It’s getting that way I shall be getting up before I’ve even gone to bed! Another early night on Wednesday and fast asleep just after nine o’clock. I awoke at three and paid a visit to see my porcelain friend but after returning to bed I couldn’t resume my slumber. I eventually arose ten minutes before four o’clock and was surprisingly rearing to go. I was downstairs and into the rear garden to water it before five. More on that in a minute or two. An hour later it was time for breakfast and then some computer time. To be honest I was a little bored after that because there was nothing to do. Come seven-thirty I was leaving the house to do the weekly shopping and arrived at the supermarket at my usual time just before eight. It is great doing the shopping early because there are fewer people in the store and moving around it is much easier. I find having to manoeuvre my trolley around other folks’ trolleys is a distraction and a pain when there are lots of them being pushed around. Anyway I wasn’t there long and was driving home after thirty minutes. On my way home I have the radio on and heard that our wonderful water supply authority has imposed a hose pipe ban because they say the reservoir levels are low. That means limited watering of the plants in the garden unless it rains in the meantime (I write this on 19th two days after it had rained all day long). I think it is disgraceful that they haven’t done something about this seasonal shortage by now after years of having to put up with it. The irony is that when we don’t need the extra water there is too much of it but when we do need it most there is a shortage! Build more reservoirs for goodness sake, it isn’t rocket science! Now I will have to resort to the watering can won’t I?
On my arrival back home and after unpacking and storing everything away I discovered I had forgotten two items though neither of them were important and can be purchased next time. It’s getting that way I can’t read my shopping list it seems but there was a very good reason for missing the items. When I walk through the store I normally use a set route but on this occasion I collected the canned food first which meant I ended up going down a couple of aisles in the opposite direction. Being so used to collecting items in a certain manner it confused me and I had to consult my list but even then I still missed one thing. Got to be my age eh?
Today I was going to prepare a chilli-con-carne, something different for a change and after half an hour it was complete.
I normally make this kind of dish well in advance and re-heat it later. Once the heat is removed after cooking the dish stands in the residing heat and cooks slowly for an hour or so more. It tastes far better as a result. Is your mouth watering?
It was the seventieth anniversary of my birthday last Saturday. I don’t much remember the first few though I can remember incidences in those far off days of yesteryear. Recent events and especially people I sometimes have immense difficulty in remembering though specific instances and the more memorable I do remember. It isn’t an age thing, I have been this way for as long as I can remember. Yes I do remember that! In fact I find that I can remember factual information more readily than many other things. I have noticed over the last few years in particular that I am getting progressively absent-minded. I accept that this is due to age for I never used to be this way. Simply put, I forget things more easily these days. Now we are all no doubt guilty of that to some extent and for the most part it is more of a nuisance than a liability, fortunately. Leaving home without an important document that is required for a meeting or leaving an umbrella on a train can be classed as a nuisance, an inconvenience but neither poses a real problem. It is when we forget to do something which in doing so might result in a calamity or a danger to ourselves or others. Thankfully I am not at that stage and hope I shall never be. As we get older though we do forget things. I have joked about this with people I have met during the day. I will tell them that sometimes I will go upstairs to collect something or do something but once there I sometimes have to think what it is I was intending to do! It appears I am not alone in this either, many of us do exactly the same thing. It doesn’t help when my mind is filled with other things, for instance whilst at work. As I am working my mind is often two, three or even four stages ahead of my current activity and I can therefore be prone to forgetting minor details. I have to be aware of that. Now recently we had repairs done under guarantee on some of our windows and the front door of the house. We had lived with the problems for quite a number of months but were in no hurry to have the repairs done as long as they got done at some point. The main two faults were on one of the upstairs windows in a room currently not in use as it needs refurbishing and the lock mechanism on the front door. As we were not using the room the faulty window wasn’t the main problem. The door lock was more important though having said that it was more of a nuisance than a problem. When the doors were installed we could leave the house, lift up the handle and the door would be locked. The door handles look something like those shown in the picture.
Unless we had the key we would not be able to get back indoors so it was essential that we took our keys with us if we went outside. Of course if we were leaving the house and going off somewhere we would also lock the door further using the key. The lock therefore is a two-stage device but even set at the first stage will prevent re-entry. We had gotten used to not having to do this by simply locking the door with the key whenever we left the house because whilst the lock was faulty simply lifting the handle wouldn’t lock the door. If therefore I was out in the front of the house say putting garbage in the bin I was in no danger of locking myself out by lifting the door handle. Since it has been repaired there is every chance of locking myself out unless I take the key with me. Now I do not carry all my keys around with me whilst at home but there is a single key we keep to hand that we can take outside with us and it is used to lock and unlock the door whilst we are inside the house. Now here is the funny part. On Thursday E had just gone out to do the weekly shopping with her mom and I was at home. I decided to put out the accumulated plastic and cardboard waste and duly took it to the wheelie bin lifting the door handle as I left the house. A force of habit. I had however not taken that key with me for I had forgotten that the door lock had been repaired. Fortunately I had my mobile phone attached to my belt as I usually do during the day and I was able to call E for help. It took some time to get through to her but after four or five attempts she answered and returned home ten minutes later. I wasn’t dressed to be outdoors in the cold but I was glad it wasn’t raining too. I could have sat in my neighbour’s house had that been the case. E tried her key in the lock but it wouldn’t fit, the single key was in the lock on the inside where I had left it when unlocking the door! Why oh why didn’t I take it with me? There was one other possibility, try the rear door which leads into the cellar but we usually leave its key in the lock so that it cannot be misplaced. As the door is solid with no panels the key is safe left in the lock. Would E’s key be able to unlock it from the outside? We had to open the garage door then two more internal doors to get to the rear garden and on to the rear house door. She put the key in and turned it, we were in! I thanked her and sheepishly went inside whilst she returned through the garage to her car and drove away. I must remember to take a key with me next time. Whenever I am leaving the house to go anywhere I have my handbag with me. My house keys are always in it. It is only whilst at home I don’t carry them around and it is only the front door which is waiting for me to make a mistake.
