I like to get things done. If there are things to do I want to get on with them, it is in my nature. Any projects I may have often try my patience if I cannot work on them for whatever reason. Once I take on board any work I am eager to see it finished but sometimes things get in the way, other pressing tasks, ill-health, tiredness for instance. Thankfully I am blessed with good health but the occasional cold or maybe ‘flu will dampen my enthusiasm and I have to rest up. Other tasks such as my electrical work will take priority because while I am able to earn some extra money I do it. The beauty about having a project at home is the fact that there is never any real pressure with deadlines, I can take my time. At the present time my main project, if I can call it that, is the work I have been doing in the garden, mainly removing the thousands of bluebell bulbs and plants together with some montbretia plants that had overtaken one or two of the flowerbeds. The major part of that work is complete though there will be maintenance to follow throughout the year to ensure all plants have been eradicated. It may turn out to be an ongoing task for quite longer than that. At the time of writing this on Saturday there is still much to do in the corner near to the large greenhouse but as it is such a cold and windy day I have taken time out once again until it gets a little warmer. That should be in the week ahead but of course it might also rain and that will prevent progress. I guess I have been fortunate thus far as the weather for the beginning of the year has been reasonably fair for working out-of-doors as long of course I was wearing warm clothing! I want to get on with the work but common sense tell me I have to wait now and then. I went to the pub yesterday and stayed there for three hours. I had lunch and was served by the landlord’s brother who works there only on a Friday. I couldn’t remember having seem him there before but have to admit I haven’t been to the pub much during the last twelve months or so, about the same period of time he has been working there. He asked me what I had planned for the weekend. I told him I hadn’t any plans, which for me is usually the case unless I have a project to work on. Old habits die-hard I suppose. I can think of many reasons to go to the pub and many reasons to stay at home and they often conflict in my thoughts. I am not sure which will win the day today……
For anyone who knows Shirley Anne they will know she tends to get impatient and she hates waiting around for things to happen. Maybe that is a bad thing but it is who she is. I am writing this on my older laptop on Monday afternoon and it has been playing up a little. Oh how I hate computers! The weather outside (where else would it be?) is lousy though at this very moment the sun is beginning to break through the overladen sky. It has been raining a little during the last few hours but that has ceased. The wind however has become stronger in the wake of the latest storm to hit these shores. Storm Katie has reeked havoc in the southern and eastern parts of the country, bringing down power lines and trees and ripping off roofs. We have been fortunate here and have suffered no ill-effects because the storm was too far south of us but it is still managing to induce high winds across the whole country from west to east at our latitude. Whatever the reasons for the high number of storms we have experienced over the last couple of years there is little we can do about it. This morning E and I set about fixing squeaking floorboards in the bedroom in readiness for the carpet to be laid, tomorrow as you read this. We had left doing that until everything else was done in the room. All I can say is I am thankful for battery-driven drills for we had to screw quite a number of boards down to the joists. Old houses often have squeaky boards as the wood has gradually shrunk and the traffic upon them loosened the nails. It is almost impossible to eliminate all imperfections but I can say the floor sounds a lot better now than it did. E decided to over-paint a couple of old wooden chairs that had been standing in the room before we began refurbishing it. The room as it stands at the moment without a floor covering makes it the ideal place for painting them. They will be moved further upstairs in storage once they are dry.
Before we ate lunch E drove me to a house I had been working in on Thursday where I had left the Swiss army knife I use for my electrical work. I hadn’t noticed it missing until I wanted something else from the tool box. I can usually tell in an instant when one of the tools is missing. Anyway and fortunately the house wasn’t far away. I will be needing it tomorrow (Tuesday) as I will be at work in the morning. Now the sun is shining brightly and the sky is turning blue but the wind persists. I am at a loose end and am impatient to get something done, trouble is, there isn’t much I can do!
