I pride myself on being reasonably fit for my age. Fitness alone however isn’t a measure of how much physical work we can do, age can impose limitations. Having said that I think I achieve quite a lot considering I am no ‘spring chicken’. I do get tired of course and have to rest up and give myself a break. I have been trying to limit how much work I do in any one day and so far I think I have succeeded. The various projects I have undertaken over the last couple of years have involved much work but I have avoided working too many hours at a time. Lately I have not worked more than three hours in any day. Some work is more taxing than others like sawing through heavy-duty plywood by hand for instance! This was the case for me on Tuesday (8 th) morning. Tuesday was the day for my walk which didn’t help but neither did not getting enough sleep! I did sleep but not long enough it seems. I had breakfast after returning from the walk and soon after I began working on the latest project. The first task was to level the cabinet by adjusting the five supporting legs before I could secure it to the wall. Needless to say the floor isn’t level where the cabinet stands. I had to secure timber to the wall beforehand so that I could secure the cabinet to it. The rear of the cabinet does not fit directly against the wall for it is constructed in such a way to leave a space of around 100 mm. I could have used the small brackets provided but that would have been more difficult. The next task was to cut out the centre of the sheet of plywood to enable the sink and drainer to fit inside which is were the saw came in. I should have used a jig-saw but guess what? I don’t have one! The one I once had finally gave up the ghost and I didn’t replace it as I thought it unnecessary at the time. I just wouldn’t get the use to make it worthwhile. There have been a number of occasions however when I regretted that decision, one being Tuesday morning! I was worn out by the time I had cut out the hole. Tiredness had caught up with me and I stopped work. I had spent a couple of hours down there anyway. I returned later accompanied by E as we discussed the projects problems and how to overcome them. We further discussed what we planned doing elsewhere in the room too. More work to get tired doing. I’m happy with that.
Again I was tired when I went to bed yet found it difficult to nod off to sleep. Finally I did of course but ended up only getting five hours. That in itself was never a problem before as I had been very used to having only four and a half hours of sleep for a number of years. However on Friday morning when the alarm woke me at two I lay in bed for another hour! Now that was unusual for I normally get up straight away. I still felt tired and was about to go for my early morning walk. Despite it being an hour behind my normal routine I left the house only a half-hour later than I usually do. It was quite warm outside as I left the house and I could feel no wind at all. It was only as I reached the seafront later that I could feel a welcome breeze for by that time I was feeling too warm having walked briskly the whole way. By the time I had reached home I had cut around ten minutes off my usual time for that particular route.
My tiredness had disappeared and I now felt great. How long would that last I wondered? When working at something I never feel tired until I stop and then I sleep well but if I have nothing to do I get tired yet can’t get to sleep. At the moment I am doing very little work at home except routine stuff. My latest project cannot be completed until I receive the pebbles I ordered which will be weeks away. I will need to find something to do in the meantime but the weather is warm and I don’t feel like it.
…didn’t happen! I was writing about making plans in yesterday’s post but on Friday, that is today as I write, I overslept. Over sleeping isn’t really true for had I not needed the sleep I wouldn’t have taken it. In real terms it meant I awakened at nine-thirty instead of eight o’clock which would be more my usual time. So it wasn’t the sleeping-in that prevented my doing some more work in the cellar but more the other things which got in the way. Prayer time, a shower, getting dressed, applying make-up, putting the soiled towels into the washing machine which had piled-up during the week and chatting with E all before I grabbed a quick breakfast, those were the things which prevented any work being done before noon. Following that I decided to venture out into the rear garden to sweep up the enormous piles of fallen ivy and some holly leaves that had been nicely stored in a couple of places by the high wind. It was another miserably cold day though it was showing signs of getting warmer for the snow had been slowly melting. According to the forecast it would be far warmer by the following Monday. It was now almost twelve o’clock and time to return indoors to thaw out! I had been to the garage to collect the brush and bucket with which to sweep the leaves but returned later to empty out some things from my van and sort them out for storage. Now it was time to hang the washing after which I fitted a coat hook behind one of the doors upstairs. I was about to prepare lunch when E asked if I could help search for something in the cellar so off we went to do that. I had lost count of the number of trips to the cellar I had made in the previous couple of hours which is often quite normal in this house! At last it was time for lunch, it was one forty-five. By the time I had finished lunch I was in no mood for starting work, which would have been painting the room in the cellar. What can I say? There’s always tomorrow.
