Loose ends

I hate it when I’ve nothing to do but I don’t want to be too busy all of the time. However, when I am relaxing I tend to see things that I feel need attention and before I know it I am up again. I tend to be restless when perhaps I should just leave things alone and have the rest. My recent project kept me busy but not all day and even when I had stopped for the day I ended up doing other things around the garden and house. I would have made a great servant in that respect, good value for money. It was Thursday morning and I had been up since four-thirty even though I had set the alarm for five o’clock. Why that early? Well I hate lying in bed once awake and I knew I would be awake early anyway. It was do the weekly shopping day which I like to do between seven-thirty and eight-thirty. It gets it out of the way and leaves the rest of the day to do other things but I’ve mentioned this before. It was very cold first thing in the morning but by ten o’clock it began to warm up, so much so I spent an hour sitting on the patio with a drink. Just to show you what the weather was like and how the sun shines on the patio in the warmer months in the mornings I took this picture at ten o’clock.

I went indoors for a short time but returned to the patio after my lunch where I dozed off for about twenty minutes! After a while I jumped up realising I wanted to remove the hinges which were still fixed to the old door of the garage out on the front driveway. I had been thinking of putting hinges on a wooden chest which I was given when I left my employer twenty-three years ago! It had been used to store lead-acid batteries when in use but had been disposed of when a new system had been ushered in. I thought at that time it would be useful and for some time it was used to store odds and ends in the cellar. I had cleaned it last year and had left it in the gym empty. I fitted the hinges I had just reclaimed on the chest and it is now being used to store the ‘bed’ E uses when lying in the sun on the patio.

I screwed a spare knob to the lid to make it easier to lift. The rolled-up bed just about fits inside. There is an identical bed in the store room but we seldom use two at the same time. Waste not want not. I knew it was a good idea to take that chest all those years ago.

Shirley Anne



…..lived up to its name, it was sunny, not all of the time but much of it. I would be resting, or so I thought. Yes resting from my project but no in my leisure activities which now includes some gardening. I emphasise ‘some’ for once I get started in the garden there’s usually no stopping me, but it was Sunday and I deserved the day off anyway. I would be doing some painting the next day and perhaps one or two other things to bring an end to the garage door project. I doubt I’d be doing much nevertheless. So on Sunday (7 April) I swept up the garden path and cleared some weeds in the borders before spending a little time on the patio. I have to admit I was tired after doing that though I was only doing it for an hour. I obviously needed the rest and more so at my age. I noticed a couple of new shoots around the chopped-down fruit tree stumps but I knew that was always going to happen. Unless the stumps are removed completely or treated in some other way we shall have to keep cutting them off. Nature doesn’t like being messed about with. We’ll just have to see what develops. In any case it isn’t something to get worried about especially on a relaxing Sunday afternoon in the sun.

Shirley Anne


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

This time last year

I was browsing some of the posts which a couple of my readers had been viewing and in the process I found myself reading the post I had written on this day last year. That is 15 th February 2018. It had been snowing though the snow was only a dusting and didn’t last long. It melted on the concrete paths but lingered longer on the grass. By contrast today it is warm and sunny with blues skies and no snow! I had been working in the boiler room or what we now call the gym/boiler room on the refurbishment project I had set myself. I had painted the ceiling and done other work and was about to begin work on the construction of the pit which was to house the new cross-trainer we had purchased. The pit was necessary in order to give more headroom when using the trainer for the ceiling in the room and indeed all the rooms in the cellar are low. Even with the floor being about 200 cm lower than the other rooms in the cellar more headroom was required. When I look back at the work I had done I am glad it was last year and not this! So much more has happened since twelve months ago and it is fair to say I’ve been extremely busy. Although I still find things to do much of the harder work is finished (she says hopefully with tongue in cheek). It’s not that I don’t like work for I do, it’s just that I am not getting any younger and need more rest and relaxation.

