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.
It was Tuesday morning (24 th) and I had planned to take a walk as soon as E had eaten breakfast. The thing was E didn’t get downstairs until ten-thirty! Yes in hindsight I could have taken the walk and been back before she got up but I had taken it upon myself to prepare her meals whilst she is struggling in getting around because of her back condition. I had thought because of what she had said the night before that she is usually up around nine o’clock that she would be. I prefer taking my walks before breakfast if I have other things to do in the day, like my projects for instance. I couldn’t make up my mind whether to eat breakfast and take the walk later or chance it and hope I would be back in time to prepare E’s breakfast. Finally I decided to eat breakfast and simply wait for her to come downstairs. With nothing much to do while I waited I sat and looked at the (rear) garden, something I like to do quite often. I watch the birds and the squirrels if they are about and admire the variety of plants and flowers we have accumulated over the years. We have a number of plum trees growing in the Mound and at this time of year they are in blossom….I took the picture above on the day. The plum trees are clustered to the right of centre and almost dead-centre (of the picture) stands a wild cherry tree which is also in bloom. In the centre of the adjacent bed and about a metre out in front of the wall’s buttress stands another cherry tree but this one has edible fruit when in season. I looked at the apple trees which stand in front of the greenhouses and took this picture…They are only now (at time of writing of course) breaking out in leaf but I suppose by the time you are reading this (May 7) they will be in blossom too. Behind them the rhubarb is flourishing at the rear of the bed and finally the potatoes we planted a few weeks back have begun to sprout. One of the new shrubs we planted recently is in bloom too. It has white flowers and stands in the other bed beneath the small oak tree (just left of the tall holly at the end of the larger greenhouse). At last E came downstairs and I sat her down to her breakfast before putting on my coat and taking my walk. On my return it was time to prepare lunch for us both, though we ate different things. We sat and watched tv whilst eating lunch. Soon after I had eaten I put on my overalls and spent an hour or so painting in the cellar storage room. Though it seems to be taking forever I have been making good progress and I don’t think it will be too long before it is finished.
…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 was in bed by ten-thirty after which I remembered nothing until I awoke for a little trip along the landing at five in the morning. It was new year’s eve but not that I’d noticed, I was too tired. On waking I should have done some exercising but my limbs were aching. Whilst I had been collecting stones from the beach the day before I noticed my posterior thigh muscles were beginning to ache. It had to be the elliptical cross trainer, well not the machine but my lack of experience on it! It isn’t as though I have been doing much on it but even the small amount of time I have spent was enough to cause my injury. Latterly I had been spending only a couple of minutes on the machine and even then with the supply switched off, in other words using it at its absolute and lowest settings. It is more the movement the legs go through rather than the resistance level though I suspect. Until I can get used to it I will have to ensure my time on it is kept to a minimum. Anyway the long and short of it was that I decided to once again take a short break from my regime. My day, new year’s day was therefore spent relaxing and doing nothing for once, oh sorry, except for taking out the trash! I don’t make resolutions for the year as you may remember which means I am not setting myself goals which I probably would find difficult to maintain anyway. If I do set myself a goal it can be anytime throughout the year and it usually involves a project of one sort or another. Those things I do keep. See last year’s posts! I do have one or two things I would like to do but whether they will come to fruition remains to be seen. In the meantime one of my aims is to get used to that damned cross trainer!
As long as it didn’t rain on Saturday (23) I intended to spend some more time in the garden again. It would be the last day in the year for doing any work for me but alas it didn’t happen. I had gotten up early and went for a long walk down the coastal road to Ainsdale. I chose that route as it was still dark at the time I went, 7.30. I wanted to take the route through the sand dunes but that could have proved very difficult in the dark. However, by the time I decided to return home it was light so I walked back through the dunes. When on the beach the sky was clear toward the south but northward it was dark and heavy. To the south I could see the mountains of North Wales, easily seen when the skies are clear. The oil rig westward out to sea was still fully lit against the dark sky. This time the tide had receded before I arrived but it had left an enormous amount of seaweed behind! I walked northward again along the beach to the point in the dunes where I would turn into them and off the beach. I was back home before 10.00 and had breakfast whilst E was busy doing something associated with her crafting hobby. As I mentioned I wanted to do a little gardening but events got in the way during the rest of the morning. After lunch I just didn’t feel like doing anything. It has been quite a busy twelve months with all the projects that I have been involved with both inside and outside the house. It helped not having to do electrical work for others, at least for the last nine months anyway. My time became my own and I could concentrate on my little domestic projects, and there were many! Just the way I like it, better for my health and well-being to have things to do to wile away the time. When I look back on the year I am amazed just how much was done, all of them written about in my posts, and there was still plenty of time to relax too. Saturday afternoon being one of them. There was always Sunday for a potter around the garden!
At this time of year I was always busy working but this year all that has changed. Since my retirement back in April I have not done any electrical work to speak of, just a couple of very minor jobs and some of them were at home anyway. From around September until the week preceding Christmas I was kept busy doing electrical work with little time for myself. I was used to the pressure but then again I worked better under pressure, still do. However over the last few weeks I have had very little work to do, certainly no contract work and what I have been doing at home wasn’t that taxing. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am glad the pressure has been lifted from my shoulders and that now I can please myself what I do and when I do it. It is simply that it feels a little strange having all this freedom. I have been occupying myself outside of any domestic jobs I do by taking walks and exercising more on what equipment we have accumulated over the last few years. I am currently getting to grips with the new elliptical trainer we purchased a week or so back. Having not used one before it certainly felt strange when making the first attempt! I am more used to the treadmill, that is my muscles are more used to it.
