Tag Archives: Weather

The rest by hand

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I had one small electrical job to do on Monday morning in a local property a mile away but it turned out a little bit more difficult than I or the customer had assumed. I did the work and got back home around eleven-thirty and I really wanted to work in or on the Plot laying the last of the concrete between the newly laid paving slabs on the right of the flowerbed. I wanted to make the most of the fair weather while it lasted. It was a little too early for lunch so I went outside to set everything up and to put in some pieces of wood for shuttering where it would be necessary. It was twelve-thirty when I went indoors for lunch but I was back out again at one ready for work. I mixed a full load and then another half load in the mixer to fill-in the spaces and I had about two spoonfuls of concrete left over. A pretty good guess I thought and better to have that much over rather than being short of the amount. The hardest part for me anyway is the leveling off but that is only because of the grit in the mix. It takes a light handed touch to get it smooth. This is what it looked like on Tuesday..plot-33
plot-34Once I had finished I covered the area in case of overnight rain though the forecast was for dry weather. I started to clean up and pack everything away, including the mixer and stand which had been left outside for a few days. Any more concrete or mortar, and there would be for the work was not quite complete, would be mixed by hand. At last the major part of the work was finished and I could concentrate on other things. I started the project on 9th August but have not spent all day and every day working on it because of the weather and my other commitments. Considering what I have achieved I think I’ve done well. It has been hard work at times but that’s what drives me forward. Apart from the lamp-post project I have no other major projects in mind to do, at the moment that is!

Shirley Anne

The cool of the day

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Sunday 18th September and it is a sunny morning, dry but there is dew covering the grass and stonework is damp. Autumn is almost upon us here in the UK. My Sundays are days of rest but I am the restless type so although I do no real work on Sundays I do find things to occupy myself. Once breakfast was over I went on to the patio with a cup of coffee and sat in the now warm sunshine just pondering. Around eleven-thirty the sun hid itself behind the house and stopped shining onto the patio. It would be hidden from the patio for a couple of hours though continuing to shine on the north side of the (rear) garden. Not the same for the front garden though which remains exposed because it is on the south side of the house. I went indoors and prepared a meal, enough for a couple of days in fact. I make this vegetable and chicken stew occasionally using diced pre-cooked chicken with onions, bell peppers, garlic cloves, carrots and garden peas into which I put vegetable stock. It is delicious even though I say so myself but more importantly it is healthy too. E has been buying fresh pears for some time but she doesn’t eat pears as a rule preferring apples instead whereas I prefer pears.

Though the pears pictured do not have a textur...

Though the pears pictured do not have a texture suitable for good eating, scientists at the ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia, will combine their fire blight-resistant qualities with other lines possessing traits sought in commercial pear varieties. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know why but she buys unripe fruit so I either have to wait days or, and I prefer them this way, cook them. I don’t know why she doesn’t simply buy canned pears instead but perhaps they are more expensive. So I peeled the pears and cooked them in sugar and water. When they cool off I put them in the fridge and can have some each day. I went outside again after lunch just as the sun began to shine again onto the patio as it swung round to the other side of the house. In the height of summer it shines on the patio far longer. I sat there for a half-hour but then had to return indoors because it went cloudy and the sun’s power was lost. I could feel the now cool air typical of the season. Rain was predicted to fall late evening and into Monday but wouldn’t last long. Monday would be another sunny day. I needed some more dry days in which to work outside and finish the Plot and perhaps the lamp-post project, when the post finally arrives! At this point in time I have been waiting just over two weeks. What I can’t understand is the fact that the supplier informed me by email that the model I wanted was now available and I ordered it immediately. There is no hurry but fine weather cannot last forever.

