In yesterday’s post I mentioned in passing that I would be doing some work on Monday, today, well one week ago really as I am at this point eight posts ahead. The thing is I didn’t do any of the suggested work but something else instead and that later in the day. I had gone to bed very early on Sunday evening, that is early for me and after a quick shower I was in bed at nine-twenty. I fell asleep almost immediately so I suppose I had been very tired though I don’t know why, I had been relaxing throughout the day. I did awaken a couple of times but only for a toilet visit and the second of those times I didn’t return to sleep. It was five o’clock. That gave me a golden opportunity to go for an early walk. The morning was balmy, warm, high humidity and almost no wind. I guess the temperature was about 14 or 15 deg C. At six o’clock as I left the house it was approaching twilight time, my favourite times of the day when it is betwixt night and day and can only be experienced fully in the temperate regions of the planet. In tropical regions there is hardly any time between night and day or darkness and light. Anyway I walked about five miles before returning home for breakfast. E was still in bed. After breakfast I had it in mind to start the work I had mentioned but simply couldn’t be bothered so I rested a while. Having eaten breakfast early I was beginning to feel a little hungry earlier than usual but delayed eating until after one o’clock. I suddenly thought of something I wanted to do in the garden but I needed to purchase a plant. There was a space I had pencilled-in for planting another fan palm.
If you remember I had recently split two that had been growing in the same pot and had put them in the garden, one in the front garden and one in the rear garden. At that time I had wished I had purchased another so after lunch I drove to Dobbies and purchased one for £17.99. That was after my member discount of £2. I placed it in the rear garden as planned. It is just above and to the right in the top picture and centre in the second picture. I knew I would have to do the electrical work on Tuesday instead.
Sunday let us know that summer was on the wane, on its last legs, struggling to stay warm and dry but nothing could be done about that. The day was damp and rain fell frequently, it was a day to stay indoors though had I wanted to go for a walk I would have. By coincidence I actually wanted to stay indoors to relax and this I did. Monday would soon be upon me and there was work to be done. Lately I have been involved in keeping active by undertaking various little projects at home, mostly in the garden. Monday however I had set aside for preparing for the new garage door installation which means installing a power outlet, a board on which the control unit will sit, re-positioning existing wiring and switches and to remove other items which I will reinstall sometime after the door is installed. To install a power point will require that I alter the existing circuit and supply it from the main distribution panel in order to isolate it from house circuits. It is at times like this I appreciate my electrical experience for it makes the work simple, straightforward and not least of all free. Well free from labour charges! I could say the same for all the other work I do around the house. There is a lot to say in favour of DIY. As the year gets colder I find that working outside is much more pleasant than it is during the warmer months. I suppose the cold encourages me to keep active anyway. Is it possible that I to do too much work? I can only say that if I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t be doing it! Could I move to an apartment where there would be almost nothing to do? I doubt it but not because I would have more time to indulge in personal pleasures, I would be bored stiff! My motto is more work and less play though not all work and no play! It works for me anyway.
What a cool Sunday morning I woke up to! There was a definite chill in the air perhaps just letting us know that September was only five days away. Autumn would soon be upon us. The day was overcast to begin with but as the morning wore on it became bright, warm and very sunny. It was nine o’clock and I had eaten breakfast an half-hour earlier but now I wanted a coffee and to sit outside on the patio with it. It must have only been thirteen degrees Celsius but as there was hardly any air movement it felt nice sitting there. Not long afterward the sun broke through and it became much warmer. I sat for a time watching the robin flitting around the garden which appears to be his home. We are pretty sure he lives in the bush with the bright green foliage standing left of the new washing line post because we see him entering and leaving it frequently.
I don’t know if you are aware but robins are territorial and will ward-off any other robins who infringe on their territory. That is probably why we don’t see other robins in the garden. I had enough of sitting down and decided to go behind the large holly tree which is on the left in the above picture, and remove the washing line from the old pole standing there. I returned to the patio and removed the line temporarily from the post there in order to use the extra length of line wrapped around it. See in this picture below taken last year.
Now I could attach the line to the new pole and re-attach it to the other. Having done that I hung out the clothing that E had washed in the machine late the previous evening but hadn’t time to hang it. She joined me later and we sat for an hour or so just chatting. It would be after lunch we returned outdoors when we did a little tidying up around the garden paths when E fetched a hoe and we spent some time weeding out this small plot.
