I wasn’t out of action for very long after I had damaged my little finger, only one day in fact but I didn’t resume my work on the pit until the day after that. I don’t know about you but I find certain foods affect my gut and I suffer from re-flux and wind problems if I eat them though strangely not every time. I love fish and on Wednesday evening I had mackerel. It is a particularly strong in flavour and is one of those foods which cause me to burp a lot after eating it. It isn’t my favourite fish by a long way, in fact it is pretty much at the bottom of the table. Sea bass and rainbow trout are favourites with me though I don’t often eat them. I suffered a lot after eating that fish on Wednesday and it followed through to almost lunchtime on Thursday. However it wasn’t just the fish causing me problems but also the muesli I had at breakfast. I usually eat muesli with fruit or porridge with fruit at breakfast and they have little side effect as long as I don’t do any work which requires bending. If I do then it can upset my tummy. Most of the time I don’t start working for an hour or two after eating breakfast. Anyhow I decided I had to push ahead with the pit project and I got this far before finally taking a break for a late lunch.
The slope turned out almost perfect but I had to fill in a few places where trapped air had caused one or two dimples in the concrete (top picture). I relaid five stone tiles at the far end of the pit as seen in the bottom picture. The space on the left is that concrete block I mentioned in previous posts. It is extremely hard but I managed to chip away at it in order to get it below the floor tiles. I won’t bother spending more time on it but at least I can cement over it now. Before the work started it was a couple of inches above the floor level. After lunch I assembled and installed the hand rail.
In yesterday’s post I talked about continuing with the work in the garden and the weather thwarting that possibility. Wednesday (27) was a far better day for working outdoors as it was dry and sunny for the most part though I have to add much colder than it had been in the previous week. I didn’t get out of bed especially early as I might have done another time but I was downstairs exercising on the gym equipment by nine o’clock even so. After a brief cooling off outside I returned upstairs for breakfast before taking a shower and getting dressed for the day. Over the last couple of days our youngest son has been staying here and his car is left parked on the driveway in front of the house when he is here. The vehicle is supplied by the company he works for and he normally gets it cleaned in a car wash station. His employer pays for that but I suppose only once a month. It stood there looking as if it had been in a coal mine for weeks but as he said, driving up and down the motorways in the rain keeps it looking that way! I put on my overalls and with a bucket of warm water, liquid soap and the nylon bristled sweeping brush I keep in my van for cleaning the van I set about cleaning the car. It didn’t take long and at least it would look much better for a while…
Having done my good deed for the day I returned to the rear garden and set about fixing the stones in the rear edge of the small bed that is now occupied by the new fan palm…
I mixed some fine concrete to fill in the gaps and used what was left to fill holes elsewhere around the garden and one of the surface water grids. When I returned into the house through the cellar door my son was using the elliptical trainer and then the bench press to do some weight lifting. He, just like his brother, are certainly a healthy and muscular pair of guys. They each have membership in their preferred gymnasium but obviously take advantage of the equipment we have at home when they visit. It is good to see they are looking after themselves by keeping fit. I wonder where they get that from?
After a day or so of suffering with cold symptoms I began to feel much better by late Monday afternoon. Even so I remained at home and indoors though outside it was calm and reasonably warm. I didn’t expect the weather to stay that way, just typical I thought especially as there remained a leak on the garage roof. E’s nephew was supposed to return and check it out on Monday but as seems to be the norm these days he didn’t turn up. I mentioned to E that I supposed he thought it would be a simple case of applying a little more fibreglass infused paint to patch it up. It would take far more than that especially as the chipboard beneath the paint was by then wet. More on that when it gets the repair it shouldn’t have needed had the work been done as I’d asked. Did it really matter in the great scheme of things? Not really I suppose. Our next-door neighbour on our right (depending from which standpoint you take) has had some tradesmen working in his garden removing the existing concrete posts and wood panels to replace them with the same posts and new panels. He has had many problems with this panelling over the years. In the first place the original installers of the ‘fence’ didn’t align the posts correctly. They were either listing or unevenly spaced or both! Whenever there was a high wind the panels would get blown out or be damaged in the wind. As I write this on Monday evening the workmen have completed most of the work and will presumably return in the morning to finish it. So far it is all looking good. The new panels have a latticed portion at the top which will dampen the effects of the wind besides looking much better than the old ones.
