There’s no getting away from it, Autumn is upon us here in the UK. As the temperate areas of the Southern Hemisphere are welcoming Spring, we in the north are moving in the opposite direction. Leaves have been falling from the trees in greater quantities and for anyone living near that means the annual sweeping up of them! It’s either that else let the mess continue. Having a garden is a lovely thing and for those who wish to keep theirs tidy and well-maintained sweeping up the leaves is a must. The problem is the leaves don’t all fall at the same time. A couple of days ago I decided to sweep up as many of the leaves that had fallen as I could, mainly off the pathways because quite simply I got fed-up looking at the state of the garden. As the green waste bins were full after my trimming back the bushes in the front garden there was limited space for any swept-up leaves. I managed however to get them all in by compression. On Wednesday we were expecting another visit from the installers of our new garage door prior to it being installed the following week on Thursday. More accurate measurements were required and an assessment of the preparatory work we had done for the installation was needed. It was just as well I was at home for they had misunderstood my original request to maintain head-clearance and the reason for my having the roof at that point raised to accommodate the unit. They didn’t stop long and after five minutes or so were on their way. They weren’t sure if it would be themselves or the other local crew who would return to carry out the installation. E had been working in her studio during the morning but after lunch she joined with me and we cleared-up the fallen leaves once more but this time we included the lawn. Fortunately we have one of those devices , a rotatory sweeper which sweeps up the leaves into a hopper by simply pushing it along the ground. We had the work done in less than fifteen minutes but then had to put the leaves into one of the builder’s bags we keep in the garage. The green waste bins wouldn’t be emptied until two weeks later so storing the leaves temporarily in the bags was the only option and there would be more leaves to sweep up long before then. Autumn in the garden is never dull, there is always something to do, in fact I have some plans afoot already.
A week or so back I wrote about having a replacement garage door installed. I had been having problems with the old door that fairly recently was converted to electrical operation though it wasn’t the electrical conversion but rather the inherent mechanical components beginning to show their age. The picture below shows almost the exact door as the one we are having replaced….
Photograph of a chain-drive garage door opener. This residential unit is manufactured by The Chamberlain Group, Inc. under the LiftMaster brand name. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For a few years I have wanted to replace the door with a roller-shutter type so I contacted a company which manufactures and installs them to call and give me a quote. Having agreed on the price I told them to proceed with the work. I was informed that it may be a month or so before it could be done. In the interim I arranged for the garage roof to be raised where the new roller was to be fitted and that work was carried out during the following week. Since then it has been a case of waiting for things to happen, that is up to the time of writing this on Thursday (21) for on Wednesday I received a call informing me that after a second survey on Wednesday 27 to check the preliminary alterations have been completed the installation will take place on Thursday October 5. The work will be completed in one day. I never did like the old door because there were too many things in its design that were prone to fault. Things move on though and hopefully there will be less problems associated with the new door. The other garage has a rolled steel shutter door which gives us little problem and there is no reason to replace it. Hopefully in my next post regarding the new installation I will be able to post a picture or two.
One thing I hate are ladders but only if they are in my stockings! The other variety though come in very handy don’t they? Years ago we purchased a two-section aluminium ladder, classed then as 27 feet (8.5 metres) and it has proved to be very useful because if required only one section need be used. We acquired another more robust aluminium two-section ladder that has a pulley attachment at the top, or rather that section which would be at the top when both sections are used. I say we acquired it because I have no idea from whence it came nor to whom it belonged. It may have been owned by E’s father, who lived in the house with us but who is now deceased. In any event no-one wants to claim it though we’ve asked them. I don’t really want it either but until I can find a way to dispose of it I am lumbered with it. I may end up taking it to the dump. Once I do that I can place one or two of my other ladders on the racks instead. One of those is presently stored on the rack which the grey coloured bicycle is hanging from (last picture) but it is out of sight in the picture.In the picture above you can see we have one section of it suspended near the ceiling in the garage on the right. There are empty builder’s material bags sitting on it at the moment. The heavier section I have hung on the wall on the opposite side of the garage together with our original ladder. We did not posses a rack on which to hang ladders so me being me decided I would make some. Now it has been a while since I worked much with metal insofar as bending and shaping it under heat like a blacksmith does. I have been trained in that discipline along with many other things so I am used to it but having all the equipment at home to carry out mechanical work is not what most women would regard as normal….LOL. I have a limited variety of tools and equipment but one of the most useful is a metal-working vice of a decent size on a workbench in the cellar. It has proved its worth over the years. I found some suitable mild steel metal bars in my stock of things and using a gas-torch to heat up the metal to straighten it and the shape it I made two brackets and fixed them to the garage wall…
You can see the ladders hanging on them. I also attached some sturdy chain to aid with supporting the ladders. Because the ladder we ‘acquired’ is quite heavy, one section being almost twice as heavy as the one we purchased, the brackets might bend under the strain without that extra support. The chains could be locked too should we require it. Sorry about the detail as I took the pictures as an afterthought but if you click on them they should magnify. That was my work for a couple of hours on Monday (11th). Speaking of stockings by the way, it is getting nearer that time of year when I resume wearing them….but without the ladders!