I hadn’t done particularly much on Thursday (11) and had in fact arisen quite late that morning as I mentioned in the previous post but I still expected to nod off to sleep that evening. However, I had been watching a movie late in the evening which ran until one forty-five. Even then I wasn’t ready for bed so I watched some more television. Before I knew it was almost four o’clock and still I wasn’t feeling tired. I ended up not going to bed at all, not even taking a nap on the couch. I expected I would definitely sleep on Friday night though. Sometimes it goes like that but usually I have at least a couple of hours sleeping. Once many years ago, not long after I had qualified as an electrician I was involved in a job with a couple of colleagues carrying out alterations to the main electrical panels and supply cabling in a factory which took us around forty hours to complete. We all of us worked right through for the full forty hours taking only breaks for meals. Of course I was much younger and took it in my stride though it is said that younger people need more sleep than the rest of us. You could argue that older people require less sleep because they do less work and that could be true. I know that if I lounge about all day I am not going to feel the need for sleep. Whatever is said we do need sleep as it allows our bodies to rest, or does it? Many people have researched the reason why we sleep but as yet there is no definitive answer. Our brain just switches us into a different state and there we are, asleep. Have a look at this site….http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/the-mystery-of-sleep-pressure/549473/ . Fascinating isn’t it? There is no escaping the Sandman too long unless there is something wrong with us. We are simply made that way it seems. No doubt an answer will be found sometime in the future but in the meantime I wi…l…l….yawn!
It felt great just lying there in bed on Sunday morning with no pressure upon my shoulders to do anything but rest. I didn’t stay in bed too long however as by then I had slept for four hours and following a very short break had a further five hours of sleep. It’s unheard of in my life to have anything more than four or five hours at the most. All I can say is that I must have needed it. Late on Saturday afternoon our neighbour had asked if I could look at a problem with her kitchen light but even then I could hardly keep my eyes open. I stayed the course until eleven o’clock when by that time I was in bed, or rather upon it as it was still too warm to get under the duvet. I fell asleep straight away. After my breakfast, an hour after my breakfast, I went for a short walk, short as in two miles. It was just enough to satisfy my need for a little exercise though in my heart I wanted to walk much further. It had been sensible of me to keep it short however on my day of rest. I did call in to my neighbour but evidently she was out in her car because the gates were open. I knew her son was at home for his car was there but I didn’t wish to ring the doorbell knowing he was probably asleep after working through the night. He is an inspector in the police force and he works different shift patterns. I only wanted to let my neighbour know I would investigate the faulty light on Monday morning. I went home and had a coffee, sitting on the patio to drink it. In the meantime E was in the bathroom having a shower. She is a strange person to be sure, it was almost noon! When I came back indoors I began listening to some music on YouTube using the tv.
E came in with a coffee she had prepared for me not knowing I had just had one. We both sat and played around with YouTube trying to master navigation with the tv remote control. It would have been far easier to turn on the computer and use that instead of the tv. That is the problem with the television control, it isn’t the best thing to use as it takes ages to do anything when using it. We gave up in the end. I had a light lunch and E went out with her mom for a couple of hours to do some shopping. I wouldn’t dream of shopping on a Sunday……isn’t it supposed to be the sabbath? That’s the world of today I have to say with a sad heart.