Picture taken from inside through a window. The problem we have around here is that the wind is predominantly from the west, the right in the picture, so the fence takes the full brunt of any high winds we have. There are things I want to be doing outdoors too at the time of writing but until I am feeling much better they are shelved. I haven’t been able to go for a walk for a few days either so I am keen for things to get back to normal. We often fail to appreciate our good health until we fall ill don’t we?
Not very often is it that I complain about being unwell and for reason, I am seldom unwell. That is a good thing and I am happy I can at this time be able to say it for many folk have the misfortune of having poor health. In that respect I am fortunate but it isn’t to say I never get ill or feel ill, at times I do. On Friday I began to feel a little ‘under the weather’ as they say but I soldiered on and stuck it out. I had though I was suffering the beginnings of a cold for I was beginning to feel the symptoms, dull aches and pains in my upper body, arms and back. No headaches but a general feeling of being drained of energy. I plodded through Saturday, staying indoors for most of the time except when E and I were examining the leaking garage roof (see yesterday’s post) and effecting a temporary repair until Monday when her nephew would come and check it out. Incidentally, the guys who were supposed to return on Saturday to install the free alarm unit on the new garage door didn’t arrive. I received a call on Sunday morning from one of them who apologised. Evidently his brother, the other fitter, had been involved in an accident whilst carrying out work on the installation of another door elsewhere on Saturday morning and he had been taken to hospital. It was arranged that they would fit our alarm later in the day. The alarm would be fitted one day in the forthcoming week. Anyway my routine for Saturday evening was to simply relax and watch television then have an early night. However after a couple of hour’s sleep I awoke with severe stomach cramps. Trapped air. After some time of sipping water and burping I felt more at ease but couldn’t get myself off to sleep again. I finally did get some sleep after a toilet visit at six o’clock. That meant I didn’t arise on Sunday morning until almost noon! By the time I got downstairs it was one forty-five. I felt awful and didn’t want any food. E told me to take a pain-killer but the one thing I do not do is to take medication of any kind unless it is absolutely necessary. I would rather suffer a little discomfort than take a drug which only masks the problem anyway. Obviously I would and have taken acute medication in the past and will continue to do so for chronic illnesses. So Sunday was again spent relaxing indoors trying to get my body back into sync.
After an unintended sleep-in the previous day I was determined to get up early on Monday morning to go for a walk so it was that by eight-twenty I found myself pounding the streets on my way doing just that. Over the last few weeks I had been suffering with a persistent rash on my back and couldn’t shift it. It was similar in appearance to that shown in this picture though I doubt it was the same condition…
It wasn’t so much the rash that was the nuisance but rather the itch that accompanied it. For a time I thought I had it under control but on Sunday the itch got worse and I had to do something about it. I took my walk to pass the doctor’s surgery with a view to arranging an appointment and to my good fortune I was accommodated that same morning at 9.50 . It meant I had to cut the walk short but it was more important I got to see a doctor. I returned at the appointed time but as usual I had to wait an extra ten minutes or so. Twenty minutes later I was at the pharmacy collecting the ‘Betnovate’ cream prescribed for the rash. Soon after I returned home E walked through the front door. I said, ‘You’ve been to the doctor’s haven’t you’? I didn’t know that, just had the feeling but the amazing things was, I was right! She must have driven there whilst I was at the pharmacy so our paths didn’t cross. Neither of us knew the other intended to see the doctor that morning as the decisions were made on the spur of the moment. She had been suffering with a possible hair-line fracture in her foot and an appointment for her to see a specialist at the hospital was made. Anyway the pair of us were making sure we were getting our problems sorted. We both remained at home until later in the afternoon when I was asked to fit a couple of replacement lighting units for someone a couple of miles away. It was almost time for our evening meal by the time I returned.