We did however manage to spend more time on the patio later in the afternoon relaxing in the warm sunshine. So I nearly had a completely relaxing day, something I never seem to fully achieve most of the time. Monday morning would probably see me working in the garden at least for a few hours.
It was one of those days that didn’t know it was still Summer, only a little sunshine but also almost no wind or rain. The rain would fall later in the evening. I had overslept and didn’t get downstairs until eleven o’clock, however it was Sunday and I had nothing special to do except perhaps go for an early morning walk. Well that didn’t happen. Although I arose at nine and was ready to come downstairs for a belated breakfast at ten I decided instead to clean out the gutter and brush off some moss which gathers on the sloping roof beneath my bedroom windows..(upper-left in picture)
I have a long piece of wood adapted at the end to reach into the gutter from the windows to get at the moss which falls into it. The gutter is over a metre out and at least a half-metre below my window s so it isn’t easy to reach. In the past I used the 7 metre high tower to reach the gutter and the roof but even then it is at a stretch. The gutter is around 7 metres from the ground! The day was sunny at that time and E and I sat out on the patio before lunchtime for a while. We decided to put the new washing line pole into the tube I had set in concrete the day before and sealed it at the joint using silicone rubber.
When we get a new line we will use the new pole and abandon the old one (behind the holly on the left above). The afternoon went dull and overcast but remained fairly warm so E and I did a little pruning and tidying up before returning indoors for the day. In the meantime I took these pictures….
In the next month or so things will look entirely different as Autumn comes knocking. I will then be able to do some outdoor work, filling in the edges of the edging stones around the Mound and flowerbed. Why then? There will be no ants trying to bite me whilst I am doing it!
Friday, although turning brighter during the afternoon with much sunshine it remained in a state of threatening showery moments. It was to turn to full-on rain later, just as it had been first thing in the morning. I was up very early at five-thirty and not because I couldn’t sleep, no, I had a very good five solid hours and awoke amazingly refreshed. The window was ajar as I usually keep it through the night and I could feel the cool air through the gap. There are two windows in the room but one is seldom opened as enough fresh air can be had with just the one open. The wind was high and that remained the same throughout the day making it feel much cooler than the 21 deg C it was. It was far less than that at 13 deg C when I arose with the intention of going for a walk before breakfast. Wet, cool and windy required wrapping up well and I gave my new boots their first outing too since I had purchased them a couple of weeks earlier. I bought them to use during the colder and wetter months of the year but it was still Summer though it felt more like Autumn. I kept the walk short, only venturing out for three miles this time. I had walked twice that distance on Wednesday but I had to keep it short as I was expecting the delivery of the washing-line pole I had ordered the previous day. Soon after I had set off around seven o’clock I received a text message letting me know it was on its way. We have received articles as early as six-thirty in the morning in the past though I didn’t expect this one to arrive until early afternoon. I was back home in plenty of time for its arrival at noon. It had been just as well I was wearing suitable attire because of the driving wind a heavy rain which fell as I walked along the coastal road. A guy was running ahead of me and we were the only two braving the elements at that time. Passing motorists must have thought us mad but who cares? Fresh air and exercise won the day for us. Now all I need is another break in the weather so that I can install the pole, if not I’ll get wet walking instead.
