I got the chance to test the effectiveness of the coat I had purchased a month or so ago when I went for an early morning walk on Thursday. Although I have worn the coat several times since its purchase and some of those times in the rain, Thursday’s walk was a real test. Rain had been forecast to fall at around four o’clock but by the time I started out a couple of hours later it had stopped. I took the long route on my way to the coastal road and the sky to the west looked very menacing, so dark the clouds were almost black in colour and then I heard the rumble of thunder out toward the sea. To the east and south it was slightly brighter, that is the clouds were a lighter shade of grey! By the time I had reached the sea front it had begun to rain and it appeared I was walking in the same direction to where it was falling. It got heavier and heavier as I went along. Out to sea the horizon had almost faded into the sky and visibility was cut down so much the town of Blackpool, normally visible across the bay twenty miles away was nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t so much the rain that was the problem but the persistent wind blowing on-shore. The scene looked pretty much like that shown in the picture, water, water, everywhere..
The coat stood the test as expected which was just as well else I’d have been soaked through. On my chosen route there was nowhere to take refuge, nowhere for respite and to be honest I really didn’t wish to stop walking anyway. I doubt I will deliberately start my walks during a heavy downpour but it is nice to know that if I get caught out in a storm I can have the assurance of staying dry, at least under my coat. My feet didn’t fare so well, though not soaking wet they did get wet. I had been in two minds as to whether I should have worn my boots but chose my trainers instead. I think I should have worn the boots! Thursday did however turn bright and warm with wall to wall blue skies after lunch.
I am not sure why cardigans are so named, perhaps a connection to Cardiganshire, Wales in the UK?
Cardiganshire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Anyhow I got to wearing one such garment on Tuesday afternoon as the day became decidedly cool in the wind at around 15 or 16 deg C. Monday had been quite warm at around 20 deg C but it appeared we were going to have a couple of days with lower temperatures. It is as though we are at the end of September rather than the end of August. Knowing the UK weather it could change again to warmer conditions in a few day’s time. I had been out for an early morning walk when it was even cooler at 13 deg and felt cooler still because of the wind blowing from the north west. I didn’t mind that as I was suitably attired. The humidity had dropped down a few pegs too so I didn’t end up sticky and uncomfortable by the time I had returned home. When I did return home I brought with me a few apples I had picked from a tree growing wild near the footpath on public land, a tree I had not seen bearing fruit in the past. That was probably due to my not passing by the tree before when it was bearing fruit. E and I spent a little time in the rear garden and we planted the other Fan Palm in the long flowerbed.
We are still waiting for the shrub behind it and to the right to finally shed its leaves (it is deciduous) so we can plant the Olearia shrub in it’s place. Meanwhile it stands lonely in a pot..
The removed plant will be planted elsewhere at the same time. It is getting cool enough for me to be getting on with some of the outdoor projects now so watch this space. After lunch I mowed the lawn for the first time since I spread the lawn weed killer. There may not be many more times I need to cut the lawn this year but it isn’t a problem to cut it, taking only twenty minutes.
Friday, although turning brighter during the afternoon with much sunshine it remained in a state of threatening showery moments. It was to turn to full-on rain later, just as it had been first thing in the morning. I was up very early at five-thirty and not because I couldn’t sleep, no, I had a very good five solid hours and awoke amazingly refreshed. The window was ajar as I usually keep it through the night and I could feel the cool air through the gap. There are two windows in the room but one is seldom opened as enough fresh air can be had with just the one open. The wind was high and that remained the same throughout the day making it feel much cooler than the 21 deg C it was. It was far less than that at 13 deg C when I arose with the intention of going for a walk before breakfast. Wet, cool and windy required wrapping up well and I gave my new boots their first outing too since I had purchased them a couple of weeks earlier. I bought them to use during the colder and wetter months of the year but it was still Summer though it felt more like Autumn. I kept the walk short, only venturing out for three miles this time. I had walked twice that distance on Wednesday but I had to keep it short as I was expecting the delivery of the washing-line pole I had ordered the previous day. Soon after I had set off around seven o’clock I received a text message letting me know it was on its way. We have received articles as early as six-thirty in the morning in the past though I didn’t expect this one to arrive until early afternoon. I was back home in plenty of time for its arrival at noon. It had been just as well I was wearing suitable attire because of the driving wind a heavy rain which fell as I walked along the coastal road. A guy was running ahead of me and we were the only two braving the elements at that time. Passing motorists must have thought us mad but who cares? Fresh air and exercise won the day for us. Now all I need is another break in the weather so that I can install the pole, if not I’ll get wet walking instead.
