I am pretty certain that most of you will have periods in your lives where nothing much is going on, I know I do. What do you do when that happens? Do you sit back and relax and do nothing? Do you find something to do? Do you play catch-up with those things you kept promising yourself you would get around to do but never had the time? What if none of those appeal to you? What if you struggle to find things to occupy yourself with? What do you do then when the box is empty? Life is exciting when the things that you like are happening all around you but when something comes along to upset the apple cart you get annoyed at having to deal with it. You wish it would go away and think to yourself why did this have to happen when things were going just fine? That however is the way it is, life doesn’t promise us anything. If we want something we should just go for it but always keep in mind that it may not all be plain sailing. Do you ever wonder why things go pear-shaped? Why do bad things happen in life? Wise people accept that they cannot always avoid untoward happenings. We can plan as much as we like but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will all go well, we have to expect the unexpected might happen. We must however not take that approach but always live in hope. Why is it hard sometimes, why do we have to suffer once in a while, and for some that once in a while is more often than not? The little things we take in our stride, sort them out and carry on as before. The bigger problems require more attention and after dealing with them we sometimes lose heart in what we were doing before and it loses its appeal. Life is great when it is going our way but when it isn’t it makes us sad. I often think about these things and take comfort in reading the pages of Ecclesiastes ( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+1&version=NIVUK ) in Scripture. In life we strive for peace and tranquility, love and harmony, ease and comfort but not always do we receive them do we? We must learn to accept the good with the bad, the busy and the not so busy times, the full days and the empty ones and simply be happy with them all.
Now that my latest project has ended I feel it is time for a break. I won’t be entirely inactive though. I will either be doing small tasks or planning the next project, the lawn project for instance. I think ahead, always have and then I set myself a schedule. The work is already finished in my head long before I actually start doing it. Yesterday for instance I purchased online a number of bamboo poles and 100 metres of bubble-wrap.
The poles were up to 8 feet in length (2.44 metres) and the bubble-wrap 1.5 metres wide. They will be used to protect some of the garden plants from severe wind and low temperatures. Last Winter we had a spell of really harsh weather which did damage to some plants, namely the Phoenix Canariensis (Canary Isle Palm). Three of them suffered badly even though I had shielded them for the wind managed to break through and even though they can withstand temperatures down to minus seven deg. Celsius. That however only means for very short periods! It was the now infamous ‘Beast from the east’ persistently blowing for days which caused the problem. The plants have now recovered though one has taken much time doing so and has some way to go yet before it is back to how it was before. Another though has recovered very well and even looks better than it did before! In preparation I have fitted a few eye-bolts in places to aid securing the protection I will be installing this year. I know it is early for the worst weather usually doesn’t arrive until January through to March and even then it doesn’t usually last for long. However it only takes a day or so to damage the more sensitive plants. There are always things to be doing in the gardens so having something to do is never a problem. There is one job I think I will end up doing which is to remove the round top edging that is fixed along the lawn edge nearest to the house or at least drop it to below the concrete path. The reason is due to the grass growing between the edging and the concrete which is difficult to remove. In the picture above you probably cannot see the edging stones for they are usually covered with the grass unless it has been cut. It is then that the grass can be seen growing where it shouldn’t. I may decide to put off that work for a while though, it all depends on how I bored I might get if I’ve nothing else to do.
Tiredness, weariness, fatigue, boredom, routine, lethargy, disinterest are among the things which affect me at some point and if it isn’t the one it’s the other. If something holds my interest I am happy enough but I find now that there is less I find interesting with each passing day. If I’ve a project to do I am happy but only if things go well and to plan. Even so, I get bored with projects too believe it or not and I have days where I simply cannot be bothered or I’ve had enough for a while. I get days where I just cannot make the effort to do anything. Monday (21) was such a day. I knew before I got out of bed that I didn’t want to be doing anything though there were things to be doing if I chose. I was tired and weary the moment I awoke and I wanted to go back to sleep but couldn’t. Once I wake up I find it extremely difficult to go back to sleep and after a short time I have to climb out from beneath the sheets. I was looking forward to a blank canvas with nothing to do or rather no intentions of doing anything. I enjoyed breakfast and watching tv whilst eating it. I switched on the computer to check my mail and switched it off again. I went into the garden to water the plants again which I find relaxing because I don’t need to do much but stand and direct the hose!
