Quiet and relaxed?

It was Saturday, the first of two warm and sunny days we were promised in the forecast and the first of two days to relax in. I woke up early and was soon having a shower and getting dressed to go downstairs for breakfast. I finished breakfast before nine o’clock and sat at my computer for half and hour as well as collating some information for my tax-return. A little bit at a time is the method I adopt when preparing my tax-return, it is easier that way for me because I don’t like sitting down for long periods as I probably would do if I did it all at once. In any case it only takes a few hours to get it prepared. I made myself a cup of coffee and went outside to sit on the bench in front of the patio…this one…

It faces east so gets full sunshine for a few hours each day. I could have sat on the patio but the artificial turf was wet with dew, as was the lawn too. Both dry pretty quickly once the sun gets high in the sky. Once I’d finished the coffee I became restless and couldn’t remain seated for long after. I took a stroll around the Mound (over on the right in the picture above). A single shoot caught my eye, it was another bluebell. Thinking it was near to the surface I tried to pull it out but no, it went deeper. Off I went for the kneeling stool and hand fork and I began to dig it out. Did I say single shoot? Never true most of the time with bluebells, there were several of them. I must have covered every cubic centimetre of the Mound by now but still they appear. Anyway that took a half-hour and I looked for something else to do. During my gardening renovations I have removed lots of small stones and some not so small, some natural stone and some man-made, bricks and the like. I had three large containers filled with them. This picture taken a few weeks earlier shows two of them nearly full.

I decided I would empty them out and separate the natural stone from the rubble. Some of the natural stone I placed around the base of the yucca plant shown in this picture at centre against the wall. It is immediately to the left of the buttress in case you can’t see it.

Now it was lunch time so I returned indoors. After lunch I returned to the patio and laid down on the now dry turf for an hour. I couldn’t stay there any longer but arose and went for a long walk in the sunshine. On my return home I spoke with my next door neighbour’s son for a time. They have a collie dog, a well-behaved animal that seldom barks, not like the two small dogs in a house nearby that sometimes bark incessantly for ages before someone finally stops them as happened when I went for a lie down on the patio earlier. My other next door neighbour also has a dog, a young setter that also seldom barks, or so I thought. I went into the house and made myself another coffee and sat out again on the patio. The setter started barking and did so for at least twenty minutes. I gave up and went indoors, actually to watch The Grand National annual steeplechase (horse race) on television. I have watched that race every year for as long as I can remember, well over sixty years. I returned outdoors to water the garden plants before finally going back inside for my evening meal. Peaceful, quiet and relaxing day? Well for most of the time.

Shirley Anne


Nothing doing

Well I had yet another day at home on Thursday but having arisen before six o’clock and ready for action there was nothing to do. I call it enforced rest and I probably need it now and then. I was half expecting the guy to call regarding the artificial turf to let me know if and when he could do it when at noon he arrived at the door. He had been getting information about the adhesive he would need. It is made in Germany by a specialist company and he discovered it could be supplied locally. However he had to inform me that it’s cost might be prohibitive and told me it would cost £200 which represents 40% of what the turf cost, almost £500. I assured him that I was happy to continue regardless of the cost otherwise what would be the point in not doing it? I have to admit I thought £200 was a lot to pay for an adhesive but it has to be the right one. When I purchased the turf I was told that silicon rubber would do the job but I know it wouldn’t be suitable in the long-term, besides which it could only be used to stick down the edges. The whole surface needs to be stuck down if it is to be done properly. I would still have to pay the guy laying it too! I don’t expect much change out of £800 at the end of the project but I do expect it to last for the twenty years it is suggested it will last for the amount of traffic it will have. It will therefore probably outlast me! Well did I pay £200 for the adhesive? I’ll tell you in the next post. Just think, the patio started off like this about five years ago………12

I will post another picture later when the turf has been laid.

There was nothing much doing for the rest of the day but I did get some time to myself out on the patio for a couple of hours before it went a little chilly.

Shirley Anne

Waiting again

By the time you read this hopefully the carpet in the bedroom will have been laid as it was scheduled to be done on Monday morning. Saturday arrived and E and I wanted to fix the two pictures and the curtain hardware we had bought on Friday afternoon but first we paid a visit to the flooring specialist where we bought the carpets for the two bedrooms we have been refurbishing over the last couple of months. They sell artificial turf and for some time now we have wanted it laying on the patio. We saw the type we wanted and were quoted something like £525  but when we asked if they could fit it they declined. They gave us some poor excuse about the turf requiring a garden design company to do it. When I explained that it was a simple matter of cutting it to shape as they do with a carpet and we would see about adhering it to the concrete screed it made no difference. We left the store and they lost the sale. We decided to go elsewhere and found a local garden centre who could supply the lawn instead. Although they could supply the turf they didn’t provide a service to lay it but we bought it anyway and for £480 saving ourselves a little money in the process. I mentioned to E that we could ask the carpet fitter who would be laying the carpet on Monday if he would be prepared to cut the turf to shape for us when it arrives sometime later in a few day’s time. Naturally we would pay him for doing it. As I write this on Saturday it is too early to know. If all else fails I will do it myself but I’d rather a professional did it. I may have to bond it to the concrete myself even so.

Embed from Getty Images

We drove home and had lunch and after lunch we fixed the pictures to the walls and the curtain hardware to the frame, finally hanging the curtains themselves and fitting the new door handle. The room was emptied of all the bits and pieces, paints and paraphernalia that accumulates when doing a job like refurbishing or redecorating a room. It would be Monday before anything else could be done in the room. Somehow I managed to find a little time to spend out in the garden whilst the sun still shone.

Shirley Anne


A schedule

English: Gentaur schedule
Gentaur schedule (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we are to get things done by a certain time we need to have a schedule, a plan of operation which hopefully will run smoothly. Often we have to depend upon others who may let us down for whatever reason and then our plans go awry. All we can do is reschedule or adjust our plan. We have been fortunate with our little domestic projects and things have generally gone to plan. Currently we are redecorating one of the bedrooms and we have no-one else involved who might upset our schedule except for the person delivering the carpet and the fitter who will lay it. Aside from that we are expecting the delivery of a replacement mattress for the bed which won’t interfere with the work. Our responsibility is in the decorating itself so if the schedule is upset we will only have ourselves to blame. With this in mind we have given ourselves plenty of time to get the work finished long before the carpet is delivered and laid. The door has been cut and re-hung and the wood work has had its undercoat as I write this on Wednesday so all that remains to be done is to paint the walls a couple of times and give the wood work  its top coat of gloss paint. We have twelve days to do that. I have to fit a new ceiling light and door handles too but they won’t take long to do. Today, Wednesday as I write, E and I went out and bought the carpet, that is paid for it in advance, bought a new mattress and a ceiling light. Whilst we were out we bought two small bedside lamps for the bedroom we had finished refurbishing recently.  We also bought vinyl silk emulsion in grey (slate) and white gloss paint. We have to paint the walls with a white emulsion undercoat before we can paint them grey but we have plenty of white emulsion in storage at home. Hopefully I can now give my purse a rest for a while but as I am still considering the purchase of some artificial grass for the patio so that may have to wait.

Shirley Anne