In contrast to yesterday’s post I said I would get on with the electrical work and I did. It was a slow start for me on Tuesday as I began the work at ten-thirty. There were several things I had to do before I could make any progress on diverting the supply to the existing power outlets in the garage. This garage we erected in 1989 about a year after we had moved in, maybe less, and the wiring for a light and a twin power outlet was taken from the basement house wiring. I rewired the house in 1988/9. Different electrical regulations were in force at that time so the wiring was compliant to those regulations. Since those days the garage supply, though still wired the same way, was brought under the protection of circuit breakers and RCD units by myself. Added to that I had installed two outdoor electrical supplies each fed from a dedicated RCD unit and circuit breakers. One was fitted in the boiler room and the other was installed in the other garage. The board provides the supply for that garage and for the other circuits at that end of the garden, the patio for instance. The unit in the boiler room supplies a couple of power outlets and some lights at the opposite end of the garden behind the first garage. For a time I connected the power outlets in the first garage (the one in which my van is parked and the subject of this post) to the same RCD unit. Today, Tuesday as I write this, I have removed the supply to the outlets and re-supplied them from one of the house distribution boards instead as there was a spare circuit breaker I could dedicate for them. Ideally I could have installed a small RCD board we call here a ‘garage unit’ in the garage itself but because there is the same protection wiring it the way I have I chose not to use one. It would be an unnecessary expenditure. Most of the electrical work was therefore carried out in the cellar (basement) rooms as I had to run a cable to the main supply units through those rooms. Having done that work I ran out of cable to actually wire for a new outlet near to the garage door. I would have to do that small job another day, probably Wednesday after I purchase the cable. This is the board I fitted before doing the rest of the work….
The lighting switch was originally directly on the brick wall. The new power outlet beneath it is the new one waiting to be wired into the existing circuit. I had to do a lot of cleaning and clearing out of rubbish as well as moving some things to the other end of the garage in readiness for the new door to be installed in a couple of weeks time. Here are some pics of the existing door mechanisms. The motor in the top picture pulls a loop of chain similar to those on bicycles which is attached to the top of the door..
The tracks in which the doors wheels run can be seen with the huge springs and their pullies above them. Click on pictures to magnify. The ladder in the last picture has been there for many years and has never been used. It was left by someone but nobody can remember who! It could be used but we have other ladders which are in better condition. You can see in the last picture the old garage door post with the cream-coloured painted top which was left as am extra support for the wall when the garage was constructed around it.
A dirty concrete cupid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Wednesday morning and having no scheduled electrical work yet again I set about making preparations in readiness for laying concrete in the next day or so. The original steps behind the newest of the garages require a complete reconstruction (see picture in yesterday’s post) so I had to make some wooden shuttering which will outline the position of the new steps. This work has to be done in stages of course because all of the concrete cannot be laid in one go to produce the finished effect. As it happens it is the new middle section that needs to be done first followed by the top section and later the lowest section which I propose to extend as more of a raised platform rather than a short step in order to improve the existing poor stonework that makes up the current pathway whilst at the same time burying the top half of a waste pipe which should have been done when work in this passageway was undertaken by the previous owner of the house some twenty-six years or more ago. It is one of those areas we haven’t much bothered with since we took possession of the property twenty-five years ago this summer. There have been many other projects to do since that time so this particular project kept on being overlooked. So now I have no excuses for not starting the work and it will vastly improve the rear access from and to the garage. It is an awkward area to work on simply because it is the only access to the garage from the rear garden but now that access will have to be closed whilst I carry on with the work. There is more work to be done further down the pathway but that won’t hinder access to the garage. I am looking forward to doing the work as many of my regular readers will already know that I like working on projects at home. Whilst there is no hurry to get it all done I won’t be dragging my feet, I want to see it finished myself! If and when I get electrical work that will take precedence of course but I can take time off as and when I wish. Fortunately with this particular project I shall not need to worry about the weather as the job is under the cover of the garage roof. Not so with the work I want to do behind the other garage though, for that I will need dry weather for a day or so. I could end up looking like the dirty concrete cupid in the picture!
