…didn’t happen! I was writing about making plans in yesterday’s post but on Friday, that is today as I write, I overslept. Over sleeping isn’t really true for had I not needed the sleep I wouldn’t have taken it. In real terms it meant I awakened at nine-thirty instead of eight o’clock which would be more my usual time. So it wasn’t the sleeping-in that prevented my doing some more work in the cellar but more the other things which got in the way. Prayer time, a shower, getting dressed, applying make-up, putting the soiled towels into the washing machine which had piled-up during the week and chatting with E all before I grabbed a quick breakfast, those were the things which prevented any work being done before noon. Following that I decided to venture out into the rear garden to sweep up the enormous piles of fallen ivy and some holly leaves that had been nicely stored in a couple of places by the high wind. It was another miserably cold day though it was showing signs of getting warmer for the snow had been slowly melting. According to the forecast it would be far warmer by the following Monday. It was now almost twelve o’clock and time to return indoors to thaw out! I had been to the garage to collect the brush and bucket with which to sweep the leaves but returned later to empty out some things from my van and sort them out for storage. Now it was time to hang the washing after which I fitted a coat hook behind one of the doors upstairs. I was about to prepare lunch when E asked if I could help search for something in the cellar so off we went to do that. I had lost count of the number of trips to the cellar I had made in the previous couple of hours which is often quite normal in this house! At last it was time for lunch, it was one forty-five. By the time I had finished lunch I was in no mood for starting work, which would have been painting the room in the cellar. What can I say? There’s always tomorrow.
I hadn’t done particularly much on Thursday (11) and had in fact arisen quite late that morning as I mentioned in the previous post but I still expected to nod off to sleep that evening. However, I had been watching a movie late in the evening which ran until one forty-five. Even then I wasn’t ready for bed so I watched some more television. Before I knew it was almost four o’clock and still I wasn’t feeling tired. I ended up not going to bed at all, not even taking a nap on the couch. I expected I would definitely sleep on Friday night though. Sometimes it goes like that but usually I have at least a couple of hours sleeping. Once many years ago, not long after I had qualified as an electrician I was involved in a job with a couple of colleagues carrying out alterations to the main electrical panels and supply cabling in a factory which took us around forty hours to complete. We all of us worked right through for the full forty hours taking only breaks for meals. Of course I was much younger and took it in my stride though it is said that younger people need more sleep than the rest of us. You could argue that older people require less sleep because they do less work and that could be true. I know that if I lounge about all day I am not going to feel the need for sleep. Whatever is said we do need sleep as it allows our bodies to rest, or does it? Many people have researched the reason why we sleep but as yet there is no definitive answer. Our brain just switches us into a different state and there we are, asleep. Have a look at this site….http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/the-mystery-of-sleep-pressure/549473/ . Fascinating isn’t it? There is no escaping the Sandman too long unless there is something wrong with us. We are simply made that way it seems. No doubt an answer will be found sometime in the future but in the meantime I wi…l…l….yawn!
It felt great just lying there in bed on Sunday morning with no pressure upon my shoulders to do anything but rest. I didn’t stay in bed too long however as by then I had slept for four hours and following a very short break had a further five hours of sleep. It’s unheard of in my life to have anything more than four or five hours at the most. All I can say is that I must have needed it. Late on Saturday afternoon our neighbour had asked if I could look at a problem with her kitchen light but even then I could hardly keep my eyes open. I stayed the course until eleven o’clock when by that time I was in bed, or rather upon it as it was still too warm to get under the duvet. I fell asleep straight away. After my breakfast, an hour after my breakfast, I went for a short walk, short as in two miles. It was just enough to satisfy my need for a little exercise though in my heart I wanted to walk much further. It had been sensible of me to keep it short however on my day of rest. I did call in to my neighbour but evidently she was out in her car because the gates were open. I knew her son was at home for his car was there but I didn’t wish to ring the doorbell knowing he was probably asleep after working through the night. He is an inspector in the police force and he works different shift patterns. I only wanted to let my neighbour know I would investigate the faulty light on Monday morning. I went home and had a coffee, sitting on the patio to drink it. In the meantime E was in the bathroom having a shower. She is a strange person to be sure, it was almost noon! When I came back indoors I began listening to some music on YouTube using the tv.
