Just one more……

….please. I was giving myself a good talking to on Sunday (Easter) and telling myself I didn’t really have to resume working on the toilet project on Monday and that I should take another day off, after all it was Easter weekend and a national holiday. So I indulged and gave myself another day of rest. However, I did take my usual morning walk but at four-fifteen! I had retired to bed early the night before because I was feeling tired (can’t think why) so it meant an early rise which I wanted anyway. According to the weather forecast it was supposed to stay quite mild overnight but it wasn’t as warm as I had hoped, in fact is was a little chilly. I didn’t put too many garments on, in fact only my jacket over light clothing but it was just enough to keep me warm. Again, half-way through the walk it began to get warmer but only a little. The sun was just rising as I got home around six-fifteen. Normally I would then have breakfast and an hour later do any work on whatever project I had given myself but I had the day off! That’s four whole days of no work! I’m frightened I might get used to it but there is little danger in that as it isn’t likely. The days up til Monday had all been sunny throughout and Monday started off the same way but around three o’clock thin clouds began to roll in and the rest of the day was still warm but hazy. E went out in the afternoon to visit her mom otherwise she would have been sunbathing as she had been doing over the holiday. Whilst I was on the patio in the morning I decided to take a couple of photographs of the plants nearby…..

It looks similar to the one at the top of my blog and maybe it is the same variety or close relative. I call it the ‘Ice Plant’ though I don’t know its real name but its leaves are thick and filled with water which makes it cool to the touch. Hence ice plant. It is planted on the left of the Mound by the path. The second photo is one taken of the Mound from the Patio. On the left in the same picture is what we call the west border which runs up to the Patio.

In the next picture you can see more of that border which has filled up during the last two years and is a veritable mini-jungle! Just as planned though it does need a manicure. Following that picture is one taken at the end of the border where it meets the Patio wall. The plants there have really sprouted up, again as planned.

Finally in the last picture you can see one of the two Phoenix Canariensis plants that had been damaged by frost a couple of seasons ago but had begun to recuperate last year. Fortunately my efforts to protect them this past Winter have been successful though there is still a way to go to match their former glory. They did look like the one on the extreme left in the previous picture.

Shirley Anne

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My day

Actually every day is my day, it just depends how I look at it but what I mean by my day is that I take a break from everything involving my normal routine during the week. So my day is Sunday, my day of rest. This particular Sunday isn’t that warm, it is dull and overcast but the sun shines through the clouds every now and then. The whole week ahead doesn’t look as if it will be any different though by Thursday onward things are about to change. I will be too busy to notice except if I want to sit out on the patio. I hope to be carrying on with sorting out the floor in the ‘forgotten room’ I am refurbishing. You could say with this room that I am starting from scratch from the floor upward. At this moment the floor no longer exists for yesterday I dug it up! Apart from a small area by the threshold the floor is just sand with rubble beneath the surface. What I need to do is sift out the rubble so that only sand remains. After that I will need to drop the level to allow a concrete base to be laid and will bad the sand for re-use. The sand I removed from the pit in the gym came in very useful for making concrete because it was clean and dry. I can do the same with any sand I remove from this floor. All that is for the days ahead though. It is Sunday and I will just be pottering about in the garden and relaxing in the sunshine or even if it isn’t sunny, just as long as it isn’t cold and wet! Speaking of wet, I don’t think it will rain for a few days yet but maybe sooner.

Well it is late in the afternoon now and I’ve been rather lazy. It hasn’t been warm enough to sit outside and that is mainly due to the easterly wind. Tomorrow we shall finally see it veering more from a southerly direction so it should be a tad warmer. We’ve had the easterly wind with us for quite some time so it will only get better from now on. I spent a lot of time playing guitar today, more so than usual. It was around this time of year 29 years ago when I decided to learn how to play it. Shirley Anne

Hot tub

I woke up this morning (24 th) feeling great and not feeling any pain from yesterday’s accident. Instead of taking a shower I chose to take a bath before going to bed. I think it was the first bath I had taken this year! The tub takes ages to fill, around thirty minutes but it is well worth the wait. I lay there for about thirty minutes letting the heat soothe the aches and pains I had and also opening the pores for a deeper cleansing, something a shower doesn’t really give. I always sleep better after a shower but even more so after a soak in the tub. I went out for my usual walk feeling no ill effects whatsoever. On my return and after eating breakfast I chose not to do any work for I knew E wanted me to take her to the doctor’s surgery then on to collect her medications. Whilst we were out we decided to go for a coffee and a cream bun and when we finally got home it was noon. I went down into the cellar and installed the mini-plastic trunking for the extra cables I will need to install to split the existing power circuit to the utility room. The circuit in there needs to be separated from the circuit it is now connected to. I also installed the trunking to cover three existing cables on the utility room ceiling. 