I went indoors to make a cup of coffee and returned outside to sit drinking it in the bright warm morning sunshine. My thoughts were all over the place and I couldn’t sit there long. I decided to get my guitar and sit on the bench in the front garden playing it for a while and then it was lunch time, early because I’d eaten an early breakfast but it was by then twelve-thirty. After lunch I sat on the sofa and had a cat nap. E had gone to rest on the patio and I went for a walk down to the beach. I sat on top of the dunes looking out to sea and along the beach. Very few people were there during what was after all a working day for most so those I saw were either elderly and obviously retired or women taking their dogs for a walk. As I sat my thoughts turned to the days when I often used to run through the dunes or sat there just contemplating life. I was doing just that on Monday afternoon too, contemplating life. I remembered times when I would call my friend or she would call me on my mobile phone as I sat on the dunes enjoying an afternoon free from work. She never calls me now though I have tried contacting her. She moved to the south coast a few years ago. After an hour or so I walked back home asking myself what is the point of it all? I often thing about the futility of life, that is the things we get involved with during our lives and ponder why it is we do them. We acquire wealth, a house, a family, a job, we take holidays and at the time enjoy it all. I reflect on King Solomon‘s struggle with the same issues and what conclusions he drew from it all. ‘Meaningless, everything is meaningless’ he said and all we can do is to fear (revere) God and enjoy our work and our lives as best we can. So what’s up with me I ask myself?
Traditionally E and I have never gone away from home whenever it is a national holiday such as the recent one we had two weeks ago. For many a year the weather has proven to be poor especially on the Spring bank holidays and many folk will take a break in a foreign country for that reason. This year the Spring bank holiday weather was exceptionally warm and sunny over the three-day period so staying at home was fine and there was no need to go chasing after the sun elsewhere. I took advantage of the fine weather to get a little gardening done, setting in five new shrubs, weeding and watering and such but it wasn’t all work as I spent some time relaxing too. One thing I didn’t do was to work indoors though it might have been a possibility had the safety mask been delivered for that was holding up finishing off the little project I had been doing over the previous weeks, the cellar storage room. I needed the mask in order to paint the floor because the floor paint gives off noxious fumes when it is wet. It would have taken less than an hour to complete and I could have done it and still have had plenty of time to relax. As I write this on May 7th I am still waiting on the delivery of the mask. Everything in the cellar room is therefore on hold until the floor is painted but I have not been bored. I am hoping that I will receive the mask tomorrow so I can write off that job. There is always work to do in the gardens of course and while the weather is fine I can get on with them. I have it in mind to carry out repairs to the driveway to the garage E uses and want to get that out-of-the-way too. It looks like I won’t be able to spruce up the gym floor just yet as I thought I might. We are still awaiting delivery of the exercise bike too so I will probably need to install another power outlet for that before I can even think about the floor. It is almost impossible therefore to get bored in this house as long as I wish to do any work.
Late on Monday afternoon saw me rooting around looking for something to do in connection with my gym project, that is lowering the floor where the Elliptical trainer will stand (see previous posts). I had done enough for the day but like everything I do it is seldom not enough and I end up seeing if there is anything minor I can do rather than let time slip by. I say minor because the harder work can only be done in stages. I was shaping a piece of timber and manufacturing two brackets which together will form a handrail near to the entrance of the room. Whilst working on one of the brackets I had a small accident which ended up with my little finger on my left hand being cut.I hasten to add the picture isn’t of my own fingers. Everything had to come to a halt so I could attend to the now bleeding finger. I made a temporary covering to stem the bleeding but it really needed a proper bandage to be fitted. I waited for E to return from her shopping spree with her mom as I knew she wouldn’t be long in returning home. In the meantime I was stopped in my tracks from all work and I sat with my computer for an hour drinking a coffee. E soon returned home and set about applying a proper finger bandage after I had cleaned up my finger. I suggested she fit a couple of thin wooden strips on my finger to act as a splint to prevent my finger from bending. That way the wound would heal faster. I went to bed with my finger bandaged thinking all would be alright but when I awoke at six o’clock the splint had fallen off and the bandage was soaked in blood, though it wasn’t at that time still bleeding. Strangely there was no blood on the bed linen though some had found its way onto one of my legs! I cleaned it up and applied a simple band-aid on my finger which stayed there throughout the day on Tuesday and my finger had pretty much healed by evening. I was therefore unable to do any more work on my project in case the wound re-opened. I had the day off. Later in the afternoon I had to drive E to the hospital for a scheduled MRI scan appointment. She has been complaining of an ailment in one of her feet. That basically described my day and I looked forward to Wednesday when I could resume occupying myself on my project.