I guess you could say that throughout my life I have been engaged in carrying out repairs and maintenance as well as installation work. I am a doer of things if you like, a person who doesn’t mind getting ‘stuck in’ if there is something that needs doing. I do get tired of it occasionally though and take a break but it isn’t long before I want to get back to the routine. I arose fairly late on Tuesday morning even though I had been awake for quite some time. There was no need to rush into the day, I had nothing planned. It was around eleven in the morning that saw E and I sitting in the garden with a drink of coffee just chatting about things. I had been browsing the Internet looking for a supplier of clothes-line posts because I want to abandon an existing pole in the garden and install a new one in a different location. Having said that I haven’t checked to see if it is possible to dig out the old one and just move it though I can foresee a lot of problems with that idea. The existing post we want to replace is behind the large variegated holly tree left of centre in the picture below. If my readers have keen eyesight they will be able to catch a glimpse of it through the foliage. Free eyesight tests too! However I thought there might be an outlet near home which supplies them so I suggested we take a drive to check it out. E mentioned again that we could call into a place where she thought they repaired televisions as it was along the same route. We called there first to check it out. The guy asked us about the problem we were having with the set and then suggested we bring it in so he could attempt a repair. If my readers will remember we had one of a pair of televisions bought some sixteen months ago which, though had hardly been used, suddenly stopped working. It is in the picture below. The original supplier fobbed us off saying it couldn’t be repaired even though they hadn’t inspected it. They did reimburse us with a token £79 but we were left with a practically new set that didn’t work. I returned to the guy about an hour later with the television and left it with him. Hopefully he can fix it, for a fee of course. Anyway we carried on to locate a supplier of posts but alas it was futile, nobody had the type of pole we were after. As I write this I am planning to order one over the Internet instead. The only problem with buying on-line is you don’t get to see the goods beforehand and I like to check things over before making a purchase. During the afternoon E took her mom out shopping whilst I relaxed out on the patio in the warm sunshine. It wasn’t long before I stopped lounging about and I mowed the lawn. I also spent a little time cleaning out the gutters on the greenhouses. One of them supplies a water butt through a small hose which needs to be kept free of debris. In the picture above you can just see the butt to the right of the smaller greenhouse. It is better to use water from the butt to water the plants in the greenhouse because it is rain water and free from additives.
Skills Like This (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been on the go for most of my life, always looking for something to do but it has to be something I like doing. My electrical career has been a fascinating experience, never a dull moment and often the work was varied, no two jobs the same. Not only that but I became conversant and experienced in many electrical disciplines as well as in other closely related fields. To put it simply it was enjoyable and held my interest, it still does though I have far less involvement now. This means I have to find other things to occupy my time and again they have to be something I like doing. Over the years I have developed skills in building work and other skills such as plumbing, joinery and so on. This has proven to be beneficial for most of the work around the house I can do myself and save vast amounts of cash in the process by not having to employ someone else. So it helps that I like working with my hands and it gives me great satisfaction whenever I complete a project or small task that needs doing. I have (so far) this summer been enjoying more time to myself and have found the freedom to do what I like when it pleases me very liberating. However I am always thing of things to do so that I never get bored and have recently decided on starting a couple of outdoor projects to that end. Once I get an idea it plays upon my mind until at last I get the ball rolling. I needed more sand and cement and also gate furniture for when I make the gate I have in mind to construct later. First though I have to build a column constructed of bricks, hence the reason for acquiring some. E’s nephew, a builder, has graciously allowed us to take whatever bricks we wanted from his stock. We took 45 and he asked if we wanted more as he wanted to get rid of them. We said we would accept 50 more and he delivered them on Monday morning last week. That was the motivation I needed to go and purchase the sand, cement and the rest. Now, as I write this, I have no excuses to prevent me beginning some of the work………..it just depends upon the weather. I would like to try to make the work last as long as I can but I have a feeling that will never happen!
As I write this on a dull Sunday afternoon the party is over and I for one could not be happier. What party you may well ask? The Open golf championship event here at Royal Birkdale. Don’t misunderstand me here, many people love the game of golf but I am just not one of them.
The picture above was taken through the window in a lounge at home at around five o’clock on the last day of the golf event. Up until then the day had been mostly sunny. On Saturday there had been much rain but the previous days had been fine and sunny. I am not sure how that affected the play though I have a feeling it made little difference. For the last few days the whole town of Southport but especially Birkdale had been geared up for the event with many local restrictions having been imposed upon us all. It is something we all have had to put up with whether we like the sport or not. I can live with that. I steered well clear of the course which is very close to where I live and spent my time away from the house in the opposite direction! However during the time I was at home we had to put up with a light aircraft circling above every two to three minutes for hours on end which really was annoying. When I say circling it was doing just that, flying in a circle around the course and our house was under the flight path. On Sunday morning I went for a walk and on my return I emptied out most of the things in my van. E and I were to go and collect some bricks from her nephew which were stored at a place less than a mile from home. He had graciously allowed us to take what we wanted which was around fifty bricks. They had been dumped with other rubbish and needed to be separated but it didn’t take long to do that and we were soon back home for lunch. I stored them behind one of the garages and under cover to keep them dry until I wanted to use them.
