I wish

I wished it was 10 deg with a 3 mph wind but it was 3 deg with a 10 mph wind and for half my early morning walk that wind was in my face. It was Wednesday April 10 and I left the house at twenty after five. I took the unusual route straight along the main road into town (I usually avoid town on my walks unless it is through the back streets). It was still dark at that hour but the street lights made it seem like daytime. I used to wonder what the cost of keeping all that lighting switched on through the night was, after all it was being paid for (partly) by me! Nowadays though they use LED lights in many places which does lower the cost dramatically. I plodded along the quiet Lord Street which is the main thoroughfare and saw but a few people starting their day. Soon I was out at the other end but continuing in the same direction until I turned toward the seafront. By this time the wind was out of my face which was a relief and I walked back home along and close to the shore. It was then that things began to brighten up but the sun didn’t actually make an appearance until I had returned home. The eastern sky was red but only near the horizon. Red sky in the morning is usually a warning if you believe in the rhyme but the day turned out brilliantly sunny. We had this area of low pressure over the country which had been with us for a few days. No clouds kept the temperature low and the winds were mostly from an easterly direction which didn’t help. Oh how I wished for a high pressure and a more southerly or westerly wind but this is England (where I live in the UK). I wondered for how much longer we would still be the United Kingdom. Brexit problems and a government not honouring the Referendum vote is getting many of us frustrated. I wished it was all over and done with and we could move forward at last. Life still goes on and at my time of life I don’t need the hassle but strangely I live in an old house which has over the years been somewhat of a hassle at times! That’s why a couple of years ago I fitted the stone plaque on the front of the building by way of a joke. You’ve got to laugh else you’d cry! Life is good nevertheless but I do sometimes wish things might just be a little better, don’t you agree?

Shirley Anne

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Sometimes

I sometimes push myself too much I know I do. It’s not about trying to keep fit and active nor about trying to keep pace as I once did when young for I know my limits. This is how I was not so long ago, about thirteen years ago and before….

I place my feet upon the floor
About two thirty in the morn,
When most folk are asleep in bed
I wash my face and clear my head,
The stars are shining in the sky
As I begin to exercise.
It is so hard, it must be said
To rise up early from my bed,
And so I start my morning run
And tell myself I’m having fun,
At first it is so very hard
But eases as I go along,
Till finally I’m back at home
And still find that I’m all alone,
I have to wait almost an hour
Before I’m cool enough to shower,
Then rest? No I’ve no time to shirk,
I dress and then go off to work.

Copyright Shirley Anne 4 Aug 03

Nowadays and since retiring from my old occupation I try not to do too much but sometimes I fail and sometimes I am forced to slow down. I have been very active at home since retiring and of my activities can be read in this blog. My latest project concerns the rear door of the garage in which my van is parked. Outside that door I have just completed alterations to the concrete ramp and now I am in the middle of replacing the door and positioning the new one further back. If you’ve been following my latest posts you will know what is involved. The first two days of this week (25-26 March) saw me installing a new door frame and constructing the new door which as of today (27 th) has yet to be completed. In fact I took the day off from the project all together because I was feeling under the weather. ‘Right’ I told myself after returning from my morning walk earlier than usual, ‘Give yourself a break or run the risk of wearing yourself out’. I had a headache anyway and was generally feeling a little tired. Took the break I did and felt much the better for it. Sometimes you have to discipline yourself. Hopefully tomorrow will find me returning to my labours, at a slower pace!

Shirley Anne

Half-mast

Monday 11 th March. A bright and sunny day, well it was first thing in the morning around seven o’clock when I awoke. Soon the clouds appeared but later in the morning it turned bright and sunny once again. By evening it returned to being dull. The thing I noticed most of all was the fact the wind had subsided and I could hoist the flag again but I would do it later in the day. I had finished breakfast around eight-thirty but had to wait for E to come downstairs for hers. I say waiting because we had plans to go shopping but as on every occasion E won’t be hurried so we didn’t leave the house until well after eleven o’clock. Our first port of call was to the lawnmower store and repair shop . I wanted to check whether our lawn mower had been repaired and also to seek help in regard to the new ride-on mower we had purchased. We were finding it difficult to engage the cutting blades mechanism without the engine cutting out. The mower wasn’t ready for collection but someone would deliver it when it had been and see if anything what was wrong with the new mower. We moved on from there and drove into town and parked up. We visited a few stores, E had her glasses (spectacles) repaired, I purchased cosmetics and toiletries, E returned an unwanted article of clothing for her mom and I purchased a pair of flat-heeled shoes. By this time it was one-thirty and I told E I was taking her to a place of her choice for lunch. She chose a pub/restaurant a mile or so out of town where we often go. On our way back home we dropped off at Dobbies garden centre for a coffee and cake. We had chosen not to have a dessert with our lunch. Finally we arrived back home at five-thirty. As I was parking the van in the garage E called me over to the gate and told me she had just heard a loud crashing sound. One of our elderly neighbours had arrived at the main road and had collided with a vehicle entering our road. The old guy struggles to get about and should really have given up driving some years ago because of state of health. Our next-door neighbour (who happens to be a police inspector) went down to see if he could help. In the meantime E and I took our purchases indoors before returning outside to chat with our next-door neighbour and for me to hoist the flag as I had intended. After a minor repair I hoisted the flag to half-mast.