Some things we humans do are never spoken about to others unless they are our doctor, surgeon or nurse in which case we open up and tell them like it is. ‘Too much information’ is often the response if we make the attempt to describe ‘a personal problem’ and yet these ‘personal problems’ happen to us all. A mark of civilization it must be that we hide away our bodily functions and intimate functions when paying visits to ‘the little girls/boys room’. We cannot even say out loud, ‘toilet’ or ‘lavatory’ and use synonyms instead which is rather pointless as everyone knows exactly what you mean. How does the name change alter the way we respond? Strange beings we are. So now then I might wish to relate an unfortunate experience I had on Wednesday morning but how do I go about revealing the details without offending? If I use synonyms you will understand because you will be re-arranging the information in your thoughts to visualise what is revealed. If I tell it like it was you may just think the worst of me. For some it doesn’t matter one hoot. I arose early on Wednesday and was showered, dressed and make-up on before eight-thirty. I thought I might go for a walk before breakfast, just taking a little drink beforehand, though I always take water with me. It was a very wet morning and that didn’t change until mid-afternoon but I was covered up with my new waterproof jacket. I returned home before eleven o’clock and prepared a coffee and a cup of tea, the coffee for E and the tea for me. I just wanted a change for a change! I sat in the rear lounge with E who was doing some craft work on her lap. Suddenly I felt the urge to go visit the lavatory and for more than just a wee. I sat there for ages thinking ‘here I am broken-hearted, paid a penny and only **rted’. Nothing happened except that I began to feel abdominal pain as if constipated but I also felt nauseous and light-headed. I sat down for a minute but had to go upstairs to fetch something. As I got upstairs I dashed into the toilet there and gave it another go. Again nothing so I went to my bedroom to fetch what I had gone up there for but as I walked into the room my legs became like jelly (jello) and I collapsed to the floor. I had fainted. E came upstairs to see if I was alright but by then I had risen and was on my way to the toilet once more feeling very sick indeed. Have you ever felt that no matter which position you try you still remain uncomfortable? Eventually I asked E if she could bring me some honey and a spoon. After taking a spoonful I began to lose the nausea but was still in pain having not passed any solids (okay poo) yet. After what seemed an age it finally happened and everything went back to normal, or so I thought. I needed some sustenance but found I couldn’t eat anything except a spoon-full of jelly or jello. I hadn’t been constipated by the way, it was just the first part…..if you know what I mean! Hopefully I will have described my bad experience without causing offence though I know that even those remotely offended know full-well what I meant.
For some apparent reason soon after I arrived downstairs for my breakfast on Wednesday morning I began to feel chest pains. Now immediately you might be thinking, heart attack, angina or some other debilitating symptom but I am glad to report it was none of those things. The pain was over my right breast, on the surface, that is it was emanating from my muscles there. They were sharp and intermittent, one minute all was well and the next it wasn’t. After a while the pain moved to the centre of my chest as if it were indigestion. I was tired too because I didn’t get to sleep until after two o’clock and even then it was restless. Anyhow I realised the pains were due to a digestion problem of one sort or another and typical of a reaction to certain foods or even trapped air. I had eaten a breakfast consisting of mainly fruit however so that might have triggered a reaction though I don’t usually suffer eating fruit. A toilet visit helped and I deliberately skipped lunch except for a warm glass of milk sweetened with honey. Gradually over the day things improved and by evening I was as right as rain as they say. That was the not so nice part of my day. As I hadn’t been feeling too well I did no work but spent the day relaxing. I was looking out of the kitchen window admiring the flowers on some of the shrubs we have planted so I went outside and took a couple of photographs. I had already taken some a few days earlier too. This was the lovely part of the day, being able to see some of the new shrubs flowering for the first time since planting…
Because the shrubs are infants I didn’t expect too many flowers and especially with the ones only planted in the Autumn last year. I am hoping there will be far more as the shrubs grow larger. I was happy to see the results of all my hard work over the last eight months.
I pride myself as being reasonably fit and healthy for someone my age but once in a while I feel run down and weary. The key word here is weary. I arose early on Friday to keep a couple of appointments for electrical work. I didn’t really feel like getting out of bed even though I’d had a very good night’s sleep. Once up and dressed I felt fine but after breakfast a kind of lethargy took hold of me. My first appointment at nine o’clock was in an apartment near to home and I was there for an hour. I felt drained of energy when I’d finished the work though none of it was hard to do. I took a leisurely drive to the second appointment a couple of miles distant. When I arrived the lady of the house asked how I was and I told her that I was feeling a tad weary. She suggested I take time out and have a holiday after I had mentioned I hadn’t had a real holiday for eight years. Again the work wasn’t difficult and I was there for an hour. It was now 11.15 and I was glad my work was over for the day, for the week and all I wanted to do was rest. I didn’t drive home however but went to my local pub/restaurant for a meal. I arrived there at 11.30 but had to wait until noon before it opened for business. I parked the van and sat reading while I waited. I was so happy to get inside and have a soft drink whilst I decided what to have for lunch. I’d had porridge along with fruit and a fruit drink for breakfast so shouldn’t have felt hungry for a few hours. I found myself somewhat hungry by then nevertheless. The meal helped a little to make me feel better but by the time I had arrived back home the feeling of weariness had returned. I spent the afternoon lounging about either on the patio or on the couch in front of the television. My ‘get up and go’ had certainly got up and gone. The work I have been doing at home has taken more out of me than I had realised I guess. The weather forecast for the weekend looked promising so I promised myself I would make the most of it, not to work but just to relax and do nothing for a change. Maybe I’ll think about having a proper holiday…………..maybe.
