I didn’t have much to do on Tuesday and E and I dined out again but this time at our usual venue. We dined out on Sunday in a normal restaurant rather than a carvery so everything naturally was brought to the table and of course costs more. Apart from the small job I had on Tuesday morning I pretty much did nothing for the rest of the day but on Wednesday after spending a couple of hours away from home doing an electrical job and after we’d had our lunch E and I started to strip out the upstairs bathroom. I was instrumental in refurbishing that room many years ago and I knew how well I had put things together. It was going to be tough stripping it all out. The walls had been clad in wood to a height of one metre with the remaining parts of the walls finished in tile. A couple of months ago I had stripped away the tiles surrounding a large mirror and E had been carrying out the painting of a couple of doors which are going to remain, namely the entry door and the one to the airing cupboard, that is where the hot water storage tank is situated. On Wednesday we removed the hot water radiator, dismantled a small cupboard I had constructed when I had refurbished the room all those years ago and we stripped away all of the woodwork on the same wall. Our next task will be to remove the bath and all the woodwork surrounding it leaving only the toilet and hand basin still connected for the time being. There will be plenty for us to do before we need to remove the toilet and basin. We wish to leave them in use for as long as possible but of course knowing us that won’t be for very long. We have no definite plans for the bathroom as yet except for the basic things we want to put in there, bath, shower, toilet, hand basin and perhaps a bidet. There is a bidet in the en-suite bathroom to E’s bedroom but it hardly gets used so we might not include one in the main bathroom, besides which we have only a limited space. There is enough space if we really want to fit one, we just haven’t decided that yet and there is always the possibility of installing an integrated bidet as in the picture above. We don’t waste time in our house when we’ve a mind to do things.
The end of another week as I write this on Friday but no, I am turning in to work on Saturday morning, something I haven’t done for quite some time. Officially I have declared myself to be semi-retired and working but a few hours each week if and when I get any work of course, unofficially this is sometimes far from the truth! If I didn’t enjoy what I do it would be rather sad but fortunately I like my work and enjoy myself doing it. This past week though has been a little gruelling at times for me. I worked a little on Monday and Tuesday mornings but Monday afternoon saw me quite ill as I explained in a recent post. Having regained my strength by Wednesday I was prepared to do some work at home, the wet room project regrettably left abandoned for over twelve months needed to be re-started. E and I went out to buy a couple of things and I wanted then to commence the work on Thursday morning. However a request to do some more work in the building I had worked in the previous week meant that my own project would have to be put on hold again. Since Thursday morning I haven’t stopped working in that building, even on Saturday morning. I will probably be working there on Bank Holiday Monday too which will be tomorrow when this is posted. Other people are making demands upon me too so it looks like my home project is going to take some time to get completed. I will of course have to refuse offers of work for a while and give myself time to work at home and to have days of well-earned rest too! I am not working today, Sunday.
E has again won prizes with her competition entries, this time winning £3000 to be spent on a holiday for two anywhere in the world of her choosing. She invites me to join her and we discussed where we might go but have made no plans as yet. The prize is open-ended meaning that there is no time limit as to when the money can be spent which is great as we don’t have to drop everything in order to take the break. By the time we go anywhere I will surely be needing the break! I haven’t had a holiday since 2009. I guess I am about due for one don’t you think?
Over the last few days the weather here has been quite reasonable with no frost, no ice and for the most part quite dry. Today, Wednesday, as I write this the day started with sunshine but by afternoon it began to rain quite heavily. I have been going out for walks which is fine when it isn’t raining but less so when it is. December weather these days is quite mild and I remember a time when it wasn’t always so. Call it global warming or something to do with a low in the normal cycle of weather but whichever is right it just seems a bit odd to me. No doubt we will be in for some cold times in the near future so I think it best to enjoy the mild spell whist we are able. Looking out over the rear garden the grass is lush and some of the border plants are in flower. Seasonal vegetables are still growing but the deciduous trees look somewhat forlorn empty of their green foliage. This is one reason I like to see evergreen trees and shrubs in my garden to keep it looking alive and pleasant to look at. My bicycle stands waiting to be ridden again, I don’t use it when it is raining or if it is frosty, I use it only for pleasure and exercise. Most times I will go for a walk during days of poorer weather. It is nice to stay at home when the weather is poor but I am biting at the bit wanting to get out in the fresh air and hopefully there will be plenty of opportunity to do just that, even at this time of year. It is a time for the moment to rest from the working life and simply enjoy myself. I know there will be lots to do soon enough, the problem with that though is that I may feel a little reluctant to start the ball rolling again!