 

The trunking comes in three metre lengths and has an adhesive backing to enable it to fix directly to any dry and dust-free surface. However I had to also screw one of them to the ceiling where the surface wasn’t so good. Once I had done that I returned upstairs for lunch. I had other chores to do in the afternoon which prevented any more work on the project. An easier day for a change.

Shirley Anne

Not sure

Over the last few days I have become more lazy in my attitude insofar as work is concerned. Any ideas of working on my projects, and there are two or more I’d like to get done, have taken a back seat. I haven’t neglected my exercise regime however so at least I remain active up to a point. A combination of events have made me less interested in doing anything too strenuous. It was about time that I took a break from too much work anyway. That was one thing and now at the moment of writing I have been watching a lot of televised football as the World Cup games are underway. I have been watching the  three televised games every day which has helped me to relax and take things easy for a while. The only snag is that I feel I want to be doing something constructive rather than just sitting on my butt! I wonder if I’ll want to get back into a routine more suited to what I am used to or not. Probably I will do despite my thinking otherwise, it’s in my blood. I am not sure about the future and what I will be up to but I hope that whatever lies ahead it will be something I will enjoy. Last month we had gloriously sunny days and E and I spent much time outdoors together but in this month of June it has been very different so far. I write this on the 20 th, a day or so before the Summer Solstice with only ten more days of the month left. The days will get shorter as Summer begins and I am hoping there will be more days like those we had in May. For the time being I am stuck indoors out of choice once lunchtime is over as I wish to continue watching the football. Maybe all this relaxing is going to be of benefit to me but I am not sure, I could end up like a couch potato! God forbid that I end up that way but I rather suspect I won’t.

Shirley Anne

Something like this

Even when I am not busy I remain busy! It’s just that the nature of the business has changed. I am getting more used to not working on one of my projects and turning my hand more often to other things instead. Those ‘other’ things were always there and always needed doing just as they still do. The difference is that now I have more time to do them and it’s funny how those things seem to have multiplied because I have more time. When I think about it I wonder how I managed to get other chores done when I worked full-time as an electrician but somehow I did. Today, Thursday (7), I got up early and did the weekly shopping, leaving the house just as E was coming downstairs. She hasn’t done the weekly shopping for eight weeks, though I am not counting it against her. Strange as it may seem to some I am beginning to enjoy the new routine now that I am getting familiar with where things are shelved. I usually don’t waste time and just whizz around and get it done but lately I have been taking more time and taking more interest in what is actually available. There are items for instance that I never knew existed and some of them I might be tempted to purchase one day. Generally though I stick to my shopping list. I returned home and after packing everything away I spent a long time watering the front garden. After a coffee I went online for a time then sat outside on the front bench playing my guitar.

Bench under front window

It is nice sitting there for it is usually quiet in the front garden. There is very little vehicular traffic and even less pedestrian traffic. The only problem is it can get too hot if there is no cloud cover and on Thursday there wasn’t any cloud cover. I returned indoors to prepare lunch, a tomato omelette on a bed of lettuce followed with strawberries and pears with a little single cream. I spent a little time out on the patio then returned indoors again to spend a half-hour on the cross-trainer. Thursday was a hot day but exercising in the cellar gym wasn’t a problem for it is much cooler down there. I say down there but the cellar is at the same level as the rear garden. Nevertheless I worked up a sweat despite the coolness. I soon cooled down on returning to the garden, a more shady part of the garden of course where there was a slight breeze blowing. An hour later I found myself mowing the lawn then watering the rear garden too. By that time it was after five o’clock and the rest of my time was spent relaxing, mostly indoors.