Shirley Anne

Wet and dry

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Raining Pleasure (EP)

Raining Pleasure (EP) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well it didn’t know what to do on Saturday, one minute it was raining and the next the sun was shining. These are the kind of days I like the least, I want to know if it is going to be wet or dry, not wet and dry! If I’ve to do any work outdoors it is essential it remains dry unless if wet it doesn’t affect what I am doing. At the moment I need some dry days so that I can get on with my project and it does matter if it is fine weather or not. On Saturday I was employed doing electrical work for someone else and except for installing a replacement outdoor light fitting all the work was indoors. I took the opportunity to do the outside work while it was dry. It didn’t stay dry for long though but long enough for installing the light. I seldom do electrical work at the weekend and will only work on Sunday if I consider it to be an emergency so it was unusual to find me working on a Saturday. The house was full of young women and even the dog was female and they had only moved in a week or so before from an adjacent street and wanted some replacement lights installing. Evidently their former home wasn’t as good as the one they had moved into and the mother told me that they had bought it at a knock-down price because the previous owner had many cats living there. It sounds a ridiculous reason for selling a house at a lower price I think but the buyer wasn’t complaining! I had the work all done by noon and soon found myself back home. I prepared my lunch as E left the house to drive to her once-a-month meeting of her group of hobbyists, in fact the members’ main occupation is entering competitions. I get abandoned and left to my own devices at such times….LOL. The afternoon turned out very bright and sunny, a tempting time to do some outdoor work maybe? Not a chance, I was too tired and it could still rain.

Shirley Anne

Odd weather

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We had been informed to expect high winds during Sunday and especially late that night. Sunday itself was bright and sunny for the best part of the day and yes, the promised wind did arrive making it uncomfortable to be outside if exposed to it. The wind got progressively stronger as evening approached so I made the decision to lower the flag. Now flags are supposed to be taken down overnight, that is according to tradition. I always wanted to have a flag flying outside my house but I wasn’t prepared to take it down every evening. I leave it there the whole 24 hours and only lower it if the weather, that is the wind is too strong. The advised wind speed maximum for flag flying I have been informed is 35 miles per hour after which the flag may be damaged. We were expecting winds of up to 43-45 miles per hour so the flag had to be taken down. I could have raised the flag on Monday morning as the weather had turned dramatically for the better but I left it until the evening. It is unusual to have weather of this kind in the UK during August though as you now know not impossible. Today, Tuesday as I write this in the morning, it is fine and sunny and with a slight breeze, ideal for working in the garden as I had planned. However a short while ago I received a request for my electrical services once again and I will be attending to that shortly. The house I am to work in is not much further than a half mile away and shouldn’t take me long to do. I will then hopefully get some time to start digging in ‘The Plot’ (see previous post). Those plans might have been shipwrecked had other calls come in or if the weather once again turned foul but fortunately they weren’t. I didn’t do too much as I wasn’t feeling up to it but I managed to expose the hidden wall and dig out the ground between what I had laid a few days ago and that hidden wall and fill it will hardcore. You can see the small section I refer to just right of centre in the middle of the picture. The hidden or buried wall runs from the back wall at centre top of the picture to a spot marked by a brick in the centre of what is shown of the small wall at the bottom right of the picture and beneath those large root balls lying on the ground. Click on picture to magnify and again for a real close-up. Plot 3Those root balls have been there for quite some time waiting for them to dry out so that we can cut them up to give to our neighbour who has an open fire in her lounge. We have often given her logs and the remains of branches we have lopped off overhanging trees and she stores them as fuel for use during the colder months. You might have noticed that some of those roots have already been cut and are lying alongside the wall on the footpath on the left of the picture. All I need now is some materials to mix the concrete and if all goes well I should be able to do that this week. Next job will be building the walls. For some time now I have been considering installing a lamp-post in the corner of the garden behind the ‘mound’. Obviously that will require a cable run and control gear. I already know what I plan to do if and when I get around to it. Watch this space as they say.