As I write this on Sunday the sun is trying to break through the overcast sky. It is somewhat windy just now and there is the prospect of more rain to fall, however, it is the 21st as I write and we are now two-thirds of the way through winter. It can only get better but where I live that cannot be guaranteed. It has been some weeks since E’s nephew and his crew were here working on the front steps but the work isn’t yet finished. That is due to a couple of reasons but I suspect primarily the weather. It is the same for the roof repairs though I fancy that if I don’t keep pestering the guy who does the roof repairs it won’t get done. I am hoping at this moment that it is simply the weather which is holding things back though we have had enough dry days whereby it could have been done. The problem is that scaffolding has to be erected and even that hasn’t yet been done. I am trying my best to be patient though when I think about the damage water can do I get frustrated that things are not moving along. To be fair, like I wish the weather was right now, the ingress of water is not large, it is more like a slow build-up of a minor leak which looks worse than it is. The sun is shining and the sky is turning blue and that in itself puts me in a cheerful mood. I am hoping that in a couple of week’s time work will have started in building the bedroom furniture and then E and I will be able to choose the colour of the paint we want for the walls or what will remain of them on view. Those parts of the wall which will be hidden inside the wardrobes have already been painted. I have also to cut and fit a picture rail once the furniture has been built. E is arranging for the curtains (drapes) to be lined and we also have to fit a curtain rail and a ceiling light once we have selected those things. Finally we will have a new carpet laid but we won’t need to buy a new underlay as the one we took up is as good as new. In the meantime I have been quite busy working at my electrical business to help pay for all of this.
Many of you will have heard that saying and understood its meaning but some may not. Before I continue with the theme of this post I will explain what a saint really is. Notwithstanding what the dictionary definition is, a saint in real terms is described in Scripture. When saint Paul corresponded with the believers (in Christ) in the various places dotted about the Mediterranean Sea he began by writing ‘To all the saints in….’. He was addressing them as saints and therefore by the same token all those who are believers today can call themselves ‘saints’. Incidentally, there is no hierarchy in sainthood as some churches would have us believe. They talk about ‘special’ saints and address them using the capital letter ‘S’ but in fact all saints are simply those who are followers of Christ. To be a Christian (saint) is to have among many things, patience and forbearance especially when all things seem to be coming against us.
Over the last weekend I began to feel a tenderness and sensitivity in one of my front (incisor) teeth and after a day or so I began to feel a general ache beneath the surrounding teeth. I knew a visit to the dentist was needed but in the meantime I kept the pain down and rinsed often with an antiseptic mouthwash believing it to be an infection rather than a tooth problem. By Thursday morning I could no longer put off going to the dentist but I had two electrical jobs scheduled. The first one was at nine o’clock and was easy to do so I spent little time there. My next job although quite a few miles distant would take me past my dentist‘s surgery so I called in there to make an appointment. As by now I was suffering with toothache I was fortunate to get an appointment at 2.15, immediately after their lunch break. It was only ten o’clock so I had time to go to my next job and complete it. I drove off but about a mile from my destination and on a country lane I could hear a strange noise so I stopped the van to see if the ladders on the roof were secure. They were but then I looked beneath the van to see the exhaust end box on the road. I could do without a problem like this at that moment for I wasn’t feeling too good, was a little tired and I wanted to get on with the day ahead. It is fortunate that I was in a van carrying electrical cables and tools. A length of earthing conductor and five minutes on my stomach soon had the exhaust box supported and I was on my way. A simple steel strap wraps around the box and is suspended from a flexible rubber band but the strap had corroded leaving no support for the box. I arrived at the house and was greeted by an old lady who after hearing my story promptly made me a cup of tea. I discovered that her husband had taken the dog for a walk but that if I needed a long ladder there was one on the extension’s roof. I was to replace a floodlight but it was at high level. I don’t carry long ladders now for I don’t usually work at such height from a ladder at my age. I made an exception and got on with it but it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t straightforward. I will spare you the details suffice to say it was a proverbial pain and just something else to try to rub me up the wrong way. The second light unit I had to replace was at low level and I thought that would be far easier but again there were problems. What else could go wrong? Finally I was able to drive back homeward stopping off at the dentists on the way but I was over an hour too early