Are you a good listener? Does everything told to you remain in your memory? We all forget things we have heard, seen or spoken about, we are fallible in that respect. We usually remember those things which seem to be more important and detail is often overlooked. When somebody is speaking to us do we listen with intent? Are we concentrating on what the speaker is saying? As an example, I received a birthday card through the post on Saturday. It had been sent by a recent customer of mine or rather someone for whom I had previously worked and who had asked for my services again this past week. She had been very grateful for the work I had done and the reasonable price I had charged. Inside the card she had written ‘Have a nice day’ and had dated it 31st Oct. I tried to call her but wasn’t able to connect so I sent a text message to thank her for the card but that the date was wrong, indicating my real birthday date which is 21st Nov. I don’t remember having mentioned my birth date but I must have done at some point. If I mention anything about birthdays I usually mention that I don’t celebrate them. I never tell anyone who sends me a card that I immediately destroy them once I have read them, which is what I did with the card she had sent. I would never hurt anyone’s feelings by telling them that. I thought about why she had sent me a card and why she had forgotten my birth date. Some people forget things quite easily or get the information mixed up with other things in their thoughts. Some people just don’t listen in the first place. I have to admit to not listening as I ought to sometimes but it is usually because of the amount of things a person is telling me. I have a problem with short-term memory in that I cannot always remember recent things. My long-term memory on the other hand is very good. I have been told that I am a good listener when people have poured out their hearts to me, when they have needed someone who will listen and understand their need to do so. More often though I find that fewer people will really listen when I want to tell them things and it seems some who do forget the details.
E was going to be out all day in Manchester with a friend and she was up and almost ready to go when I went downstairs just a little after 8 o’clock. She asked why I was up so early and I didn’t know why she asked that question as I am almost always up early but she said she thought I might be having a lie-in as it was a Saturday. Well yes, sometimes I do have a lie-in but not often. I was keen to get breakfast and begin doing a little work in the bathroom. Our youngest son, CD, had spent the night here after getting in at about 01.30. He sometimes does this if he is visiting friends in town. That meant I would not be able to use the hammer lest I woke him up but in actual fact the job has reached that stage where no hammering is required, nevertheless I needed to be quiet going about my business upstairs. As I was eating breakfast E said goodbye and off she went. As it happened and for no apparent reason I later glanced at the garage door where she keeps her car and found it half-way open so I went outside to see what the problem was. Maybe E hadn’t made sure it was fully closed or had inadvertently stopped it in mid-operation without realising it. I pushed the manual button but the door was hesitant and in fact wasn’t moving smoothly, if at all. Drat! I had to put off working in the bathroom to investigate the problem. Out came my tools from inside my van in the other garage and off came one of the ladders on the roof and into the other garage I went. I discovered that a locking mechanism was not in place which meant the motor wasn’t being held fast. The motor needs to be stationary so that the door will unwind as the door is connected directly to the extended rotor shaft that runs through the stator of the motor. It looked a simple job to repair but it meant loosening the rotor shaft to enable me to reposition the locking mechanism. Unfortunately doing that released the tension on the system and it unwound! Now I am not a garage door repair specialist so I was unaware this would happen. I couldn’t rewind the system single-handed and I had to admit defeat on this occasion. I will always attempt a repair if it is electrical or electro-mechanical or even just mechanical as I have worked in these fields throughout my working life. Often I have saved a lot of money by doing things myself. This time though I had to call in the services of the guy who had installed both our garage doors. I had to leave a message on his phone as he was unavailable at the time. Then I discovered that my mobile phone couldn’t connect to the network! I later found out what the problem was when I had time to sit down and relax. It was simply the Sim-card requiring a quick clean. I packed everything away and returned indoors. I wanted to check the glass panels for the shower to see how they would fit. If my readers will remember, my eldest son SJ had moved it indoors a week ago after it had been stored in the garage since last November. We have only just reached the stage whereby we need to check how to fit it. According to our plans the shower tray would be surrounded by two solid walls (tiled) and two glass ones. I found on opening the package that it contained only one with another small panel to be fitted with it in an ‘L’ shape. The end panel hadn’t been supplied. I phoned the company and they checked their records at my request to see if we had in fact ordered the end panel. We hadn’t! How that happened is anyone’s guess. I asked if I could order the panel over the phone giving them my credit card details and they duly arranged for it to be included on the outstanding order we had with them for the delivery of the wall and floor tiles and towel/radiator unit that was scheduled the next day, Sunday. That cost me an extra £113. Unfortunately because of my request they had to defer delivery of all items until this coming Sunday. I got on with painting the ceiling and part of the wall immediately surrounding the large mirror with an undercoat of paint, later to be painted over in white. The reason for this is that we are fitting edging tiles around the mirror some of which are not opaque and we don’t want the bare surface of the wall to be seen through them, particularly as the wall isn’t exactly the one colour at the moment! Nothing seemed to go according to plan on Saturday and even after painting the ceiling again I am still not satisfied with the result. I somehow felt like King Midas in reverse (a Hollies song from years ago if you remember) whereby everything I touched didn’t turn to gold but just fell apart instead! What a ‘orrible day…………..LOL