It’s just so tiring eating all day, especially in this heat!!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wednesday proved to be very different from the days surrounding it as the temperature rose to a level more suitable for a summer’s day. Alright it wasn’t quite officially summer but the seasons do not stick to a regimented date do they? It was warm and sunny especially in the afternoon but the day had started dull and overcast though it was still warm. I had nothing to do and didn’t really want to be working anyway. I pottered about in the garden during the morning digging out a few weeds and montbretia plants which are still popping up here and there. It is after all the growing season for montbretia and of course weeds seem to grow whatever time of year it is! Nothing really arduous though and afterwards I got out the hose and gave the garden a good watering. It had been raining in the previous days but at this time of year it is soon dry again. A little more time pottering about inside the house before E and I went to the pub for our belated lunch. It would have been pointless to have gone there earlier as it is always packed between noon and say two-thirty which was the time we arrived. As usual the staff were at their best and soon we were served. On our return home E told me she had to go out again to post a letter she had forgotten to take with us earlier. Usually she drives to the post box even though it is less than three hundred metres away and that only because of her condition. I offered to walk there and post it for her while she put her car in the garage. When I returned a few minutes later I stopped by our next-door neighbour’s house to chat for a minute. She had her decorator painting the outside walls of her house, something her husband used to do every five years until he died three and a half years ago. The poor guy had been working at the front of the house for quite a few hours and hadn’t stopped for lunch. As he said, who wants to resume work after eating a meal? He was right, I missed lunch very often when out working and for the same reason. She had provided drinks of course, something he couldn’t do without especially in the heat of the day and especially as the front of the house was in full sunshine during the day. It must have been very uncomfortable and tiring. I am sure I wouldn’t have liked to do it. I was thinking later that perhaps he should have started the work by painting the rear of the house first as it would have been shaded throughout the day. The sun almost never shines on the rear wall of her house. The following day, Thursday was forecast to be cooler with a slight breeze blowing, much better conditions for working in but as he told me earlier he hadn’t checked the weather forecast. What would he have done if it had begun to rain soon after he had started the work? It is always wise to check the forecast before doing any work outdoors methinks.
It was unusual for me to have had a dream on Sunday night, nothing to do with the day of course but for some time now I don’t recall having had a dream. Perhaps it was because I had written a post about dreams earlier in the day and had reminded myself about things. The very short dream I had involved an old friend or two, a bar, two strangers and a dark confined place in which it all took place. The barmaid was a friend who had moved out of the area a few years ago and has since stopped communicating. She never was a barmaid but worked as a safety officer for a large biscuit manufacturer so why she was serving drinks I have no idea. The other friend who has also moved away was socialising with me in the dream. We often socialised in the short time we knew each other, about six or seven years but she too has stopped communicating. In the dream she had put on some weight whereas she had been tall and slim. Behind us in the cramped space were two strangers who in the dream seemed not to be. The male was trying to attract my attention to his friend or partner’s face which appeared to have something wrong with it though I hadn’t noticed. On my right higher up and sitting on a bench were two more people who spoke with me but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. The rear of the bar was dark and empty, devoid of anything tangible. That was it, the end of the dream.
I had planned to walk into town early the following morning so I retired to bed early too but couldn’t drop off to sleep for some time. It had been very windy for a few days and was to continue that way for another day. I dislike the wind but was determined to take the walk anyway as the plan was to buy some toiletries. I wanted to walk all the way there and back simply for the exercise which is what I did. There was no hurry, I had no appointments and had nothing to do at home that I was in the mood to be doing so I took my time. I took the more sheltered route to keep out of the wind as much as possible by walking the back streets. I like walking there because I take in the scenery, the buildings (I like architecture) and also the private gardens along the way to admire the plants. Surprisingly I was only away from home for an hour and a half.
‘I’ve had to book my appointment two weeks in advance, so we’ll both sit here until I feel unwell.’