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
If there is one thing in this world which I hate most of all it is waiting, waiting for others to keep appointments, waiting for others to take action on promises and waiting around for anything else not under my control. It is Tuesday, the day after a long weekend break. The weather is changeable but at least it is a lot fresher than it has been and I am waiting around with nothing to do. Life at the moment is boring for me as I have nothing to do and no immediate plans to do anything. I woke up very late this morning at nine-twenty, very late for me. I had gone to bed at midnight and pretty much dropped off to sleep straight away which meant I would normally wake up around five o’clock. Well I did wake at that time for a visit to the toilet but returned to bed and dropped off to sleep again. I had done nothing to warrant the need for so much sleep which I think is strange. It often happens that way though. I missed breakfast but did eat some blueberries and I had a drink of cranberry juice, in fact two glasses of it and for a special reason. I normally have at least one glass filled with fruit juice at breakfast time. On Monday I had developed a vaginal infection which I began to treat immediately and took to drinking plenty of cranberry juice as part of that treatment. Cranberry juice seems to have the ability to discourage bacterial bladder infections and is recommended as a natural solution. By late afternoon today most of the symptoms had disappeared. That was just as well for I had decided to take a walk to the beach through the sand dunes and didn’t want to feel uncomfortable and be unable to do anything about it. The weather was just right for walking about as it was relatively cool with a slight breeze. I took nothing with me except my house keys and a small purse containing loose change. I was glad I did that for on my way back home I was feeling thirsty and a little tired and stopped at the pub for a drink. Few people were there as it was by then late in the afternoon and many would have eaten and left earlier but there were a couple of folk I knew and was able to chat with. I didn’t stay long though and was soon back home ready to do well…..nothing!
I was watching the day’s news on television today (Wednesday) and smiled when I heard about an elderly widower who has been advertising for a job vacancy. He is just about 90 years old, his wife died two years ago and he says the boredom of not doing anything each day is driving him crazy. I know many his age who find it difficult to get up from the couch being as they are self-confessed couch potatoes! I admired his pluck and his obvious energy, even at his age, no, especially at his age. The newsreader went on to say that a local restaurant owner has invited the man along for an interview with the prospect of work to follow we assume if he is successful at the interview. I wish him success too. Not everyone wants to stop working as they get older it seems so I am in good company. I find it difficult to sit around doing nothing for any length of time but I don’t wish to spend my time doing useless things either. I like to be productive which means creating improvements in anything I do. It is good to spend time out of course but not for too long or too often. I know people who just flit away the hours going from place to place but actually getting nowhere, their time is spent looking at things or sitting in pubs and restaurants every day which would bore me to tears. Each to their own of course but I want to leave a lasting legacy that hopefully others will be able to enjoy when I’m gone. This is one of the reasons I like working for others or working at home on the house or especially in the gardens. I was looking out of the window in the wet room which overlooks the side of the house where I had been working during the summer, the ‘Plot’. I look at my achievements both there and elsewhere in the garden and am satisfied that what I have done is lasting. Whenever I look out of the windows at home my thoughts centre on what other improvements I can make. I am limited at this time of year as to what I am able to do simply because of the weather but I like making plans, in my head at least, for any future projects I’ve a mind to do. If I reach 90 I hope I will still have that same attitude and not resign myself or consign myself to a life of idleness.