Yesterday was another glorious day here on the north-west coast at Southport.
Weather for sitting around in and relaxing but I had to do the work I promised I would do the day before. The garage electrical circuits are now all fully functioning. E took me to a local store to purchase a light fitting for the roof above the rear steps as we had forgotten to buy it the day before. I also diverted the supply to the floodlight on the garage front so that it, along with everything else in and around the garage would be supplied by the garage distribution board. After I had completed that work I set about fixing some wooden battens over the rear access to the storage area which is inside the garage but above the rear steps to the garage. I need to make this opening secure by fitting some heavy-duty plywood over the hole. I have a small job to do for someone this morning so I will have to continue with the garage later. I also have to fit the woodwork for the roller door’s metal guides on each side of the garage opening and the newly cleaned and painted brackets need to be replaced on the wall. I didn’t finish working until 6.30 last night after starting at 9.30 in the morning so I was glad for the rest but I’m ready to start again today! It looks like we are in for some more fine weather this weekend so maybe a barbie is on the cards? Must remember to get some charcoal though!
I was up and out working at 8 o’clock yesterday morning. I had rested all day Saturday so was ready to do something. The main jobs were to remove the bricks and then the stones that had been stored in the garage but first of all, where to put them? I had it in mind to store them on the concrete platform that stands behind the old garage but first I had to remove some garden furniture and other things that had been left there. Using a wheelbarrow I proceeded to remove the bricks and re-stack them on the concrete platform. This took me over an hour of continuous labour. The next hour was spent shifting the stones and re-arranging the other items stored on the platform. At last! I could see the garage floor! By this time E had come outside to help. She was applying wood preserver to the parts of the new partition wall that had not yet been done and also some spare plywood sheets. Meanwhile I fitted some skirting boards and architraves to the partition wall which is now complete. There was quite a lot of off-cuts of wood as well as old wood pieces that needed to be removed and burned. This was my next job. In the past, before we had a vegetable plot, the area was used to burn large amounts of old wood, tree branches and the like but now the area has been landscaped and planted so we have to burn the wood elsewhere. We have an old metal waste bin that we use for burning wood now. It has holes in the base thus allowing an air up-draught, perfect for burning. However, with such a large amount of wood, including some old branches we found in the garage, it was necessary to stay with the fire to both feed it and to make sure the fire remained safe. By the time the wood had burned a couple of hours had passed by and I was beginning to smell of wood smoke! It was around 4.30 when I decided I’d had enough and went back indoors both to rest and to get washed and changed. There is always another day. The garage is looking more like a garage now although there is still much to do yet.
Today I shall be making a start on clearing out the garage of bricks (we have a few hundred stacked there) and many large natural stones which we accumulated when we knocked down the dry-stone walling at the front of the house some weeks ago. If you remember (those who read my meanderings) we had a brick wall built in its place. Anyway these need a new home, probably either inside the other garage at the rear where there is ample space or at the rear but outside on a large concrete platform which is there behind the garage. Then there are the several sheets of plywood which need treating with preserver before being stored alongside existing sheets of plywood in the other garage too. If anyone wants to build a shed using plywood we have plenty of it! A few other things will need to be disposed of too then I can sweep the floor and get on with treating the roof timbers and finishing off the electrical work and the remainder of the woodwork around the new partition wall. I’ve plenty of time on my hands these days so I am not bothered by the amount of work that needs to be done.