Earlier in the day our next-door neighbour had called by phone and spoke with E. He had some sad news regarding his mom who had again been taken to hospital as she had been very poorly. If you remember she had been suffering with COPD. and we had nearly lost her last year. He told E that she had died that morning about six o’clock. Out of respect therefore the flag was left at half=mast and would remain so until her funeral the following Monday.

Shirley Anne

Back in the swing…

…of things. It was now Monday Feb. 4 th and I was up and dressed and ready for another morning walk. I left the house at nine having skipped breakfast. Had I eaten breakfast first I probably wouldn’t have wanted to go for a walk later. The day hadn’t started sunny but half-way through the walk it began to shine an d the warm rays of the sun were a welcome feeling on my back as I continued further away from home. When I turned on my journey back the sun was up and to my left in front of me which was pleasant but the wind was off-shore to my right and blew cold. It is getting to that time of year when deciding what to wear when out can be problematical. Too many clothes and we are too warm, too few and we are cold! I tend to wear more rather than less when it is cold as I can always remove something if I’m too warm. It was after eleven when I got back and time for something to eat. I had an early lunch rather than breakfast. It stayed warm (in the sunshine) throughout the afternoon and I began to have thoughts about getting into the garden to do a spot of tidying up but decided I would give it a miss and just relax for the day, after all I didn’t want to rush into the work routine just yet. Spring was just around the corner and there would be plenty of time on my hands to do whatever I wished. Actually I don’t need to wait for Spring to do that! The next day I would be up and early again but this time to return the van to the garage to have the faulty valve replaced, no going for walks that morning.

Shirley Anne

February already

Yes but I am writing this at the end of December! Another year over and now I am wondering what will occupy the days ahead. Much of my time last year was spent indoors doing refurbishment in the cellar rooms and although there is other work I could do inside the house I doubt that will happen, in the near future anyhow. I would like to spend more time in the gardens this year and perhaps that will happen but I also intend to spend more time in recreational things. Time will tell. The thing is I know I am at that time in life where I either curl up and do little or try to remain active and do whatever takes my fancy even if that means working at something. Would I be happy sitting around doing nothing and seizing up in the process or being active doing those things I enjoy? I think I would be happiest when being active in some way. Time marches on relentlessly and soon we discover we have less of it to look forward to so it is always best to enjoy life whilst we can.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 : So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

I have met a few people who seemed to have given up on life and I found that very sad. When we look at life we should realise there is nothing we can do other than to live it. We ought to be happy and if we are not we ought to do something about it otherwise what is the point? We each know what makes us happy, not what we think will make us happy. Often what we think will make us happy doesn’t do so when we get it.

Will I make it to next February? Well I do hope so but in the meantime my plan is to be happy, to enjoy life and to remain that way!

Shirley Anne

The days grow long

I write this on Dec 23 just after the calendar date of the beginning of Winter. We are around about the nearest position to our Sun at this time of year though I doubt the couple of million extra miles make little difference. I have to say though that the weather is currently mild but it has been raining throughout the night and is still damp late in the morning. Dry weather is forecast for the afternoon and into the middle of the week too. A dry Christmas. Why people wish for one covered in snow is beyond me. Is it supposed to be better or does it just give that sense of well, you decide. The days are lengthening but you’d hardly notice that just yet. The worse is yet to come, the colder months of February and March and it won’t be that warm in January either. You will have found that out already being as it is near the end of the month. I am looking forward to Spring as Winter isn’t a favourite time of year for me. I am looking forward to see the newest plants in the garden beginning to gain height and volume but it takes time and it is still Winter. Although Christmas is only two days away I am looking forward to its passing and also the passing of New Year so things can return to normal. Not that I partake in the celebrations for as you know already I don’t. Christmas wishes and New Year resolutions are for me meaningless, I make those throughout the year anyway. I wish for a peaceful world where everyone loves their neighbour and where crime is a thing long forgotten but sadly it won’t as long as mankind remains stubborn-hearted leaving God out of the equation. I make resolutions to do things and hopefully do them but everything is up to myself. I try not to make promises which I cannot keep, even to myself! Soon it will be warm and sunny and life will take on a different perspective but I will enjoy it whatever happens. Will you?