I woke up on Thursday to a very cool day with a wind blowing. It had been raining overnight but when I arose around seven o’clock it had but almost stopped. The evening before and on through the night for a few hours it had been very humid and quite warm. I slept on top of the bed linen again because it was so uncomfortably ‘sticky’ and awoke at three-twenty after fours hours of sound sleep. I had the window open of course but by the middle of the night conditions turned a lot cooler. I had to slip beneath the bed sheets for warmth. A little less than a further four hours of sound sleep I was up and about. I have noticed my sleep patterns are gradually getting better and I am getting more sleep than I have been used to in recent years. I was going for a walk after breakfast and was in two minds as to what I should wear because of the coolness of the day. Any sort of coat would keep me too warm so I elected not to wear one. When I finally got outside and on my walk many folk I saw were wearing coats and carrying umbrellas. It wasn’t going to rain, I had faith in the forecast and it didn’t rain throughout the day. I seemed to be under dressed compared to what others were wearing as I wore only a lightweight sleeveless top and a skirt but I was comfortable despite that. I so much prefer it being cool and I am more used to that than I am with hot and humid weather. It stayed cool throughout the morning and only got warmer after lunch. In fact the minimum temperature had been about fifteen degrees Celsius when I went out on the walk and rose to eighteen later in the day. The wind made it feel that bit cooler. E had gone for her hospital appointment to have her hearing checked. Of all the other complaints she suffers with she was diagnosed with Tinnitus on her last visit too. Her mom had an appointment with the physiotherapist at the same time so they went together. E doesn’t like cool or cold weather at all whereas I don’t mind it too much. Whilst on the walk I received a call for my electrical services but I declined the work……it was to change a light bulb in a cooker extract hood! I get offered some silly jobs at times and that isn’t cool. I told her I had retired anyway.
What a crazy day I had on Monday! I went to bed around ten o’clock on Sunday night but didn’t actually begin to sleep until twelve-fifteen. How do I know that? I had made a point of checking the time on my phone, which I use as an alarm too, closed my eyes and didn’t wake up until exactly four hours later. That was it! I couldn’t return to sleep no matter how hard I tried so I gave in and got out of bed. I was sat eating breakfast at five-thirty and fully wide awake. What was I going to do for the next three hours before driving off to my first job of the day? I watched television, went on-line, played guitar (quietly) but was soon bored doing those things. Still, I had to wait, I had no choice. It was eight-twenty as I left the house and I arrived at the job just before nine as arranged. The work involved repairs to a couple of cabinet lights and their wiring. Whoever had installed them had hidden the wiring behind a panel as expected but they had also hidden the transformer and connection box behind the panel too. The problem was that the panel couldn’t be removed without causing a great deal of damage! Crazy or what? I wondered what had been going through the person’s mind when they did the work. Did they think the parts would never go faulty? I ended up rewiring the lights and hiding the wiring in small trunking inside the cabinets that were the bedroom’s built-in furniture. Unfortunately one of the lights needed replacing but none were available close-by. I had to drive back to my own town to fetch one then return and fit it. My coiled-up spring was beginning to unwind and I had another job to do before I could even think about driving homeward. When the work was done it was approaching one-thirty and I was feeling rather hungry having not eaten for eight hours. I drove homeward and paid a visit to my local pub to have a meal there but it was way after two-thirty before it was on the table before me. Nine hours are a long time between meals when one is working. My eyes began to close as I sat at home later writing this. It was only four-thirty in the afternoon and I wondered if I would make it to evening without falling asleep beforehand! As I get older I am finding it difficult to cope with hardly any sleep, not because I need more sleep but because I end up with all those extra hours awake with nothing much to do in them.
Over the past couple of weeks my sleeping habits have been quite erratic and I found myself lying in when I ought not have done. Yes, the reason for that was because I was tired but it was at the wrong time. It’s all about routine, work and play then rest but if there is little of the former two then sleep patterns suffer. Once in a while I will set my alarm to ensure I arise early even if I have no work the following day just so I can maintain my routine. So it was that on Sunday morning the alarm had been set to go off at seven forty-five to ensure I didn’t sleep in. So what happened? I awoke at seven-thirty! That’s what usually happens with me, the alarm is really only a standby just in case. Sunday turned out to be a gloriously sunny day but it was cold. After breakfast I went for a walk but halfway through I felt I shouldn’t have, I felt tired and weary even though I’d slept well. I was in half a mind to cut the walk short. This has happened once or twice in the past but each time I dismissed the thought and carried on with the walk. It is a similar experience to those I had when I used to go running, getting through the pain barrier. I found I was beginning to enjoy the walk despite my earlier feelings of tiredness. Even so, by the time I had almost completed my walk all I wanted to do was sit down and rest. I began thinking it was due to my age or perhaps I had been doing too much lately or both those things but after a hot drink of coffee sweetened with honey I perked up. I needed nourishment. I had eaten porridge and fruit for breakfast so shouldn’t have felt hungry and in fact I wasn’t feeling hungry at all. I hadn’t taken into account that in the colder weather I might have needed more energy but on reflection I don’t think that was the problem. I think life got to me!