E came in with a coffee she had prepared for me not knowing I had just had one. We both sat and played around with YouTube trying to master navigation with the tv remote control. It would have been far easier to turn on the computer and use that instead of the tv. That is the problem with the television control, it isn’t the best thing to use as it takes ages to do anything when using it. We gave up in the end. I had a light lunch and E went out with her mom for a couple of hours to do some shopping. I wouldn’t dream of shopping on a Sunday……isn’t it supposed to be the sabbath? That’s the world of today I have to say with a sad heart.
I woke up on Thursday to a very cool day with a wind blowing. It had been raining overnight but when I arose around seven o’clock it had but almost stopped. The evening before and on through the night for a few hours it had been very humid and quite warm. I slept on top of the bed linen again because it was so uncomfortably ‘sticky’ and awoke at three-twenty after fours hours of sound sleep. I had the window open of course but by the middle of the night conditions turned a lot cooler. I had to slip beneath the bed sheets for warmth. A little less than a further four hours of sound sleep I was up and about. I have noticed my sleep patterns are gradually getting better and I am getting more sleep than I have been used to in recent years. I was going for a walk after breakfast and was in two minds as to what I should wear because of the coolness of the day. Any sort of coat would keep me too warm so I elected not to wear one. When I finally got outside and on my walk many folk I saw were wearing coats and carrying umbrellas. It wasn’t going to rain, I had faith in the forecast and it didn’t rain throughout the day. I seemed to be under dressed compared to what others were wearing as I wore only a lightweight sleeveless top and a skirt but I was comfortable despite that. I so much prefer it being cool and I am more used to that than I am with hot and humid weather. It stayed cool throughout the morning and only got warmer after lunch. In fact the minimum temperature had been about fifteen degrees Celsius when I went out on the walk and rose to eighteen later in the day. The wind made it feel that bit cooler. E had gone for her hospital appointment to have her hearing checked. Of all the other complaints she suffers with she was diagnosed with Tinnitus on her last visit too. Her mom had an appointment with the physiotherapist at the same time so they went together. E doesn’t like cool or cold weather at all whereas I don’t mind it too much. Whilst on the walk I received a call for my electrical services but I declined the work……it was to change a light bulb in a cooker extract hood! I get offered some silly jobs at times and that isn’t cool. I told her I had retired anyway.
Like most days Tuesday started well enough but the plans I had didn’t fully materialise as I thought they might. The plan was to fill in the gaps in the wood work using the caulk I had bought on Monday. I had been using decorators caulk to fill-in where necessary but I didn’t have enough. So after breakfast I made a start doing that and in fact had it all done in thirty minutes. At this point I was about to begin applying the second coat of gloss paint first of all to the door and door frame and then following on with the window frames, If I had enough time I would paint the picture rail too but I didn’t plan working in the afternoon so the rail might not get done. I made myself a coffee before beginning the painting but I felt a little queasy and sat down for a few minutes.with the coffee. I had a restless night and had found it difficult to get to sleep. It would be around two o’clock before I finally closed my eyes and went to sleep. Too much going on in my mind had made me restless. Though I did sleep it was for only three and a half hours so I suppose I was just too tired. Anyway things improved as I began painting the door frame. After doing the door and door frame I moved on to the window and managed to get the top section completed before I had a visit from my eldest son, his wife and his daughter who had come to sort out some of their stored items. I made the effort and finished off the top section of the frames but decided to leave the bottom section until Wednesday morning. Just then I received a call from a couple I had worked for quite recently who were having difficulty in replacing two fluorescent light tubes in their under-unit kitchen lighting system. I talked them through the process but they found it impossible to do and asked if I would call there. Their home is eight miles from mine. I agreed to go and when I inspected the fittings they were indeed awkward and stiff making the lamp replacement difficult so it wasn’t a wasted journey. Whilst there I was asked to replace their central heating/hot water control unit and to check out a lighting switch. I removed the old control unit and the guy took it with him and went to purchase an identical replacement while I got on with the other tasks. He wasn’t gone long as they live quite near a supplier and I fitted the new unit he had purchased. By now it was after three o’clock and I had missed lunch so when I drove back to my own town I decided again to eat at the pub. No more work that day and my main hope was for a good night’s sleep so that I could perhaps finish the painting the next day.