I was sitting in the lounge when the house phone rang but I didn’t answer it. If it was for work they would call my mobile phone. Well my mobile phone rang a minute later and it was the doctor’s surgery asking if I would like to receive a vaccination against shingles. At first I declined but then changed my mind and accepted the offer. It is free anyway. I would receive it late in the afternoon. I only accepted the offer because as a child I had contracted chickenpox and could therefore be at risk. The virus which causes chickenpox can lay dormant deep in the nervous system for years and if it re-emerges can cause shingles. The vaccine is offered to adults over the age of fifty……………I just squeezed in………Ahem…….(I was born in 1945)
Then I received a call for my electrical services despite my still not advertising! It was a small job I would do on Thursday.
It Was High Time to Escape (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We have had some very unusual weather for this time of year over the past couple of days (Tue-Wed) that you could be forgiven for thinking it was Autumn already. I had been kind of house-bound yesterday (Tuesday) because it was so bad, not just because of the very high winds but the rain that accompanied it too. Leaves have been blown off the trees and today I have been around the garden collecting them and putting them in the wheelie bin just as I have to do in Autumn. At least I have been able to escape the confines of the house, I even went out this morning to do an electrical job with the prospect of another in the near future. It was great to be able to get away from the house for a while. Believe it or not it has been sunny all day so far with hardly a cloud in the sky but unfortunately the wind is still high at around 20 mph. Yesterday it had been peaking at around 50 mph! Either speed isn’t really pleasant to be out in as far as I am concerned. I hate the wind once it passes about 10 mph. Our road was taken over in late January by builders’ vehicles and even right now as I write this the situation remains the same, every day we have a dozen or more vans are parked up and down the road. It is all due to the refurbishment of a property two doors away. I have to say in fairness that the house has been gutted completely and rebuilt from the inside though. A new roof, a new garage, new windows, outhouses in the rear refurbished too but that is only the decor and structural work, new kitchen and bathrooms, built-in bedroom furniture, new electrics and plumbing too all take time to complete. There will be carpets to lay too no doubt. The work started in Winter but the way things are going it could be Autumn before the new owners can settle in. At this moment not much has been done in the surrounding plot and if the weather doesn’t behave itself things might slow to a stop. There always seems to be work being done on one house or another around here. It would be great if we could all have the work done at the same time but then it would be impossible to drive up the street!
The Forth Road Bridge The unusual sight of the bridge devoid of all traffic because of severe weather conditions. When there is a strong wind blowing motorcycles and high sided vehicles are not permitted to cross, but today conditions were considered to be dangerous to all traffic and the bridge was closed for most of the day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been confined to staying in the house today, that is Tuesday 6th as I write this and all because of the weather. I did venture outside a few moments ago in order to lower and remove the flag because of the high gusty winds we are presently experiencing. Gusts of up to 50 mph make being outside a bit of a struggle to walk about in and as for the flag, well the top speed the wind reaches before we need to take it down is 35 mph as recommended by the supplier of both the pole and flag. It is unusual for it to be so windy at this time of year hereabouts but as we all know, the weather has changed a lot for each of us during the last few years. We cannot complain about the current weather conditions after the recent warm long spells we’ve had, that too unusual. Anyway as I am not presently doing any electrical work there is no real need to be going anywhere except for walks, appointments and social activities and I have little of those just now. My social life is limited to the occasional visit to the pub these days. Who wants to be out in the wind anyway? The weather doesn’t prevent me from going to the pub of course as if it is so bad I drive there. I don’t have to worry about drinking alcohol because I stopped drinking alcohol a few years ago. I prefer to walk to the pub though, except when the wind is high. I feel like a hermit, a recluse, hiding away from the world when I stay at home with nothing to do but be that as it may I often stay at home when the weather is good and I have things to do. Strange person I am. It’s a little like a catch twenty-two situation with me, whatever I do I am sometimes uncomfortable doing it! If I remain at home I feel I want to go out and if I go out I feel I want to be at home. how silly is that? Definitely a strange person. Maybe I ought to be confined?…….Just thinking. Junk mail, unsolicited phone calls make being at home annoying for me. at least when I am out I can leave the phone at home if I please. Perhaps I take things too seriously and should chill out a little but I sure don’t want to do that out and about in the wind!