Shirley Anne

I’ve got the bug

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Another warm and sunny day on Wednesday though there was thunder and lightning early in the morning. We had a brief downfall of rain then hailstones then more rain but by ten o’clock it had all blown over. I sat outside on the bench I had put in the front of the house yesterday. Where the bench is sited it remains in the shade until around ten-thirty at this time of year and then remains in the light of the sun until early evening. It was nice to just sit in the cool of the shade for a while knowing it would get much warmer as the day wore on. Yesterday the temperature rose to 30 deg C in the rear garden in the shade but today, Wednesday it was to reach a maximum of 27 deg C. Clouds began to roll back in and half of the sky turned very dark as they covered the sun. I had spent a little time in the morning on Tuesday pulling out the montbretia stems and bulbs from the flowerbed adjacent to the patio (to the left in the first picture) while it was cool enough to do so. I decided I would continue cutting back and finally dig out the sprawling shrub through which they had been growing while the temperature was still quite low. It took a couple of hours to get it out and all its offshoots and chop them up so they could be placed in the green waste bin. The next job was to move slightly to its left the fan palm  I had planted in the same bed for it would have more room now that the shrub had gone. I had to be careful not to disturb it too much so what I did was to dig a space to one side of it then using the back of the spade dug into the soil on the opposite side and gently pushed it sideways. I only wanted to move it about ten centimetres. Flowerbed Project 2That done I began to dig out the soil and filter it until I had done enough to be able to lay a long slab of natural stone which will become a small path. I laid that in place. It will enable easier access to the rear of the bed  for maintenance later. It was time for lunch and after I had eaten I drove to the garden centre and purchased the three large plants I had in mind to put into the bed. I will purchase the smaller plants to populate the remaining spaces when the bulk of the work is done. I managed to place two of the large plants in the bed where I had already filtered the soil. They are the two against the wall on the left in the above picture, the other will be planted later and is shown in the lower picture. Click on pictures to magnify.Flowerbed ProjectI am undecided at this time whether to leave the fern but it will add some softness to the area if I keep it. We have a few ferns in the rear garden. I love them but unfortunately they are deciduous and die back for the winter. The fan palm is shown against the wall in the picture second from the right. The long slab of stone is unfortunately covered by filtered soil in the picture but it lies between the wall and the large stone slab nearest the centre in the foreground. By now it was four o’clock! My mobile phone rang and it was someone asking for my electrical services. I arranged to do the work on Thursday morning for I had to be back home at one. The joiner had informed me that the door he had ordered for our top room was now available and he would call at one o’clock to fit it. As E would be out shopping with her mom I had to become available instead. It meant I would probably go no further with the gardening work until Friday at the earliest. A day off might be just what I needed but it might mean that some of the electrical work would have to be done on Friday too. Even though my advert wasn’t published this Wednesday I still got some work!

Shirley Anne

Too hot to tango

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Tuesday was going to be the hottest day of the year so far according to the weather forecast. Well it sure lived up to that. Between three and four in the afternoon, that is at the height of the day for temperature readouts I checked the temperature on the patio but in a shaded spot using a mercury thermometer. Actually two thermometers in one which shows maximum and minimum temperatures side by side. It showed 29 deg C but shortly after that reading it reached 30 deg C. Obviously it was hotter in the sunshine, probably by a few more degrees. For me it was unbearable, not because I couldn’t get used to it if I had to but because having these temperatures for just a couple of days isn’t long enough to get used to it. Days two and three of holidays in hot climates and we begin to get accustomed don’t we? If these temperatures were normal for us we are used to them. However as I am always saying, I am an Anglo-Saxon and for me it is too hot to tango! I spent a some time in the rear garden in the morning whilst it was a little cooler, pulling out armfuls of montbretia in the flowerbed adjacent to the patio which had sprouted within a low-lying shrub which itself has gotten out of hand. Now that we can actually see that shrub we can prune it back but I fancy I will be digging it out later when it is a bit cooler and replacing it with one or two others. I have an idea what I would like in there but E might think differently though she didn’t bother when I dug out and repopulated the larger of the two flowerbeds we had worked on in the front garden recently.No 2 Flowerbed 11  I then spent a little time relaxing on the patio but couldn’t sit there too long. I decided to pull out the second of the two garden benches which had been stored in the large greenhouse beneath the wooden table now being used as a worktop in there. The wooden furniture we once used on the patio and in the garden, it comprises the table, two benches and four chairs. The four chairs are stored in the cellar and only the two benches are actually outside and being outside they need a coat of garden furniture oil/varnish applying every so often. I took the second bench out and hosed it down before transporting it out to the front garden. After lunch and when it was dry I got to work and applied the oil/varnish coat and then went into the rear garden where the other one sits in front of the patio and gave that a coat too. This one didn’t need a second coat as it was already in good condition having been coated earlier in the year but the second one required another coat which I applied an hour or so later.