Procrastination wasn’t the theme for the day on Wednesday, I had made up my mind and was determined to follow it through. Nothing spectacular in case you were wondering, it was simply me deciding that I wanted the day off…from everything! On Tuesday I had spent the morning doing electrical work and during the afternoon following my lunch I actually nodded off for a short time. By evening I felt really tired but I couldn’t put it down to just the work I had been doing during the day. More likely it was a build-up of my activities over the previous week which made me feel so tired. I resisted the urge to go to bed too early for that would only lead to me waking up early too as a few hours sleep is usually enough for me. Nevertheless I went to bed at nine-thirty and dropped off to sleep around ten-thirty. Apart from a toilet visit at one o’clock I slept through to almost five o’clock giving me about an hour’s extra sleep than normal. I had made up my mind to take Wednesday off from all manner of work and nothing was going to stop me. I was downstairs before seven. After a breakfast of solely fruit I had to wait a couple of hours before I could take the walk into town to deposit some cash in the bank. I was there and back within the hour and a short time after I drove to the pub for lunch. I could have walked there too but for the fact that I was wearing heels. It wasn’t the distance, it was more the fact that I didn’t want to wear down the heels that I chose to drive. The return trip is a little more than a mile or so. I see no point in wearing down my heels so I usually do my walking in flat soled shoes. Coincidentally when I drove to work the previous morning I saw a girl wearing very high heels walking along toward our ‘village’. She must never be out of the cobblers having them repaired! I digress. So I enjoyed a lovely meal and later spent some time out on the patio back at home for the day had turned out quite sunny.
What a crazy day I had on Monday! I went to bed around ten o’clock on Sunday night but didn’t actually begin to sleep until twelve-fifteen. How do I know that? I had made a point of checking the time on my phone, which I use as an alarm too, closed my eyes and didn’t wake up until exactly four hours later. That was it! I couldn’t return to sleep no matter how hard I tried so I gave in and got out of bed. I was sat eating breakfast at five-thirty and fully wide awake. What was I going to do for the next three hours before driving off to my first job of the day? I watched television, went on-line, played guitar (quietly) but was soon bored doing those things. Still, I had to wait, I had no choice. It was eight-twenty as I left the house and I arrived at the job just before nine as arranged. The work involved repairs to a couple of cabinet lights and their wiring. Whoever had installed them had hidden the wiring behind a panel as expected but they had also hidden the transformer and connection box behind the panel too. The problem was that the panel couldn’t be removed without causing a great deal of damage! Crazy or what? I wondered what had been going through the person’s mind when they did the work. Did they think the parts would never go faulty? I ended up rewiring the lights and hiding the wiring in small trunking inside the cabinets that were the bedroom’s built-in furniture. Unfortunately one of the lights needed replacing but none were available close-by. I had to drive back to my own town to fetch one then return and fit it. My coiled-up spring was beginning to unwind and I had another job to do before I could even think about driving homeward. When the work was done it was approaching one-thirty and I was feeling rather hungry having not eaten for eight hours. I drove homeward and paid a visit to my local pub to have a meal there but it was way after two-thirty before it was on the table before me. Nine hours are a long time between meals when one is working. My eyes began to close as I sat at home later writing this. It was only four-thirty in the afternoon and I wondered if I would make it to evening without falling asleep beforehand! As I get older I am finding it difficult to cope with hardly any sleep, not because I need more sleep but because I end up with all those extra hours awake with nothing much to do in them.
It was a bad day on Friday, not the day itself but the weather turned nasty at around two o’clock. I have to confess I didn’t get out of bed until almost one o’clock after four separate three-hour periods of sleep. My sleep patterns are all over the place recently but I guess I am getting the sleep I require. It would be nice however to be able to sleep for six hours in one go. I almost never sleep beyond five hours in one go. E had been up for some time and was just finishing her lunch when I came downstairs to have mine. Obviously there would be no breakfast so I had the remainder of the chicken and vegetable stew I had prepared a couple of days earlier. The large bowl was enough to satisfy my hunger. E went out just as I had finished eating, she was off to see her mom again perhaps to do some shopping or sort out some Christmas presents. She spends Christmas day afternoon at her mom’s house as do the rest of the family I think. I never get invited but it isn’t a real problem as I don’t observe Christmas anyway. I repeat that I am a Christian just in case some of my readers were thinking otherwise. Just as she was leaving the house the heavens opened and the rain began to pelt down. The wind had picked up too and it was blowing a gale. It had been forecast days before. This particular storm had been named ‘Barbara’ and its path took it to the north of the UK, that is the centre of the storm went along that path. The winds lessened the further south from it but even at our latitude it was still strong. We had enjoyed rather mild weather for the season up until that point so we couldn’t complain I suppose but it didn’t last long, a couple of days and we would be back to more settled weather. I had thoughts of going out perhaps for a meal on Friday but I decided against the idea because of the poor weather. There would be another opportunity in the days ahead if I wanted to go somewhere. One thing I really wanted to do over the holiday period was to get out into the gardens and do some work. At the time of writing this on Friday afternoon it looks as though that opportunity will be a long way off unless the weather improves.