Later in the afternoon I was sitting in the front lounge when there was a knock on the window. I thought E had perhaps forgotten her keys for she had gone out earlier but that wouldn’t be likely, it was my eldest son who had driven over to collect some things and to have a chat. It appears he is becoming dissatisfied with his work as a police officer. He enjoys his work but the excess pressure is getting to him. He and his wife are finding it difficult to raise enough funds with which to purchase their own home and as she hasn’t a full-time job saving is minimal. He has been considering a change in career and had thoughts about qualifying as an electrician! If he can obtain his qualifications, which will be after three years under normal circumstances, he can then become self-employed. I would of course give him all the support I could by ’employing’ him. It might not happen, it is up to him, we’ll have to wait and see but he has worked with me in the past, before his university days. He is well able to do the work.
It is Sunday and I am bored stiff! I had gotten out of bed very late in the morning and didn’t get downstairs until after eleven o’clock. Most unusual for me to have slept in so late but there was a reason. Firstly I didn’t get to bed until very late and I’d had a restless night, never getting more than short breaks of sleep until at six o’clock after a visit to the toilet I eventually dozed off for more than four hours. I obviously wasn’t tired enough the evening before! It meant I skipped breakfast and had lunch at twelve o’clock instead. I need to be doing something to get me tired enough for sleep and I haven’t been doing as much work of late. I have taken a two-week break from my electrical work so I expect few calls during that time, though I have still been getting them by word-of-mouth, recommendations from others. I even received a call from someone who had seen my advertisement or recommendation on a website listing me as a good and reliable electrician. I don’t advertise on the web. Anyway the long and short of it is that whilst I am officially unavailable I have to find other things to do at home or remain bored stiff! I don’t work on a Sunday anyway but I had been out in the garden a couple of times during the afternoon enjoying the sunshine for the most part but all the time thinking about things I could do, weather permitting, to ease the boredom. Most of the work in the garden this year has been centred on projects like redesigning three flowerbeds, restructuring and designing the area behind one of the garages we have labelled the Plot and installing extra lighting but there is one area which has been neglected because of a lack of time or what to do with it, that is the area behind the other garage and the first thing we see when we enter the garden from the cellar door, the preferred route we take.
As you can see it needs some attention. Now there are still plenty of the natural stone blocks lying about which we dug out of the Mound a couple of years ago, they will come in handy when, as I plan to do, and start work to tidy it all up. Of course I will nave to dispose of or hide away the old house bricks temporarily lying there too. If the weather stays dry I will make a start.
I wonder how many of my English friends remember this old nursery rhyme?
“To bed! To bed!”
“Tarry awhile,” says Slow;
“Put on the pan,”
Says Greedy Nan*;
“We’ll sup before we go.”
“To bed, to bed,” says Sleepy-Head;
“Let’s stay awhile,” says Slow;
“Put on the pot,” says Greedy-Sot*,
“We’ll sup before we go.”
*Sot means fool.
Sometimes I have days like these. Or perhaps I should say late evenings? After working during the day I am ready for bed but often I find myself reluctant to go. This trend seems to have started as I got older. I know if I go to bed early I usually wake up early too as normally I cannot sleep for more than a maximum of five hours, though sometimes I will return to sleep for an hour or so after. It all depends on how tired I really am. Most of the time I will simply get out of bed as soon as I wake. Many times I have eaten late into the evening when according to some it isn’t a good idea. I have never been troubled or had a restless night due to eating late but if on the other hand I drink before bedtime I know I will be up again soon after I fall asleep, I do that often enough as it is without taking too much liquid beforehand. As for not wanting to go to bed early I know I am tired yet it makes no difference. Many times I will watch television in bed because I want to see a favourite program but often I fall asleep whilst watching it! So why do I bother? I suppose I don’t really intend to fall asleep and don’t think I will. When I wake in the morning I sometimes still feel tired but as soon as I get out of bed I feel as fresh as a daisy, even after five hours. At the weekend or during the week if I know I don’t have to get up too early I often do anyway. So, I like sleep, I like dreams, I like being in bed after each day’s work but I don’t much like going through the process to get me there. I tarry awhile or better put, procrastinate.