Something like this

Even when I am not busy I remain busy! It’s just that the nature of the business has changed. I am getting more used to not working on one of my projects and turning my hand more often to other things instead. Those ‘other’ things were always there and always needed doing just as they still do. The difference is that now I have more time to do them and it’s funny how those things seem to have multiplied because I have more time. When I think about it I wonder how I managed to get other chores done when I worked full-time as an electrician but somehow I did. Today, Thursday (7), I got up early and did the weekly shopping, leaving the house just as E was coming downstairs. She hasn’t done the weekly shopping for eight weeks, though I am not counting it against her. Strange as it may seem to some I am beginning to enjoy the new routine now that I am getting familiar with where things are shelved. I usually don’t waste time and just whizz around and get it done but lately I have been taking more time and taking more interest in what is actually available. There are items for instance that I never knew existed and some of them I might be tempted to purchase one day. Generally though I stick to my shopping list. I returned home and after packing everything away I spent a long time watering the front garden. After a coffee I went online for a time then sat outside on the front bench playing my guitar.

Bench under front window

It is nice sitting there for it is usually quiet in the front garden. There is very little vehicular traffic and even less pedestrian traffic. The only problem is it can get too hot if there is no cloud cover and on Thursday there wasn’t any cloud cover. I returned indoors to prepare lunch, a tomato omelette on a bed of lettuce followed with strawberries and pears with a little single cream. I spent a little time out on the patio then returned indoors again to spend a half-hour on the cross-trainer. Thursday was a hot day but exercising in the cellar gym wasn’t a problem for it is much cooler down there. I say down there but the cellar is at the same level as the rear garden. Nevertheless I worked up a sweat despite the coolness. I soon cooled down on returning to the garden, a more shady part of the garden of course where there was a slight breeze blowing. An hour later I found myself mowing the lawn then watering the rear garden too. By that time it was after five o’clock and the rest of my time was spent relaxing, mostly indoors.

Shirley Anne

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Short walk

It was Wednesday morning (6 th) and I wanted to take the mile walk into town to purchase a few things. So after breakfast I set off on foot on the short walk. It is actually slightly longer than a mile so a good two miles  round trip if I don’t end up wandering about as I often do. My purchases were for cosmetics mainly but I spent a little time in the Marks and Spencer store just to browse. I bought myself another skirt for the summer months but wasn’t tempted to spend any more money and returned home, not even stopping off at Neros for a coffee which I would normally do. It was one of those warm and humid mornings with hardly a breeze blowing. I was uncomfortable for that reason and wanted to get home as soon as I could and find somewhere cool to sit for a while. As I approached our house I could see a guy trying to deliver a package to a neighbour’s house across the way but he wasn’t getting an answer for I knew they were out at work. I beckoned to him and said I would take it in for him and he replied that he also had a package for me. A few days earlier I had made an online purchase of a lightweight rain coat. It wasn’t a proper rainproof coat but one which was classed as ‘showerproof’. They used to be called ‘Pacamacs’ though this one looked a bit more substantial than those original ones. When I go walking in the colder months I have a proper waterproof jacket which I purchased last year but it is too heavy a garment for use when the weather is warm. The new showerproof coat wraps up into a small bundle and fits into the small bag supplied with it and can be taken with me when I go for walks in the warmer months. As it is only for use in a light shower I do carry an umbrella too. Both fit easily into the bag I use when out walking. E kept asking me what my plans for the day were but I hadn’t any. I asked her if she would like to dine out somewhere but she declined and said we have food at home which must be eaten soon. She had been out shopping with her mom on Tuesday and had bought these ‘special offers’. She does crazy things like that sometimes knowing full well that we have freezers stocked with the very foods she had purchased! I despair sometimes. I spent the rest of the day at home.

Shirley Anne

Lots done

It was Thursday morning and I had the unenviable task of doing the weekly shopping once again. E had been taking things easy for the past few weeks in order to recuperate but had in fact driven herself and her mom into town yesterday. Maybe next week she will resume doing the shopping but if not it will be down to me again. Actually next Thursday (31) I have a dental appointment late morning so will have to shop early if it falls to me to do the shopping. I digress. Today therefore I went shopping early and about an hour after returning home first went into the front garden to water it with the hose then I got out the larger watering can in order to apply a weed-killer/lawn feed mixture onto the lawn in the rear garden. Last year after doing exactly the same the lawn looked much better having been rid of the weeds and moss. It took about six cans to cover the lawn and not long after I had finished I could see it taking effect as the moss began to turn black. Having already mentioned to E that I would like to leave the house together for a few hours she went to dress whilst I was doing the lawn treatment. I had left the van on the driveway on my return from the supermarket rather than putting it in the garage as I would normally do for I was determined to go out for the afternoon. We drove down to the pub/restaurant about two miles away and had a meal there. It is a well-known local eatery offering a set meal or something from the carvery.