Bench

The lower picture was taken last Autumn and it shows the bench in front of the patio on which some of the old wooden furniture can still be seen. It wouldn’t have been long after that picture was taken that I moved the furniture under cover aside from the bench.

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E did a little hoeing and weeding during the day but we spent much of the time in the afternoon just lounging on the patio. She was sunbathing but I sat under the parasol out of direct sunlight. At that time of day it was really too hot to do much else.

Shirley Anne

Took it’s time

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When I awoke on Sunday morning it was still only a little after five o’clock so having done what I needed to I returned to bed for a while. Trouble was I remained awake until I finally got out of bed an hour later. It was going to be the day for changing the bed linen I decided so off came the sheets and duvet and pillow covers and on went the clean linen. As it was around six o’clock it was light outside and had been for a couple of hours but the sky was overcast. I remember seeing the weather forecast the day before which promised warmer and sunnier times. Would it change as the day wore on? I took a shower and returned to my room to dress before getting downstairs just before eight o’clock for breakfast. It was still overcast but the sun was making an attempt to push through the clouds. I ventured outside after I had placed the soiled bedclothes into the washing machine to see how warm it was. Well it wasn’t that warm and the breeze made it seem even cooler. I wanted to go for a walk but decided to wait a while hoping the weather would improve. HorizonsI have often found that if I go out for a walk in the summer early in the day by the time I get back home it is far warmer than when I left. I might therefore have to remove the cardigan or lightweight coat because it has gotten too uncomfortable in the heat! It was after two o’clock and after lunch before I finally went for the walk, needing only a lightweight top, much more pleasant that way. The weather had finally improved as promised, the sky was beginning to lose its clouds and it was getting warmer in the bright sunshine. A slight breeze still blew but it made the afternoon even more pleasant. I hadn’t expected to meet anyone on my travels but as is often the case I did. Now one of my next-door neighbours, a single middle-aged guy, I hardly ever see. My other next-door neighbour, an older lady than myself and her son, I see and speak with quite often. Well who should I see but the guy from next-door out walking with his dog. We were going in opposite directions but he said hello and asked how I was before continuing on his way. A little later I met a young guy I know from visiting the pub and that is where he was going but he did stop to chat with me for a few minutes. It is almost impossible for me to go anywhere local and expect not to bump into somebody I know. By the time I had returned home there were almost no clouds to be seen, just full sunshine. I spent an hour or so out on the patio to take advantage whilst I could.

Shirley Anne

Wet, wet, wet

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Wet-Wet-WetI was never much of a fan of the group Wet, Wet, Wet and neither the weather their name reflects. It’s not that I mind it so much when it is raining, I don’t, as long as it doesn’t last too long. Just as we had some lovely days, even weeks of warm sunny times we are now going through a hopefully short period of rain. As I write this on Wednesday morning it is raining and has done for a few days on and off. As far as the forecast is concerned we might not see much of the Sun for perhaps another week. It is the UK however after all so this type of weather isn’t really unusual but if it remains too wet for too long it can be depressing. All outdoor work has to cease which can be inconvenient, especially when gardening jobs like mowing the lawn is necessary or if building work and repairs are needed. In this respect we don’t need to mow the lawn for a few days but there is a leaking corner on one of the garage roofs. I have known about that leak for months but because I had other pressing things to do I effected a temporary repair by covering the area with a heavy-duty pvc weighted-down sheet. It is unlikely to leak whilst that is in place but it does need a permanent repair at some point. I had to walk into the village a short time ago. I could have taken my vehicle but the village is less than a half-mile away so I walked there as I usually do. I needed some fresh vegetables for E hadn’t bought enough when doing the weekly shop. She is sometimes inconsistent in what she purchases and occasionally we run out of some things. Strangely though she often buys in things we don’t really need, things we already have plenty of, especially tinned stuff. I am struggling at the moment as I have little to do other than planned work which I am reluctant to start just now. I guess I am going through a lazy phase, a can’t be bothered phase, something I do from time to time. I need something but I am not always sure what that is. All I do know is that it is wet, wet, wet and I am not in the wet mood.