Relaxing under a tree

This morning I went for another walk and ended up on the beach rather than just walking by it. I wanted to stay there but knew I couldn’t, there were things I needed to do at home and besides it wasn’t warm enough in the stiff cool breeze despite the sun shining. Later in the day it would become warmer, up to 12 deg C and probably better to sit in out on the patio away from the wind. I was going to take the day off and get that rest and relaxation.

Shirley Anne

Still at rest

It was eleven o’clock in the morning when I went out for my first walk in days on Wednesday (16 th). I had been suffering with aches and pains in both my lower back muscles and my buttocks. Walking actually doesn’t appear to aggravate the situation but on my return home four and a half miles later I felt awful. After preparing lunch I was glad to be able to sit down for a while . Raising myself from a seated position however has been really painful. It’s as if my muscles are on strike. As E has difficulty in getting about it is imperative that I am available to do the things she finds difficulty in doing. Even simple things like taking out the garbage or sweeping up leaves in the garden she leaves to me. When I am fit and well I take it all in my stride. Fortunately the major projects I have been engaged in doing have come to an end so I can take time out to rest but it isn’t always possible. I can hear my dad saying ‘you’ll just have to grin and bear it’. How right he was. It is no use grumbling or moaning when things need to be done and this is why I say it even when I am at my best. It is that time of year when certain plants begin to grow and especially those you don’t want like weeds. After all my efforts in removing bluebells (and montbretia) from the gardens two years ago there are still some which persist. On my return from my walk and before I went indoors for lunch I set about removing some I had seen in the front garden flowerbeds. I will be trying to curb my enthusiasm for finding things to do for my muscles’s sake, until there is an improvement of course.

Shirley Anne

The next day

It is now Saturday Jan 12 th as I write this at two-thirty in the afternoon. I wrestled with the desire to drop off to sleep throughout most of yesterday following my lack of sleep the night before. I knew that if I allowed myself even forty winks during the day I would have more problems in getting a good night’s sleep when I needed it most. It was eleven forty-five when I closed my eyes. It was six-ten when they next opened. After a quick visit to see my porcelain seat I returned to bed and slept a further three and a half hours. At last I had the sleep I needed and woke thoroughly refreshed for once. It is at times like these when I feel I can take on a lot more work but I had already decided the weekend was going to be spent resting and relaxing. I had ideas of dining out or doing some browsing around the garden to see what other things needed my attention in the following week for I already knew the main ones. In the end I simply stayed indoors. E had to go out and to pay a visit to see her mom so dining out was out of the question. I cooked something for lunch instead. She returned home late in the afternoon. I could get used to this life of idly doing nothing but I doubt it.

Shirley Anne

Job done

E wants to retouch the remaining three of the white painted doors in the cellar hallway but for myself I consider the job done…

Slightly different from what it looked like a couple of months ago don’t you think?

Despite the job dragging on so long I enjoyed doing it most of the time. Some of the work as with the other rooms I had tackled in the cellar last year was mundane and boring and it often felt like I was getting nowhere. A lot of paint was spread over a lot of repairs and alterations in all of the rooms but for some reason the hallway repairs took longer than the rest. Perhaps I was simply feeling my age and just got tired of it all but then, like most jobs, everything just falls into place and in the blink of an eye it is done. If I could clear out the two remaining rooms of all the stuff in them I would find the time to refurbish them too. So now at last I can do some of the work that needs to be done in the gardens, especially the rear garden. Today is Friday 11th January and I have completed the work two weeks ahead of the date I thought it would. I am also very tired but not just from this morning’s work, I went for a five and a half mile walk beforehand. It went something like this……Went to bed at seven and dropped off to sleep. Woke up at ten-fifty and couldn’t get back to sleep. Finally arose at one-ten and went for my walk at two, an hour earlier than usual and when out decided to extend the walk. After breakfast and a little catch-up tv I finished the work at eight-fifteen. I lead a very strange life…