Up early on a wet and windy August Thursday morning ready to venture out for a walk. One banana later I was outside in the weather. Though it was wet and windy it was warm, though when in the wind it felt that much cooler. I ate breakfast on my return home because it was still early enough to do that. On some occasions I skip breakfast if I am late getting back home and have an early lunch instead. E was still sitting at the breakfast table when I returned. She seldom asks how far I walked but I usually tell her anyway. It had been a short walk of just over four miles but it felt as if I had walked twice the distance because of the wind. On the outward journey I had taken a more sheltered route in the built-up areas through the town but on my return leg I walked along the promenade which is totally exposed to the west. The wind was blowing from the south-west and therefore directly in my face. I could have taken the coastal road instead as it would have made little difference. Between the promenade and the coastal road a quarter-mile away there is almost nothing of height, lake and gardens is all. I shudder to think what it would have been like for anyone out running but there weren’t any runners to be seen. Fair weather runners? I think not for I never used to deliberately run in the wind in exposed places either. I had work to do in the afternoon and the weather was to change by then, that is it would stop raining. I have been building the column for the gate at the side of the house in the rear garden and the weather has been fine whilst doing it. This is how far I got with it the day before…(centre in both pictures)
I gave up on the idea of working on the column in the afternoon for two reasons, one I was feeling tired and two it was still very windy though the rain had stopped. At the side of the house where the work is being carried out it was very windy indeed with gusts of around 35 mph, far too uncomfortable to be working in especially as there is no hurry to finish the job. Hopefully though by the time you read this it will be completed.
As I write this on a dull Sunday afternoon the party is over and I for one could not be happier. What party you may well ask? The Open golf championship event here at Royal Birkdale. Don’t misunderstand me here, many people love the game of golf but I am just not one of them.
The picture above was taken through the window in a lounge at home at around five o’clock on the last day of the golf event. Up until then the day had been mostly sunny. On Saturday there had been much rain but the previous days had been fine and sunny. I am not sure how that affected the play though I have a feeling it made little difference. For the last few days the whole town of Southport but especially Birkdale had been geared up for the event with many local restrictions having been imposed upon us all. It is something we all have had to put up with whether we like the sport or not. I can live with that. I steered well clear of the course which is very close to where I live and spent my time away from the house in the opposite direction! However during the time I was at home we had to put up with a light aircraft circling above every two to three minutes for hours on end which really was annoying. When I say circling it was doing just that, flying in a circle around the course and our house was under the flight path. On Sunday morning I went for a walk and on my return I emptied out most of the things in my van. E and I were to go and collect some bricks from her nephew which were stored at a place less than a mile from home. He had graciously allowed us to take what we wanted which was around fifty bricks. They had been dumped with other rubbish and needed to be separated but it didn’t take long to do that and we were soon back home for lunch. I stored them behind one of the garages and under cover to keep them dry until I wanted to use them.
Later E received a text message from her nephew who was asking where we were and why we hadn’t called to collect the bricks! E had thought he meant for us to collect the ones we had but it appeared he meant those stored at his own house a few hundred metres away. Those bricks had already been sorted and separated whereas the ones we took we had to glean from a general pile of other material. Although the ones we took were not stored at his house they still belonged to him. The reason he has so many bricks is that he is a builder. He asked if we wanted more as he was trying to rid himself of some of them. We accepted his offer and he said he would drop them off later. Now I won’t have to worry about buying bricks for the projects I have in mind to do. The first one is to put a gate at the end of this passage where it meets the main part of the garden.
That is at the end of the side wall of the house on the right. Now I am not planning to begin that work during the summer though anything is possible with me.
I Woke Up (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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.
Anglo-Saxon village at West Stow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For a few days we had warm, hot, humid and sunny weather beginning on Sunday last week and for the first time since I can remember I was glad I wasn’t working in my capacity as an electrician. It always seemed to me that when the weather was like this I would be doing work of a heavier nature and sweating profusely in the process which made me feel very uncomfortable. When people asked me if I didn’t like the hot weather I would tell them that I am an Anglo-Saxon and not used to it! I was joking of course but I had a point, I wasn’t raised in a hot climate and whenever I visit hot countries I spend a lot of the time in the water! I do prefer it to be cooler, always have but hot weather is fine for a little while especially if I can spend time in the shade with a cooling breeze blowing. When I go out walking I try to do it as early as I can if it is too hot and sticky. As for work, well I try to avoid doing anything that will make me break out in a sweat when the weather is too oppressive. Now that I am (more or less) retired I can please myself. Some things need doing though like mowing the lawn which I did on Monday morning. As the mower is petrol-driven it is not that difficult to push about but even so, if it is very warm and humid it can be uncomfortable. I went for another walk but stayed within the confines of the town, it was too warm to wander where I might like to in case I needed to refresh myself or pay a visit to the little girl’s room too. I have discovered that under certain circumstances regarding the weather I tend to need the bathroom more often. It is a humidity thing…. work it out for yourself. So in the afternoon E and I spent much of the time on the patio once more. It was too warm and humid to do anything else. The weekend was forecast to be much cooler and I couldn’t wait. E however would like it to be hot all of the time. I think she would soon tire of it though despite what she says.