Later E received a text message from her nephew who was asking where we were and why we hadn’t called to collect the bricks! E had thought he meant for us to collect the ones we had but it appeared he meant those stored at his own house a few hundred metres away. Those bricks had already been sorted and separated whereas the ones we took we had to glean from a general pile of other material. Although the ones we took were not stored at his house they still belonged to him. The reason he has so many bricks is that he is a builder. He asked if we wanted more as he was trying to rid himself of some of them. We accepted his offer and he said he would drop them off later. Now I won’t have to worry about buying bricks for the projects I have in mind to do. The first one is to put a gate at the end of this passage where it meets the main part of the garden.
That is at the end of the side wall of the house on the right. Now I am not planning to begin that work during the summer though anything is possible with me.
Tuesday was another hot and humid day with wall to wall sunshine until seven in the evening when clouds began to appear. Evidently we were to have thunderstorms during Wednesday with some much-needed rain. I deliberately rose early knowing the day would be hot so that I could go for a long walk. I managed to leave the house at seven o’clock having forgone eating breakfast. I had a little water and nothing else. I carry water with me anyway should I get thirsty. Even at that early hour the warm sunshine could be felt. I arrived back home over two hours later but still not hungry. E had wanted to buy a couple of items of clothing, a lightweight summer top and matching loose-fitting pants and she suggested we go shopping for them whilst reminding me that I had wanted some walking boots and a waterproof coat. She obviously wanted me to purchase her items too but I was always going to do that anyway as she has little in the way of spare funds. By the time she had gotten ready it was eleven o’clock when we drove off to town. Just prior to leaving I received a call to do a small electrical job at an apartment close to home. I told the caller I would do it but it would have to be later in the afternoon as I was about to go shopping. I seldom go shopping with E because she is hard to please and my suggestions are not always appreciated. It takes a very long time to get around the shops because of her disability which over the previous two days had been aggravated by her left foot becoming swollen too. That put her on crutches until it would heal. Normally she has to use a walking stick to get around but this added problem had slowed her down considerably. She insisted we visit the store to buy the boots and the coat and I purchased both in minutes…
I got them both at half-price for a total of £95. We moved on to the next store to purchase her items but unfortunately only one was available, the top. Although we searched and asked staff the pants were not in stock. She looked for a substitute but gave up on the idea of finding something she liked. In the meantime I found a lovely ankle-length summer dress which I purchased for £50…
E’s top cost £32. She’d had enough of shopping so wanted to go home but I suggested we go for a meal instead. We went to a pub/restaurant we have come to like just out-of-town and it was lovely. Finally we returned home where I tried on the dress to check the fit but E reminded me of the job I had promised to do so I had to quickly change back into my day-wear clothes. I drove to the apartment and soon had the work done before returning home again to join E on the patio. Most of the time on the patio I spent in the shade. I’d had enough of the sun for one day.
The last couple of days proved to be a complete change from the warm even hot days preceding and in fact have been quite cool. The cooling effect was due mainly to the high winds though the temperature had dropped dramatically too. Not ideal for relaxing in the garden or even working in the garden. I had been feeling drained with a lack of enthusiasm for any activity. I didn’t even take a walk because of the wind and the rain too, yes we finally got the rain we were hoping for. Anyway it was mainly the wind which kept me indoors. That was Friday and Saturday and it looked as if Sunday was going to follow suit. The day started dull and windy though any rain that fell was very slight indeed, so much so it was barely there. The forecast was promising as far as it promised to be sunny later in the day. It was only about 14 deg C throughout the morning with a little wind so I went out for a walk wearing a lightweight jacket, this one which I had purchased a couple of weeks ago
It looks like a raincoat but it isn’t designed for wet weather, it is more just a coat for use in the cool evenings of the warmer months of the year. It is very lightweight and comfortable to wear and it keeps the wind at bay if it isn’t too windy. I walked into the town centre and on the way saw an electrician acquaintance of mine working in an empty shop. Naturally I stopped for a chat with him before moving on. There is an open space named Princess Diana Gardens which is in front of the local civic buildings and theatre/arts centre and there was an army brass band playing there. Many folk were sitting on the benches listening and I found a seat and stayed listening too.