English: Toby Carvery
Toby Carvery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We chose the carvery as most people would do dining there. One thing you can say about a carvery is its value for money, as many vegetables as you can eat together with your choice of meats and a one-off payment (£2) for an unlimited amount of soft drinks of choice add to accompany it. We paid a mere £19 for two with drinks included. After the meal we drove off to the garden centre and browsed for more plants to put in the gardens. This time we purchased Verburnum Davidii (a large shrub), Lewisia, Diascia, Weigela Foliis Purpureis, Jacobinia, Oxalis and Alstroemeria (smaller shrubs and plants).

Lewisia
Lewisia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I name them for the botanists and gardeners who may be reading. We planted them immediately upon returning home late in the afternoon. Three went into the front garden beds and the remaining seven into the rear garden beds. I think the only other planting out will be the beetroot presently growing in pots in the greenhouse and we plan to put them among the plants in the flowerbeds in the near future. The last task of the day was to water the rear garden plants with the hose. Overnight and throughout the whole day tomorrow, Friday, we have been informed to expect heavy rain. For a few days after we are told it will get very warm and dry.

Shirley Anne

Shopping day

There must be something wrong because I am beginning to like doing the weekly shop! Shopping for foodstuffs has never been high on my list of favourite things to do. Once upon a time and many years ago I used to share in that weekly event but in more recent times E took it upon herself to do it. However, she has been unable to take on the responsibility over the past few weeks so I was obliged to do it. Now I am finding it isn’t all that bad after all. I hate crowded places, always have, and I especially dislike waiting in long queues at the supermarket checkout. I dislike waiting for anything to be honest, my get-up and-go wants always to be doing just that. Whereas E shops late in the day I do it as early as possible and for two reasons, one, there is far less traffic in the aisles and at the checkout and two, I get the rest of the day to do others things. Today, Thursday 17, I was up early and had eaten breakfast by seven before going into the garden to water all the plants with the hose. At eight I was driving to the supermarket and had returned home with all the groceries by nine o’clock. I don’t mess about, I treat it as just another chore and those I like to get done as quickly as possible. Once I had put everything away and had made myself a coffee and had prepared E’s breakfast it was nine-thirty. I put on my overalls and went into the cellar to fix the threshold timber to the floor of the storage room we are now calling the ‘Larder + Pantry’. Once that was done I touched-up the paint here and there and then began to fill the shelves with foodstuff on one side of the room and on the opposite side cleaning materials… 

Aside from affixing a label on the door which E is making, the job is finished. It looks like a mini version of a supermarket itself now! Originally we were going to use the room for storing paint and decorating materials but we decided to leave them where they are in the workshop room. After lunch I fed all the garden plants with a liquid feed whilst E potted about (quite literally) in the greenhouse. She was in fact supposed to be helping me but a phone call put an end to that and she began replanting some of the seedlings into larger pots instead.

Shirley Anne

Curbing my spending

Gas mask 1
Gas mask 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For one reason or another lately I have been engaged on a spending spree. Today, May 3rd, I bought a gas mask online. Now what do you suppose I needed that for? A kinky party (never been to one)? Well if you remember I purchased some floor paint and it arrived today. Having taken off the lid of one of the cans and painting a sample corner of the cellar storage room I thought it would be best if a mask was worn when painting the whole floor. Indeed it is necessary for the paint fumes are strong and the room cannot easily be ventilated. The paint itself is a chlorinated rubber composition and even after painting such a small amount it sent fumes throughout the basement and the first floor. I hastened to close the room door to minimise the fume distribution but even so I had to keep a few doors and windows open to disperse them. As I hadn’t a suitable mask I had to make the purchase. A few days ago I purchased some clothing for myself and for E and yesterday I purchased the item of gym equipment I was looking to have to go along with the treadmill and elliptical cross-trainer we already have. This time it was an exercise bike, bike machine or whatever you choose to call them.The picture shows the exact model we chose. It looks a though I will be installing an extra power point in the gym soon! So although I have been spending out a lot recently it isn’t a regular habit, I simply couldn’t afford to be spending all the time. Now, for the month ahead at least, I have to curb my spending. Well maybe. Now that I have the paint I can finish off the storage room though it will have to wait now until I receive the mask. I will have to use the mask again when I paint the gym floor but at this moment in time I have still to fill in the holes with cement. I would have had it done by now had I not been looking after E while she has been incapacitated. Today for instance I had to do the weekly shopping once more, something which seems to becoming a regular thing lately. I don’t mind of course, it’s a change from what I usually get up to!

