During the last couple of days rain has threatened to fall and it looks like we are going to have a few more days of unsettled weather before it returns to the way it has been lately. It is Thursday 25 April and I write this late in the morning. I should have been doing a little more concrete screed laying but I am not. I was up quite early at 4.45. I had set the alarm for 5.30 but had awoken at 4.00. I usually get up this early when I have the shopping to do though I don’t actually go out until after 7.15. I was feeling fine until I returned from the supermarket and had stored everything away when I began to feel tired and listless. The idea was to take a short break before recommencing work for the forecast had indicated a few hours of dry weather before it would rain.
Although the work is inside the building the preparation work is all done outside, collecting the materials loading up the mixer and emptying into the barrow to take indoors. It just isn’t practical to do that outdoors if it is going to rain. I suppose I could have rigged a shelter of some sort but it wasn’t worth the effort seeing as the weather had been generally dry. I went to the room to inspect the work I had done the day before and it had set just fine (see picture top left to bottom right, driest where it is pale). It would be best to allow it to dry out some more before pouring wet concrete alongside so doing the remaining area would be better left off doing for another twenty-four hours. It sounds like an excuse not to work but having weighed up the situation I decided that was best. In any case I wasn’t feeling up to it. Friday I would take an early morning walk but having again looked at the forecast the driest part of the day was in the early hours up til noon or thereabouts. I would have a window of around four to five hours before it would rain but I would have to take the walk later to take advantage. Decisions decisions. It all would depend on the forecast being right and me being fine and in the mood. Well the remainder of Thursday should give me the rest I obviously need! I am eager to see the floor finished (as far as the screed is concerned) so that I can begin other work such as door frame removal, lintel replacement, ceiling stripped and boarded and other minor works. When the shell is completed then I can plan installing the toilet furniture and arrange for a new door to be installed. A lot of work but I am taking it slowly. ……………………….Shirley Anne
Having ordered my new tablet and expecting its arrival in a week’s time (24 – 31 Dec) it arrived today on the 22 nd. Haven’t used it as I write for it is charging the battery. It feels a lot lighter in weight than the old machine and slimmer too. I wonder how they cram everything into such a small frame. Computers in general have taken great strides in development since the days of the Vic 20, Commodore 64 and others and many times more powerful and versatile. Since becoming mobile they have not lost anything being no longer tethered to the power supply. It shouldn’t take me long to get to know my new tablet.
It was Saturday and I wanted to get on with the work in the cellar again. I was plastering in the various holes in the walls and ceiling prior to getting out the paintbrush but it was taking such a long time to do. I spent a couple of hours down there and made a lot of progress though there was still more to do and I planned on continuing with it until it was finished but I was taken ill. I thought I had contracted the ‘vomiting bug’ though I didn’t vomit anything. The symptoms were similar, severe stomach pains, dizziness, feeling light-headed, nauseous and suffering hot and cold sweats but it turned out I had trapped wind! I was in agony but thankfully everything went back to normal after a short time. Not pleasant at all. I decided to leave finishing off the plastering for the day and took the weekend off. I would probably do it on Monday instead.
My experiences with computers have been somewhat of a pain the proverbial over the years. They either work very well, occasionally have tantrums or simply refuse to work as they should. Well the latest problem has been with my tablet. I have two lap-top computers, the one I am writing this post with, the Acer which is running Windows 7 and the other a HP which is running Windows 10. The latter gathers dust most of the time because I prefer Windows 7 which is far easier to use and isn’t cluttered with useless applications. It is practically new even though it is two years old as it hardly gets used. The other computer I own is the tablet a Samsung Nexus 10 which is running one of the Android platforms. Well it was running until recently. It was used mainly for taking photos or for tuning the guitar though it was capable of much more. Suddenly I found it wasn’t starting up properly and kept booting up then shutting down. Having done a factory reset the problem still remained. I did suspect the battery to be faulty and it may still be and I will get that checked when I’ve the time. In the meantime I thought I would treat myself to a new tablet so I purchased a Lenovo of the same physical size but running the latest Android program. It may arrive before Christmas but that doesn’t matter. All I want is something reliable.
So no more taking pictures for a week or so until it arrives. Today is Thursday 20 th and I have taken another break from work. I had been to do the shopping earlier in the day and on returning home felt miserable with aches and pains from head to chest. I guess it may have been the weather and a lack of food though I had eaten breakfast. It is mid-afternoon now and I am feeling great but it is too late to be starting work so I hope that tomorrow morning I will be able to continue with the hallway in the cellar which has been coming along quite nicely.
My day yesterday (29 th) wasn’t pleasant at all as those who read my post will know. Although I had been a bit poorly I had to take the opportunity when there was a lull in the bad weather to take down the tunnel I had previously erected over the longer patio flowerbed. I took this picture through the kitchen window the following morning. It shows the bamboo canes I placed over the two Phoenix Canariensis Plants there which will need the frost protection.
You can also see two of the other three plants of the same variety covered over with plastic bubble-wrap. The fourth is out of sight to the left of the picture. On reflection erecting the tunnel had proved to be a bad idea though only because it had been too exposed to the high winds we had been experiencing. In a more sheltered spot it would have been a different story. Lesson learned. Today as I write I hope to be able to wrap the two ‘wigwams’ with bubble wrap which won’t take long as the wind dies down a little. Though it had been windy during the week it had been quite warm over the last couple of days so there was no hurry to wrap the plants. If the weather was going to be reasonably fine I thought I might finish the lawn feature by filling it with the pebbles which had finally been delivered. The work in the small store was on temporary hold until I purchased more materials and of course made steps to cure that floor leak from the wet room above. Having said all that I was prepared to take more rest instead, at least for that day.
It isn’t unusual that one day can be so different from the previous one. Many of my days follow a set pattern and nothing much is different between them but there are days which flip the trend. Doing something new or something that hasn’t been done for a while make a day different but other things can do just the same. In yesterday’s post I talked about taking a walk in the rain. At the time it felt good but today, that is Sunday (aka Father’s Day this particular Sunday 17 th) I think I am paying the price! I have been feeling ‘run down’, tired and listless and all I want to do is sit and relax, even take a nap! I just feel drained of energy and am assuming the cold of yesterday has had a negative affect on my health. Hopefully it won’t last but for today at least I am putting up with it. Fortunately I haven’t been bored by just sitting around for the television came to the rescue. Not everyone is interested in soccer but I am not one of them. I am not a fanatic as some might be but I do enjoy watching a good game and this summer there are plenty to watch during the FIFA World Cup championships. This year as all will know it is being held in Russia. I would like to see England do well but it has been so many years since they have. To be honest I don’t support or follow any particular country’s team even my own, I just like watching good football. However if there is something else to do I will abandon the television unless it is the final game which I would probably take time out for. So here I am late on Sunday afternoon waiting for the next game to begin in the next ten minutes writing this and listening to records by various artists from the sixties on Vintage Tv. They are all remembered and bring back my memories from those wonderful days in my life. I remember how it was for me and how I had lacked determination to follow the path in life I perhaps should have taken instead of the one I did. Missed opportunities I regret and yet life has been good despite all the negative things that have happened in my life since then. Today I am happier than I thought I’d ever be and content with life. Tomorrow will be even better…and I am feeling better already.
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.