Shirley Anne

The drink

I could have named the title for this post many other things, for example: invisibility, selfishness, ignorance, thoughtlessness to name but a few. To understand that you need to read on. The post is about a dream I had on Friday night a couple of weeks ago. In the dream I appeared to be on a night out with family, friends, colleagues and other acquaintances I have encountered throughout my life. The scene was set in a bar but it resembled a shop I once maintained in my capacity as an electrician and general dog’s body. The term dog’s body is probably an apt description of many areas of my life in regard to relationships and dealings with others, at least that’s how I have felt many times in my life. For some apparent reason I was buying the first round of drinks for those in my immediate circle that night, about eight or so of us. The bar was packed with people I knew both past and present but I wasn’t acknowledged by most of them. Oh they knew I was there and hadn’t forgotten me but they never spoke. I often was left feeling invisible in the presence of some people. The lady serving at the bar was or had been in real life the manageress of the shop in question. When she had served me the drinks they were too many to carry at once so I asked for a tray. I was ignored as she was by then serving someone else. It took ages for her to return and give me the tray. I tried to explain that the tray she had given me was unsuitable as it was too small but again she ignored me and served someone else. Eventually I received a much larger tray but it was soaking wet. I placed all the drinks upon it and a very large bottle of either tonic water or ginger ale, I couldn’t remember which, for myself. I took the drinks over to my party and they were taken without thanks or acknowledgement. I wasn’t even asked why I had taken so long to get them for it must have been twenty or more minutes since I went to the bar. It was as if they had forgotten I was even there. I had reserved a seat for myself a little distance from the rest before going for the drinks but on my return another girl was sitting there chatting with her boyfriend. I was left standing there with nowhere to sit. I returned to my party but all they wanted was some of my drink, which was still in the bottle, to add to their own drinks. I was I suppose only there to serve them and not have a drink to myself. They took it in turn to help themselves from my bottle without thanks or consideration and I was left standing there without a drink or anyone to talk to for they had resumed chatting amongst themselves. What can I say? I am invisible. That seems to be true in my real life too……….

Shirley Anne

I gotta get out of this place

…if it’s the last thing I ever do. Yes a familiar line from an old song which I think if I can remember was by a group called ‘The Animals’ with a front man called Eric Burden. It was recorded in the mid-sixties. Now I am showing my age which for those who wish to know is 72. As I write this it is Wednesday morning on the fourth of July. Now there’s a familiar date. Greetings to all my American friends, which by that I mean all of you living there. Okay I am two weeks late but the date doesn’t matter. By the way I greet all people the same no matter from where they hail. I am stuck at home though stuck isn’t probably the right word to use, perhaps left at home might be more apt. E has gone to stay with her mom for a few hours whilst her brother, who lives with his mom, has somewhere he needs to go. I am not really sure why he still lives at home with his mom for he is I think 60 years old. Life has dealt him a few bad cards over the years and I guess things just fell into place and kept him living there. E doesn’t speak much about him and I haven’t even seen him for well over twenty years. That’s what happens when families don’t stick together and support each other. There are reasons of course, many are too self-centred and have bigoted feelings. I don’t know why people are like that, after all we are all in the same boat. All you need is love. Now where have I heard that one before? I am not sure many folk know what real love is. If you’ve an ear I can tell you but I don’t wish to preach, not in this post anyway. I see folk going about their daily business and often wonder what it is they think about, what their focus on life is. One day they will, we all will, leave this place and everything in it and in fact it will be the last thing we ever do won’t it? Once more it is a beautifully sunny day, probably going to be too hot again for me if I’m honest. I am maybe thinking I should get out of this place, that is my house and go for a walk somewhere but do you know, I am not sure I will feel better for it. It is late in the morning as I finish this post. I haven’t eaten breakfast because I wasn’t hungry when I got up but I am feeling a little hungry now. After I have eaten I will be ‘reviewing the situation’, (yes, from Oliver Twist, the musical). Have a really nice day my readers.

Shirley Anne

The days we dream about

If today is anything to go by it looks as if we are in for yet still more hot weather. Yesterday was hot enough and today has followed suit. It is the last week of the month, even the last Monday and I am glad I am not still working as an electrician. It always seemed the way that during the hot weather I was stuck inside a house or inside somewhere on a building site but in the cooler and colder months I was asked to do outside work. I looked forward to the days when I could decide to work in conditions I preferred and better still not have to work at all! I used to dream about such days. As a youngster I dreamt about growing up and especially how I could become a girl. I didn’t wish for anything else.As I grew up I realised life had other ideas and there were things I had to do before any of my wishes and desires could come about. My future didn’t quite turn out as I had originally intended but you can read about that in my pages section of this blog. In the winter time I used to yearn for warm weather but not so much these days. Much as I like the warm weather it can be too much for me to cope with sometimes. I prefer it to be cool though not freezing cold! You might therefore assume I am at present wishing for cool weather and to a point you would be correct. I am however enjoying the fact that I can walk about in a swimming costume and a slip-on skirt. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we wish does it? Now I am retired I have a more controlled future and can pretty much have things the way I want. These are the days I dreamt would never arrive until they did. I used to imagine what life would be like for me at different stages of it. I was born in 1945 which is of course the last century. Not everyone will be able to claim to have lived in two different centuries! At ten years of age I thought about what I would be like twenty years later and then when those days arrived I thought about 2005 and my sixtieth birthday. It was too far ahead to worry about so I carried on and gave it no more thought. When I did reach that age I realised that it had crept up on me and suddenly there seemed to be nothing to look forward to, nothing to dream about, in this world at least. These are the days though that I once could only dream about.

Shirley Anne

What’s up?

Boat of Boredom
Boat of Boredom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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!

Bored and tired Kate-as-Angel at Mardi Gras 20...
Bored and tired Kate-as-Angel at Mardi Gras 2008, New Orleans, Louisiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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?

Shirley Anne