Image by Salim Virji via Flickr
I didn’t want to get out of bed yesterday but obviously I did. It was around ten though before I came downstairs. After a quick breakfast I had it in mind to continue with building the partition wall inside the garage and started taking tools and materials there. I noticed that part of the floor was wet and looked up to the roof to see if it was also wet. Sure enough I could see that it was. The garage roof is sealed to the gable end of the house with bitumen and felt but it appeared to be a weak seal in a corner where the chimney breast is. Fortunately I have ‘flash-band’ at home to repair such leaks and a special paste which is applied first to enable a better contact. So out came the ladder and up I went onto the roof armed with the necessary materials to effect a repair. Within a half-hour of my completing that job it began to rain! Timing is everything! It seems to have done the job but time will tell when we get more persistent rain showers. Now I could get on with building that wall! E joined me and between us we finished the wall, hung the door and fitted the handles, latch and a lock. It was six-thirty in the evening before we finished for the day. All that remains to be done now is fitting the architraves and skirting boards and perhaps some wood trims. I will also fit the power outlets and lighting switches to the boxes and wiring we have installed in the wall. The next major task for this garage is the installation of the roller-shutter door but I will need much assistance to do that and preferably some scaffolding/staging, something I will organise in the weeks ahead. In the meantime there is the job of applying the wood preserver to the roofing timbers and clearing out the garage of debris and all the other things stored in there. The floor needs sealing and then painting before it can be used to garage a car though. Later I plan to build an inner brick wall and do other various work on the internal brick walls. There’s plenty to do yet before we can say that it is truly completed but progress has certainly been made now that all other major outside jobs have been finished. Work has yet to begin on our proposed wet room too!
On Thursday I was rearing to go. I got up very early, had my breakfast and was ready for work at 08.00! Problem was, I wanted to go shopping with E for some more materials for the garage but she wasn’t up yet! I went on my computer and checked my Emails and blogs. Soon enough E came downstairs and I explained what I wished to do. She agreed, had her breakfast and was ready within a half-hour! Off we went in my van to the timber supplier with list in hand. When we arrived the guys there were a bit surprised we had returned after only being there last week and having bought quite a lot of materials from them. ‘We’re back’, we announced as we walked into the reception to their amusement. We bought even more stuff than we had previously bought from them so I guess they were pleased to see us! I am building a studded partition wall inside the garage and wanted timber and plywood, a door and furniture, some more wood preserver and a few sundry items including wood drill-bits. whilst I was there I received a request to change a light fitting. The house was en-route to home so I told the client I would be there within twenty minutes. I arrived there and did the job whilst E sat in the van listening to the radio. I was only in the house for fifteen minutes, received payment and was back on my way home. It all helped to pay for my materials! When we arrived home it was too close to lunchtime to start work so I again waited until I had eaten. It was about 2.00 when I eventually started work in the garage. Again I spent four hours out there erecting the framework for the studded wall and inserting a door frame. E came back from her Thursday shopping spree and took me by surprise. ‘Let’s have a barbecue ‘, she said. I did a minor repair on the barbecue and then spent a few minutes clearing up in the garage. E began to light the barbecue whilst I went indoors to wash and change. Soon we were having another impromptu meal from the barbecue in our new patio and were joined by our youngest son. I had opened a bottle of red wine a day or so before (I vacuum seal my wine if I don’t drink it all on the same day so that it remains fresh) and had taken but one glass full from it. I finished the rest with my barbecue! Today, Friday, I hope to receive delivery of the bulk of my purchases from the timber suppliers so that I can continue with the job in hand…….unless I get an electrical job in the meantime! There is never an excuse to have nothing to do in my house! All that is needed is the inclination, which I have to confess is not always there sometimes. I think I do too much work at times so I treat myself to a break now and then and let the work wait. My youngest son mad a remark earlier asking when the wet room would be finished! I told him that it would take me until six weeks hence before it would be done (it will probably take longer than that as I am tied with completing the garage). He doesn’t realise that it is only myself doing the work and I am getting little or no help from anyone else. Children…..who’d have children? LOL.