Well my sore throat disappeared as fast as it appeared as did my aches and pains and all without taking any medication. I dislike taking medication unless I am seriously unwell and will often suffer a headache before I will take a pain-killer. Perhaps I just ‘worked off’ my ailment, who knows? Anyway it is Friday and I am quite well. The job of work I was supposed to do yesterday I am doing today instead because the weather was too bad with high winds and heavy rain making working outside impossible. It promises to be much better today. Good fortune gave me other work to do indoors yesterday so the day wasn’t wasted. In fact I shall have worked every day this working week including Wednesday, my birthday. Wednesday found me working my socks off until one o’clock when I decided not to return directly home afterwards. I drove to the pub and treated myself to a cooked meal instead with a soft drink to accompany. The place was packed as seems to be usual these days around opening time until about two o’clock when many folk decide to eat out. Fortunately there was a table free when I arrived. I didn’t stop too long after my meal and then I drove home. Nothing special happened on my birthday and I didn’t dine out with E as I thought last week I might be doing. She and I are not on speaking terms yet again and that as usual is due to her attitude toward me. I often think I would be better off in my own place but I love her so much and still want to provide for her and be available when she needs me. I know, I must be mad but I’ve known that for years! Love has this strange effect upon me! One day. Well I started the week with only two jobs to do and I did say that would probably change before the end of the week and I was right! I have even given two jobs away to someone else although one of those jobs I simply didn’t want to take on myself, the other one needed sorting out immediately and I simply didn’t have the time as it was one of those jobs that might take hours to sort out. One good thing about being active during the day is that I am enjoying a better night’s sleep. That can’t be bad.
The year has been slow in starting for me on the whole. Last year as with previous years I have found plenty of things to do, most of it work related either at home or in my capacity as an electrician but not all of it work related. I usually have goals that I wish to complete and set my mind on those things. Once I have an idea in mind that I know I can do or have done for me if it is too much or outside of my capabilities, then I get on with it. The main problem I have is that I tend to procrastinate regarding setting the starting point, that is the day I’ll begin the work. This year is no exception! Two of my projects have been started but after long periods of dragging my heels thinking about them! I do have excuses, especially if I have electrical work scheduled but sometimes I simply don’t want to start. On Tuesday E and I started work on our proposed wet room by disconnecting and removing the existing furniture and fittings and as I didn’t have work scheduled for Wednesday I should have continued with that but instead I decided to chop up the tree branches and twigs that we had felled the week before. We couldn’t put off that job any longer but it will still take a few days to complete. Here is a picture taken when about a third of the branches had already been removed and disposed of.
It doesn’t seem a lot but when we have to chop it up to fit into our wheelie bins it takes a considerable time. Burning them is out of the question as they are not dry so we have no choice but to cut them by hand. We do possess one of those machines which chips up the branches. If you remember (those who have been regular readers last year) it was used quite a lot last year when we had an even larger tree chopping exercise. However it won’t tackle the thinner twigs and branches or the long and sinewy ivy as they simply clog the machinery. Clicking on the picture will enlarge it and perhaps you will then appreciate the task we have. I spend about three and a half hours cutting and chopping it on Wednesday and still only half of what was left is done, for we had already disposed of a third of it last week. My upper arms were left aching for quite some time afterwards. I seem to have more than one job on the go at any one time at home but I find that better than just doing them one at a time. For one, it relieves the boredom and gives me a break from some of the larger projects which can become a burden. To be honest I like the variety. There is plenty for me to be doing this year but there will also be plenty of days for leisure too, same old routines or not!
I have not moved far away from my place of birth nor the places where I grew up. I was born in the heart of Liverpool on one wet Wednesday morning in the city’s Royal Hospital in November 1945. For the first three months of my life I lived with my parents in my aunty’s home after which we moved into our own home almost in the city centre and stayed there until 1958 when my family and I moved to the suburbs. By 1955 our family was complete, five children for mom and dad to look after. When I married in 1974 we couldn’t afford to buy our first house so we decided to rent an apartment for two years until we had a big enough deposit for a house. The apartment was in Bootle, just a couple of miles outside Liverpool city centre. Our first house was bought in a small town north of Liverpool about sixteen miles as the crow flies. We moved there in 1976 and left again to move into the house we now live in which is about 22 miles north of Liverpool, in Southport. We came here in 1988. Our decisions to move where we did were all based on our work and the need to be reasonably close to it. Had our circumstances been different we may have decided to locate in another part of the country. Compared to some parts of the country this area is perhaps lacking in dramatic scenery but it has a great heritage and history. The people who live hereabouts are some of the finest you will meet anywhere and some of the most friendly and welcoming. Having said that though I do find that people who were born in this town are less friendly than those who migrated here from Liverpool but that is a generalisation and it would be unkind to suggest that folk here are not friendly. I like being here because it is near the shore, the weather is fairly reasonable and the air coming from the Irish sea is fresh and clean. I think people grow to like the place where they live. When I first came here I was a little apprehensive as to what it would be like but I settled down soon enough. I have travelled across the globe but each time I have been away I longed to get back to my home territory and all these familiar places. It is good to live here as I am sure it is for those who live elsewhere. I suppose we make the places we live as our home and make them places where we can feel at home in a world that is often hostile and unstable. Home is where the heart is and my heart is here