Things, they just happen. On Thursday I was feeling a little fed-up with my lot, not that my lot is that bad but it could be better. Perhaps you will have read yesterday’s post and seen the different things that can happen in any one day. I wake up in the morning often wondering what new set of obstacles I will face during the day. Every day there is usually something that requires my attention and that is the subject of this post in a way. The weather though nice has become more of a burden to me because I don’t like it too hot and especially don’t like high humidity and I will wager many folk don’t like the humidity being high either. So the weather affects me more than I would like to admit and on Thursday things got to me. I felt worn-out and put upon, too many things to cope with and hot humid weather making it feel worse, or rather me feeling worse. I hadn’t done much electrical work in the previous couple of months so I decided to place a stop on my advert with a view to leave it that way for a couple of months. Maybe it was just the weather, maybe it was just that I felt I’d had enough of work, maybe too many things happen at once sometimes, maybe it was a combination of all those things but I somehow felt better after I had done it. However, a lady did call and asked if I could do a job for her elderly mother, simply replace a couple of light fittings. I decided to do it the following morning. So even when I stop working I end up working! Did I say simple? It turned out quite the opposite, conduit boxes in the ceiling packed with wiring, a concrete ceiling (an apartment block) and two awkward fittings by design. So the work took me longer than expected but I was paid more for my effort. Friday turned out warmer and more humid than the previous days but the apartment was cool inside. More watering of the garden was about all that I did in the afternoon, it was too humid and warm to do anything else.
Today as you read this and depending on the time the small lounge project will be almost complete. Today the furniture arrives, yesterday the carpet hopefully will have been laid and a couple of days earlier the curtains should have been fitted. I am writing this on Friday evening (5th) having had to spend the last two days for the most part at home attending to the needs of the guys who tiled over the hearth yesterday and today and the gas fitter who installed the new fire. Here is the finished result…..
A vast difference and improvement I think you’ll agree. I will post pictures of the whole room in a forthcoming post. I will say that the fire being rated at 4.5 Kw produces far and above the power needed to heat the room. I doubt it will ever be used at the highest settings though it will provide rapid heating of the room should it be necessary. I suppose gas fires in general don’t differ much in capacity so their level of use will be determined by the size of the rooms in which they are installed. I am well-pleased with the new look fireplace though. It was a little after two-thirty when I got the chance to get out of the house. I had to post the registration document to the manufacturer for guarantee purposes so I had to visit the Post Office for a stamp as I hadn’t any left. Another bright, warm and sunny day made the walk very pleasant and once I had posted the document I took a walk down toward the beach and my local pub. I’d had a snack at home so it was more for a soft drink and to meet anyone who might be there. A couple were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. It was a new friend whom I hadn’t seen for three months. She had been out walking for a few hours in town and was now tired. They remained long enough for a short chat then left for home. I went into the pub for my drink and saw a few people in there before returning home myself not long after. When I got home I spent some time on the patio before giving the garden plants another showering with the hose pipe. That’s the way it goes when it doesn’t rain for days on end.
Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I really felt terrible on Friday, weary, tired and a little fed-up with things but it was basically caused by fatigue, overwork, all work and no play if you prefer. I went to bed early on Friday and had some quality sleep. I woke up feeling completely different from the way I had done the previous day. I had determined that the weekend was going to be work-free and indeed on Saturday morning I couldn’t do any work anyway, in the garden that is, as it was raining. It was ceaseless and lasted the whole morning. Great if you are a duck and we often see ducks in our neighbour’s pond but none were about on Saturday. Around one-thirty the sun began to poke through the clouds and the weather improved minute by minute until around two-thirty when it could improve no more! The afternoon became bright and sunny in complete contrast to the morning. I wanted to get out into the garden and relax but it didn’t happen. I took the van to Dobbies and purchased ten more trees and shrubs, I say trees but three are actually tall shrubs I suppose rather than trees. Anyway I returned home and planted them out, one in the Plot area, two in the west wall bed and the remaining seven in various places in the long flowerbed. I was then able to sit on the patio for a short time until I saw another bluebell appearing in The Mound! I had to remove it……them and then I began to see others in different places which I set about removing. What annoyed me more than having again to dig them out was that one group were growing beneath a shrub I had planted in The Mound eighteen months ago. I had to gently remove the shrub to get at them. The sad part is that I know there will be more to remove yet. In one or two places I have not been able to remove the bulbs because they are so deep beneath tree roots. In those cases all I can do is pluck them back to prevent them growing above the soil. The grass needed cutting again but that would have to wait until at least Sunday as it was too wet to cut on Saturday and I’d had enough!