Shirley Anne

Half-way

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Over a week ago we passed the half-way point in the year, the Summer Solstice also called midsummer’s day on or around 21/22 June. It is a bit of a misnomer to call it Mid-Summer for as far as the weather is concerned the height of summer happens during the following two months. The term really applies to mark that position in the Earth’s orbit when due to its tilt the northern hemisphere is pointing more toward the Sun than at any other time in the year. It is around this same time (July) when the Earth is actually at its farthest from the Sun. The difference between the Aphelion (farthest) and Perihelion (closest) is about 3.1 million miles or 5 million Km but being that extra distance from the Sun has little effect on climatic conditions. Our weather is more dependent on events here on the planet, wind, closeness to seas and oceans or dry land, mountains and so on. It all depends where we live what sort of weather we have but it doesn’t stop people moaning about it nevertheless. At the moment (of writing) my local weather happens to be dull and overcast with a chance of rain in the offing but it is still mild and maybe a little cooler than of late. This is one of the reasons I like summer….

It is the proliferation of insect pests I find difficult to cope with at times. That is why I prefer the cooler months. I have been taking things easy these last couple of days both by choice and the fact that I haven’t been as well as I might. As it is summer I get less offers of work than at other times so I haven’t been too busy with electrical jobs though I have had some. It has been fortunate therefore that I have had something to do at home instead. There is always something to do at home isn’t there? I need to make the most of the warmer seasons though, it will be winter soon enough, it isn’t all that far away!

Shirley Anne

Just in time

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English: Holy Mower, Shipley This is just one ...

Holy Mower, Shipley This is just one of the sheep keeping down the grass in the graveyard at the Church of St Mary the Virgin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a good couple of weeks with mostly dry and sunny weather this past week saw the return of the rain. I don’t mind having the rain occasionally, it is necessary but it does prevent carrying out certain jobs in the garden. It is also impossible to do any outdoor repairs too. At this time of year it is a constant battle keeping weeds down for they grow at such a fast rate and before you know it they get the upper hand if you are not on the ball. The grass also grows quickly during the warm months often needing mowing every week if conditions are right. It was only a short while ago I had mowed the lawn but by Thursday it was beginning to look a bit dishevelled, it needed cutting once again. Thursday was a day of intermittent rain but late in the afternoon it became bright and sunny. If I played my cards right I could get the lawn mowed as it now only takes me around twenty minutes. It once took me an hour and a half as I used a small electric mower but since getting the petrol-driven mower serviced and cleaned up a couple of years ago it has cut the time down dramatically. My main concern was that the grass may have been too wet to cut but it wasn’t. The petrol mower would cope with the grass being a little wet but if it is too wet it clogs things up. I made the effort and had the job done in no time. Maybe having a sheep would solve the rain problem though I fancy it wouldn’t just eat the grass! I had only returned indoors ten minutes or so when the heavens opened up again and we had a heavy downpour of rain. Just in time! Earlier in the day I had plans to do more filtering of the soil in the front flowerbed but I got a call to do an electrical job some miles away. By the time I had returned home it was approaching lunch time and in the afternoon I wanted to watch England playing Wales in the current UEFA European football competitions. I managed to do that and I had the spare time afterward to mow the lawn too. When E returned home with the weekly shopping it was still raining so I got a little wet helping her bring it indoors, Soon afterward the rain stopped! One of those days.

Shirley Anne

And then….