Sunny Sunday sunshine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was wondering if E would eventually make it downstairs before ten o’clock as she was now on crutches for a few days to allow her foot to heal and that made it difficult to get about. Anyway she did manage and was soon eating breakfast though I had to take it to the table for her. An hour later I went out for a late morning walk. It was sunny and warm with a slight breeze as I walked along the seafront. Surprisingly there were not many people about, at least at that place and time. I walked back toward the town centre but only because I needed the bathroom! The town centre was busy as usual, just like any other day of the week. I remember a time when Sundays were held as sacred, a day for resting, a sabbath. It was unheard of for anyone to work on a Sunday except if it was necessary as in the case of police, fire and hospital staff for instance. How times have changed and that because of a non-believing secular society. Anyway a short walk of four miles saw me back home. I found E had taken up residence on the patio to sit in the sun with her feet up. I made a couple of drinks and joined her though I sat in the shade. Eventually it was lunchtime, well one-thirty, and rather than have her struggle back indoors I prepared lunch and we sat outside to eat it. Unfortunately she did have to go indoors to the bathroom after a while whilst I collected a mattress for her to lie upon when she returned. It was pleasant to sit outside and we stayed there for a couple of hours when we had visitors call. It was our eldest son and granddaughter and they stayed for an hour or so until it was time for her bed. As she is only five and a half that means six-thirty. We returned indoors for an evening meal. Monday promised to be even better but I would be doing some work for a change instead of just sitting around on the patio.
The last couple of days proved to be a complete change from the warm even hot days preceding and in fact have been quite cool. The cooling effect was due mainly to the high winds though the temperature had dropped dramatically too. Not ideal for relaxing in the garden or even working in the garden. I had been feeling drained with a lack of enthusiasm for any activity. I didn’t even take a walk because of the wind and the rain too, yes we finally got the rain we were hoping for. Anyway it was mainly the wind which kept me indoors. That was Friday and Saturday and it looked as if Sunday was going to follow suit. The day started dull and windy though any rain that fell was very slight indeed, so much so it was barely there. The forecast was promising as far as it promised to be sunny later in the day. It was only about 14 deg C throughout the morning with a little wind so I went out for a walk wearing a lightweight jacket, this one which I had purchased a couple of weeks ago
It looks like a raincoat but it isn’t designed for wet weather, it is more just a coat for use in the cool evenings of the warmer months of the year. It is very lightweight and comfortable to wear and it keeps the wind at bay if it isn’t too windy. I walked into the town centre and on the way saw an electrician acquaintance of mine working in an empty shop. Naturally I stopped for a chat with him before moving on. There is an open space named Princess Diana Gardens which is in front of the local civic buildings and theatre/arts centre and there was an army brass band playing there. Many folk were sitting on the benches listening and I found a seat and stayed listening too.
Believe it or not the band were standing in the circular area above the fountains you see in the picture. Of course the fountains were not switched on! Unfortunately I had missed much of the music but was still able to hear the last twenty minutes of the performance. The weekend had been dedicated to the armed forces with celebrations in Liverpool as well as Southport. Once the music was over I continued with my walk, returning home after two hours. After one o’clock the day brightened up but it wasn’t until three-thirty that E and I managed to squeeze in some relaxation on the patio in the now bright sunshine. It was still a little breezy though and the temperature hadn’t risen much.