This post is really an extension to the previous one in a way. Over the last three months I have done extensive work in the garden in removing bluebells by digging them out one by one, sometimes a few at a time and it has been hard work. There are no other ways to remove bluebells other than by digging them out for they are very resistant to herbicides and cannot be removed that way. I have nothing against the plant itself, they are nice flowers but the problem with them is they spread themselves all over the garden which earns them the same status as weeds. As we don’t want that sort of takeover bid in our gardens I’ve had to spend a lot of time removing them. In the week preceding my writing this post I have succumbed to the effects of that work, muscular pain in my upper legs and buttocks due to them being stretched whilst I have been in a kneeling position. It got so bad I could hardly walk at times and it was uncomfortable whenever I sat down. I was reluctant to stop the work because I was keen to get rid of the bulbs but the weather turned wet and windy which stopped me anyway. That was a good thing for I began to realise that it just wasn’t worth injuring myself because of some unruly plants especially as they would still be there to dig out another day. I decided therefore to slow down the process and be less uptight about getting the work finished. My problem is that once I get the bit in my mouth I can’t wait to rush in and get the work done. So since the previous weekend things have slowed down considerably and at the time of writing this on Monday I have done only an hour’s work in the rear garden. I mentioned that in the previous post. Today, as I write this on Monday I have spent only a half hour digging out a few bluebells in the front garden flowerbeds. As much as I wanted to do more because the weather turned bright and sunny I resisted the temptation. In any event my muscles had not fully recovered and I didn’t want to prolong the healing process. My electrical work has been slow in coming in but I have some work in that area yet to do. I am finding it difficult to slow down and spread the work out but it is something I need to do else burn myself out! It is harder too because I am doing the work alone at the moment. I need to become a more relaxed bunny!
It is a great feeling to be at that stage in life whereby you can pretty much do as you please as far as what you do in a day. At weekends I don’t do any electrical work unless in an emergency so if I don’t wish to do anything at all over the weekend then I don’t. On Sunday I was in no hurry to get up but I arose as soon as I awoke. After a shower and getting dressed I sauntered downstairs just before ten o’clock and had a bowl of fruit with a little muesli and milk. I had been thinking about going for a walk or maybe dining out at the pub to wile away the afternoon but by two o’clock I wasn’t feeling particularly well kind of like the way you feel when you have a bad cold. I decided to remain at home and have a late lunch instead, after all I had made a vegetable and chicken stew the previous day so there was no need to do any cooking. To kill a bit of time before lunch I made another ‘slab’ of rock cake because the other had been so nice but had all been eaten. After lunch I was feeling much better. The day before I had experienced problems getting my mobile phone connection. No matter where I was in the house or the gardens the message read ‘No network available’. As I was home it didn’t bother me too much because callers could contact me over the house phone if it was urgent. I wanted to contact a new friend just to say hello and couldn’t reach her even by text. I tried again on Sunday afternoon and suddenly everything was back to normal but I had a lot of catching up to do answering messages that had been left, mostly from people wanting electrical work done. I was able to contact my friend too and learned she was in the south of the country tending to her mother. Anyway before my phone connection had been restored I had been out in the front garden checking for a signal and noticed more bluebells growing in the right-hand flowerbed again. I had to dig them out, I couldn’t leave them for another day, they had to go! It was only a few days earlier I had been digging out bluebells in the same bed. They are a pain in the proverbial to put it mildly. As I was fetching the kneeling stool which I had stored in the greenhouse I noticed another bluebell in the flowerbed by the greenhouses which I dug out once I had finished in the front garden. Thinking I had found them all I began to put the equipment away but lo and behold there were more, then more in the next bed. Finally I decided to dig out the couple I had seen in the flowerbed next to the patio whilst I was at it but didn’t get that far. On the way there I saw more in the ‘Mound’ which I started to remove. As I dug them out more appeared with each dig with the trowel or fork and before I knew it I had a bucket full of them! At last I got to the flowerbed next to the patio and dug out a couple there. I have never seen so many bluebell bulbs and plants in such relatively small areas, even rabbits don’t ‘breed’ so profusely! I did say there would be more and more and more and more………..yawn!