Preparations

On Tuesday 16 th (as I write) we were expecting the delivery of the pebbles we had ordered online a week or two earlier for the lawn feature. At that time we were informed of a possible eight to nine weeks waiting period before they became available. I have to say that companies who advertise goods on sale should make them more readily available or remove the advertisement. We had already experienced poor service, actually no service as it turned out, when we didn’t receive the fridge we had ordered. Since then of course we obtained a better one from a UK supplier. On Monday (15 th) we received a call from the company who were to supply the pebbles asking if we would like to purchase the pebbles that were delivered to themselves but of a different kind. We were asked to go online to check them out which we did. I had already viewed all of their advertised stock when placing my order and had selected my choice because of their colour and form. None of the others compare and can be purchased locally at almost any builders merchants. So we were being asked to accept something that they said was sent to them in error. They must have known we wouldn’t. I was expecting to finish the work on the project this week but now it seems it will be a few more weeks yet before that can happen. I had prepared a space within the garage where the pallet could be dropped which seemed a bit of a waste of time after I had received the call. No matter it will remain as it is for when the pebbles do arrive. I worked on the utility room project on Monday and again on Tuesday though on Tuesday I didn’t do as much. I cut out another large portion of the carpet that lies on the floor so that the washing machine could be moved. Eventually of course it will all be lifted. E and I assembled one of the new cabinets so that I could check the floor level and cut out the side panels to accommodate the drain pipe on the wall. 

The worktop would continue from the first cabinet and had to be accordingly level with it. We discovered there was at least a centimetre drop in the floor across the width of the room at that side. That will mean packing beneath the new cabinet legs to make it level. Nothing is ever straightforward is it?

Shirley Anne

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Staying cool

Do you sometimes get angry when things go wrong or not to plan? You trust others to do their bit but they let you down. Does that make you angry? It would be a fine thing indeed if we never got angry but even the most chilled-out person loses their ‘cool’ sometimes I am sure. It doesn’t take some people long to blow their fuse when things don’t go their way but some of us have more patience. I confess to getting angry at times but it is usually because I have been let down and have not received an explanation. Such had been the case with my online shopping experience when I placed an order for a new larder fridge a few weeks ago. Having waited the expected time for its arrival and it didn’t arrive I remained patient for a time whilst I waited for an explanation but after several further weeks and still without the fridge I became angry. The supplier gave no explanation and didn’t even acknowledge my communications. However as the purchase had been through the ‘Amazon’ organisation I was protected and reimbursed for my expenditure with the seller. I shudder to think what would have happened had I purchased directly with that particular seller. It shows how careful we must be when making online purchases with organisations we know little about even if they are through a reputable company such as Amazon. In this incidence I didn’t know who the seller was until I had made the purchase. 

Filling questionnaire form

Having received notification of reimbursement E and I purchased another larder fridge through a different company for just £1 extra. Not only that but it is slightly larger than the previous one we had ordered. We were to receive it four days later on Wednesday (10 th). Now we can remain cool about the whole affair!

Shirley Anne

How?

Just how do you suppose an item as large as a larder fridge could go missing unless it was stolen? I had been in touch with Amazon through whom the seller of the larder fridge was to supply me. I had ordered the said fridge on August 28 th and it duly arrived in the UK on September 10 th having been dispatched from China. A day later it had cleared customs and presumably was delivered to a warehouse ready for collection and delivery to my home. I should have received it by September 15 th at the latest. That was allowing for days for it to travel across the country, plenty of time for the seller. However it didn’t arrive, though according to Amazon I had received it because they simply assumed it had or were informed it had. I got in touch with the seller and was given an apology and informed they would try to trace it. After another communication they informed me that they would dispatch another. There had been plenty of time for a second dispatch from China for it to have arrived by today, that is October 3 rd as I write.

 I was in contact with Amazon on September 29 th who informed me they would look into the matter but to give the seller a couple of days to respond. They should have responded by today, the 3 rd. As I write there has still been no response and Amazon are organising a refund but it could take two to three weeks for them to establish the legality of it though there should be no problem with that. It means however we have been without the extra fridge capacity for five weeks and unless I were to purchase another rather than wait for the resolution of the current situation we could end up waiting another couple of weeks. If this is the way purchasing of goods over The Internet is headed I think we would be better off shopping locally. To be fair this is the first time I’ve had problems ordering goods online but it really shouldn’t happen if everyone did what they were supposed to do. 

Shirley Anne

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

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