Finally I have been able to return to the garage to begin work there. Illness and occupational work has kept me away leaving me too exhausted to even think about the garage. So on Wednesday I thought I would make a start but wouldn’t you know it, I slept in until 10.30! I had a job on Tuesday which must have drained me more than I thought it had consequently I needed the extra rest. By the time I had gotten downstairs it was almost 11.30 (lots for a woman to do getting ready for the day!) and after a very small bowl of bran I checked my emails and my blog. I decided I would have to leave working in the garage until the afternoon. Around 12.30 I had a wrap filled with salad which served as my lunch so it was about 1.00 before I went outside. However, the lawn needed mowing and E is in no fit state to do that so I got stuck in and did it myself. It was well after 2.00 before I had organised myself to work in the garage. My main task was to prepare a new door and fit it in the frame that we had erected a few days ago. the door was too long! I cut off the excess then retrieved the wood that formed part of the frame within the door and refitted it inside the door panels. Then I fitted the furniture, hinges, handles, latch and escutcheon plate etc. although I still need to fit a mortice lock but just didn’t have one. Amazingly it was 6.00 before I had it finished! E returned from her afternoon’s drive to our son and daughter-in-laws house to check for mail and that all was well there (they are on holiday). It was about the same time that I’d finished and the two of us set about cleaning the garage from all the accumulated rubbish that was on the floor. I took all the tools to storage whilst E brought in the washing she had placed on the line earlier. All mundane stuff but all a part of everyday life isn’t it? It was well after 7.00 before either of us ate anything and we both simply had a snack as we felt too tired to prepare a cooked meal. Working with wood has always been a favourite with me and now I am keen to start erecting the internal studded wall to form the office section of the garage interior. That also means fitting another door too!
Image via Wikipedia
So Tuesday was going to be harder than Monday, it had to be, I did almost nothing on Monday! When I went to work I had a rough idea of what was entailed but not an exact knowledge. I was prepared for work, I was feeling much, much better and I knew I would be alright. Did I tell you that E likes to run over walls with her car? If you look at one of my earlier posts, a few weeks ago, I posted a picture showing the older garage at the right of the house. To the left of the garage is a wall which slopes down to ground level over the last few feet. My van is parked in that garage overnight so I had to pass the wall to get to it. The first thing I noticed was the bottom two bricks had been dislodged and moved about a foot from the wall. Now E has always parked her car in front of the shrubbery to the left of that wall. She drives into the driveway and heads for the garage then reverses back around the wall to park ready to drive off by turning right, out of the driveway. She must have driven over the bottom two bricks and loosened them. When I got back home at 2.00 after my job, I mentioned that she must have dislodged the bricks. She looked a bit perplexed, she hadn’t noticed that she had done that. It is a simple matter to reset the bricks and we do have a small amount of ready-mixed mortar so it isn’t a problem. Many times in the past I have suggested she not park quite so close to the shrubbery as there is plenty of room to do so. She might also have less spiders and cobwebs on her vehicle and possibly less scratches (from the shrubbery when the wind is high). The funniest thing is she didn’t know she’d run over the wall! Strangely enough, a couple of months ago we had various pieces of concrete and stone standing alongside the perimeter wall which is the wall on the right-hand-side of the garage. There was space in front of them (along the wall) to park a vehicle. Now at that time my van was parked in the garage as usual and as work was going on around the front of the house E decided to park her car in this space to keep it out-of-the-way although she could have parked it in front of the garage or even in it (that would have meant moving some stuff but the garage is built for two cars after all). I was behind her car whilst she parked it, ready to stop her from hitting the pile of concrete standing there. This I did but she wanted to manoeuvre the car more precisely. I was shouting stop, stop and banging on the back of the car for her to cease letting it creep any further backwards. Too late! She backed into the concrete and dented the skirt beneath the rear bumper. Fortunately it is a plastic skirt and it was easy to pop back into shape. she does crazy stuff like that sometimes! That’s probably one of the reasons I love her. Incidentally, I park my van in the garage by reversing it all the way from the street so that I can simply drive out in the morning, or any other time. I have yet to hit a brick wall though…LOL!
I got to my electrical job and the lady and I discussed her needs. All the work was in her bedroom, fitting extra power points but the job itself wasn’t all that easy to actually do. I spent four hours there and was quite tired when I’d finished. whilst the lady had gone to get some cash to pay me I walked up the road to where her mom lives, a mere 50 metres or so. I had done some work for her mom last year when she had employed this guy to do all sorts of general joinery and plumbing jobs. She had also asked him to do some alterations to the electrics upstairs but he made a mess of it (well he wasn’t an electrician and shouldn’t really have been doing it). My job had been to correct those mistakes. Later she told me that she had been stupid to allow him to fiddle with the electrics (what can I say?). Anyhow this time she was asking about installing a supply to a water feature in her front garden. I told her what she might expect depending on what materials and fittings came with the water feature and to buy what she wanted (from the reputable supplier she had chosen) and I would make a better assessment having seen what was involved. Personally I don’t think it will be difficult or expensive, quite the opposite and she will be happy about that!