Shirley Anne

Losing track

English: Losing track
Losing track (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had yet another night with little sleep, managing to get only three and a half hours deep sleep and a couple of hours afterward trying to return to sleep. I felt a bit groggy at first but soon perked up once I was out of bed. Saturday was ‘clean sheet day’ as the first thing I did was to replace the bed linen before going downstairs. After putting the laundry into the washing machine I spent some time on the gym equipment before breakfast. I was dressed and out in the garden long before E put in an appearance. I heard a voice call out ‘good morning’ and I turned around to see our youngest son looking out of his bedroom window. He lives in Manchester but had stopped over for the weekend because he would be seeing friends and celebrating someone’s birthday on Saturday evening. He never hangs around much whenever he visits so I saw little of him all day. I had made up my mind to take a break from working in the cellar and rest for the weekend. During the day I kept thinking it was Sunday because I don’t work on Sundays except perhaps to do a little gardening if the weather permits. On Friday evening E and I spent some time online making purchases for clothes. On Saturday I browsed the Internet looking for other things to purchase. This time it was for floor paint and a cordless vacuum cleaner. These things were not being purchased on the spur of the moment because we had discussed the possibility of buying them weeks ago. It was just a matter of where and when and being on a buying spree we decided to push the boat out and go for broke as they say. Oh, the clothes we were buying were summer tops and light summer cardigans. Makes a change from building materials! I still kept thinking it was Sunday throughout the day. I guess I am not used to not working every day.

Shirley Anne

Busy but not busy

Gosh I was tired on Wednesday night but it didn’t help me get much sleep. I did get to sleep however but it lasted only three hours and I was awake again. When I awoke around four o’clock my mind was in overload thinking about everything and nothing. I found myself trying to solve problems as I lay there tossing and turning until finally getting out of bed around six o’clock. From that time on until about nine-thirty I walked about with heavy eyelids and wanting to return to bed though I knew I couldn’t. Once again it was down to me to do the weekly shopping as E was still incapacitated. It’s funny how one perks up when there is something to be done, something necessary that is. It was a slightly easier chore this time as I had a better idea of where to find things. Even so I found it strange that some items were not where I had expected them to be and even E says the same.

English: Canned food - Port Lockoy, Antarctica
Canned food – Port Lockoy, Antarctica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an example one would expect all canned food to be in the same area but at this store that wasn’t the case. E told me later that a certain manager had arranged it that way and saying HE didn’t have a clue. How could a guy get it so wrong she says with tongue in cheek? When I returned home it was almost time for lunch so I prepared it. There was no way I would be doing any work on my project and who was I to argue with E? She told me I needed to rest from it and I knew it myself though there wasn’t much left to do on it. Later, at five o’clock, I had to drive E to the hospital for her appointment. She was having a scan on her shoulder, yet another of her bodily ailments. We stopped by the supermarket on the way back home to purchase an item I had forgotten to buy earlier. Getting back home and it was now time for our evening meal. I was ready for bed by then but of course I had to wait till a more appropriate time……………..

Shirley Anne

Sum total

I didn’t know what I was going to do in the way of work on Thursday though there was much to do on my current project. I did know however that I had to go purchase a few things. I had a good night’s sleep but was still feeling a little tired as I sat down to breakfast. I hadn’t been keen to rush into anything because of that. It is true what they say, your body will let you know when it needs a break and mine was telling me to take one. To be fair I have been doing rather a lot of late and so I knew I needed a little break from things. Shopping is one of those things which takes my mind off my usual routine for a while but though I would be shopping it was the wrong type! I would be shopping for materials and nothing nice like clothes. I don’t often shop for clothes but when I do I usually spend a lot of money and time doing it. It was after ten o’clock when I left the house and after eleven o’clock when I returned. E was about to go shopping too, for food. My purchases were for cup washers, cabinet hinges, door knobs, a ‘Surform’ plane, two lengths of mini-trunking and a five-foot long LED lighting unit. That involved visiting three separate outlets around town. I suggested to E that we dine out  when she returned from the shopping trip and whilst she was out I fixed the mini-trunking on the ceiling in the gym and placed the telephone wire that had been hanging on the ceiling into it. That was the sum total of the work I did on the day. When E returned home it was approaching two o’clock and we drove to our local pub for lunch. I was feeling tired and weary but once I had eaten I felt better. When we returned home we spent a little time watching catch-up tv. I took the remainder of the day just relaxing mostly on the sofa watching more tv. The LED light unit was a little present for E as she had been asking if I would move the existing fluorescent unit nearer to her work-station in her workshop at the top of the house. I thought I might change the unit at the same time. I would probably do the work on Saturday afternoon while she was out at her monthly meeting.