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French-Cafe-Patio

French-Cafe-Patio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

….and then it went hot again, not that it cooled down much but after yesterday’s brief heavy downpour it was again hot and humid on Monday. I was up and about around six o’clock and had eaten breakfast soon after seven. I sat out on the patio for a while before the sun began to shine on the patio itself and the temperature even then was seventeen degrees (Celsius of course). The sky was free of clouds and although the sun was fairly high at that time the large trees to the north and north-east ensured the patio remained in a dappled shade. About an hour later it would be in full sunshine. It stays that way at this time of year from then on for many hours save for a brief spell around noon when the shadow of the house puts the patio in the shade for an hour. Around five to six in the evening the patio is again back in the shade. It all means that we get plenty of sunshine on the patio. I returned indoors for a time and only returned outside when E had finished her breakfast. We then went into the garage and cut the old carpet stored there into smaller pieces so we could put them in into the non-recyclable waste bin. It was beginning to get too warm for any strenuous exercise and we decided to just sit on the patio until lunch time. I stayed under the canopy as I hadn’t sufficient sun blocking cream to protect me. I don’t usually do the sunbathing thing anyway but I also don’t wish to be pinned to one spot trying to avoid the sun. After lunch I applied what little sun cream I had and walked into the village to purchase more. It was around two-thirty and I didn’t want to return directly home. E would be out with her mom so I would be returning to an empty house. Although I had applied more cream to my arms and chest where I normally burn easily, I kept in the shade as much as was possible even so. My intention was to pay a visit to the pub on my way back home which meant a long detour so that the pub was indeed on my way home. The last time I went in there was 6th December last year! To think I used to be in there five or six times per week! Now that I don’t drink alcohol and haven’t done so for a few years there seems little point in going there except to meet people. Occasionally E and I will eat there but we haven’t done that for a while either, that is at this pub anyway. We will have to correct that soon but we have been so busy working at home the days dining out have been few. I met up with two people I know and met another for the first time. I stayed an hour or so and then went home. E hadn’t returned home yet so I went out on the patio with my guitar for a while. It was six-thirty before she returned and we could have our evening meal. The highest temperature we recorded on the patio out of direct sunshine was 27 degrees. Nice if you like it that hot. I prefer something like 18-20 perhaps and cooler if I am working.

Shirley Anne

Not before time

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English: Bidden ash This pool has been dry for...

Bidden ash This pool has been dry for at least a couple of years, but the heavy rain of November and December raised the water table, so flooding the pasture. The roots of an ash tree help drain the water; the rest forms the River Whitewater. The same pool can be seen here: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/295952 and http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/295956. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’d had many days of warm, even hot sunny days but by Sunday evening we were feeling a little tired by it all. I mentioned to E that I couldn’t remember the last time we’d had rain and it didn’t look as though we would get some anytime soon. The heat drains the energy out of me and as I had been very busy doing electrical work and the work in the gardens too I was hoping for it to cool down a little. My friend, who lives in New York, had been trying to contact me but as the weather was so fine I had been spending most of the time outdoors. She had left me a message on the phone which I responded to via an email. In the mail I mentioned we had been having good weather and that I couldn’t remember when it rained last. About an hour later just after E and I had eaten our evening meal it began to rain! Then it got heavier and then it got heavier still. There must have been a week’s supply of it in the space of a half-hour! So much rain at once put pressure on the gutters and drains to cope with it. I had to go outside to clear away some debris that was preventing the water from getting down one of the grids at the rear of the house. Even under an umbrella I still got a little wet. Soon though it eased off and it was dry again. Due to the lack of rain I had been using a hose every day in order to water the garden plants and in fact it was only an hour earlier I had done that and then the heavenly downpour came. Although I can water the surface plants and shrubs it takes an awful lot of water to satisfy the trees, something I couldn’t do with a hose pipe. Tree roots generally reach down to the water table anyway if the trees are big enough. That water table certainly got topped up on Sunday evening. On the plus side I wouldn’t need to water the garden for a day or two. On the other hand the grass will now start growing faster and I’ve only just mowed it!