At last we have some cool and refreshing weather after days of unbearable heat and humidity. I write this on Thursday morning at home with the fresh air wafting in through the open windows. Again I had slept upon the bed rather than in it because of the high overnight temperature and humidity but perhaps this evening I will be able to have the duvet cover me! Enough of that. I woke early enough to have breakfast but fell asleep again and was late getting up. It was ten-thirty and I allowed myself only a fruit drink until lunch. I had a job to do at home, one of those things we promise to do but keep putting off. I say ‘we’ but in this case it was an electrical job which of course not everyone would do anyway unless they had the knowledge. At home we have a large hot water storage cylinder where the water is heated either by the immersion heater or indirectly by an internal coil through which hot water heated by the boiler circulates. Most of the time we have the boiler heat the cylinder. Our boiler is in a room in the cellar and the cylinder is two floors above but not directly above. This means the circulation pipes are long and have to be well insulated, which they are. The boiler ‘knows’ when to heat up the circulating water because there is a thermostat exactly as the one shown above on the cylinder to send that signal when necessary. Now then, for some time the cylinder water temperature has been excessively hot which isn’t a problem in itself but can be hazardous if we are not aware of it. The thermostat was positioned too low on the cylinder and set at too high a setting. The water at the bottom of the cylinder was being monitored rather than that higher up the cylinder which is the normal way. I had to replace the supply cable to allow the thermostat to be re-positioned. Not a big job but a little awkward and I had it done in a half-hour. The benefits resulting from such a simple job are well worth the short time it took to do it so I wonder why it took so long for me to get around to it!
I just want it to be fresh and a little cooler but as I write this on Monday it appears we have a couple of more days of really hot weather to endure yet. I have little doubt it will get hot again within the next couple of months but I need respite. I’ve said it before and I say it again, I do not like hot and humid weather except perhaps if I have a sea or an ocean to dive into. well there is a sea close-by to where I live, the Irish Sea but it is hardly a sea I want to go swimming in as it is too cold for the most part.
A map of the Irish Sea. Major ports shown in red; freight-only ports shown in blue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The beach we have here is nothing like the ones found in tropical places though there is plenty of sand! When the tide turns we have to walk a mile or more if we wish to reach the water and when the tide turns again we have to move quickly or get trapped on a sandbank. There are channels, quicksand and mud to contend with in certain parts too. Further along the coast people have lost their lives through ignorance or refusal to respond to the warnings. No, the waters I like to dive into cannot be found hereabouts though there are many beaches round the Irish Sea which are nice, and safe too. As I haven’t taken a beach holiday for many years and am unlikely to in the foreseeable future I have to cool off in other ways. It doesn’t help though when I take a walk somewhere and get all hot and sticky in the process. Funny thing is it seems only to be a problem once I stop. Again I went for an even longer walk today (Monday) and ended up all hot and bothered as they say. I did cool off soon enough though once I was indoors and had taken a cool drink of water. I do take water with me whenever I go walking, even in the cooler months I put a bottle in my bag. It was a week since I did any electrical work and that turned out to be something different to what I had expected. I had been asked to check out a power outlet which wasn’t working but wasn’t told that it had been that way for a long time. I discovered that myself when investigating the fault. A single outlet in a room above their kitchen was the one I had been asked to check but in fact none of the kitchen outlets were working either as they were all on the same circuit. However in order to resolve the problem it would require the floor boards above the kitchen to be lifted. Now then, there was a train set layout covering most of that floor with furniture covering the rest. Below all of that was a carpet of course. They weren’t prepared to put up with the upset to have the work done so I was paid for my time, the minimum charge I levy for any job. In any event I wouldn’t have taken on the work anyway it being more suited for a younger person to do. Well after all I am no spring chicken now! In this heat who wants to be doing anything anyway?
It was very warm yesterday, that is Saturday 17 th as I write this but today was even hotter and may be hotter still on Monday. Summer certainly has arrived but during the month of May we did see plenty of warm and sunny days too. By the time you are reading this the weather here in the UK has probably turned fresher but still warm. Nice as it may be for many I am not so happy, it’s just too oppressive. I suppose though it is better than sub-zero temperatures and icy-cold winds. Winter is fine with me, in fact all the seasons are fine, it all depends on attitude. It really doesn’t matter anyway as we cannot change a thing. All we can ever do is put up with it or move elsewhere. E had gone out for the day around seven in the morning and I had a day all to myself. After breakfast I took a leisurely walk into town via the back streets and was going to return via the sea front but at the last-minute decided to walk back along the main street, Lord Street (Southport) and then along Rotten Row to once again admire the flowerbeds there. The route into town was quiet as I had expected but once in town everything changed and there were people everywhere. I do not like being in crowds of people so my route back was on the opposite side of the road to the shops. If you know Southport you will know that shops only occupy one side of the main street. This shot was taken by myself about ten to twelve years ago one very early bright and sunny Sunday morning in Spring. The picture is of Lord Street showing the view in the opposite direction to my home. I took many pictures on that day and as it was so early there were hardly any folk around. Later in the morning the streets would begin to fill with people. I don’t know why people flock to towns when it is warm and sunny but suppose it is to be part of the ‘scene’. I was out for a walk but never visit the town centre shops unless my journey is solely to buy something. I simply walk through otherwise as I was doing on Sunday. I was away from home for two hours and it was now just after twelve and roasting hot! There was nowhere to escape the heat except to remain in the cellar where one or two of the rooms never get warm but who wants to spend all day in the cellar? I sat out on the patio under the parasol for a while until it was time for lunch at two o’clock.It was after three before I returned outdoors but the day was now at its hottest! It remained hot and sticky until well into the evening. I did a little gardening later in the afternoon but it really was only a little, it was too hot to do much else. What a scorcher!