Shirley Anne

Even E and I

I was up and about very early again on Wednesday morning and after breakfast by then seven forty-five I was out in the garden checking on the protection I had taken for some of the plants was still in place. I decided to strengthen that protection because of the weather forecast which informed us of an even colder night to follow. By the time I had returned indoors an hour later E came downstairs for her breakfast. We talked about taking a trip to the garden centre but actually didn’t set off until eleven-thirty as she wanted to wash her hair have a shower and get dressed! Whereas I get up and go to bed in the same day she gets up one day and goes to bed the next! She is what you might call a night person and never retires to bed before one o’clock in the morning unless she has an early appointment the next day. I’ve usually had a couple of hours sleep by then. It makes going anywhere together in the morning difficult at times. Anyway we did go out and whilst we were out I decided to take a trip to the decorating store and the electrical store after we had visited the garden centre. I needed more emulsion paint and some light bulbs to replace faulty ones. It was approaching two o’clock when we sat down to lunch and at the same time watch some tv. At three o’clock she and I went into the cellar and moved the Elliptical trainer into its new home….

Not bad for two ‘senior citizens’! Actually it wasn’t that difficult, it was just a matter of approaching it in the right way. Neither of us had to exert ourselves in any way because of the way we tackled it. Now it is in its new home E will find it much easier to mount when she uses it. I had painted the whole wall and that part of the ceiling above it to make it easier. Now it is out-of-the-way so to speak I can get on with decorating the rest of the room, when the mood takes me of course!

Shirley Anne

Dragging heels

E has never been one to rush things, always taking a long time to get something done. That is just her way but sometimes it infuriates me whenever we have planned to go anywhere she takes an inordinately long time getting ready. By that I don’t mean getting dressed or applying make-up but rather she finds things to do that should have been done say the day before. She hardly ever wears make-up anyway and getting dressed doesn’t take much time either, she simply drags her heels and wastes time. I am the complete opposite, always dressed well in time and always ahead of time for any event we have planned. E had suggested we go out on Monday morning in order to purchase a few things and to perhaps visit the garden centre for a coffee too. We actually left the house at twelve forty-five! We could have been there and back long before noon. We drove off in the van and our first call was to the electrical supplier to purchase some cable, a LED floodlight and a battery. I was greeted with a ‘Hello, long time no see’ quip from the guy behind the counter who hadn’t realised I had retired. Our next port of call was supposed to be to the timber yard to purchase the timber I would need to pack-out the safety edge equipment on the garage door (see yesterday’s post). However just a short distance before reaching the yard we had to pass by the pub/restaurant we sometimes visit when dining out and I suggested we make the detour and dine there. http://www.thatchandthistle.co.uk  By now it was around one forty-five and lunch time anyway. I had a garlic mushroom starter and E had some garlic bread. I had a simple dish of plaice and E chose barbecued pork ribs for the main course. However the ribs she found rather tough and overdone to the point of being burnt. She complained to the waitress who promptly removed her plate and brought the replacement which according to E was perfect. Although it had only been the ribs at fault she was given a full plate of chips (fries) and a salad too even though she had told them not to. She had already eaten much of those on the first plate and didn’t want more. I thought what a waste serving up food that was not going to be eaten. Usually the fayre is spot-on and we have had no complaints in the past. After our meal we drove to the timber yard where I purchased the wood. The rear of the van had been filled with waste cardboard for several weeks because there was no point in making a special journey to dispose of it. The waste depot isn’t far away from the timber yard so we took the opportunity to dispose of the cardboard. It was time to make the return journey home and on the way call in to the garden centre for our free coffee. I can take advantage of the two free coffees offered once every month because I am a member. Sometimes we would have something to eat with the coffee but this time we had already eaten. Whilst there we bought some potatoes for planting as we wish to grow them in the raised bed between the two greenhouses. Finally we arrived back home around four-thirty and E pointed out that there were some bluebells growing in the two flowerbeds at the front of the house. I had spotted some of them already as I have been looking out for any that might still be there after digging most of them out last year just as I have been doing in the rear garden also. I wasted no time and dug them all out. I am not one for dragging my heels when something needs doing.

Shirley Anne