know what is involved. The first two days of this week (25-26 March) saw me installing a new door frame and constructing the new door which as of today (27 th) has yet to be completed. In fact I took the day off from the project all together because I was feeling under the weather. ‘Right’ I told myself after returning from my morning walk earlier than usual, ‘Give yourself a break or run the risk of wearing yourself out’. I had a headache anyway and was generally feeling a little tired. Took the break I did and felt much the better for it. Sometimes you have to discipline yourself. Hopefully tomorrow will find me returning to my labours, at a slower pace!

Shirley Anne

Back in the routine

I am referring to gardening and the beginning of a new season. Although as I write this at the end of February there is still another three and a half weeks to go before the official start of Spring it certainly feels like it has arrived already! This afternoon for instance I spent a couple of hours out on the patio sunbathing! According to the forecast at the moment (4 o’clock) it is 17 deg C. That is most unusual but very welcome. It had been a pleasant day yesterday too and I did spend time in the warm sunshine though it wasn’t as warm as today being 14 deg C. As there was little wind it felt that much warmer. I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing all day for this morning I have been quite busy. I was looking out of the window after breakfast and remembered that I had intended to feed the birds so that was my first job. The bird feeder was empty and the bird table was also empty so both were filled again. Then I noticed the bird bath was dry so that got filled with water too. We haven’t had much rain lately which normally keeps it filled. My next task was to empty out that bag of sand I mentioned in yesterday’s post though when I started to do it I found it was filled with soil. I had forgotten that was where I put some of the soil I had removed from the lawn when constructing the feature late last year. The sand had been put into smaller bags and placed inside the garage to free the bag for filling with soil.

I removed the soil and put it into individual smaller bags for use later elsewhere.

There is still another large bag filled with soil and grass sods which I had at that time placed under cover behind the second garage. That has yet to be sorted but it will take a couple of hours to do. I left it for another day, preferably when it would be cool though it is located in a place which never gets direct sunlight. Having done that work I began removing dead stalks from many of the flowers and shrubs in the borders and generally tidied up where necessary. The lawn needs cutting but as you now know from yesterday’s post I am without a mower at the moment. That isn’t strictly true for there are two old electric mowers in the garage but I doubt they would be able to tackle the longer grass and would take ages to do if they could.

Shirley Anne

The next day

It is now Saturday Jan 12 th as I write this at two-thirty in the afternoon. I wrestled with the desire to drop off to sleep throughout most of yesterday following my lack of sleep the night before. I knew that if I allowed myself even forty winks during the day I would have more problems in getting a good night’s sleep when I needed it most. It was eleven forty-five when I closed my eyes. It was six-ten when they next opened. After a quick visit to see my porcelain seat I returned to bed and slept a further three and a half hours. At last I had the sleep I needed and woke thoroughly refreshed for once. It is at times like these when I feel I can take on a lot more work but I had already decided the weekend was going to be spent resting and relaxing. I had ideas of dining out or doing some browsing around the garden to see what other things needed my attention in the following week for I already knew the main ones. In the end I simply stayed indoors. E had to go out and to pay a visit to see her mom so dining out was out of the question. I cooked something for lunch instead. She returned home late in the afternoon. I could get used to this life of idly doing nothing but I doubt it.