It was late Friday afternoon and I was bored stiff. I had been gainfully employed for a time on Thursday after having had a break but now I had nothing specific to do, no electrical work and no work at home. It was too soon to be bored but it doesn’t take much time for me to get bored. I didn’t mind so much during the morning but by lunch time I began to get bored. It was a windy and wet day but the sun kept popping out to brighten things up. I decided to go for a short walk to ease the boredom and to get some exercise at the same time. I’d only gone a few hundred yards and it began to rain. It didn’t last and it seemed a waste of time opening the umbrella but I did. It is one thing getting soaking wet when nearly back home but another when I’d only just left! Anyway the walk did me good and I tried not to notice the wind. One benefit I get from walking around my town is I get to look at other people’s gardens and see the variety of plants they have some of which we have too. I can see what our own will be like in a couple of years’ time. I could have spent a little time sweeping up the leaves in the rear garden but the wheelie bins were full and wouldn’t be emptied until Monday, it would be pointless to sweep them into bags when they could go straight into the emptied bins. There would be more to sweep up by Monday anyway. I toyed with the idea of driving to the garden centre to purchase plants for the flowerbed but decided against it until I had more spare cash in my purse, the £150 I had might probably not be enough to buy the amount of plants I wanted anyway. I had more work scheduled so I made the decision to wait a few more days. I cannot handle having nothing to do and the waiting I knew would be difficult but sometimes it has to be that way. The only thing working in the house apart from static equipment was our little robot cleaner we affectionately call Robbie, what else? E had gone out for the afternoon probably to her mom’s house then to do some shopping, I didn’t ask. I had returned home from my walk when she returned home, dashed into the kitchen and left again with a bag containing four new kitchen rolls. I thought perhaps she had spilled something in her car but she didn’t return as I would have expected had that been the case. She had driven off again! That was the only bit of ‘excitement’ I’d had all day. Such is life for me when there’s nothing for me to do.
I don’t often write about nothing. If there is nothing to write about I cannot write it can I? Well Sunday started off a little dull. It had been raining overnight but the clouds, though not emptying their load upon us, hung threateningly overhead until finally at around lunchtime they had to give way to the sun. from then on the day was bright, warm and sunny. When the weather is like this I like to be outdoors in it. It matters not that I have nothing to do, it is just where I want to be when the sun is out. However, I am not a person who can simply spend all my time soaking up the sun and in fact I don’t like lying about under the sun’s rays too long, that is sunbathing as some people do. When I think about people who spend a lot of time sunbathing it reminds me of having to repeatedly turn a piece of meat when cooking it so that it doesn’t burn! I suppose that is why sunbathers do the same thing. So I did go out onto the patio for a short time and yes, I did sit in the bright sunshine for a while but it didn’t last. My problem apart from the fact that I don’t want to get burned by the sun is that I am restless. I simply have to move about, even if it is somewhat aimless. Most of the time on Sunday was spent assessing the work I hopefully would be doing the next day in the Plot. I stand there mulling things over in my mind, planning this and that and making decisions about how I will tackle the work. If I wasn’t doing that I was walking about the garden picking out the odd weed. As I was sitting on the patio I noticed the plants on my neighbours side of the tall wall that separates us where moving and it wasn’t the wind for there was very little of that. Then I heard gasps and groans so I hopped onto the patio wall and was able to peer over to see what was afoot. I saw my neighbour struggling to cut the tops off the tall plants growing there. My neighbour has health problems and has difficulty breathing if she exerts herself too much. I called to her and asked if I could do the work for her. It would only take me a couple of minutes to do the work. She thanked me and allowed me to do it for her. At the same time I applied some weed killer to some plants growing out of the cracks in the wall a short distance away. She asked how I was getting along with my little project so I invited her to come and see. It had been a couple of weeks since she last came into the garden and she was impressed by the amount of work I had done in the interim. She didn’t stop long but spent a little time chatting with E before she returned home. So it was Sunday and my day of rest but with nothing to do except help a neighbour I was admittedly bored stiff! Something was missing and I waited impatiently for it to become Monday.