Shirley Anne

A nice day for pottering

I could make any day a nice day in which to potter about but usually I have something bigger to do or something more important. That’s not to say that pottering about is less important for I believe pottering about is beneficial to our well-being. We can wander about aimlessly without being under pressure and find so many little things to do which ought to be done but get left behind in the great scheme of things we call our lives. It is in the execution of these small tasks that we often find the greatest pleasure. Monday was the beginning of yet another week though for me that has begun more and more to be of less significance as each day is taken the same. I often forget which day it is I have to say. I have been taking a break from heavy work, from projects, from anything inside the house lately and have concentrated mainly on working (and pottering) in the gardens. If you’d have asked me five years ago what I like about gardening I would have told you I hate gardening. How times and attitudes have changed for me, now I enjoy the work no matter what that work might be. I treat gardening as a never-ending project and work at it in the same way as with any other project I undertake though those projects obviously do end. At the beginning of this week I have nothing set in mind to do so I suppose I will be pottering about a lot. This morning (4 th) I emptied out one of the two industrial bags which are filled with the sand I removed during the construction of the pit in the cellar a couple of months ago. 

It occupied the area where you can now see a dark wet space right of centre in the picture above. It was the same sized bag as the white one top centre  which is still full of sand. That one will most probably remain there for some time because it is out-of-the-way where it is.. The emptied sand was put into smaller plastic bags and is now stored in the garage to the right out of the picture. The area in the picture is that which is first seen when exiting the cellar into the rear garden. During the Autumn leaves accumulate  mostly on the right in the picture so I have been endeavouring to keep it as tidy as possible to make sweeping the leaves up easier to do as well as making it less of an eyesore. I took the following pictures on the day of things around the garden.The apples beginning to grow,

Under the apples trees,

Under the little oak tree,

Behind the apple trees the potatoes and rhubarb (of which some has already ended up in a rhubarb crumble),

and finally some of the baby beetroot plants we put into this raised bed and elsewhere

The beetroot are those without the flowers in case you were wondering!

Shirley Anne

 

Good as new

My energy levels soon picked up after a great night’s sleep. I had been for an unaccustomed long walk on Saturday so I had been feeling a wee bit tired afterward. It’s not that I don’t do long walks but I hadn’t been so far in one go for quite some time. That is the key, the walk was done in more or less one go with a brief stop for toilet breaks and a chat with a lady walking her dog. So on Sunday morning I was as good as new and ready to go again though I didn’t go anywhere. Sunday was once more a lovely sunny day and very warm. Saturday had been a much cooler and overcast day which made the walk easier and comfortable. I don’t like exercising when the weather is too warm and that’s why if I go for walks during the warmer months they are usually done early in the day. It was due to the fine weather that I had to water the gardens again on Sunday and according to the forecast it looked like I would be doing the same for some time to come. The month of May as it happened had been the warmest on record since recording began. It was for the best part dry and sunny too. If ‘flaming’ June lives up to its reputation bright sunny days lie ahead (I write this on 3 rd). I did a little pruning of the trees close to the path in the rear garden and swept up the fallen leaves again. Every day there have been leaves lying on the path and part of the lawn and it’s not even Autumn! Something I will just have to put up with I guess. I spent some time relaxing on the patio during the afternoon. My youngest son had spent the night at the house as he does sometimes but he didn’t stay long once he had arisen and taken a shower. He was off to town, that is a public park on the town fringes to have lunch. Every year there is a food festival held in the park and the eating is free. He never misses an opportunity! I might have gone along too but for the crowds that attend these functions, I don’t like crowds. E didn’t fancy the idea either and she would have had difficulty in getting about anyway. There are several events and function held in Southport each month every year but I have never taken much interest in any of them though many people do. I prefer the quieter life.