Early to bed and early to rise according to the proverb makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. Not completely sure about the truth in those facts but I do know that it certainly improves my (financial) wealth if it is off to work I will be going. After doing a small job the day before I rested for the remainder of the day and went to bed as early as I thought fit on Sunday evening because I had to arise early on Monday morning. I would be off to work to do a small job before eight o’clock. It was the only time the customer could be at home unless I was prepared to work in the evening or at the weekend. I try my best not to work at those times, excepting for emergencies as was the case on Sunday. Despite the fact I knew I would be getting up early I couldn’t get off to sleep for quite some time and even when I did it was erratic once again. All I can say is that I probably don’t need the sleep I sometimes think I do. I guess that is an age-related thing or I am not working enough to get tired. As we age of course we are less able to work as hard and for as long as we once did. It’s a ‘catch twenty-two’ situation. Anyway I arrived at the house, two miles away, at seven forty-five and was back home less than an hour later having done the work. That work led to more work for me to do later in the week, on Friday when the customer would be able to get some free time at home. E was still in bed when I arrived home and didn’t get downstairs until nine-thirty. She keeps strange hours, not usually getting to bed until one o’clock in the morning. As I write this it is now approaching ten o’clock and I have no plans for the rest of the day but that could change, it often does *. Not so for the rest of the week though, I have work scheduled for each day. It is always busy at this time of year. Maybe I’ll get tired enough to sleep through!
* PS. I did end up doing more work, two more jobs in fact.
I knew I ought to have done but somehow it wasn’t in me to do it! That old time-waster lethargy had taken control but it was all due to ‘tireditis’ that I found myself on Saturday not wanting to do anything. For someone who likes to work and put her hand to something constructive this is foreign to me but if I am tired I am tired and so it has to be that I take time off. I actually got the opportunity to have another extra lie in bed but was abruptly woken by my mobile phone ringing. It was my next-door neighbour but I refused to answer her call. She sometimes calls me whenever she has a problem of one sort or another and I usually lend a helping hand but I was still half asleep in bed! I put the phone beneath my pillow and waited for it to stop ringing. After what seemed an endless wait it stopped. I lay there in that dreamy state we get where we are in two minds as to whether we should jump out of bed or roll over for a spell longer, then the phone rang again! It was my next-door neighbour. Surprise, surprise but I was having none of it and let the phone ring on. This time it ended sooner and so I had to get out of bed. When I finally got downstairs at around ten-thirty I mentioned to E that our neighbour had called and had awoken me. She told me that she had been contacted by our neighbour too and that she had gone next door to lend a hand with our neighbour’s problem. Now our neighbour lives with her son who is I think about forty years of age, a policeman but who is not known for his practical skills and thus he had not been able to solve the problem. The problem? The top shelf in the dishwasher had jammed because it had slipped off its track. The rear retaining bracket had fallen off and all it needed was to be put back in place! Not exactly an emergency but E sorted it out in minutes. I missed breakfast and waited for lunch but ate a banana to tide me over. I asked E if she would like a coffee and we sat and chatted about things in general and about the bedroom refurbishment. We had the afternoon to ourselves and every opportunity to do some work in the bedroom but neither of us felt like doing so. A wasted day? Not really, we both needed the rest. There would be plenty of time to do what was necessary in the weeks ahead. Later I got in touch with the guy who will do the roof repairs so that we can get the ball rolling in that direction. Saturday was therefore a day of rest as was Sunday too.
I wonder how many of my English friends remember this old nursery rhyme?
“To bed! To bed!”
“Tarry awhile,” says Slow;
“Put on the pan,”
Says Greedy Nan*;
“We’ll sup before we go.”
“To bed, to bed,” says Sleepy-Head;
“Let’s stay awhile,” says Slow;
“Put on the pot,” says Greedy-Sot*,
“We’ll sup before we go.”
*Sot means fool.