At home, after a quick snack I fixed myself a drink, took my guitar onto the patio and sat playing random songs for an hour. I simply let the songs come into my head, a mixture of pop melodies, Christian songs and some of my own stuff. E had gone to her moms for an hour or two so I was left undisturbed. So the day wasn’t quite exactly as planned. I didn’t do any more work in the other garage (I was too tired!), the electrical job put paid to that. Now today?
Just a point of interest, that is of course if you are interested, many are not! Tuesday or to be precise 12th July (actual date is 11th July and in the old calendar 1st July) marks the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne here in the UK (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Boyne ) and in Southport (as in a few towns and cities) there are marching bands dressed in their orange regalia who visit the town from places like Liverpool just down the coast. I remember every year walking into Liverpool where I lived as a youngster, to see them. Some feel these events are an excuse for drunkenness and violence and indeed that is often the result during the day so they are against them being held. It is also an excuse for religious hatred and bigotry between Catholics and Protestants. If you read the short history you will understand why this is so. One would think that to continue to celebrate an event that happened 321 years ago should now cease but in fact it seems to get stronger year by year! It appears that another brick has been put in the wall between Catholics and Protestants.
The last couple of days have been a lot cooler than of late and it has been most welcome. I am not a hot weather person and prefer the temperature to hover around 18 to 20 degrees with an average humidity of around 50%. To me that is heaven on earth, besides which I can perform much better when working in these conditions. So over the last couple of days I have been able to complete many jobs in and around the new garage, one of which was the installation and plumbing of the water-butt, another was the ceiling above the passageway and the storage area above that which is inside the garage. We are making headway into completing the preparations for fitting the roller-shutter door (not before time – we have had it for well over ten years! Just hope it works!). I have plans to build a small office area inside the garage and to build some internal walls. Of course there is the electrical installation to do in there too but at least I have the power board installed ready. It was put there when I did the electrical supply to the patio. This part of the house and garden has been sadly neglected over the years but after much work it has at last begun to take shape. Still a lot to do but it is now all indoors. We still have to make a start on the wet-room but there is no immediate hurry for that to be done. You can see why I like the weather to be cooler, it keeps me occupied! Hot weather is for lazing about in, nice if you are having a barbecue but useless for working in. Give me cooler any day.
Image via Wikipedia
I got up very early on Sunday morning with another view to do some work in the garage once more. I get these urges to do things but as I mentioned in my last post I also promised myself that I would only work for a couple of hours and take a break for the remainder of the day. Again I was dressed and downstairs by eight o’clock, had my breakfast and went straight out to my van and donned a pair of overalls and boots. Really looking the part (lol) I proceeded to carry on where I had left off the day before. I spent four hours finishing off the woodwork and giving it all an undercoat of paint both inside and out. True to my word I packed everything away at one o’clock and prepared some salad and fruit to go with the steaks E was going to cook on the barbecue once I’d help her get it out and on to the patio. There was only the two of us this weekend, ten less than came last week but of course we hadn’t planned on entertaining this week! The weather has been glorious and it would be a shame not to enjoy it whilst we can. For two people who actually like working at home doing different things we find it difficult to just sit and relax sometimes. We took time over our lunch and sat chatting for a while but I could tell E was biting at the bit, eager to start doing something once more. I insisted that she stay put and take time out and relax. She had been busy in the morning but doing different things than I had been doing so she deserved a break. She saw sense and sat a while longer in the heat of the sun. I kept out of the sun as much as possible and stayed in the shadow of the awning. I had caught too much sun last time and my chest was sore for days so I wasn’t about to do that again! Sitting there looking at the barbecue E couldn’t resist giving it a clean. She went indoors and came out with a hot bucket of soapy water and a cloth and proceeded to clean away the dirt and grease. It wasn’t long after we had put the barbecue back in storage (we keep it in the old garage, there’s plenty of space in there) when we had a visit from our eldest son and his wife who, when they realised we’d had a barbecue bemoaned the fact that we hadn’t invited them. They were and are always welcome but they came rather late and we hadn’t told them we were having a barbecue, we didn’t know ourselves until we suggested having one on the spur of the moment. They didn’t stay long, about an hour, and then they had to get home. I didn’t do any more work but E continued to potter about in the garden for a couple of hours. I stayed indoors and played my guitar for a while and did other things after my evening meal. Today, if I am not working as an electrician, I plan to go out with E and buy in some things we need to complete various jobs around the garage. And so………..life goes on.