Shirley Anne

Not bored

English: August Bank Holiday weather. A sudden...
August Bank Holiday weather. A sudden thundery downpour turned The Street into a stream just before midday. A couple of hours later the sun and wind had dried it out completely. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traditionally E and I have never gone away from home whenever it is a national holiday such as the recent one we had two weeks ago. For many a year the weather has proven to be poor especially on the Spring bank holidays and many folk will take a break in a foreign country for that reason. This year the Spring bank holiday weather was exceptionally warm and sunny over the three-day period so staying at home was fine and there was no need to go chasing after the sun elsewhere. I took advantage of the fine weather to get a little gardening done, setting in five new shrubs, weeding and watering and such but it wasn’t all work as I spent some time relaxing too. One thing I didn’t do was to work indoors though it might have been a possibility had the safety mask been delivered for that was holding up finishing off the little project I had been doing over the previous weeks, the cellar storage room. I needed the mask in order to paint the floor because the floor paint gives off noxious fumes when it is wet. It would have taken less than an hour to complete and I could have done it and still have had plenty of time to relax. As I write this on May 7th I am still waiting on the delivery of the mask. Everything in the cellar room is therefore on hold until the floor is painted but I have not been bored. I am hoping that I will receive the mask tomorrow so I can write off that job. There is always work to do in the gardens of course and while the weather is fine I can get on with them. I have it in mind to carry out repairs to the driveway to the garage E uses and want to get that out-of-the-way too. It looks like I won’t be able to spruce up the gym floor just yet as I thought I might. We are still awaiting delivery of the exercise bike too so I will probably need to install another power outlet for that before I can even think about the floor. It is almost impossible therefore to get bored in this house as long as I wish to do any work.

Shirley Anne

Days of rest

English: The Sabbath Rest
The Sabbath Rest 

This post isn’t about religion for those who shy away from such things but I thought I’d point out that fact before I wrote anything else. According to what is written in Scripture, that is The Bible, we are told to take a day of rest  each week from our labours, doing this by observing the Sabbath day because God created all things in six days and ‘rested’ on the seventh day. Not that God needs to rest but that ‘He’ stopped after the sixth day. In our lives we may not necessarily feel the need to cease from working and I know of people who work every day they can without resting but to do that is unwise. We need to rest, to take time out from work and to give ourselves the chance to recuperate. We are not machines that we are able to continue without rest and without wear, our bodies are not capable of continued physical work and we also need psychological rest too. My readers will know that I like working and I am always ready to whenever I can but I like to rest at the end of the day too. I also take at least one day off from my labours. Of course my professional work has dropped off somewhat and I often refuse invitations to work when it is too much for me to take on board. I have deliberately limited myself to working, if I am offered work that is, part-time and this applies to working at home too. E and I like dining out and we do that usually at least once every week, this week we dined out on Tuesday. The work at home is going well but because much of it is outdoors I have to rely on fair weather. It looks as if the weather is turning more wet and windy but it shouldn’t interfere too much with my plans. If it does I will take a break! I need the rest. You need a day or even two of complete rest and if you have been working hard you deserve it. Don’t spend your whole life working or you will miss living it!

Shirley Anne

Thought I’d finished.

I had this vision on Christmas Eve. I thought I’d finished work for the rest of the year. Funny how things change. Yesterday I attended an emergency request and today I did a job for a guy who would have had me there yesterday had I been daft enough to go but he paid me well. Yesterday was a national holiday here in the UK but I didn’t mind the emergency call out which also paid well for the very short time I was there. Today however is just another working day. Many people will have taken a long break lasting from Christmas Eve until the 4th January and I had this fanciful idea I might do the same. Fat chance eh? Being self-employed I tend not to refuse work but I do try to spread it out. Clients of course don’t know my age until I tell them and then it would only be during the time I am working for them. Well they may consider me too old and ask somebody else! I am quite capable though but I am selective in the work I choose to do, I specialise in smaller tasks which none of the regular electricians seem to want to do. That is because they are usually tied up on large contracts. It works well for me because it means I get heaps of work. I don’t need to push myself too hard, I don’t need to guarantee myself a minimum income each week but I get it anyway! The thing is I can take time off pretty much when I feel like it. A nice position to be in yes but I’ve worked hard all my life to be able to take things easy now. So no, I haven’t finished working yet but I hope I can at least see the rest of the year out without doing another tap!

Shirley Anne