Sometimes I have days like these. Or perhaps I should say late evenings? After working during the day I am ready for bed but often I find myself reluctant to go. This trend seems to have started as I got older. I know if I go to bed early I usually wake up early too as normally I cannot sleep for more than a maximum of five hours, though sometimes I will return to sleep for an hour or so after. It all depends on how tired I really am. Most of the time I will simply get out of bed as soon as I wake. Many times I have eaten late into the evening when according to some it isn’t a good idea. I have never been troubled or had a restless night due to eating late but if on the other hand I drink before bedtime I know I will be up again soon after I fall asleep, I do that often enough as it is without taking too much liquid beforehand. As for not wanting to go to bed early I know I am tired yet it makes no difference. Many times I will watch television in bed because I want to see a favourite program but often I fall asleep whilst watching it! So why do I bother? I suppose I don’t really intend to fall asleep and don’t think I will. When I wake in the morning I sometimes still feel tired but as soon as I get out of bed I feel as fresh as a daisy, even after five hours. At the weekend or during the week if I know I don’t have to get up too early I often do anyway. So, I like sleep, I like dreams, I like being in bed after each day’s work but I don’t much like going through the process to get me there. I tarry awhile or better put, procrastinate.
I must point out that I don’t believe in zombies in the literal sense but sometimes I feel how a fictional being like a zombie might feel and that is usually when I have had little sleep. Such was the case on Sunday night. I must have arisen five times during the night and although it wasn’t specifically to visit the bathroom I did so anyway. I just couldn’t get more than an hour’s sleep before waking up and from what I remember I tossed and turned countless times. Now some might suggest that either I wasn’t tired, which wasn’t the case, or that I had things on my mind, which was probably the case. I was tired, very tired but it made no difference. I was caught up in my thoughts, events in my life, my home life, my job, my family, you name it and I was thinking about it. The more I tried the more I failed until finally at around 5.15 I made the move to get up. I had to be up and out quite early for the first and only job for the day. I was to arrive before 8 o’clock and fortunately I didn’t have to leave the house until five minutes before as the apartment I was to work in was only a mile away in the town centre. The job itself was straightforward though a little awkward in part but by the time I arrived I was feeling so tired I thought I’d never get it done. Once I started however my tiredness left me. One good thing about it though was that the lady insisted on paying me far more than I had asked. I was back home before 10 o’clock and sorting out some problems with my computer yet again! That now has been sorted, at least for the time being and everything seems to be working fine. Before I went to work I got out the hose in the rear garden and watered the plants as the forecast was dry and sunny weather ahead. Even though I had watered them the night before I felt it necessary to keep them well watered by doing it again. A day or two earlier I noticed some of the plants had begun to wilt due to the heat and a lack of water. During the warmer and dry days I tend to water the garden frequently, unfortunately it waters the weeds too! I need not have bothered watering them this time for whilst I was out at work it rained heavily for a short time. No matter, at least I knew the ground would stay moist longer. The afternoon was wall-to-wall sunshine and I was able to relax on the patio watching the weeds growing! The cuttings I took from a shrub a couple of days ago have met with partial success in that two of the three cuttings don’t appear to be showing any signs of dying off but the third one might not be as fortunate. It may be that they will all take or all die. I will just have to wait and see, that is if I can stay awake!
For many an hour I lay there
Alone in my bed at night,
And sleep did it’s best to avoid me
In spite of how hard that I tried.
My thoughts did their best to prevent me
From entering the Land of Nod,
And I lay there a tossing and turning
Like some poor demented old sod!
Then just as I slowly found slumber
As dawn was beginning to break,
My trusty alarm clock went ringing
And reluctantly I was awake.
I went through the day like a zombie
With bags packed and under my eyes,
By nightfall I felt really tired
Well, isn’t that just a surprise?
So I lay on my bed looking upward
To cracks in the ceiling and all,
And began now to contemplate whether
The plaster might break off and fall.
Again I find my mind is active
As I lay here alone on my bed,
I’ve returned to that old merry-go-round
When all that I want is some rest!