for the appointment. I found a place to park the van and walked the short distance across the busy main road to the surgery. By now I was in real pain but had to sit it out. I was the only patient in there at that moment and for a while afterward. I was also feeling quite hungry but could I really eat anything before seeing the dentist as I couldn’t brush my teeth? What dentist wants to see a mouth full of bits of food? I could eat later. I was more concerned about the toothache which was getting worse and a newly developing headache. I was a wreck! Finally I was sitting in the chair with the nice young dentist peering into my mouth. He is so nice and has the dubious pleasure of looking after my dental needs. He treated me on my last visit and will remain my dentist as long as he is there. He took an x-ray and five minutes later I was called into the room again to be told I had two teeth which needed filling and I had two abscesses also. They were in separate places and were caused by an infection. He prescribed antibiotics which I have to take for the next few days, My next appointment on the 18th inst. will be the first of five in order for him to do what is necessary. This is going to cost me a pretty penny! At the reception I was to have the prescription stamped and I had to arrange for the next appointment but all I wanted to do was to get the prescription filled out at the chemist store two doors away and go home. There was a problem, I had a bad headache, the phone rang continually, the only receptionist had her hands full with another patient and there were other people ahead of me in the queue. Soon I was in the chemist but they were busy in there too! At last I was sitting in the van whereupon I took one of the antibiotic capsules and a headache tablet I keep in there with the water I also keep in the cab. I could go home but no, I had to visit the tyre and exhaust depot first to see if they could do the repair only to be told when I got there that they no longer hold stock and the part would have to be ordered but that I could drive a couple of miles to a service station who might have them in stock. The drive took me out-of-town in the opposite direction to home. The guy there told me the bad news, no, they didn’t have the part but it could be there the following morning. It would also necessitate replacing the tail box as the strap securing it is now welded to the box! That meant extra expenditure to the tune of £70. I couldn’t have the work done in the morning as I had a job to do so made the appointment for later in the afternoon. When I got home all I wanted to do was sit down and doze off to sleep but I needed something in my tummy and ate some fruit. It was too late for lunch and too early for dinner. The phone rang and it was yet another job request. Now just to rub salt in my wounds I discovered I had problems with updating Norton security on my computer and had also lost the Norton toolbar again for the fourth time. I have had nothing but problems with Norton when using Firefox ever since I upgraded to Windows 10. Once was acceptable, if anything should be acceptable, twice was an irritation, then three and now four times is really not acceptable. However I took in in my stride though in fact wanted to scream. I contacted the Norton help desk and was again connected to an agent who took control of my computer and with great efficiency had the problem sorted in less than thirty minutes. It is reasonable to hope that this will be the final time but who knows? Despite everything that happens in my life I remain patient and unruffled but then I have the patience of a saint.
I’ve never been a patient person when waiting for things to happen though I have the patience to resolve problems that I am often confronted with. I just don’t like waiting, especially for others to take action. At the time of writing I am awaiting a quotation for the building work I am employing someone else to do for me rather than doing it myself and botching it up. Not that I can’t lay bricks myself for I have laid many of the in the past, rebuilding and extending the newest of the two garages we have at home and more recently a couple of minor bricklaying jobs. In this particular instance I have invited E’s nephew, a builder/bricklayer, to give me a quote. If his quotation is reasonable I will get him to do the work but if not I will try elsewhere. This means I have to play the waiting game as there is very little meaningful work I can do on the project until the brickwork is completed. As my electrical work is thin on the ground at this moment I am finding it difficult to cope with the idleness. I am not an idle person, not by a long shot so it is getting to me that I have nothing to do. The rest will benefit me physically but psychologically it is driving me crazy. I know things will suddenly change, they always do but I will be ready for the change when it happens. It is at times like these I should go to the pub, go for a bicycle ride, a walk, a drive, the cinema, the theatre, the shops, anything to relieve the boredom! However I know I will do few of those things if any, besides, I have to be reasonably available to do any electrical work that comes my way don’t I? There is that bedroom to clear out of rubbish but alas at the moment E is using the room to paint that yellow chair in a new colour to make it suitable for use in the bathroom. Thwarted in every direction! Oh well I’ll just have to remain bored for the time being!