Shirley Anne

Only the one

Gosh it was cold on Wednesday morning (Jan 2) as I started off on my morning walk. As I expected there weren’t many people about, partly because it was just after the new year and maybe because it was cold. One thing I did notice was the night club near the route I sometimes take wasn’t open and blasting rock music into the local district for a change. All was pretty much quiet save for the occasional car driving by. I was glad to get back home for once though I do enjoy it whilst I am walking. I hadn’t slept long getting only five hours. I was awake long before the alarm was set to go off and in fact I disarmed it. I paid the price for the lack of sleep later on in the day. So after breakfast I was ready to do a little work. Let me tell you about breakfast or rather where I eat it. Usually it is either a granola or muesli else it is porridge. I have it all with fruit and a fruit drink too. The ‘breakfast room’ keeps quite warm throughout the night even though the heating isn’t on. A fridge and a fridge/freezer keep the temperature topped-up. The curtains (drapes) are kept closed even though there are double-glazed windows. It is surprising how that reduces heat loss from a room. The doors are kept closed so there’s nowhere for the heat to escape, result…the room stays warm. Below that room is the utility room in the cellar which stays even warmer because of the freezers in there. My work though was in the cellar hallway which isn’t heated though it gets warm enough if the utility room door is left open or the boiler room door is likewise left open if the heating is on. I digress. Anyway I wanted to begin painting the door frames with red-coloured gloss paint but only had enough for just a little more than one frame..

I would need to purchase more and did so later in the morning. I downed tools and watch some catch-up tv by which time E was downstairs having breakfast. She had shown me a problem with one of the worktops in the workshop she has at the top of the house. I refurbished the room a couple of years ago but with the weight of all the paper she had stacked upon it she thought it was damaged. It wasn’t but rather than take the risk that it may buckle later on I decided to install an extra support beneath it. However, that had to be made and painted before it could be fitted. I took measurements and made it then gave it a coat of gloss paint but it would need another coat the next day after which it would be ready to install. We then drove off to purchase the paint and some more paint brushes. I didn’t do any more work that day. See, I am keeping to my word by not doing as much work each day and relaxing more.

Shirley Anne

More rest

My day yesterday (29 th) wasn’t pleasant at all as those who read my post will know. Although I had been a bit poorly I had to take the opportunity when there was a lull in the bad weather to take down the tunnel I had previously erected over the longer patio flowerbed. I took this picture through the kitchen window the following morning. It shows the bamboo canes I placed over the two Phoenix Canariensis Plants there which will need the frost protection. 

You can also see two of the other three plants of the same variety covered over with plastic bubble-wrap. The fourth is out of sight to the left of the picture. On reflection erecting the tunnel had proved to be a bad idea though only because it had been too exposed to the high winds we had been experiencing. In a more sheltered spot it would have been a different story. Lesson learned. Today as I write I hope to be able to wrap the two ‘wigwams’ with bubble wrap which won’t take long  as the wind dies down a little. Though it had been windy during the week it had been quite warm over the last couple of days so there was no hurry to wrap the plants. If the weather was going to be reasonably fine I thought I might finish the lawn feature by filling it with the pebbles which had finally been delivered. The work in the small store was on temporary hold until I purchased more materials and of course made steps to cure that floor leak from the wet room above. Having said all that I was prepared to take more rest instead, at least for that day. 

Shirley Anne 

Day off

Well it was Sunday the last day of the month and it would all be downhill from then onward as far as the weather was concerned. It could only get colder, wetter and windier until Spring. When I arose it was an hour later than it had been of late for a couple of reasons, one, I was tired, and two, I had decided not to take a walk but to take a rest from it for a change. As it happened it was a dry morning and the wind was high but coming from the southwest was fairly warm and it would have been pleasant to walk in. I usually rest on Sundays anyway though doing garden chores is always likely with me. However, this day I wanted complete rest at least from manual activity. My garden project was almost completed and I would then be looking for something else to do. At this time of year gardening duties will be keeping me occupied quite frequently so I’ve no need to worry about not having something to do. E and I haven’t spent much time dining out over the last few months but her birthday was coming up (11 th Oct.) and at least I would treat her to a meal out for that. I would have more free time to dine out in the months ahead too. I don’t observe birthdays, anniversaries or annual festivals any longer but make exception for E’s birthday. So for this Sunday there is nothing to say, nothing new or eventful to report, it is just a real day off. In your own life do you take time out and simply do nothing all day long occasionally? If not then I think you should, you owe it to yourself. Have a nice day.

Shirley Anne