Shirley Anne

Feeling better

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I didn’t have to do any work in the top room and as the weather was so warm and sunny on Tuesday I didn’t. Well that was until three o’clock. I was feeling much better on the day, my aches and pains in my back had gone and the urinary infection was well under control. The sun shone almost all day long and both E and myself spent most of the day in the garden especially relaxing on the patio on the new furniture. We ate indoors however and returned outside afterward. E wanted to do some weeding out in the flowerbeds and she started doing that after lunch when for an hour or so the sky went dark as the clouds drifted by. I went indoors for something and the urge to go upstairs and do a little work got the better of me and I set about doing some minor repairs to the door frame (casing) and on the door itself. I began removing the lock because it wasn’t operating properly but it took me over half an hour to get it out of the door.  Door lock partsThe first problem was to remove the strike plate. On modern locks this is usually not very thick but this lock was an old one and the plate was about 4mm thick. Over the years the fixing screws had been filled-in and painted over and were difficult to locate. After I had removed the door knobs (they were actually knobs and not handles as shown in the diagram) I was able to remove the spindle allowing the lock to slide out of the door. It was so tight it wouldn’t budge but it wasn’t simply stuck with age, it had been filled-in with some wood filler. The lock was similar to the one shown but longer, that is it went deeper into the door. It had both the latch bolt and dead bolt fitted and the dead bolt had originally been operated with a key. The dead lock hadn’t been used for years, long before we moved in, and the keyholes had been filled with wood filler which had found its way into the lock itself through the keyholes. It effectively prevented the lock’s easy removal. I eventually dug out the filler and slowly withdrew the lock. I will be fitting a new one that is only fitted with a latch bolt as a dead bolt isn’t required. After I had done that work I carried out the repair to the casing by inserting a block of wood where the fitting of an old Yale lock above the other door lock had left a gap in the frame when I removed it months ago. Again, I had to fill-in the gaps with wood filler ready for sanding down and painting later. That all took an hour and a half and my need to do something in the room no matter how small had been satisfied. Sometimes these little tasks can hold the other work back. Now we can carry on with the decorating when the urge presents itself! Both E and I are reluctant to work indoors whilst the sun is shining. E had stayed outside removing weeds and had done quite a lot while I had been inside.

Shirley Anne

Too windy

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English: sun, cloud and rain, weather forecast...

Sun, cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a lovely sunny day on Sunday, a day when its name lived up to it but sadly it was windy too and it took the edge off it. For a time I sat out on the patio but the frequent little bursts of wind made it too uncomfortable. It wasn’t particularly warm though that didn’t matter to me but the wind was cool. Had the wind been warm all would have been fine. It is the middle of May and the temperature for the time of year has returned to what is normal, somewhat different to the previous few days when it was hot and humid. According to the well-known saying we are not supposed to be casting off warmer clothing until May has ended (Never Cast A Clout Until May Is Out). Because it has been warm of late we might be thinking that Summer is here but it isn’t and even the early Summer can still be cool. There are many countries in the world where the weather can be predicted with almost certainty but here in the UK and totally because of our location the weather can be and is so unpredictable at times. I am not talking about the weather forecast but the fact that we cannot always say with some certainty that it will be warm, cold, wet or windy for any length of time. We cannot say that it will remain hot and dry for the next couple of months as it can be said in other parts of the world. People moan about the weather but the weather is something we can never have control over so moaning is pointless but it can be a pain when we expect some sunshine and it rains instead. I feel sorry for those who holiday here for a couple of weeks in Summer and the weather turns out wet and cold and when they return home the weather here changes dramatically for the better. If holidaying in the UK bring an umbrella and some warm clothing even if it is the height of Summer! I suppose we can say that the only guarantee we have regarding the weather is that we have no guarantee! It didn’t spoil my day, I wore suitable clothing.

Shirley Anne

A scorcher

Standard

It was a scorcher of a day on Sunday with temperatures around 24 C. It felt a little humid during the morning but less so as the day wore on. For early May these conditions are abnormal hereabouts as the average temperature should be around 16 C. I won’t complain about that but if I have anything to do I much prefer the lower temperature. I find the high temperature combined with higher humidity just drains the energy out of me. I wanted to go for a walk in the morning but it threatened rain and though that wouldn’t matter I decided against it and spent time on the treadmill in the cooler and dryer cellar. E wanted to do some gardening, removing weeds and overgrowth in one of the flower beds in the front garden so she set everything up and left me to my own devices. I didn’t much want to do anything in the garden but I ended up doing a little. I decided to take the ‘Yucca’ plant I have been nurturing (not sure of the variety) out of the large plant pot I had planted it in last year and plant it in the flowerbed next to the patio and against the wallYucca

Which is in this flowerbed

Flowerbed

Apart from plucking out one or two weeds and later watering the garden I did little else. After lunch E and I spent a little time out on the patio relaxing in the heat of the day with myself bare-footed on the artificial turf which surprisingly was warm, soft and dry. I don’t do sunbathing so after a short time I cover up my more sensitive parts, which means most of me I guess.

Shirley Anne