Shirley Anne

Wait ’till Tuesday

Bank holiday
Bank holiday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is late Friday afternoon and this weekend here in the UK it is the Spring Bank Holiday which means no work, generally speaking, until Tuesday. I have not long returned home from a short walk to the chemist to collect some tablets I was prescribed for a fungal infection in my toenails. I should have collected them earlier but other things got in the way and I simply forgot. I was up early and spent some time on the treadmill and cross-trainer before having my breakfast. I had to wait for E to get up and come downstairs before deciding to take a shower just in case she needed assistance. There would be no work today for at eleven-thirty she had an appointment at the local hospital and I had to take her there. She is presently unable to drive herself because of her condition and the medication she is taking. The appointment took about a half-hour after which we would normally have driven back home but we made a detour and paid our neighbour who was admitted to hospital a few days earlier a brief visit, (see earlier post). Although she has lost an awful lot of weight she is looking much better though she always was slim anyway. She is however very poorly and knows herself she is living on borrowed time but she remains jovial and positive. Hopefully she will be able to return home by this coming Tuesday (8th). We spent over an hour with her before finally leaving for home. It was way after two o’clock when we had lunch and then I had to go out again for my prescription. Now as I write it is almost four o’clock and that is why I say there will be no work for me until Tuesday. I have just received a mail indicating the face mask I had ordered in order to protect me from the floor paint fumes is on its way so I could do some work tomorrow but I won’t. I propose to take full advantage of the three-day break which as it happens is forecast to be hot and sunny.

Shirley Anne

Walks with ‘M’

 

 

It had been at least a week since I last went for a walk and it was all due to my having too much to do in the house, specifically the cellar storage room. As I write this on Tuesday afternoon on the first day of May the room only requires that the floor be painted but as yet we haven’t received the paint. This morning I was able to go for a walk and that was mainly because E had told me that today I was to take a break and rest from my labours. Had I not listened I guess I would have started work in filling in the holes in the floor of the gym/boiler room in readiness for that floor to be painted also. My plan was to prepare the sand and grit mixture today and on Wednesday use some of it mixed with the cement and begin filling in the holes. I am glad I didn’t do anything and went for a walk instead. My walk took me three and a half miles south of town along the coastal road.

English: Dunes at Formby Point
Dunes at Formby Point (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Formby Beach
Formby Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sand Dunes and Beach, Freshfield. San...
Sand Dunes and Beach, Freshfield. Sand dunes and the beach at Freshfield. Blackpool tower and the Big One rollercoaster could clearly be seen from the top of this high sand dune on this day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Ainsdale Sands The wide expanse of sa...
Ainsdale Sands The wide expanse of sand on Ainsdale beach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was one of those mornings with bright sunshine and clouds but with a stiff breeze too. It wasn’t that warm but got warmer as I began my journey back home and the clouds disappeared too, though they returned after lunch. The afternoon was much cooler as the clouds rolled back and filled the sky but it didn’t matter, I was back indoors. My return journey took me through the dunes where it was much warmer being as it was sheltered from the wind but there were many insects flying about making a nuisance of themselves. I had skipped breakfast but had taken a banana and some sultanas to nibble at along the way, and of course a bottle of water. The beach was almost deserted but there were a few people doing the same as myself, walking through the dunes. If you like sandy beaches you would like Ainsdale, Freshfield and Formby for there is plenty of sand along that part of the coast. Birkdale, where I now live, has more grass and mud to overcome before the sand can be reached. I used to live in Freshfield and often went running along the beach there. Still it is only an hour and a half walk or so away from where I now live. Who is ‘M’? What is the name of my blog?

Shirley Anne

 

A scorcher

Alright it wasn’t so hot to be unbearable but it certainly had been hot considering it was barely half-way through April! It was Wednesday the 18th and the local temperature had gradually risen during the morning to reach around 22 deg C in the afternoon. Added to that it was sunny throughout the day, a really pleasant day that wouldn’t have been out-of-place in the summer months let alone April. Nice as it all was however I didn’t get to rest outside on the patio until after lunch. I had spent three hours in the garden before deciding to return indoors. I had arisen a little late and spent some time using the gym equipment before breakfast and following that I resumed work in the cellar room. My efforts at rendering the wall were what you might call not that professional but after all I am not a builder. It meant I had some filling in to do but chose to use plaster rather than cement as it is easier to use and easier to get a smooth surface, not that a smooth surface was all that necessary. It would look better when painted over if I used plaster. Once I had done that I sealed the wall using a diluted PVA mixture. The next task in the room would be filling in the holes in the floor, painting the walls and ceiling (again) and painting the shelving. At this stage I am undecided as to whether to re-position the room light and replace it in the process though it is only a storage room. I had time before lunch to mow the lawn

The picture was taken later in the afternoon along with the next two….

The rhubarb is doing very well in its new home. If my readers will remember I moved it from where it was to the raised bed above. As yet there are no signs of the potatoes in the bare ground in front of it.

Shirley Anne