Sheep in the shade. On the road from High Forest Farm to Clough Head. It was an extremely hot and humid day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is the same every year, I (we) moan about the dreary dull wet days of winter and when it gets hot and sunny I do the same, never satisfied. When it is cool (and dry if I’m outdoors) I can get on with the various jobs that need doing and special jobs I call my projects but once it gets too warm and humid I don’t feel much like doing anything. So it was on Saturday. I had slept in a little longer than usual but that was due to my not getting off to sleep sooner. I hadn’t done much on Friday so wasn’t as tired as I might have been. There wasn’t any reason for me to get up early anyway. By the time I arrived downstairs it was already bright, sunny and warm. I had a little something to eat and went out on to the patio to enjoy the sunshine. I had it in mind to do a little gardening but wasn’t in a hurry to start. In fact it wasn’t until mid-afternoon before I did anything. E went to her monthly meeting at one o’clock and I wanted to eat lunch before doing any work but it was too early to eat. I went back to the patio and lay down for an hour then had lunch. The work I wanted to do in the front garden was to pluck out weeds, plant a small holly bush in the mound, one that had been growing in a pot but needed putting in the ground and then to water the garden too. It was very hot in the front garden as there is no shade from the sun at all in the afternoon. Once I had finished there it was into the rear garden to water the plants there and again there was little or no shade there either! It’s all too much like hard work in the summer when all I want to do is relax. It isn’t that I don’t want to work but the heat and humidity make it so uncomfortable, for me anyway. E arrived back home around four-thirty and we both spent an hour on the patio, she to lie down, me to just sit this time and chat. She would be off again very early in the morning to spend the day at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in Birmingham to a food festival being held there. It is an annual event she and a couple of others attend. I would have to either go somewhere or sit it out at home trying to relax in the heat. Either way it would be uncomfortable for me. Roll on the cooler weather!
It’s just so tiring eating all day, especially in this heat!!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wednesday proved to be very different from the days surrounding it as the temperature rose to a level more suitable for a summer’s day. Alright it wasn’t quite officially summer but the seasons do not stick to a regimented date do they? It was warm and sunny especially in the afternoon but the day had started dull and overcast though it was still warm. I had nothing to do and didn’t really want to be working anyway. I pottered about in the garden during the morning digging out a few weeds and montbretia plants which are still popping up here and there. It is after all the growing season for montbretia and of course weeds seem to grow whatever time of year it is! Nothing really arduous though and afterwards I got out the hose and gave the garden a good watering. It had been raining in the previous days but at this time of year it is soon dry again. A little more time pottering about inside the house before E and I went to the pub for our belated lunch. It would have been pointless to have gone there earlier as it is always packed between noon and say two-thirty which was the time we arrived. As usual the staff were at their best and soon we were served. On our return home E told me she had to go out again to post a letter she had forgotten to take with us earlier. Usually she drives to the post box even though it is less than three hundred metres away and that only because of her condition. I offered to walk there and post it for her while she put her car in the garage. When I returned a few minutes later I stopped by our next-door neighbour’s house to chat for a minute. She had her decorator painting the outside walls of her house, something her husband used to do every five years until he died three and a half years ago. The poor guy had been working at the front of the house for quite a few hours and hadn’t stopped for lunch. As he said, who wants to resume work after eating a meal? He was right, I missed lunch very often when out working and for the same reason. She had provided drinks of course, something he couldn’t do without especially in the heat of the day and especially as the front of the house was in full sunshine during the day. It must have been very uncomfortable and tiring. I am sure I wouldn’t have liked to do it. I was thinking later that perhaps he should have started the work by painting the rear of the house first as it would have been shaded throughout the day. The sun almost never shines on the rear wall of her house. The following day, Thursday was forecast to be cooler with a slight breeze blowing, much better conditions for working in but as he told me earlier he hadn’t checked the weather forecast. What would he have done if it had begun to rain soon after he had started the work? It is always wise to check the forecast before doing any work outdoors methinks.