It was all about garden maintenance and the opportunity to get something done despite the bad weather. It rained practically all day on Thursday but it did ease back during the later part of the afternoon. I had no electrical work for the day, that was to come on Friday, so I was itching to get into the garden and do something. One of the things I wanted to do was to empty out the dead plant material in the pots in the large greenhouse. They were the remains of the bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers which E had been growing last year. That took around thirty minutes. Meanwhile the rain stopped for a time and I did other work outside, removing a couple of bluebells and weeds and then on to the little plot between the garage and the small greenhouse. There was a shrub there that needed some heavy pruning and a few weeds removing in the same plot too.
The shrub is the one on the left in the above picture taken last year. I had rescued the shrub in that it had been split and overgrown at the time and I had tied it to a support to allow it to recuperate. Well it had done that and now it needed more pruning. That done I could find little else to do but I went into the front garden where I had seen more bluebells a couple of days earlier. Because it had been raining and because they were in such a position as to be difficult to remove quickly I could do nothing about them.
As you can see they are trying to push between the edging stone and the concrete. It is unlikely they can be removed from the soil side as the edging stones are quite deep so it looks as though the edging will have to be removed to get them out. That will be a job to do later when we get drier weather. This is the bed where the edging stones are located (near to the white stone on the left). The tall rose-tree was pruned later in the year (last year) and is of similar height to the surrounding plants at the moment.
There is always something to do in the gardens and as long as the weather is reasonable I have a fair chance of getting it done!
I had been itching to carry on with my garden project of installing a stone edging to the long flowerbed, which I should really name a shrub and tree bed for there are no flowers in it but for a few days up to and including the weekend it had been raining too much. I did manage however to do about an hour on Saturday before rain stopped me. That was a good thing in a way for in that hour I had upset my leg muscles again. I only felt the pain later when I had finished. I did no work on the project for there was something more important, more bluebells to remove! I looked in places I had previously removed them and found quite a few were now showing but mostly they were in The Mound. The same old story, I find one then another and before I know it I see them everywhere! They are one pesky plant to eradicate to be sure. I dug out a few bulbs but in a couple of places I couldn’t find any bulbs, only the long stalks reaching deep underground. I have the feeling I am never going to be able to get them out because they are so far down and beneath tree roots it would be impossible so I may have to resign myself to just removing the stalks when they appear during the growing seasons. It is what we were doing before I decided to dig them out. It isn’t as bad as it seems though for they have become far fewer in number now having dug most of them out. I didn’t get to the flowerbed where I saw the others but they are easy to get at and when I get the time, probably early in the week ahead as I write this on Sunday, they will hopefully be removed as soon as possible. Until I see others! The main work is installing the stones and cementing them in place but because of the problems with my muscles brought about by the work I will be forced to slow things down. It is a kind of race but one that has to be run slowly. There is less of an urgency in getting the edging done than there is with removing bluebell bulbs. If I leave digging out the bulbs for too long it will be hard keeping on top of things. None of them however will be allowed to grow and produce flowers because that is when they produce seeds and then all the hard work done to date will have been in vain. It is therefore a race against time to get them out as soon as possible after spotting them while it is the growing season.
