We’ve had a few bad days of cold and windy weather from the east but today as I write this on Thursday 1st March it looks as though things are about to change for the better. It has been snowing but not that much, in fact we’ve probably had only a few hours of it during the time it has been falling. I guess we’ve had three centimetres of the white stuff at most as it comes and goes. What is worse is if it doesn’t melt away it freezes so although there might not be much of it the snow can still be a problem. We are very fortunate though for in many parts of the country conditions have been far worse so we mustn’t complain. It never ceases to amaze me though that this country cannot cope as well as it should when it snows whereas many other countries take it in their stride. I had planned to go for a walk but changed my mind and worked out on the Elliptical Trainer instead. That’s the beauty of being able to have the space in which to fit exercising machinery and equipment and I humbly acknowledge that privilege. Having gym equipment was never on my thoughts when we first moved into this house thirty years ago. Funny how things change I suppose. For most of the day I stayed indoors relaxing but I did wander about making plans for other projects E and I have been considering. My current project is to decorate the boiler room which houses the gym equipment and as you have been reading part of that work is already complete. However there is some preliminary work that needs to be done in other parts of the room yet to be decorated, tidying up wiring, replacing some of the pipe lagging, perhaps replacing the main light and installing another just to name a few. So over the next few weeks I shall be doing that work whilst decorating those areas which require no preparation. A little here and a little there is the way it will go. One other small project E would like have me do is to install a couple of 5 amp power points in the hallway for the two table lamps we use there. She wants them to be automatically controlled and I have the plans to do it. It will mean installing a photo-cell similar to those controlling the garage lights as shown in this picture…
and in conjunction with a time switch. The photo-cell will supply power to the 5 amp sockets when it goes dark and the time switch will prevent the lights remaining on all through the night. Once it is daylight again the power will automatically shut off. The system of operation is similar to that supplied to the porch light and the garden street lamp-post via the ‘part night’ controllers except that the new one will use cheaper parts and will be manually adjustable if required. Nothing like having plans as long as I can get around to doing them!
‘Jump the gun’, might be another description I assign to myself at times. Why? Well it is because I am a forward thinker and a person who when has a project often sees it finished before it had begun! I often think too forward into the future as I like everything to be organised and well planned out. I like things to run smoothly as I plan them to but that is never always possible due to events and circumstances beyond my control. I get annoyed in those cases.
The problem with thinking too far ahead is that we can miss what is happening in the present. Much of my time has been spent in the garden over the last twelve months carrying out alterations and additions, removing unwanted plants like bluebells and montbretia (may need more work on these next year too) and general maintenance. E and I were talking about the garden and the wildlife we get in the relatively small area at the rear of the house, other gardens. I was talking about the method I used when deciding how to populate the flowerbeds I had been working in these past six months. I told her that I think forward to how I imagine the bed would look like in winter and how much greenery we would like to see there at that time of year. Not all the trees and plants in our garden are evergreen but I like to keep deciduous plants to a minimum so that there is always some green foliage to see during the cold moths. I have also to bear in mind how fast they will grow and to what size and all this helps in the decision-making. Anyway we got to talking about the wildlife, owls, foxes, squirrels, mice, bats and a huge variety of birds all live or spend time in the rear gardens to our property. They all have to plan ahead too don’t they? The forward planning I make has taken a different route lately, for one I am planning less because there is less to plan for though there are still some things I, we need to plan ahead for in the coming months and some of them I wished were already done and dusted. At this time of year when the weather is warm and sometimes humid I don’t feel much like doing anything but I know if at least I don’t make any plans to get things done later they may never get done. Now, at the Summer Solstice my thoughts are elsewhere for a time.
At the moment of writing work has come almost but not quite to a standstill on the bathroom project. I am still finding work to do that isn’t affected by the fact that we are waiting upon the tiling being done. The reasons for that are listed in recent posts for those new to reading my meanderings, and thank you all new-comers by the way for following my blog. I am not short of work though as I have been inundated with requests for my electrical services. It is Thursday afternoon and I have taken the afternoon off. I went out this morning to do a small job and on my return spent an hour or so with E marking out a datum line and fitting more wooden battens on which the first row of tiles will sit when the guy comes to do the tiling. He would only have to do it himself anyway so we are saving him the time. I have had some fun with linking this computer to E’s printer in order to print out my certificate of motor insurance. Earlier in the month I arranged and paid for the renewal but didn’t receive the certificate through an email in order to print it out. I had to take action as the old certificate expired on Saturday. I went on-line and contacted the insurers through their chat line facility and it appears they were having difficulty in sending it to my AOL email account and not only mine but everyone using AOL. I gave them an alternate address and they said they would send it there.
However in the meantime the chat was disconnected so I used their freephone number and contacted them over the phone. I explained what had happened and I also requested a hard copy of the certificate to be sent to my home address. I was told the fee would be £3.99! Well I was never charged for receiving a hard copy in the past as they were always sent that way. No doubt the fee would have been hidden in the overall cost but I never saw it. I was told that they would send it free of charge on this occasion and I would receive it within three days. Whilst checking my other email address I discovered they had indeed sent me the certificate electronically to the alternate email. It was then that I decided an attempt to print it. After a few attempts and it not responding I finally discovered that the computer was sending the data to a printer that wasn’t connected to it, the default printer, my own printer. Having discovered that error and correcting it I was able to print off the certificate. It now looks as if I shall have two of them! It is wise to have more than one copy I guess. Later I decided to print off a few business letterheads as I thought I’d used up my stock. When I came to store the newly printed sheets I found I had plenty left and didn’t really need the extras! I’m sure I am losing it! Anyhow I like to keep abreast of things and am always thinking and planning ahead. So it was that I ended up in the cellar in the little room we plan to convert into a washroom and toilet that will only be accessed from the garden once the existing doorways have been bricked up. That task will be given to E’s nephew who is a builder. The floor tiles need lifting and the floor levelling as there is a slight slope in it at the moment. These tiles are made from fired clay and measure something like 8 x 8 x 2 inches. They don’t make them like that these days! They are simply set upon compacted sand and can easily be replaced in preference to a concreted screed if we need to but I prefer to keep them if I can so every effort will be made to do so. I was simply making some assessments of the alterations and preparations that will be required to set the ball rolling once we set foot in there in earnest. I like planning ahead.