Believe it or not the band were standing in the circular area above the fountains you see in the picture. Of course the fountains were not switched on! Unfortunately I had missed much of the music but was still able to hear the last twenty minutes of the performance. The weekend had been dedicated to the armed forces with celebrations in Liverpool as well as Southport. Once the music was over I continued with my walk, returning home after two hours. After one o’clock the day brightened up but it wasn’t until three-thirty that E and I managed to squeeze in some relaxation on the patio in the now bright sunshine. It was still a little breezy though and the temperature hadn’t risen much.
Or in proper English ‘Something to do’. Since completing my last domestic project I have had an uneasy time trying to find things to do. Being in the garden helps a lot for there is plenty to do there throughout the year but I don’t want to be doing gardening all of the time. The good weather has allowed me to be outdoors for much of the time and I have taken many a short walk around and about where I live. When stuck at home I get restless and there is only so much television I can take. I don’t do much reading, in fact hardly any at all unless it is something factual. I never read fiction as it bores me to tears. I am therefore a person who likes to be actively doing something. A few months ago we had one of the LED floodlights at the rear of the house go faulty and I removed the one just around the corner from it to replace it. I extended the wiring from the removed light fitting connection box to a new position further along the wall on the same side then fitted a new but smaller LED unit there.
A smaller unit at the new position is all that is required to illuminate the area in front of it. None of that is directly relevant to this post save for the fact that I didn’t discard the faulty unit at the time as I wanted to see if anything could be salvaged from it. I didn’t get the time to do it but on Friday afternoon I decided to check it out. There are only three components in these units that can turn faulty, the LED lamp, the LED driver unit and the motion detector. Usually on standard floodlights using halogen lamps it is the motion detector which fails if it isn’t the lamp itself. I wanted to see if I could use the unit as a standby plug-in portable floodlight which meant disconnecting and removing the motion detector. After much messing about I had the unit rewired as a portable floodlight but it wouldn’t work. It turned out that the original fault was the LED driver unit and not the motion detector. The floodlight couldn’t be used either with or without the motion detector unless the driver was replaced. The floodlight was returned to the storeroom until and if I decide to purchase a driver unit. An exercise in futility if ever there was one. I may decide to forget the whole idea and go for a walk now that the rain has stopped falling…………LOL
Sheep in the shade. On the road from High Forest Farm to Clough Head. It was an extremely hot and humid day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is the same every year, I (we) moan about the dreary dull wet days of winter and when it gets hot and sunny I do the same, never satisfied. When it is cool (and dry if I’m outdoors) I can get on with the various jobs that need doing and special jobs I call my projects but once it gets too warm and humid I don’t feel much like doing anything. So it was on Saturday. I had slept in a little longer than usual but that was due to my not getting off to sleep sooner. I hadn’t done much on Friday so wasn’t as tired as I might have been. There wasn’t any reason for me to get up early anyway. By the time I arrived downstairs it was already bright, sunny and warm. I had a little something to eat and went out on to the patio to enjoy the sunshine. I had it in mind to do a little gardening but wasn’t in a hurry to start. In fact it wasn’t until mid-afternoon before I did anything. E went to her monthly meeting at one o’clock and I wanted to eat lunch before doing any work but it was too early to eat. I went back to the patio and lay down for an hour then had lunch. The work I wanted to do in the front garden was to pluck out weeds, plant a small holly bush in the mound, one that had been growing in a pot but needed putting in the ground and then to water the garden too. It was very hot in the front garden as there is no shade from the sun at all in the afternoon. Once I had finished there it was into the rear garden to water the plants there and again there was little or no shade there either! It’s all too much like hard work in the summer when all I want to do is relax. It isn’t that I don’t want to work but the heat and humidity make it so uncomfortable, for me anyway. E arrived back home around four-thirty and we both spent an hour on the patio, she to lie down, me to just sit this time and chat. She would be off again very early in the morning to spend the day at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in Birmingham to a food festival being held there. It is an annual event she and a couple of others attend. I would have to either go somewhere or sit it out at home trying to relax in the heat. Either way it would be uncomfortable for me. Roll on the cooler weather!
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!