The UK has a peculiar weather system though it has to be said that the weather often varies for each country and in different parts of those countries. For a small land mass the weather can vary enormously from one end to the other. It is all to do with location of course and it could be much worse if it were not for the Gulf Stream sending warm water from The Caribbean. There were some hailstones on the roof beneath my bedroom window though there were none on the grass as in the picture above taken a couple of years ago around about the same time of year. That said the weather hasn’t been too bad considering it is still Winter even though, as far as the Meteorological Office is concerned, Winter ended on March 1st. Winter really ends at the Spring Equinox on March 21st. So one day may be warm and pleasant in these parts at this time of year then the next day it is bitterly cold as it was on Tuesday. I had to walk into an area close towards the town centre to carry out some business and when I set off from home it felt cold. I was suitably wrapped-up though and a little cold weather wasn’t enough to stop me from going for a walk. It was a wet day too with occasional light rain and I had to fold the umbrella a few times in between the showers. Nothing feels so silly as walking along with the umbrella up and it has stopped raining! I did feel the cold though as I had forgotten to take along a pair of gloves. I had to keep swapping the umbrella between hands putting one in my pocket to keep it warm. Ah, UK weather. In a few week’s time it will be warmer and all the cold weather will be forgotten. I had a day to myself and for the first time wasn’t digging out bluebells for a change, not that I could have spent much time in the garden between the rain showers. I knew there would be some popping up here and there eventually and I would have to deal with them so it was nice to get a break from that for a day at least. I received a few calls for my electrical services though I rejected all but one of them. That one I arranged to do on Friday. It is odd that I still get offers of work even when I don’t advertise as was the case this week.
I had been working again in the rear garden yesterday removing more bluebells but had run out of dry weather as well as running out of daylight and had to stop for the day. Most of what I was doing in the two hours between three and five o’clock was centred at the far end of the long flowerbed toward the ‘Mound’ and especially behind the trees. I had piled up everything I had dug out ready to put it in a bucket to dump it all. However the rain by then was heavy so I left everything and went indoors. According to the weather forecast a storm was heading in our direction to arrive on Thursday but that high winds and rain would precede it on Wednesday afternoon for my location. I lowered the flag we have in the front garden yesterday because the forecast of very high winds reaching perhaps 60 mph would rip it apart. I decided therefore to get up early and get out in the garden while there was time. Almost everywhere I had removed bluebells a few weeks ago I now found had more growing there! ‘Enough already’ I thought to myself as I got stuck in to the seemingly endless task ahead of me. My only consolation is in knowing I have removed many thousands of them, possibly and most probably around eight thousand by this point in time. So that will be eight thousand less plants producing seeds and making matters impossible. As it stands today, Wednesday as I write this, I still have the tail-end of the corner plot to finish though that should only take a couple of hours. Unfortunately, again according to the weather forecast, we can expect rain for many of the days ahead. The break, if I get one, will allow any other bluebells to grow and show themselves and I will be waiting with my little hand fork to escort them away! The two months I have spent thus far digging out montbretia and bluebells off and on is beginning to rip me apart too! Hopefully the major part of the project will be over soon but as I have mentioned in previous posts, it will be on-going maintenance for many months yet.
Update: Later in the afternoon I returned to the corner plot and finished filtering the soil as it hadn’t rained. That rain came later in the evening. So here is a picture taken from inside the greenhouse….
The plant in the pot is another shrub. It was an offshoot of a large bright green shrub further along the flowerbed far to the left. You can see it in the top picture dead centre. I had been working beneath that shrub earlier in the day removing more bluebells. The offshoot became detached in the process. It has of course its own root system. I put it into a pot until I decide to plant it later and after ensuring there are no more bluebells or montbretia plants in that place.
…and other excuses. Well I woke up a little later than I thought I would on Tuesday, at nine o’clock. I had been up several times during the night for toilet visits though I had slept well in between. I checked the time at five o’clock and woke up four hours later! The weather forecast had indicated a wet morning was probable and indeed it was wet when I arose but it wasn’t raining by then.
Cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
However we were supposed to expect intermittent rain at least for the morning. It didn’t happen but it was enough to deter any thoughts of working in the garden. Wednesday was forecast to be much better, drier and a little warmer too, so I resigned myself to take the day off on Tuesday and work in the garden on Wednesday instead. So I had a late breakfast of fruit and spent the morning at home doing pretty much nothing. As it was approaching two o’clock I drove to the pub and treated myself to a meal there but only the main course this time. I wasn’t hungry enough for anything more. The day remained dull but it stayed dry until late. we would be getting overnight rain with the promise of a fine day to follow, even sunny! This year I am promising myself to get out more, especially to the pub which I have neglected visiting these last twelve months. In fact last year I only went there three times in total. I need to keep in touch with people and not isolate myself so much. Whenever I stop going to the pub for any length of time I am missed according to those I know there. I have to correct that, I know I do. Bad weather may be an excuse for staying out of the garden but it isn’t an excuse to cease meeting with people so as Jimmy Buffett says…….
Take the Weather with You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Windy Day at Wispington Evidence of strong westerly winds on the bales and the sign to Hall Farm, Wispington! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had the pleasure of an extra hour or two in bed on Wednesday. Recently I had been sleeping in occasionally when I ought not to have done, upsetting my plans for the day to some extent and feeling guilty about it. Knowing I had no electrical work scheduled for the day I could, if I wished, occupy myself in the garden, and that was exactly my wish. There was no hurry, there never is now for me, my time is essentially my own, I can do what I like in it. My life has become a balance between my electrical work which I try to keep to a minimum and time for myself to do with as I please. Currently my wish is to finish off digging out bluebell bulbs. Wednesday was a nice day and sunny for the most part, an ideal day for digging in the garden as long as I stayed indoors! Yes, when I first looked out of my bedroom window I thought I would be able to carry on with the work but when I actually went outside my mind was changed in an instant. It was extremely windy, look what the wind did to the bales of hay in the picture. I knew it was going to be windy as I had taken down the flag the evening before for a day or two until the forecast high winds had passed but had thought those winds would only start to become strong later in the day. As it happened it did get more windy later but even in the morning those winds were already strong and they were getting stronger. No chance then of working outside unless I wanted to feel very uncomfortable and then suffer for it the next day. All my plans therefore were up in the air and at the mercy of the weather. If it isn’t windy around here it is often wet or cold, or all three together at this time of year so it can be difficult to do the things I wish to do outdoors. As I write this on Wednesday afternoon I cannot say with any certainty when I shall be able to get back into the garden. So far today I have done very little except for one or two minor repairs indoors. My electrical work might pick up now that the advert is running once more.
I think I worked pretty hard on Saturday in working in the garden and was glad for the rest on Sunday. Sunday was an ideal day for working outdoors too but it is a rest day for me. Wanting to resume work on Monday the forecast wasn’t promising in the least for it would be raining throughout the day. I am actually writing this on Monday morning and true to the forecast it is raining. We are told there might be a break for an hour or so around midday but I doubt I’ll be able to do much if I decide to make the attempt. What I might do is rake off as much top soil as I can so that there will be less of it to dig out to get to the bluebell bulbs I want removing. To give you an idea of how many there are here is a picture taken last year when they were in flower…
As you can see they are numerous. Fortunately about half of them are now removed. Those which remain as I write occupy the area approximately to the right of a projected line from the right-hand side of the path that runs from the bottom of the picture to the top. There might be a few to remove on the extreme right (in the corner plot) though E may have already done that last year. If not I will probably wait for them to appear above the soil to make it easier for myself. You will be able to see more clearly by clicking on the image to magnify. As I write this the forecast for tomorrow (Tuesday) is slightly better, though it will rain. Wednesday and Friday will supposedly be dry. By the end of the week we will be almost one-third of the way through winter but the next two months are usually the worst! I may find the time to get things done or I may not. I am at the mercy of the English weather. I will be available for electrical work once more from Wednesday onward so that may limit my spare time too.