With the elliptical trainer however those muscles are exercised in a different way and other muscles not exercised much when running or even walking have to adjust too. I wake up in the mornings with a kind of joy in my heart knowing I haven’t any reason to rush into the day so in a way that too feels strange, though I am getting used to it. To be honest I rarely lie in bed for long once I am awake and half the time I have something in mind I want to do anyway. I never thought of it before but having one’s remaining years free to one’s self is often not appreciated until the time it arrives. I’ll try to make the most of them.
So many times lately have I arisen late and missed breakfast. Most unusual for me because I have been so used to getting up early over the years to go to work. Even when I wasn’t working the routine was pretty much the same because it became ingrained. Now that I am not actively seeking electrical work, though I have done a couple of jobs over the last two months, I am finding I am beginning to be relaxed about it all. Another thing I am noticing is that I am often losing track of which day of the week it is as there is no real need to know. Now that tells me I am no longer tied to the calendar or clock and it is very liberating. Many years ago I stopped wearing a watch. There were two main reasons for doing that, one was that I couldn’t get a watch I was wearing to remain working for any length of time except for the last one I wore. That watch was an electronic one and proved very reliable and accurate. The second reason for deciding not to wear a watch was that I no longer wanted it to control my life as far as it had been keeping my schedule regimented. I could decide to eat when it suited me rather than because it was a certain time of day. I didn’t need an alarm to wake me either as I did that naturally. Appointments were kept by checking the timepieces around me or asking others. Gradually I became less reliant on the clock though would need to refer to it occasionally. When the mobile phone came along I could check the time that way if I needed to. That has been the situation now for many years. It is nice not to be tied down rigidly to the time of day but I do realise it cannot be completely ignored, it just isn’t practical in today’s world. Getting up late isn’t a problem most of the time now for me, if I miss breakfast so what? I eat when I feel hungry which is the way it is meant to be I suppose. Time of day for me seems a little irrelevant now. I can sit back and watch the world at work following the clock as it needs to do. It is something I notice very clearly whenever I go for a walk. It is a nice feeling to know that I am now not so much a part of it all.
So there I was sitting in the garden on a more chilly an afternoon than we’d had for quite some time, though a little later it all changed once more and I began to reminisce. It was Sunday, a day for resting and I know I should have been taking a walk somewhere but somehow that was very far from my mind. I was in introvert mode, didn’t want to see anyone, speak to anyone or even leave the security of my home surroundings. I was moody and full of self-pity, Sound familiar to anyone? I love people but sometimes cannot bear to be with any of them. I had taken my cup of coffee out onto the patio to sit and reflect on things. As is normal in these situations my mind wanders all over the place, dipping into and out of the past and my experiences in it. Does it not seem strange that we can only look into the past? The present doesn’t really exist for as we think about the moment it has already moved into the past. The future is a place we have yet to visit so we know nothing of it as a personal experience. Our future we hope about. Anyway I got to thinking about my childhood experiences and my parents, specifically my mother, imagining what it must have been like for her when she was younger. as children we seldom think about the childhood our parents had and especially their experiences. It is only as we grow do we begin to consider those things, the struggles they faced in their own time and after we were born. I sometimes have to shake myself from such thoughts and just remember the good times. There were far more good times than bad ones. Then this song came into my thoughts and I couldn’t stop thinking about my mom. My mom died in 1997 and I remember her liking the song too….
Well she often reminded me of the songs that were about when she was younger, the golden oldies. Songs may represent the era in which they were written but essentially they reflect life and the same old problems that each generation has. I hope you like it anyway.
I’ve been quite busy on the electrical front, all small jobs but very profitable nevertheless. I prefer the type of work I am doing for a couple of reasons, not least of all my age! What I like is the freedom and flexibility the smaller jobs allow me to have whereas when I worked full-time I never got a minute to myself unless I turned down work. Not a good idea if it is your main income. However, since I had an income from a private pension when I started self-employment twenty years ago that was less of a problem. Since I began receiving my State Pension eleven years ago there isn’t a problem at all when it comes to taking time off. That however isn’t me, if the work is small, and that’s all I will do these days, I am more inclined to do it. Having said that the pressure of offers sometimes is relentless. I even get called when I am not advertising! Much of my time so far this year has been spent in the gardens and no doubt that will increase as the weather warms up. It was another lovely sunny day on Thursday but still cold in the westerly wind. I went to do a job in a house on the other side of town at nine o’clock and had it finished just an hour later. As has often been the case recently I again noticed a few bluebells in the front flowerbeds on my return home. (Picture taken last year)Most were simply small and close to the surface but a couple were rooted deep beneath the soil. I wondered how I had failed to see them on my previous visits but they do grow quickly and short of removing all the plants and turning over the whole flowerbed soil I am bound to miss a few. Needless to say I put on my overalls and dug them out before digging a few more out of the flowerbed by the small greenhouse in the rear garden. (Picture also from last year) I thought I might have been able to sit out on the patio for a time but the wind was too strong and by early afternoon the clouds rolled in to blot out the sunshine. It wasn’t to be, not yet.