Copyright Shirley Anne 8 July 03
I am sure many of you will have experienced nights like that, tossing and turning and finding it difficult to sleep. Thankfully those nights don’t come my way so often. I was of the opinion that I could only sleep if I was tired enough and that nothing could prevent that but I have found it isn’t always the case. Sometimes I have been very tired yet I was still unable to drop off to sleep easily. Sometimes I am sure it was my thoughts that were keeping me awake, the more I tried to reason the less I was able to nod off. We may think we haven’t actually gotten off to sleep but often we have, though probably too late to have been enough, then we wake up still feeling tired. The problem I am faced with lately however is trying to stay awake! This is probably due to my work ethic and the fact that I am older. I like my sleep time and especially so if I am dreaming. I know I have been dreaming a lot lately too but I haven’t been able to remember any of them. When I do remember I add the dream to my ‘Dreams and visions’ page above. The dreams are brief in my recollections of them and I imagine them to have been longer when dreaming them. This is probably not true but it seems that way. No matter how tired I am when I get to sleep I find I am unable to stay asleep for much longer than four hours. I will usually attempt to get back to sleep but it is usually very shallow and by the time five and a half hours have passed I am wanting to get out of bed. Everybody is different of course but I wonder how many have sleep patterns like my own?
So what did happen on Monday evening, did I get to sleep? As I wrote in my previous post I hadn’t slept through Sunday to Monday morning. I had to take the day off from work of any kind because I was so tired but I finally did get a good night’s sleep and woke up refreshed on Tuesday. I had arranged for the delivery of building materials to arrive during the morning but expected they would arrive late. Fortunately I had set the alarm to wake me in case I overslept but in fact arose before it went off. I went downstairs just before nine o’clock and saw the delivery wagon pulling up outside. I went out and opened the garage door for the guy to drop it off inside. Ten minutes later I went back indoors for my breakfast. To my surprise E was sitting at the table having just finished her breakfast. I hadn’t noticed she was there. She wasn’t dressed as she never gets dressed before breakfast at home and I wondered how she might have coped with the delivery had I not been there. She was wearing a dressing gown however and knowing E I couldn’t see her going outside wearing only that! So I was taken by surprise by the early delivery but thankful that it came sooner rather than later as it meant I could concentrate on doing some work after breakfast which is what I did. I applied a thin layer of plaster over that which I had applied to the small area of ceiling in the bathroom a couple of days previously. I am not a plasterer of course but I will attempt small areas. A professional plasterer would have done the job in one short visit but it took me somewhat longer. I am pleased with the result even though there will be a little patching up here and there! At least most of the plaster actually stuck to the ceiling rather than ending up on the floor or me! I have done plastering jobs in the past and if I say so myself my techniques have improved vastly since the first attempt but like anything else – practice makes perfect. Being as it was a Tuesday I wanted to take E out for lunch but I first had to go and do a small electrical job some three miles away. I was back home 45 minutes later and changed my clothes before driving to our chosen venue.
I got up early from my bed on Monday morning………very early as I didn’t actually get to sleep throughout the night. I am having a bad spell of insomnia lately and it isn’t nice. It meant that when I got up at six o’clock I felt totally out of the game and walked about like a zombie. I did nothing on Sunday and had felt very refreshed after a great night’s sleep but come the evening I didn’t feel tired at all. I had plans to visit the local builders merchant to purchase plywood sheets for laying on the bathroom floor and sand and cement as I had used most of the previous purchase. When I returned home at ten o’clock I could hardly keep my eyes open but I resisted going to sleep. I wanted to continue with the bathroom but I was simply too tired and decided to take a day off. Fortunately I had no electrical work scheduled and was able to relax all day but I was very bored doing that. I spent a lot of time browsing the Internet, something I don’t usually do. The delivery of the materials was scheduled for Tuesday morning and knowing the supplier it would be late morning rather than early morning. At first they told me they couldn’t specify what part of the day they would deliver but I had to insist they at least specify which half of the day. I wasn’t prepared to wait in all day for them to make the delivery. As it happened the guy who delivered the materials a week or two ago was the same who took my order on Monday. Readers might remember that he was just going to drop the plasterboard sheets on the driveway in the rain with only E and I at home to get it under cover. After we asked that he put it in the garage a few metres away he relented and complied with our request. This time there will be four sheets of 8 x 4 (feet) x 12mm thick marine plywood, a bag of cement and two bags of sand. How he will manage moving the sheets by himself is anyone’s guess. Here in the UK we still insist on measuring wood in Imperial and Metric scales at the same time! The sheet sizes, length and width are measured in feet whilst the thickness is in millimetres. Conversely we purchase lengths of wood in metres whilst measuring their other dimensions in inches as in 3 metres by 2 x 4 inches for instance! Crazy or what? No doubt all measurements will be in metric one day. Did I get a good night’s sleep on Monday? Well I cannot answer that now at the time of writing as it is still as yet early evening on Monday.